Help! My Computer Keeps Freezing!

UPDATED: October 12, 2023

It may be getting colder outside, but your company’s computers shouldn't take the weather as a cue to start freezing too! Computer freezing is a common problem, but rebooting constantly makes your employees lose time and possibly data. Learn how to troubleshoot a frozen computer and tips to keep it from freezing again.

Computers get cluttered. Whether it's background or unneeded programs or even just an overload of data, your computer will slow down. These programs can run in the background constantly, hogging memory and slowing down the programs that are important to you. 

Why Does my Computer Keep Freezing?

There are many reasons why your computer keeps freezing, but the most likely reason is that it’s doing too much at the same time. You might be running several applications, streaming a video, and browsing the internet all at the same time. All of these actions require memory, and, all together, they can force the system to “give up.”

Computers will also crash when they overheat. Make sure that your company’s computers are positioned in places where the cooling vents aren’t blocked (against a wall, for example). You can also have an IT solutions expert check the computer’s fans for dust.

Your computer may also crash because it has a virus. Viruses and other malware come in all shapes, sizes, and degrees of nasty, and they love to make your life miserable by staying around, hidden inside your computer. In a worst case scenario, a virus can, not only freeze your computer, but keep it from running at all.

Troubleshooting a Frozen Computer

Your computer is considered “frozen” when it is completely unresponsive. In other words, you’ve been staring at the same screen for the past five minutes, waiting for an action, and you’ve gotten nowhere. You’ve tapped the keyboard, moved the mouse, maybe shouted at the screen and earned some strange looks, but the computer is completely ignoring you. Before you restart your frozen computer, try these steps.

Is it the mouse?
Check the connectivity of your mouse and keyboard. You may just need to adjust your mouse or keyboard cable, change the batteries, or make sure someone didn’t tape over the mouse’s optic eye.

Give it some time
Did you just run an application that takes a while to load? Are you saving a very large file? Maybe your computer isn’t frozen- just thinking. It may be a slow thinker, but that’s a different problem entirely.

Try to get to the Windows Task Manager
For Windows users, try this keyboard combination: Ctrl+Alt+Delete. Press all three keys at the same time to open the Windows Task Manager. At the bottom right corner of the Task Manager pop-up, you’ll see a button that says, “End Task.” Highlight any applications in the Window that are listed as “Unresponsive,” and then click the “End Task” button.

Once you’ve exhausted your options, your only option is to hard reboot it. Hold the Power button down until the computer turns off, wait about 10 seconds, and then turn the computer back on.

Steps to Keep Your Computer from Freezing Again

The culprits of regular freezing are:

  • Viruses
  • Overheating
  • Driver Errors
  • Third Party Application Errors
  • Too many unneeded applications. Use these tips to determine whether applications are good or bad:
    • If you know what the program is but never plan on using it again, delete it! Odds are the program doesn't work anymore. 
    • Any programs that mention "Search," "Deals," "Value," "Bargain," or "Click." These programs are spyware used to hijack your computer. 
    • "Cleanup" programs. Usually these quick fix cleanup software are actually spyware in disguise that will crash legitimate programs. 
    • Extra antivirus software. You only need one! Pick one and remove the others or they might conflict with one another in the process, causing failures all over the place. 

With these culprits in mind, take steps to mitigate them by (1) monitoring your own activity on your computer and (2) keeping your company computers properly maintained.

  1. Ask your employees to uninstall third-party applications and any applications they don’t need.
  2. Run a virus scan on your entire system.
  3. Defragment the computer’s hard disk using Window’s “System Tools.”
  4. Prevent overheating by dusting the inside of the computer.
  5. Close applications and browser windows when you don’t need them.

Are Your Computers Still Freezing?

Your business doesn’t have time to deal with computer permafrost. Our Managed Services are designed to protect your computers from the elements, and our staff is available to support you 24/7 if do have freezing incident.

If you’re sick of freezing computers, contact Centre Technologies today.

Originally published on December 1, 2014

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Centre Technologies Centre Technologies

Centre Technologies is a full-service IT consulting and managed services provider headquartered in Texas, with a focus on mid-sized businesses. As a trusted IT partner for well over a decade, Centre is recognized for its local experience and enterprise-grade cloud and cybersecurity solutions. Centre is committed to helping organizations harness the power of technology to maximize their operational efficiency and exceed their business goals. Learn more about Centre Technologies »

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