Fix computer freeze or lockup.
Computer freeze is one of the most common computer problems experienced and is typically easy to fix, particularly if it’s an isolated problem. But if the computer locks up on a regular basis, your computer may have a more serious issue. Most often, simply uninstalling the problematic program, updating hardware and software or cleaning your drives will do the trick. But in more persistent cases of computer freeze, there are a few things you can try before giving up or bringing in the professionals.
1. Relax and wait 5 to 10 minutes when your computer freezes. Sometimes a process will terminate and your computer will return to a normal state. If the computer is still unresponsive after 10 minutes, then you can move on.
2. Press the “Ctrl,” “Alt” and “Delete” keys simultaneously to access the Windows Task Manager. The Task Manager dialog opens. From the “Applications” tab, view the list of running applications and look for the words “Not responding.” From the “Processes” tab, highlight the process which is causing the computer to freeze. Click the “End Process” button. Wait a minute and see whether your computer returns to normal.
3. Turn off your computer manually by pressing the “Power” button. Perform this step as a last result if you’ve waited ten minutes and tried to access the Task Manager without success. Restart your computer and wait for it to boot-up completely. Do not open any programs. Instead, proceed to the next step to prevent the computer freezing again.
4. Perform a disc cleanup and defragment your hard drive. Select disc cleanup by navigating to the “Start” menu, selecting “Programs,” “Accessories,” “System Tools” and “Disk Cleanup.”
Select the Disk Defragmenter by navigating to the “Start” menu, selecting “Programs,” “Accessories,” “System Tools” and Disk Defragmenter. If the computer freeze persists after running these applications, proceed to the next step.
5. Download the latest updates for your version of Windows, which can be found on the Microsoft website (windowsupdate.Microsoft.com) or through your Windows Updater. Perform a full virus-scan and make sure your virus software is up-to-date. Some nasty viruses and Trojans can cause computer freeze and other computer problems. If your machine still locks up, proceed to the next step.
6. Uninstall any programs that you no longer use or that you suspect might be causing the computer freeze, particularly if it often becomes unresponsive while running. Always remove programs by selecting the “Add/Remove programs” option from the Control Panel.
7. Upgrade your drivers for any hardware you have installed, such as video cards or sound cards. Visit the manufacturer’s website or refer to your documentation to find out where to download driver upgrades. If the computer freeze still occurs, more drastic measures may have to be taken.
8. Take the side panel off of your computer using a screwdriver to remove the screws and spray the inside thoroughly with a can of compressed air. Dust often accumulates inside the hardware, causing freezing, crashing, overheating and even hardware failure. Clean your computer thoroughly, and then determine whether your computer runs more smoothly. If not, proceed to the next step.
9. Reinstall Windows. This is an absolute last ditch effort, and if it doesn’t fix your computer-freezing problems. If the computer freeze still persists, you may have a faulty motherboard, processor or hard drive. Consult with a technician to replace the faulty part.