What to Do When a Windows Computer is Frozen?

If your Windows computer freezes, some things you can do to fix the issue include waiting a few seconds, checking your accessories, ending the program/app you are using, or restarting your computer.

Few things are as frustrating as a computer freezing. Whether this is in the middle of a school project, a work meeting, or an intense gaming session, a frozen computer can be a rude interruption that ruins your efficiency and experience.

If you’re confused about what to do when your computer freezes, you’ve come to the right spot. Keep reading to learn more.

Key Takeaways

  • To try and fix the issue of a frozen computer, you should give it a second to potentially work itself out, check your accessories to ensure they aren’t to blame, and end the program you are using to see if that was the problem.
  • If all else fails, consider restarting the computer to see if that fixes the issue, if not, it could be a sign that something is wrong inside your computer, and you should consider taking it to a technician.
  • There are several potential reasons why your Windows computer might freeze, such as issues with your random-access memory (RAM), faulty software, getting too hot, problems with the drivers, and more.

1. Give it a Second

The first thing to do if your computer freezes is to simply give it a few seconds to figure itself out. Small hiccups can be relatively normal, and the freezing you are experiencing may correct itself in seconds if you just leave it alone.

This is especially true if the computer has a lot of programs open or running, or if the device is incredibly hot or cold. A little bit of lag is normal, so don’t get too worried. Now, if the freezing or major lag lasts more than a few seconds or seems to happen all the time, it could be a problem.

2. Make Sure It’s Not Your Accessories

While you may think it is your computer itself that is experiencing issues, it is just as likely to be your accessories. This could be your monitor, your keyboard, or even your mouse.

For example, if your mouse dies while you are browsing the internet, or your keyboard stops working while typing, it might make you think your computer has stopped, as nothing is happening on the screen.

To test this, consider attaching another mouse, keyboard, or other accessory to your computer and see if it works. If it does, then you know it was your accessory. If it ends up being your accessory that is the issue, simply replace it with a new one.

In a similar vein, try both your keyboard and mouse out. If neither works, there is a good chance it is your computer that is the problem. The chances are low that both would randomly stop working at the same time, so it is likely a frozen computer and not malfunctioning accessories.

3. Attempt to End the Program That Isn’t Responding

If leaving it alone for a few seconds didn’t work, and it isn’t your peripherals that are the problem, the next step is to close the program you are using. If you cannot move the mouse to click the “X” on the page, you will need to end the program with the help of the Task Manager.

Simply press Ctrl + Alt + Delete, and click Task Manager at the bottom of the list of options. In the Task Manager, locate the program you are using. This could be Google Chrome, Microsoft Word, a game, or anything else.

Next, you need to right-click on the program, and select End task. This will force the program to close. From there, you can start up the program again and it should work as normal. If it keeps freezing each time, consider uninstalling and reinstalling the program.

4. Restart the Computer

If nothing else seems to work and you can’t even open the Task Manager to end the program that is unresponsive, it is time to restart the computer. Normally you can do this by going to Start > Power > Restart. But if it is completely unresponsive, you will need another method.

The way to restart a computer that is completely frozen is to hold down the power button until the computer shuts down. This will only take a few seconds in most cases.

Once the computer is off and you have given it a few seconds, you can turn it back on and see if that stopped the issue.

Some Tips to Avoid Frozen Times

When you fix the freezing issues, here are a few things you can do to help avoid your PC from being frozen again.

Disable Auto Startup Services

Having too many programs automatically running when Windows starts isn’t a good idea. Because it’ll likely freeze the startup process, but also slow down the overall performance of your computer.

In particular, resource-intensive programs like photo or video editing software tends to demand more system resources to run smoothly. Go ahead and optimize your PC startup items via Task Manager > Startup.

Go to Task Manager -> Startup

Clean up Your Hard Drive

Though cleaning up the hard drive to free more storage will not necessarily eliminate the computer freezing issues, it will reduce the frozen times by optimizing your PC’s overall performance.

All other things equal, a computer with more free disk space runs much faster than one that has a cluttered hard drive. There are some great free PC cleaning tools that can help you regain much disk space quickly.

Fix Windows Registry Issues

Sometimes a computer freezing issue is caused by the Windows registry issues, maybe you’ve accidentally deleted some important system files, or some devices are missing proper drivers to run smoothly, etc. All these issues are usually hard to detect, but you can use CCleaner to diagnose and fix them quickly.

CCleaner is free to download and use.

Run Hardware Test

If you are using an old computer that’s more than five years old, you’d better check if the hardware like RAM, and the hard drive is functioning properly. Your PC hard drive can become fragmented or faulty without appropriate maintenance.

Depending on the brand of your computer, go to your manufacturer’s website to look for hardware test information. If it turns out that part of the hardware is on its way out, it’s time to fix or replace it.


Here are a few common questions about Windows computers freezing, along with their answers.

What causes a Windows computer to freeze?

A Windows computer can freeze due to problems with the memory, faulty software, overheating, problems with the drivers, and more.

What can I do if my computer freezes every time I use it?

If your computer seems to continuously freeze even after restarting it, it could be a sign that there is something wrong inside the device. In this situation, it’s a good idea to take it to an expert technician to have it inspected for potential issues or damage.

Final Thoughts

A frozen computer is a major annoyance, no matter when it happens. Sometimes it hangs because you have too many programs running at the same time, other times it’s a particular software that gets stuck in a loop.

We hope that this guide has been able to help you learn some things to do when your computer freezes to get it back in working order.

How often does your computer freeze, and what solution works best for you to get it back up and running? Let us know in a comment.

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  • Scott Galea

    Hello, I’m Scott, nice to meet you. I think it’s great that you’re trying to help people, there should be more people like you. That said, I have tried every fix you, & many others have suggested but the thing that no seems to get is that I’m only able to open maybe one program of any sort, or make one command, if I’m lucky, & then the damm thing freezes, then goes black screen! I can’t actually do any of the fixes cause it simply won’t let me. Very frustrating! I now have a $900 paper weight. Anyway, hope you can suggest something.

  • Larry

    My major problem is a web program froze my computer and tried all helps but no response is my computer done for?