How To Fix A Frozen Computer And Prevent It From Happening Again?

There are numerous issues your computer may encounter due to a frozen computer. Your laptop may have trouble charging, the screen may cease displaying images, or it may simply refuse to turn on. But it seems as though your computer only freezes when you're in the midst of the most crucial duties, doesn't it? If your computer has slowed to a crawl or stopped responding altogether, here's how to fix a frozen computer and prevent it from occurring again.

Why do computers start freezing or crashing?

Software is the most prevalent cause of computers freezing. It could be incompatible software, an app trapped in an infinite loop, corrupt files such as faulty device drivers, or a virus or malware writing to protected system memory or overwriting sensitive system files.

Another possible cause is malfunctioning hardware, such as a faulty hard drive or memory card. If failing memory contains OS-related boot code, the computer may not only stop, but it may also be unable to restart.

Some variety of reasons including:

  • Power or charging issues.
  • Too many applications running at the same time.
  • Software problems.
  • An outdated operating system.
  • Viruses and malware.
  • Extreme temperatures.
  • Hardware issues.

What should I do when my computer starts freezing or crashing?

1.Restart Your Computer

Typically, restarting a stalled computer is the most effective solution. This allows your system to reset and begin from scratch.

The most effective method for restarting a stalled computer is to press and hold the power button for five to ten seconds. This will enable your computer to restart without interruption during a power outage.

Disconnect any headphones or additional cords before restarting your computer, as these items can cause errors.

2.Quit Programs

When too many software applications are simultaneously functioning on a computer, the operating system can become overloaded. This causes websites and applications to stutter, crash, or even stop.

You can use Task Manager on Windows TM and Activity Monitor on Apple to force quit applications that are consuming system resources, ensuring that your device runs efficiently.

How to force quit programs using Task Manager

If Windows fails to recover (or if it freezes again after recovering), it's time to turn to an old standby: Ctrl + Alt + Delete. To view a list of running applications, press this combination of keys and then select Task Manager from the resulting menu. Mac users can access a comparable menu by pressing Command + Option + Escape.

Select those that are not responding and click the End Task button.

3. Check the Task Manager in Your Browser

Your computer may be operating normally, but your browser may become trapped on a particular page, it appears as if the entire computer is frozen when it may only be the page you are viewing. In such cases, Windows Task Manager may indicate that your browser is not responding.

Press Shift + Esc in Chrome and Edge to access the browser's Task Manager. You can select the Firefox menu button and navigate to More Tools > Task Manager. This will display the various processes running within your browser, potentially revealing which page or extension is frozen or consuming excessive CPU and memory.

4.ReStart Your Pc Or Mac

If you cannot even access the Task Manager, your computer is genuinely frozen, and a hard reset is the only way to get it moving again. Press and hold the power button until the computer shuts down, then press the power button once more to restart the system.

Depending on the program and how it handles unsaved documents, if you were working on something essential when the freeze occurred, you may be able to retrieve it. Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, for instance, save backups automatically as you work, and you can often retrieve them the next time you launch the program. File > Info > Manage Document(s) > Recover Unsaved Document can also be accessed.

It may not work every time, but it's worth a shot.

5.Examine the Reliability Monitor

If you cannot determine the cause of your lockups, you will need to conduct additional troubleshooting. In these instances, I suggest utilizing Windows' Reliability Monitor, a lesser-known error-reporting utility buried within Windows' settings. Open the Start menu, search for “reliability,” and select the View reliability history option that appears in the results.

You will see a graph of your PC's reliability over time, along with breakdown logs and other issues, updates, and newly installed applications.

6.Explore Further Your Blue Screen of Death

If your computer's freezing is followed by a breakdown and the Blue Screen of Death, you may be able to learn more about the cause of your issues. The QR code and “Stop Code” on the blue screen are adequate jumping-off points for your investigation, but they rarely provide exhaustive information.

BlueScreenView(Opens in a new window) is a free program that reads the “dump file” your computer generates during a shutdown and displays it in a slightly more user-friendly format. (Download links are at the bottom of that page; they're a bit tough to locate). You can scroll horizontally to see which driver or device caused the accident, as well as other codes you can look up in an attempt to identify the offender.

WhatIsHang(Opens in a new window) and AppCrashView(Opens in a new window) are two additional freeze- and crash-diagnosis tools created by BlueScreenView's developers that may be worth a shot. Again, System Restore could be useful in attempting to resolve this issue.

7.Uninstall Drivers with DDU to Resolve Conflicts

While System Restore should be able to fix a large number of issues, I've found that it isn't always able to remedy more elusive bugs. For instance, ever since I upgraded my graphics card, my computer has been continually freezing. Display Driver Uninstaller(Opens in a new window) (DDU) in safe mode was sufficient to fix the issue, which was likely caused by conflicting components left over from the previous driver.
If you have recently installed new hardware, try uninstalling its drivers or the drivers of the old hardware you just replaced, and see if this resolves the issue. Particularly useful for graphics and audio drivers that are interfering with one another is DDU.

8.Scan For Malware with Malwarebytes To Troubleshoot Computer Glitches

As with all computer issues, it never harms to run a malware scan to determine if a malicious program is to blame—especially if you haven't done so recently. Grab a free scanner such as Malwarebytes, allow it to comb through your hard drive, and observe the results. Consult our guide to removing malware from your computer if you run into problems.

9.Test Your RAM

Bad memory can also cause machines to freeze, so if you suspect a failing RAM stick, it's time to perform some diagnostics. Launch the Start menu and conduct a search for “Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool.” It will restart your computer and perform a memory test, notifying you if any issues are detected. Memtest86+(Opens in a new window) is an open-source launch disk that conducts more comprehensive testing.

If all evaluations are successful, it may be that you lack sufficient RAM. When you encounter problems in the future, press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to bring up the Task Manager and then select the Performance tab. If your memory is at capacity, you may need to upgrade.

You can easily determine how much RAM you have, but you should also look up the model of your computer to determine what you need to purchase and how to replace it. (If your RAM is soldered to the motherboard, as is the case with Apple's laptops and many new thin and light laptops, you may need to purchase an entirely new laptop.)

10.Watch For Overheating

Ironically, excess heat can frequently cause your computer to stall, so if you encounter this issue repeatedly, your cooling system may be to blame. Install a temperature monitor, such as Core Temp(Opens in a new window), configure its settings to display the temperature in the Notification Area, and then transfer its icon from the tray to the taskbar so that it is always visible. Similar functionality is available to Mac users with Fanny(Opens in a new window).

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