It's not fun if your computer stops responding. Even if you don't lose a job, hanging programs or completely freezing the system can slow your productivity down to a crawl.
PC issues that aren't manifested by a blue screen or other random shutdowns usually lead to an unresponsive Windows 10 system. Let's examine how Windows freezes frequently and how to fix it.
1. Insufficient resources
One of the most common reasons why Windows stops responding is that it doesn't have enough resources to work properly. The two components that most often cause performance degradation are RAM (memory) and CPU.
Your computer stores all running programs in RAM. If these processes take up all of your physical memory, your computer will need to use the swap file – a section of your disk that essentially acts as backup RAM. Learn how to manage your computer's virtual memory
Is your virtual memory too low? Here's how to fix it!
More information about this.
Even if you have an SSD, using the swap file is much slower than the actual RAM intended for that purpose. As a result, you will feel the slowdown when your computer relies on the swap file.
Open the Task Manager with Ctrl + Shift + Esc, Switch to Processes Tab and sort by memory Header to see what is used most often. Close programs at the top of the list if you don't need them, and your system should be restored.
The situation is similar with high CPU utilization. Tax operations such as coding HD videos require a lot of CPU power. Your system may stop responding while your CPU is working hard. Learn how to fix high CPU usage in Windows
How to fix high CPU usage in Windows
if this is a consistent problem.
2. Hardware incompatibility
If hardware is not fully compatible with your version of Windows, this can lead to stability problems. Hardware problems usually cause Windows to crash
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because the operating system has no other option. However, these problems can also cause the system to freeze.
In this case, consider whether you have recently connected new hardware to your PC. Any printer, mouse, keyboard, USB drive, or other external device can cause the problem. If you are using outdated hardware, replace it with a modern device and check whether this is helpful.
Compatibility modes and some tweaks allow retired hardware to work with newer versions of Windows. In many cases, however, this is a dead end. It is usually easier to run old software on a modern PC than to use old hardware.
3. Driver problems
Even if certain hardware does not cause an unresponsive computer, the driver can do it. In case you didn't know, a driver is a piece of software that allows Windows to properly communicate with the hardware.
A generic Microsoft driver works perfectly for basic devices such as a mouse or keyboard. However, a separate driver is required to use all functions of a device. Problems can arise if your installed drivers are out of date, incompatible with your version of Windows, or for the wrong device.
The general rule with drivers is that you shouldn't touch them if everything is working properly. Third-party driver update utilities are usually dodgy and can cause more errors than they fix. If you suspect a driver problem, learn how to replace outdated drivers
How to find and replace outdated Windows drivers
4. Windows registry problems
The registry is a database in which Windows contains all possible detailed information about your system and its configuration. If you install or remove software, edit a setting, or make changes to the registry yourself, Windows records it there.
Most of the time, the registration works perfectly without your intervention. We strongly recommend that you avoid using registry cleaners as they are unusable at best and dangerous at worst. Even if there are old entries in the registry, "cleaning up" thousands of errors does not offer any concrete performance benefits.
If your registry is so messed up that your system stops responding, you will probably need to reinstall Windows. It should never get to this point unless you make a mistake while editing, use a registry cleaner or are infected by malware.
5. Malware of any kind
Malware, the collective term for viruses, spyware, worms and other forms of infection, can destroy your system. Regardless of whether adware inserts ads into your browser that lead to freezing or rootkits that steal system resources, malware can take over your computer and affect its performance.
Scan the free version of Malwarebytes to see if there are any malicious programs on your system. And make sure in the future that you know how to avoid viruses
10 easy ways to never get a virus
so it doesn't happen again
6. Run multiple antivirus tools
Fortunately, Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender, an antivirus solution that's sufficient for most users. However, if you use something else, make sure that it doesn't cause performance issues.
Running multiple antivirus programs often leads to conflict and slowdowns. If you want to get a second opinion, occasionally use an on-demand scanner like the Malwarebytes mentioned above.
Alternatively, you can also use a free online virus scanner
The 7 best free online virus scanning and removal websites
like VirusTotal. With these, you can scan a file with dozens of different antivirus apps at the same time and ensure that nothing is overlooked.
Also make sure you are using one of the best Windows antivirus suites. Avoid no-name apps as they may not be well optimized and may slow you down.
7. Application errors
Unfortunately, poorly written software is out of your control. It doesn't matter whether it's an old app that hasn't received updates for years or a bad Chrome extension
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You may find that your unresponsive problem only occurs when you use a specific program.
If you can determine which app is a problem, make sure you have the latest updates installed. Sometimes new versions can solve these types of problems. If this is not an option, check AlternativeTo for replacement.
If the problem occurs in your browser, disable the extensions one by one to see if that resolves the problem.
8. User tweaks
Once you've gotten rid of all of the above scenarios, it is possible that your stability problem is due to an optimization you made on Windows.
Changes in the Control Panel or in the Settings app should not affect your system. However, using third-party tools to customize Windows can cause unintended problems.
Think about the tools you used for Windows 10 data protection, optimizing the taskbar, or similar profound changes. Consider reversing these if you don't find another cause of instability.
If Windows doesn't respond, you know why
If your PC stops responding, the root cause is probably one of these causes. Most of them are in your hands. So all you have to do is fix a little bit of error to find out where the problem is. Once you have fixed the problem, you can continue using your computer without interruption.
If you don't want to spend time on these fixes, you can just reset Windows 10
4 ways to reset your Windows computer to factory settings
to return the operating system to the standard state.
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