TECHNOLOGY

How To SOLVE Computer Hang / Freeze

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How many time has it happened when you are working on your computer and suddenly your computer hangs or freezes? Almost all of us have faced this problem. Now-a-days in Windows 10 days, it doesn’t happen frequently but in good ol’ Windows 98 and Windows XP days, it used to happen occasionally.

by vikash

When the computer hangs/freezes or enters into “Not Responding” state, nothing works except the mouse cursor/pointer. We can move the mouse cursor here and there but if we click on an icon or Start button, nothing works. No program opens, no Start Menu shows, nothing. Only one thing works i.e. the mouse cursor.

Let’s go back to our discussion! When your computer hangs and you are able to move mouse cursor, there are certain things which can be done to solve the issue and make your computer working again.

Today in this tutorial, we’ll discuss some points which should be remembered and followed if your computer hangs or freezes. These tips will work in almost all Windows versions such as Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10. If you are using Windows Server editions, these methods will also work for you.

NOTE: If the mouse cursor also doesn’t work when your computer hangs, it might be a hardware problem such as RAM problem, hard disk problem, overheating issue, etc. In such case, you should contact a technician to check your computer.

Let’s start the tutorial:

1. Have Some Patience and Wait

Yes. You read it right. That’s the first thing which you should do when your machine hangs. Actually most of the time when computer hangs, it might be possible that a particular process, application program is taking too much amount of RAM and CPU resources which makes the whole system unresponsive. Waiting for a few minutes (5-10 minutes) is the best solution in such situations.

When the problematic process completes the task and releases CPU resources, the system becomes responsive again. This is what happened recently with one of my Windows 10 machines. It was freezing for a few minutes and fixing itself automatically. Check out following article for more details:

[Problem] Windows 10 Hangs (Not Responding) For Few Minutes After Restart

Many people continuously click and press random keys if their computer hang. That’s completely wrong! Doing this puts extra load on the computer processing unit and makes the things worst.

So in future if your computer hangs, have some patience, don’t press any key or click anywhere. wait for a few minutes and chances are that your computer starts working again without doing anything.

2. Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc Keys Together to Launch Task Manager

If waiting doesn’t help, try this! Press Ctrl+Shift+Esc keys together on your keyboard. Its a keyboard shortcut (hotkey) to launch Task Manager. If you are lucky, Task Manager will open and now you can check which process is consuming highest CPU resources and RAM amount. You can select the culprit process and click on End Task button. It’ll kill the running process and you should get your working system back.

End_Task_Windows_Explorer_Task_Manager.png

You can also restart Explorer using Task Manager which will fix the freezing problem. Windows 8/8.1 and Windows 10 allows users to restart Explorer using Task Manager.

Check out following tutorial to learn how to restart Explorer using Task Manager:

[Guide] Different Ways to Close and Restart Explorer in Windows

3. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del Keys Together

If you are unable to open Task Manager, use the classic and always working keyboard shortcut i.e. Ctrl+Alt+Del. Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys together and it’ll show CAD screen which allows users to log off (sign out), switch user and open Task Manager.

You can also use power options such as restart, shut down, hibernate, sleep from the CAD screen.

So restart or log off using CAD screen and it’ll also fix the hanging problem.

4. Press Win+Ctrl+Shift+B Keys Together

If the traditional Ctrl+Alt+Del method also doesn’t work, here is another keyboard shortcut which can be used when your computer hangs or freezes.

Press Windows logo key+Ctrl+Shift+B keys together. This hotkey will force Windows to refresh the screen by restarting the graphics card driver. You’ll hear a short beep sound and the computer screen will blink or dim for a second.

It should fix the freezing issue.

5. Close and Open Lid of Your Laptop

If your machine is a laptop, you can also try to close and then re-open the lid. Sometimes it also helps in fixing hanging and freezing issues in almost all Windows versions.

6. Kill ‘Em All

If nothing works, then it must be a bad day for you. Now it’s turn of the last method which always works.

Press the power button on your Desktop PC or laptop for a few seconds and it’ll power off the device. Please keep in mind that it’ll forcefully power off the device and you’ll lose all unsaved work.

Now you can switch on the machine again and everything will be back to normal. That’s the best solution if your computer hangs/freezes and nothing works.

ANOTHER STEPS :

  1. 1Check your external devices. It is most likely that one or more external devices connected to the PC are causing the problem. Disconnect all these devices and start up again.
  2. 2Restore your computer to a time before it started to be a problem. Recent hardware/software changes you have made on your PC might also be affecting it. You can resolve the issue by restoring your PC (using System Restore) to a previous working configuration.

Method2 : Freezing at Shutdown

  1. 1Install all available updates.
  2. 2Check if there are any device issues. For this, you must disconnect non-essential hardware e.g., USB devices.
  3. 3Check if the problem also occurs in Safe Mode. If not, uninstall any software that is not being used by you.
  4. 4Scan for any malware, i.e., malicious software.

Method3 : Random Hanging

  1. 1Check for damaged files. A damaged/corrupt system files may be the underlying cause and you can repair such files by running tools like the System File Checker (SFC) or the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM).
  2. 2Try removing new programs. A software compatibility problem may also be a contributing factor, especially if you recently installed an app or driver. You can try to remove it. If you’re not able to, run a System Restore to return the system to a previous working state or another saved restore point before you installed the particular software/ application.
  3. 3Check for a damaged registry configuration. This can happen due to registry cleaning tools; to overcome this problem, you can use System Restore or Refresh to return the system to a previous working configuration.
  4. 4Look for hardware issues. Such disk failure could be a contributory factor, especially if chkdsk runs while starting Windows. In case of repeated failures, try replacing the hard drive. Other faulty hardware can also lead to random hangs; for that, you may run hardware diagnostics.
  5. 5Check for malware. This kind of malicious software may also result in random hangs in Windows. For this, you can run one or more of the online detection tools e.g., Microsoft Safety Scanner.
  6. 6Make sure your antivirus software is up to date. Antivirus software, at times, can cause a random hang in Windows, especially if the antivirus software is out of date, or if you have more than one antivirus running on your PC simultaneously. Uninstall all but one antivirus program, and install the latest updates for your antivirus software.

Method4 : Generic Freezing

  1. 1Check your drivers. A generic freeze may occur due to problems with one or more important drivers such as display drivers, Bluetooth drivers, network drivers, motherboard drivers etc., which can all contribute to temporary freezing of the system. For this you must uninstall the specific driver(s) causing the freeze and reinstall it/them again.
  2. 2Optimize your system. A freeze could as well be part of a general poor performance problem leading to a slow or lagging computer. In such an event, you must optimize your Windows for better performance.

Method5 : Single-App Freezing

  • In case of your PC freezing temporarily while using a specific app, Windows is not the cause, but in all likelihood, there is a conflict with the app that is freezing. In such a single-app freeze, the following steps are recommended:
  1. 1 Be sure to try all steps listed for overcoming a generic freeze.
  2. 2 Install all latest updates for the app.
  3. 3 If you can run the app offline, try running it without being connected to the Internet.
  4. 4 Uninstall and reinstall the app. In order to make sure that the app files and configuration are not damaged, a fresh start can be helpful.

#Top 9 Reasons for “Why Computer Keeps Freezing”

It is important to identify the actual causes for a computer that keeps freezing. The 9 most common causes of why Windows 10, Windows 8 or Windows 7 keeps freezing are shown below.

1. Too Many Programs Opening

Every program in your computer requires certain amount of both internal and external (hardware) resources to function. If multiple programs are running concurrently, your computer might not have enough memory or computing power to support all of them.

In this situation, you should right-click Task Manager, choose Task Manager, click the Processes, find the program that is frozen and click End Task. It is recommended to run programs you need at a time.

too many programs running

2. Driver Corruption or Errors

Drivers are used for communications between hardware devices and the operating system. Outdated or damaged drivers could be reasons to why your Windows keeps freezing. Therefore, you should make sure that your drives are always updated.

3. Overheating

Excess heat can slow down a computer, eventually causing computer freeze. If the temperature is high enough, it can even damage the integrated circuit of your system processor and render it unusable.

To avoid this, please make sure your computer is thoroughly vented. Computer casing should be used for harsh environments.

4. Insufficient RAM

If your computer freezes frequently and regularly, you might have insufficient RAM. You can consider upgrading your RAM or reinstalling the operating system to solve this issue.

5. BIOS Settings

Modifying BIOS settings may put the system in the freeze mode. Resetting the BIOS to default could fix your freezing problem.

6. Faulty External Devices

Faulty USB or other external devices such as the mouse and keyboard can cause the computer to freeze. You can try connecting one device at a time to investigate the root cause. Also try updating the USB device drivers to fix this computer keeps freezing problem.

7. Computer Viruses

Viruses could also be the main cause for a computer to freeze. You should perform an antivirus check regularly.

8. Corrupted or Missing System Files

According to our investigations, we found that Windows 10 / Windows 7 keeps freezing due to corrupted or missing system files.

9. Software Errors 

Regardless of the vendor, any third-party software could be freezing your computer.

Some applications may take up a lot of memory to attempt to perform actions or access resources that Windows cannot understand. If your computer isn’t able to handle the strain, it can get hung up and freeze. To fix this, you should update all third-party software that is installed on your computer.

In addition to the above-stated reasons, there are other reasons like broken memory card, low disk space, etc. No matter what the cause is, our main focus is to fix this problem without affecting the original data. Next, let’s see how we can protect our data while solving this issue.

Quick Fixes for Windows 10 Computer Freezing Randomly

See the following solutions to troubleshoot Windows 10 computer freezing randomly. 

Fix 1. Free up Disk Space on the System Disk

Low disk space on system disk will slow down PC and even cause random Windows 10 freezing issue, so first, please make sure that you have enough free disk space on C drive. If not, you can try to clean up junk files to free up some disk space using Windows 10 disk cleanup. Or trying another better solution – to extend system drive using EaseUS free partition software.

Fix 2. Disconnect All Devices

Disconnect all external USB devices even including the mouse and keyboard from the computer and then boot up to check if they are the causes of random computer freezes.  

Fix 3. Check for Faulty Hardware 

Damaged hardware is one of the factors that can trigger the computer freezing issue. But if the issue only happens in Windows 10, we can confirm that there is nothing wrong with your hardware.

Fix 4. Uninstall Incompatible Programs

Did you install any new programs before your computer freezing? If yes, it might the problem. Please try to uninstall them to see if it helps.

Fix 5. Scan with SFC to Repair Corrupt System Files

Random hangs & freezes on Windows 10 sometimes happens when system files get corrupted. To test and correct it, run a Command Prompt as administrator, in the black Command Prompt window, type: sfc /scannow. Then press Enter on your keyboard. 

Advanced Solutions to Fix Random Freezes on Windows 10 Computer

Getting tired of trying all these general methods one by one but none of them is useful? If yes, advanced solutions are offered in the next part to help. Please have a try!

Method 1. Updating All Device Drivers to the Newest 

According to users, random computer freezing usually appears after Windows 10 update. And the reason might be incompatibility of hardware and drivers. To correct it, just update all device drivers.

1. Click “Start” menu and click “Settings” tab.
2. Click “Update & security”.
3. Select Windows Update in the left pane and click “Check for updates”(make sure you have an active Internet connection).

Method 2. Flash Your SSD

If you have Windows 10 installed on your SSD, you might experience random freezing on your computer due to older firmware. To fix it, just install the newest firmware on your SSD.

1. Open your advanced power plan settings.
2. Expand open Hard disk and Turn off hard disk after, SET TO NEVER, and click/tap on OK.

Method 3. Perform a System Restore or a Clean Install of Windows 10

If your computer still freezes frequently and randomly on Windows 10, you may try to either perform a system restore to roll back to the previous version or do a clean install of Windows 10 to find a fix.

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