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What should I do when a computer freezes or locks up?

Computer freezes or locks up is one of the most frustrating computer problems we have ever encountered. Generally, this problem occurs at the worst possible time to make things worse. No need to worry; this page includes suggestions for what to do if your computer freezes or locks up.

What should I do when a computer freezes or locks up


An autosave is a feature that can be included with several programs. If you have edited a document at the time your computer was lockup, you might ab able to recover this file with the help of restarting your computer. Due to a freeze or deadlock, you may lose all unsaved work if your software does not have an autosave function. In order to limit or avoid this likelihood, it is most important to save your work frequently

Why does the computer keep freezing?

There are numerous reasons for a computer to freeze or begin to run poorly. Usually, your computer has too many programs running at the same time, or it will be a software-related problem, causing it to stop.

Additional problems, such as your system having no sufficient hard disk space or has 'driver'-related problems, can be the reason for a computer to freeze.

There are some points that cause to computer to freeze or lock up:

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

There are a few easy actions given below that you can follow to get your computer up or unfreeze if it has stopped responding:

Give the computer some time

If your computer is not responding, you should give the computer some time. Wait and allow them to process for a few minutes. A computer sometimes may appear frozen, but it is simply slow or busy executing a complex task.

Why is my Computer so slow

Is the computer deadlocked?

You may check if the computer reacts by hitting the Caps Lock key on the keyboard and seeing the Caps Lock LED (light) turn on and off.

You will need to restart your computer if nothing happens while pressing the Caps Lock key and the computer is stuck. You should continue to the next step if the computer can turn Caps Lock on and off.

End Task the not responding program

Windows is still running if you see the Caps Lock is turned on and off properly, but you are also looking for another program that may not be responding; this condition causes the system to freeze. In order to open the Window Task Manager, you need to press the Ctrl+Alt+Del keys together. To unfreeze the computer, on the task manager window, select the program that isn't responding and select End Task.

Note: It may take ten to twenty seconds for the unresponsive software to be terminated after selecting End Task.

It could be a problem with a mouse if the Task Manager has opened it, but the mouse is still not working.

Also see: How to Fix it When Your Mouse Scroll is Not Working

Reboot a frozen computer

If you have followed all previous methods, you are still facing the computer freezes or locks up problem. Now, you are required to restart your computer system. Press and hold the power button until the system is switched off to reboot a frozen computer. Wait a few seconds after turning off the computer before turning it back on and allowing it to start normally.

Note: During the computer setup process, you may see a prompt asking if you want to run Windows normally or in Safe Mode when you restart the computer. In this situation, you should select the Start Windows Normally option and verify that Windows starts up normally.

What happens to any work not saved?

If you do not save the work, it can be lost when a frozen computer needs to be rebooted. There are some programs that may have the potential to save work automatically every few minutes in certain circumstances. You can retrieve your work up to the last autosaved state if the program you are using includes this feature.

Resolve hardware or device driver issue

If you have followed all the suggestions given above, your computer still freezes or locks up; there may be chances that you have a faulty device driver or hardware that is not working properly. A computer can freeze due to a faulty RAM, hard drive, video card, or another component of hardware. If a device driver is out of date, conflicting with another driver, or not performing properly, it can also cause a computer to freeze.

If you found a faulty piece of hardware on your system that is causing the freeze problem, you need to replace it as soon as possible in order to further computer damage. And if you found a device driver is a defective piece of hardware that is becoming the reason to computer freeze or lock up, go to the manufacturer's website and download the most recent driver before the system freezes. Alternatively, you also have the option to download the driver by using another computer and try to install it on your computer system.

Another alternative is to start the computer in Safe Mode if you are unable to install the updated driver before the system freezes. Once you have gone into safe mode, then you can visit Device Manager from Safe Mode and uninstall the hardware device that corresponds to the device driver that is not performing properly. The PC should then be restarted and loaded with Windows normally. Windows should try to reinstall the device driver for the devices you have uninstalled. This procedure may be sufficient to overcome the problem as well as prevent subsequent freezes. At this point, the most recent driver can also be installed on the system to ensure that your computer is up to current with that device driver.

Furthermore, you can disable any defective devices with the help of going into the BIOS of your computer and can determine if this device is stopping the freeze from occurring. If this helps, you might want to explore upgrading the hardware.

Other possible causes for a computer being frozen

Many things can be the reasons for a computer to freeze or lock up. The following are some additional common causes.

  • If you are running too many programs on a computer simultaneously and your computer has no sufficient memory, it can also cause the system to freeze owing to a lack of system resources. When you are running many apps, and your computer system freezes up regularly, you may need to upgrade the memory.
  • If the computer's CPU or video card creates too much heat, it may freeze or lock up as a damage protection method. In this case, you should inspect the video card and processor to make sure they are not overheating.
  • Many issues, including computer freezing, can be caused by corrupt operating system files. Corrupt files can result in potentially disastrous issues, such as the computer freezing and not responding. You may try restore Windows to a previous date and time at that time the issue was not present.

Delete the temp files

Temp files on the computer, like any other type of file, take up space on hard disks. In the drives, these piled-up files can defragment the data with time and become a reason for the computer to slow down or even grind to a standstill (hence computer freezing). Therefore, long as the transient files are not locked for use, you can delete them.

Adjust your virtual memory

Virtual memory is simply an extension of your computer's actual memory. It's a combination of RAM (Random Access Memory) and hard disk storage capacity. When your computer runs out of RAM while doing a demanding job, Windows uses virtual memory to store temporary files.

Restore your system to a previous state

A malfunctioning device driver or a nasty piece of software can cause your computer to crash.

However, both Mac and Windows operating systems allow the users to restore their device's most recent settings before the problem occurs. It's known as Time Machine on the Mac and System Restore on Windows. This is how they function.

Scan your computer for viruses and other forms of malicious software

Viruses can also be the reasons for computers to freeze or crash repeatedly, causing havoc on your system over time. Therefore, you need to scan your computer with appropriate antivirus software, which helps to keep your computer virus-free. And it will run smoothly.

Take PC to a repair shop

If you have followed all of the above tips and you are still facing a problem, we suggest having a technician diagnose and take your computer to a computer repair shop to solve the issue

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