Tips for Frozen Windows Computers

A frozen computer screen, while frustrating, is no reason to panic. Following these tips will fix a frozen screen in most scenarios. If you still have repeated freeze-ups after following these steps, you can move on to more advanced troubleshooting

Open Task Manager
Sometimes computers freeze because of an error with a particular program. If you can close the program, your computer may start working again. Press and hold the “Ctrl,” “Alt” and “Del” keys in that order and select the Task Manager when the screen changes. On the “Applications” tab, see if any programs are listed as “Not Responding.” Select the frozen program and click “End Task.” If this works, check if there are any updates for the program that froze. The easiest way to do this is to visit the program manufacturer’s website.

Computer glitches are often one-time events and can be resolved by restarting. If you aren’t able to address the problem using the Task Manager, try to turn off the computer by pressing the “Ctrl,” “Alt” and “Del” keys. Then click the red “Shut down” button when the screen changes. If the computer is completely unresponsive you may need to shut down the machine manually by pressing and holding the power button.

Run Windows Update
Microsoft and its partners periodically release software updates that address common errors and bugs. Your computer should be set to download and install these updates automatically. If your computer is freezing frequently, you can also check for updates manually. Open the Start menu and find “Windows Update” in the “All Programs” list. Select and install any “crucial” or “recommended” updates and restart your computer when installations are complete.

Run a Security Scan
If your computer still freezes frequently after you’ve installed software updates, it may be under attack by some malicious software. The best way to address this is to run a full system scan with your anti-virus software. Before you do this, be sure that your anti-virus program is active and up-to-date. Allow it to remove any files or programs that it flags during the scan.

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