What to do when your Windows computer or laptop freezes?


When your computer freezes, it can be a frustrating experience. You may not know what to do or how to fix the problem. In this post, we will explore some of the things you can do when your computer freezes. We will also provide some tips on how to proceed.

1. Give it some time to catch up

A common problem that computer users face is a “frozen” or “hung” machine. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most likely cause is that the computer is trying to do too many things at once and is overwhelmed. When this happens, it’s best to give the machine a few minutes to catch up. In most cases, it will be able to sort out the problem and get back to work. However, if the freeze is severe or persists for more than a few minutes, it may be necessary to restart the machine. This should be done as a last resort, as it can lead to lost work and data corruption. If you find yourself regularly experiencing frozen computers, it may be time to upgrade your hardware or software. By taking these steps, you can help keep your machine running smoothly.

2. Use Task Manager to End the Process that consumes the most resources.

If your computer is freezing up, it could be due to a process that is consuming too many resources. To fix this, open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc. Then, click on the “Processes” tab and find the process that is consuming the most resources. Click on it and then click “End Process.” This should stop the process and allow your computer to start working again. If you are unsure of which process is causing the problem, you can also try ending all processes one by one until the problem is fixed. However, be careful not to end any essential processes, as this could cause your computer to crash.

3. Restart the computer by pressing and holding the power button

In most cases, the best way to fix a frozen computer is to simply restart it. This will usually clear any issues that were causing the freezing, and the computer will start working normally again. If the problem persists, there may be a more serious underlying issue, and you should consult with a professional for further assistance. However, in most cases, a simple restart will take care of the problem.

4. Run chkdsk

One possible reason your computer is freezing is that the hard drive is corrupted. To check if this is the case, you can run a utility called chkdsk. To do this, open the Command Prompt as an administrator. Then, type in “chkdsk C: /f /r” and hit Enter. This will scan your hard drive for errors and attempt to repair them. If chkdsk finds any problems, it will automatically fix them when you restart your computer. In most cases, this will resolve the issue and prevent your computer from freezing in the future. However, if the problem persists, you may need to replace your hard drive.

5. Run a DISM repair

Another potential reason your computer may be freezing is that the system files are corrupted. You can use the Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool to repair the files. DISM uses Windows Update to replace any corrupt files. To use DISM, follow these steps:

  • Press the Windows key + X to open the Power Users menu, then select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • In the Command Prompt window, type Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and press Enter. This will scan for corrupt files and attempt to repair them.
  • Once the scan is complete, reboot your computer and see if the problem persists.

6. Run System File Check integrity scan

If it does, you can try running a System File Checker scan. This will check for corrupt system files and attempt to repair them. To do this, follow these steps:

  • Press the Windows key + X to open the Power Users menu, then select Command Prompt (Admin).
  • In the Command Prompt window, type sfc /scannow and press Enter. This will scan all protected system files and attempt to repair any that are corrupt. 3. Once the scan is complete, reboot your computer and see if the problem persists. If it does, you may need to perform a clean installation of Windows.

7. Check the S.M.A.R.T status of your drive

S.M.A.R.T, or Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology, is a monitoring system built into most hard drives that detects issues that may result in data loss or hardware failure. If your drive’s S.M.A.R.T status is poor, it may be causing your computer to freeze as it struggles to read and write data. You can check the S.MART status of your drive using a variety of tools, including Windows Disk Management and third-party utilities like CrystalDiskInfo. Once you’ve checked the status of your drive, if it is indeed failing, you’ll need to replace it as soon as possible to avoid data loss. In the meantime, you can try storing your data on a separate drive or using an external storage solution to keep your important files safe.

8. Run Windows Memory Diagnostic tool

If your computer is freezing, it could be a sign of a memory issue. The best way to check for a memory issue is to run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool. This tool will help to identify any problems with your computer’s memory, and it can also offer solutions for fixing the issues. To run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, simply open the Start menu and type “memory” into the search bar. Then, click on the “Diagnose your computer’s memory problems” link and follow the instructions on the screen. With this tool, you can quickly and easily fix any memory issues that may be causing your computer to freeze.

9. Scan for viruses or malware

If your computer is suddenly freezing up, it could be a sign that you have a virus or malware. These malicious programs can cause all sorts of problems, including slowing down your computer and causing it to freeze. If you suspect that you might have a virus or malware, the first thing you should do is scan your computer for these threats. There are many different antivirus and anti-malware programs available, so it’s important to choose one that’s right for you. Once you’ve got a program installed, run a full scan of your system. This may take some time, but it’s important to remove any threats that may be causing your computer to freeze.

10. Unplug USB and other external devices

If your computer has begun to freeze up on a regular basis, it may be due to an overload of external devices. USBs, flash drives, and other similar devices are often the culprits when it comes to frozen computers. As you add more and more of these devices to your computer, it becomes overloaded and is unable to function properly. In order to fix the problem, simply unplug all of the external devices from your computer and see if that makes a difference. If not, there may be another issue causing your computer to freeze. However, if unplugging the devices resolves the issue, then you know that you need to limit the number of external devices you are using in order to keep your computer running smoothly.

11. Update drivers

Drivers are the software that allows your computer to communicate with hardware devices. They need to be up-to-date in order for everything to run smoothly. To update your drivers, you can usually go to the manufacturer’s website and download the latest version. Once you’ve downloaded the driver, double-click on the file and follow the prompts to install it. In some cases, you may need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect. If updating your drivers doesn’t solve the problem, there are a few other things you can try, such as running a virus scan or cleaning up your hard drive.

12. Overheating

When components in your computer get too hot, they can stop working properly. In some cases, the entire system may shut down to prevent damage. You can help to prevent overheating by making sure that your computer has plenty of ventilation. Avoid blocking any vents or air intakes, and consider investing in a cooling pad or fan for added protection. You should also keep an eye on the temperature of your CPU and other components using a temperature monitoring program. If you notice that your computer is running hot, take a break and let it cool down before continuing to use it. By taking some simple precautions, you can help to keep your computer running smoothly and avoid dreaded freezes.

13. Call in the professionals

If all the above has failed, it’s time to call in the professionals. Let our team of certified technicians take a look at your system and diagnose the problem. We’ll run a series of tests to identify any software or hardware issues that may be causing the freezes. Once we’ve pinpointed the cause of the problem, we’ll work with you to find the best solution. In some cases, a simple software update may be all that’s needed to fix the issue. However, if the problem is more serious, we may need to replace some of your hardware. Whatever the cause of your computer’s freezes, we’ll work quickly and efficiently to get your system up and running smoothly again.


Computers are essential in our day-to-day lives. From paying bills to staying connected with friends and family, we rely on them for a variety of tasks. When they start to malfunction or freeze up, it can be frustrating and inconvenient. Thankfully, there are steps you can take to resolve the issue without having to call in the professionals. In this article, we’ve outlined thirteen different ways to fix a frozen computer. Try one or two of these methods and see if that resolves the problem. If not, move on to another solution until your computer is running smoothly again.

I am a computer engineer holding a bachelor's degree in Computer Science, complemented by a Master's in Business Administration from University of Strathclyde, Scotland. I currently work as a Senior IT Consultant in Melbourne, Australia. With over 15 years of...