Freezing suddenly is one of the most common issues when using Windows based desktop or laptop. If it happens multiple times, it is worth trying to fix the problem permanently. Frozen Windows may occur due to software updates, malware attacks, computer over-heating or hardware failure. For a normal user, it may be difficult to diagnose the issue and find the root cause of the freeze. However, you can try some quick options to fix the frozen computer and bring it back to working condition.
Quick Frozen Windows Computer Fixes
Fixing frozen windows in a computer has multiple solutions. Standard solution is doing a system reboot, but we recommend it as the last. This option helps solve any erroneous software causing a freeze on your computer. However, it is not recommended since you may not be able to recover any unsaved data. Also, it is not a long-term fix.
Here are options on how to fix frozen Windows computer.
1. Give Your Computer a Break
Giving your computer time to respond could be the option if it occurs frequently. You may be using the system heavily with a slow processing power. Therefore, your computer could temporarily stop responding due to overloading. Consider waiting few minutes for the program to respond to save your data.
If that is the case, giving it a moment to catch up with what you were running would be a quick fix. It may not be a serious problem, after all. You only need to boost your computer processing speed to avoid such issues. Also, disconnect any external hard drives connected to the computer. There are possibilities the connected drive could freeze your computer.
If freezing continues or exceeds a reasonable timeframe to respond, consider the below options.
2. Close Frozen Window
Try the Alt+F4 solution. In case you are running a heavy RAM consuming application, such as high resolution graphic games, then restarting the application would work for you. Press the Alt + F4 keys to close the current frozen window. But this is not a long-term solution. In order to fix the issue completely, you will have to upgrade your computer’s RAM to match the software requirements.
3. Restart Video Graphics
The other way to resolve graphics related issue is to restart the video graphics card. However, this solution will work for Windows 8 and 10 users only.
- Press the “Win + Ctrl + Shift + B” keys.
- Computer screen will turn dark in a few seconds and light up again.
- This fix will work on all graphic drivers running on Windows 8 and 10 versions.
Resetting graphics drivers will not affect any running application, therefore your data is safe in other applications.
4. Use Task Manager to Check Unresponsive Apps
Try this solution if the above options are not working. In case you are successful in opening the Task Manager, then you can locate the software causing the freeze.
- Press the “Ctrl + Alt + Del” keys and select the “Task Manager” option.
- Select the application or process that is taking up much of the CPU space. Or, the one tagged as “Not Responding” under the “Apps” section. Also, you can check under the “Background Processes” section.
- Select the application and click the “Restart/End task” button at the lower left of the window.
- You will lose any unsaved data in the frozen app. However, for other running applications, the data will not be affected.
You can opt to uninstall the application if it does freeze regularly. Otherwise, upgrade your computer hardware capability for it to support the app. Under the “Performance” tab, you can check the amount of used up RAM. You can do an upgrade in case it seems to be overwhelmed.
5. Hard Reboot
If your computer is completely unresponsive, the remaining solution is a hard reboot. Generally, your computer will restart automatically when the screen turns blue or freezes. If it is not restarting in your case, long-press the power button for a maximum of 10 seconds.
It should turn off and on. In this case, you will only be able to salvage data from applications with auto-save features. For example, if you were working in Office applications, you can recover your document with the autosave function.
Tips on How to Avoid Windows Computer Freeze
Now that you can fix your frozen Windows computer, here are the tips on how you can avoid it in the future.
Run a System Restore
You can restore your computer to an earlier state to revert any software updates. Such updates may come with hardware compatibility issues.
- Search for “Control Panel” under the search icon and click it to open.
- Open the “System & Security” tab and navigate to the “System” tab.
- Click on the “System Protection” option under the options listed on the side to enter the system restore section.
- Select the system disk and configure, in case it is not configured for a system restore.
- Click the “System Restore” option to restore your computer to a previous state.
Software upgrades often come with compatibility issues with computer hardware. Therefore, you can consider upgrading your computer RAM if your computer seems to be overwhelmed. Ensure that you verify that all other possible issues are okay and then conduct a RAM test.
Also, overheating could be a problem with the cooling system. Check on the cooler-fans state to determine whether they are running accordingly. If not, you can make a replacement. Besides, you can run a virus scan using the built-in Windows antivirus or any other third-party option. A virus scan will help establish whether your computer is free from viruses and malware or not.
All the listed alternatives on how to fix frozen windows computer should work. The ultimate solution is staying ahead of the freezes by learning how to avoid them. Update your system RAM to ensure all your software can run without lagging. Also, keep your antivirus software updated and running to help you track and eliminate any virus and malware. Otherwise, you have got the safe options you can consider if any of the freezes arise again.