Why Does My Computer Keep Freezing?

Why Does My Computer Keep Freezing

User Case

Our client reported that her PC was constantly freezing.

It was a newly built computer, under a year so most hardware issues were pretty much ruled out. Turned out she had her C: filling up too quickly and the computer froze whenever the PC did an update, so, there you go! #9 as per below was her issue!

How to Find Out Why Your Computer Froze?

To figure out why your computer froze, there are a few things you can check for.

First, look for signs of overheating. Overheating can cause random freezing, so check if the computer case feels too hot to touch comfortably. If it does, then it’s likely overheating.

Another thing to consider is software or hardware faults. You can run a diagnostic program to test individual components such as RAM and CPU. This will help you identify any faulty hardware that may be causing the issue.

Additionally, if you have recently installed a new program or driver, that could be causing freezes as well. Uninstall anything suspicious and see if the problem is resolved.

Lastly, if none of the above steps work, you might want to consider replacing your RAM.

Having enough memory available is crucial for smooth operation, so upgrading your RAM could help resolve the issue.

First And Foremost, Restart Your Computer!

To do this, you should check for a blue error screen. If there is one, your computer will reboot itself automatically. Otherwise, you can use the menu to manually restart if possible.

If that doesn’t work, hit CTRL+ALT+DEL to bring up the lock screen and reboot from there. If none of these options are successful and your computer remains frozen, then it’s time to do a hard reboot. This involves pressing and holding the power button on your laptop or desktop for several seconds until it shuts down completely before turning it back on again.

If after restarting everything works normally and you don’t experience frequent freezing, then chances are something isn’t wrong with your device.

But if this doesn’t help and you’re having regular freezing issues, then there may be an underlying problem with your PC that needs attention right away to avoid further damage or data loss.

How To Find Out What Crashed?

Finding out what crashed can help you determine why your device keeps freezing.

To get the answers you need, start by accessing the Reliability Monitor tool. This is easy to find; simply hit Start and search for “Reliability Monitor.”

When the application opens, it will provide a list of recent system and software crashes noted with red circles. Double-click on these circles to view more information about each event that may have caused your computer to freeze.

The Reliability Monitor might give you a direct answer as to what caused the crash, such as a hard disk error or RAM issue. If it doesn’t provide enough details for you, look into another area – dump files created when your computer freezes or crashes causing a blue screen with an error message. You can access this data using software tools that are available online.

Is It Software? Is It Hardware?

Start by recalling when you last installed a new application. If it was after the freezing started, try restoring your system to before that point in time.

Then open the task manager and monitor CPU, disk, and memory usage. If one of these numbers is higher than usual, this could be indicative of an issue with a certain application.

The next time you use your computer, take another look at the task manager to check which applications are running in the background. If any are taking up too much processing power or RAM, uninstall or update them as necessary.

Finally, perform a security scan for malware or viruses. If found, remove them immediately so they don’t cause further damage.

In short, use the task manager to identify suspicious software and run security scans regularly to ensure your device is free from malicious programs.

Try Rebooting in Safe Mode

If you press the F8 key as soon as your computer starts up, a menu of options will appear. Choosing ‘Safe Mode with Networking’ will allow you to access the computer without opening all programs set to start automatically. This will help determine if it’s a startup software issue that is causing the problem.

You can use various software tools to check what programs are set to open on startup. It’s usually best to have fewer running automatically.

If uninstalling or preventing certain software from opening solves the freezing issue, then you’ll know which program was causing it.

Other reasons why your computer keeps crashing

1. Overclogging of memory resources

Having too many programs open at once can cause your computer to freeze. This is because when multiple programs are running concurrently, the computer may not have the necessary memory or computing power to support them all.

To help reduce this issue, you should right-click the Windows logo key and choose Task Manager. Under Processes, find the frozen program and click End Task.

Take care to only run programs that you need at a given time.

2. Overheating

To prevent your system from overheating, make sure it’s well-ventilated and avoid using it in harsh environments.

Excess heat can cause a computer to slow down significantly or even freeze altogether. If temperatures get too high, the integrated circuit of the processor can be damaged permanently.

Poor ventilation is one of the main causes of overheating, as air cannot circulate properly when blocked by dust or other debris. Ensure that all vents are open and unobstructed to allow air flow throughout your computer’s components.

Additionally, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures and direct sunlight for long periods of time. 

3. Driver Corruption

Corrupt or outdated drivers can cause your system to freeze.

The drivers are responsible for communication between hardware devices and the operating system, so when these are not up-to-date, it can lead to problems.

It’s important that you keep an eye on your driver versions, as even small bugs in them could result in a freezing issue. If you’re experiencing this problem, you should check whether any of your device drivers have been updated recently. If they haven’t, it’s possible they could be corrupted and need replacing.

You should also make sure that any third-party software isn’t conflicting with your drivers and causing the issue.

Keeping all of your drivers up-to-date is essential for a smooth running computer experience – don’t let corrupt or outdated ones ruin it!

4. External devices

Connecting external devices such as a USB drive, mouse, or keyboard can cause your system to freeze.

Try connecting one device at a time and check if the system freezes.

You should also update the drivers for these devices in case they are outdated or corrupted. Doing so will help you determine which device is causing the problem and provide a solution to resolve it quickly.

5. RAM issues / Insufficient RAM

Having insufficient RAM can cause your system to freeze. 

Here are some of the ways you can address it:

  • Upgrade the RAM
  • Reinstall the operating system
  • Increase virtual memory
  • Close unnecessary applications running in the background
  • Clean up your hard drive from any junk files.

If you’re unfamiliar with how to do these tasks, consider seeking out professional help from an IT technician who can assist you in optimizing and troubleshooting your system configuration.

6. Virus

Viruses can cause serious damage if left unchecked, so it’s important to keep them at bay.

Malware and viruses can both be detrimental to your computer’s performance, leading it to freeze or crash.

To guard against these threats, install a reliable antivirus software and keep it updated regularly.

If you already have an infection, the antivirus program should be able to detect and remove it.

If there are any missing or corrupted files after the scan is complete, you should use recovery software to restore them or contact a data recovery service for help.

Don’t let viruses put your device at risk; staying vigilant will help protect you from potential disasters.

7. BIOS Settings

If you’re having trouble with your computer freezing, resetting the BIOS settings to their default values may help. Modifying BIOS settings can affect how systems operate and cause them to freeze.

To fix this:

  • Make sure all drivers are up-to-date and installed correctly.
  • Check your power supply for any loose connections or faulty components.
  • Reset the BIOS back to its factory defaults.

This will help ensure that everything is running properly and may restore normal functioning of your system.

It’s important to understand the risks associated with modifying BIOS settings as they can be complicated and potentially damaging if done incorrectly. If you need assistance, there are plenty of resources available online such as tutorials, guides, forums, etc., that can provide helpful information on how to make necessary changes safely.

8. OS corruption

You may need to run a System File Checker (SFC) scan to check for corrupted or missing system files that can cause your Windows 10 computer to freeze.

Corrupted files can cause random freezing of your computer, similarly as they caused flight delays in the past.

To do this, open Command Prompt as an administrator and type ‘sfc /scannow’ into it. The scan will automatically start and could help you fix the issue if the freezing is related to damaged files.

Make sure you follow all instructions carefully, as any mistake may lead to further damage of your machine’s operating system.

9. Space issues

Checking the amount of free space on your C drive can help determine if space issues are causing your computer to freeze. If the C drive is full, this can prevent applications from running and cause them to freeze or crash.

Low disk space also causes a decrease in performance because the OS needs room to store temporary files and run programs. To keep your computer running smoothly, it’s important to maintain at least 10-15% of free space on your C drive.

You can do this by deleting unnecessary files such as duplicate items, old downloads, large media files, etc., or by adding additional hard drives or replacing existing ones with larger capacity drives.

10. Other software issues

Other than space issues, other software issues may also be causing your computer to freeze.

Third-party software could be the culprit, as it can take up a lot of memory and attempt actions or access resources that Windows doesn’t understand. If your computer is unable to handle the strain, it’ll hang up and freeze.

To help prevent this from happening in the future, make sure all third-party applications are updated regularly. This way you can avoid any potential compatibility issues that might cause freezing.

11. Power Supply Issues

Power supply issues can cause your computer to crash, especially under heavy loads. Pay attention to when your computer crashes and what it is doing at the time. If it happens when the device needs more power, like during processor-intensive tasks or after a long shutdown of hard or optical drives, then the problem could be with your power supply.

Random reboots and lockups are also signs that something may be wrong with it.

To identify if this is the case, you should check the manufacturer’s recommended wattage for your system and make sure that your computer’s power supply is meeting those requirements.

12. Virtual Memory Issues

If your computer crashes unexpectedly or runs slow, it may be a sign of virtual memory issues. Virtual memory is the space on a hard drive that your computer uses to supplement RAM. This extra space is used when the RAM is too limited to perform its task.

If you have large programs running at once, they can cause the virtual memory to become overwhelmed and lead to freezing or crashing. To remedy this, try closing some programs or increasing the size of your virtual memory if possible.

Additionally, check for any viruses or malware as these can also cause your computer’s virtual memory to become overworked and lead to freezing issues.

13. Update your graphics driver

Updating your graphics driver is an important step in avoiding system freezes due to virtual memory issues. To ensure that your graphics card is running optimally, you should:

  • Regularly check for updates
  • Download and install the latest version of the driver
  • Reboot your device after installation
  • Test your computer’s performance to make sure everything is working as expected.

14. Run a memory check

Running a memory check is an important step to keep your device running smoothly and prevent system freezes. It’s an easy task that can take only a few minutes of your time.

You’ll need to open the ‘Run’ command box by pressing the Windows key + R, then typing in ‘mdsched.exe’.

This will launch the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool which needs to be configured for best results.

Once it’s set up, you should run either a Standard or Extended test – whichever you choose, be sure to let it complete before turning off your computer or closing the window.

15. Do a system restore

To do this, you will need to:

  • Reboot your computer into safe mode
  • Open the Start menu and type “System Restore” into the search box
  • Click on “Create a restore point” in the System Properties window
  • Choose a specific date for the restore point
  • Confirm all settings and let the process complete.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any other causes of computer freezing besides software issues?

Yes, there can be other causes of computer freezing besides software issues.

Hardware malfunctions, such as a faulty hard drive or too little RAM on your computer, can cause freezing.

Overheating is another common issue that could lead to freezing. If your device isn’t properly ventilated or if the fan isn’t working correctly, then it can become too hot and freeze up.

Additionally, malware and viruses might be behind the issue as well.

To identify what’s causing your computer to freeze, you’ll need to do some troubleshooting and investigate further.

Conclusion

You’ve looked for the cause of why your computer keeps freezing, restarted it to see if that helps, and tried troubleshooting software.

If all else fails, try rebooting in safe mode.

Even though you’ve checked the usual suspects, there may be other reasons why your computer crashes.

If none of these solutions work for you, it’s best to get help from a tech professional like us! who can diagnose and fix the issue quickly.

Don’t let frozen screens get in your way – take action now and get back to using your computer as normal.

Author:
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...