Author: Berts Njoroge
Monday, August 30, 2021

Why does my computer keep freezing

Category: Windows 10

We all have faced a situation where you are using your computer at work, office, or school, and it happens- your computer randomly freezes. Your computer becomes useless, and you lose all the information on the projects at hand. I will guide you on how to establish the problem and fix it.

There are several reasons why you are experiencing computer freezes. Here is the list that I will discuss later on in this article:

  • Too many programs running
  • Insufficient RAM
  • BIOS settings
  • Malware and Viruses
  • Missing or corrupted files
  • Faulty programs
  • Computer overheating
  • Drivers error
  • External components

I will help you understand each one of them and how you can fix them. Easily and quickly. At the end of this read, you should be able to enjoy your computer gaming and other functions. 

Apart from telling you why your computer is freezing, I will show you various proven steps to fix the problem. I will also help understand why it happens during startup and when gaming. I will show you, step-by-step, how to fix each problem. You don't want to miss this; read on. 


There are several reasons why your computer freezes. Let us look at each of them, and later, I will tell you how to fix them.


But before I dive into the reasons for computer freezes, allow me to explain the different types of system freeze issues-real quick: - Hang, Generic freeze, Random hang, and Single-app freeze.

  • Hang: This happens whenever a certain task is performed on a PC, and it hangs. This hang requires you to restart your computer and reboots normally.
  • Random Hang: This happens when your computer becomes unresponsive at regular intervals, and you need to restart it to recover the data on the hard drive.
  • Generic Freeze: Your computer turns unresponsive and turns to normal performance automatically without conducting any troubleshooting.
  • Single-app freeze: This type happens when your computer freezes abnormally when you open a certain game, a browser tab, or a specific program, and it's the common type of freeze.

Having dealt with the types, it's time I give you the reasons you have been waiting for. Here we go:

  1. Insufficient RAM

Your computer may be freezing regularly because the system does not have enough RAM. Lack of enough RAM makes your computer slow down and unable to perform various tasks at the optimum speed. You can check more details about computer RAM in our previous article here.

There could be some 3D games or ‘heavy' applications that make your computer bulky and results in a computer freeze. At times, the power supply or CPU might be working properly. In such a case, upgrading your RAM or operating system might be the magic solution to your freezing computer.

  1. BIOS Settings

If you recently changed or modified BIOS settings, it can cause your Pc to freeze randomly. 

If your RAM or system processor is overlocked, it can cause instability issues to your computer. And if this is the cause of your computer freezes, you need to reset the BIOS settings to the default mode. You can do this by detaching CMOS and returning it after few minutes.

Also, ensure your computer BIOS firmware is up to date to avoid such issues with your system.

  1. System Viruses

Computer viruses are dangerous to any system and may be fatal. They cause a lot of harm to your PC, and among those is computer freezing. They may corrupt your laptop and make it unusable.

System viruses affect your computer's vital 'organs,' and can cause total dysfunction of your computer. And just like the human body, if vital organs are affected, they can lead to death; the same applies to your computer. I will guide you on how to remove them and make your computer run like new. 

  1. Missing or Corrupted Computer Files

If your system has corrupted files or some of them are missing, it will freeze. Such files affect all operating systems, even the latest ones.

If you installed an illegal Operating System, you would have problems updating outdated files. In windows 10, the system updates automatically; so, you don't have to worry if you have a legal version of windows 10.

If you lost some files while installing or updating your operating system, you could use third-party data recovery software to retrieve your important files to your computer.

  1. Erroneous Software

The software installed in your system can cause freezing in different ways.

  • Some software may want to use resources that your OS doesn't give access to.
  • Your software might have a bug that causes your computer to freeze.
  • They might be using too many resources that your computer is straining to run them.

Those are some of the ways errors in software can cause your computer to freeze.

  1. Computer Overheating

If your computer temperature is high, it may cause it to slow down and freeze randomly. If the temperatures are not checked and lowered, they may cause irreversible damages to your computer components and the overall PC operations.

When you turn your computer on, listen to the sound the fan is making. You should also monitor RPM and enter the CMOS setup. Ensure that there are no error messages from the BIOS.

  1. Drivers Error

The work of your PC drivers is enabling communication between the operating system and the hardware. If the drivers are corrupted or missing, you will experience random computer freezes.

Examine Windows Device Manager and ensure no other devices are connected. Check the list of the devices connected and see if there is an exclamation mark corresponding to the device drivers or an X mark.

  1. Faulty External Components.

Some of the external devices may cause random computer freezes. If your USB drive, keyboard mouse, or other devices are faulty, they may force your computer to freeze. 

    9. Too Many Software Running in the Background.

Every program that is running in the background is using your PC resources. In many instances, when many programs are running, there are high chances that your computer has no enough memory to run them or lower computing power to handle all of them.

You will need to stop some of the programs by pressing Ctrl+Shift+Esc to open Task Manager, select the programs you are not using, and click on End Task.


In my next section, I will explain how you can fix your freezing computer.

How do I Fix My PC when it Freezes Without Turning It Off

  1. Check Browser Performance

Have you seen your browser stuck on one page? It happens when your browser is overloaded and can cause your PC to freeze. However, this happens to a single browser page. If you open the Windows Task Manager, it will tell you that the browser is not responding, and you have to end the process.

You can open the browser's task manager and try to solve the problem. Let me show you how to do it.

If you are using Microsoft Edge or Google Chrome, press SHIFT+ESC to open their Task Manager. 


If using Firefox, go to the menu button, click ‘more,' and open Task Manager.


Once you open the browser task manager, you will see the running processes causing certain pages to freeze.

  1. Reinstall And/or Update Your Drivers

Your PC System Restore can resolve many issues, but only in specific situations and has limitations.  If you installed new components like GPU or CPU and install new drivers, your computer may experience freezes due to faulty drivers or wrongly installed ones.

To fix this, I always advise everyone to uninstall the drivers and install new ones. Use the right process to install because one wrong mistake may lead to abnormal PC functionality.

  1. Check Reliability Monitor.

It is a troubleshooting process to stop your computer from freezing; it is easy to follow. Here are the steps to open Reliability Monitor on windows PC.

  1. On the search box, type Control Panel and ENTER.
  2. Search System and Security on Control Panel and open.
  3. Click Security and Maintenance to open


     v. You will see Reliability monitor; click to open.


On the Reliability Monitor, you will see a graph of your computer reliability over time. Also, you will be able to see crash logs, updates, newly installed applications, and other issues.


On the graph, you can see an error that happened simultaneously with computer freezing. You will see more technical details or use the Microsoft database to resolve. You can also google the errors codes for more information and how to resolve them.

You will see the cause of the computer freeze. If a new system or driver updates triggered it, you could use System Restore to resolve the issue and bring back your PC to the best state of operations.

  1. Check Your PC Hard Drive Performance

If your hard drive has issues, it can cause a lot of problems with your laptop. One of the problems is computer freezing.

I recommend using free tools like CystalDiskInfo to help you know where the problem is and how to fix it before going for more advanced and paid tools. The hard drive is a crucial component of a computer. Just like any vital organ in your body, it can function with a faulty one.

  1. Check Your Random-Access Memory-RAM

 A faulty or failing RAM stick can make your computer freeze. Use the following steps to diagnose the problem.

  1. Open Start Menu Search Box
  2. Type Windows Memory Diagnostic to access the tool


Your PC will reboot, test the RAM, and find any problems causing your computer to freeze.

  1. Blue Screen of Death

When your computer freezes, it's followed by a blue screen (in some cases). Don't worry about this at all. Actually, this is helpful as it gives you more information as to why the computer froze.

The ‘stop code' and QR code that appears on the blue screen will help you get more information about the problem. You can google those codes to know where the problem is.

  1. Reboot Your Computer

If your computer freezes for several minutes, you may opt to force it to reset even after waiting. Press the power button until your computer shuts down, then reboot it by pressing the same button after few seconds.

The system will be reset itself, and your computer will start the processes afresh.

  1. Be Patient with Your Computer.

If your computer is running a heavy program, it is a high chance of keeping up with the intensive operations. At times, you try to perform a task like closing a specific window, and your computer looks like it's frozen. Give your PC some time to finish some tasks when heavy programs are running.

  1. Scan Your Computer for Malware.

Malware can cause a lot of harm to your computer. PC freezing is just lighter harm, and it's easy to clear it all. I recommend using free malware removers or scanners like Malwarebytes. If your computer is freezing, scan it to see if viruses are causing it to do so.

  1. End Your Resource-Hungry Programs

Some software use too many system resources than others. Such applications can cause your PC to freeze.

As indicated above, you can stop such applications by going to windows task manage and stop them from running in the background. You can, as well, uninstall and wipe all the data that come with them while installing.

What happens if all the above steps don't work?

I will give the last resort options and ensure your computer won't freeze again. So, stay tuned; at the tail end of this article, it will give you these pro tips.

How do I Fix My PC when it Freezes After Restarting

Before I tell you how to fix your computer when it freezes after starting, let me give you some important tips.

If your computer boots to the login screen and see any error message or you even don't reach that stage, try to learn how to fix a computer that won't turn on for a better guide and troubleshooting process.

Note: The fixes highlighted below can be used in Windows OS, Windows XP, to Windows 11.

Having said that, it's time to dive deeper into the most appropriate ways to fix your computer that freezes during Startup.

  1. Switch Your PC Off And Then On

Unfortunately, you can't restart your computer because it is so ‘overloaded,' the only option is to do it manually.

There are so many operations that go on when your computer is booting. In some cases, the operations don't go as they should. Probably, there are updating, alterations, or some changes when your computer was on and running.

Restarting your PC might be the only thing your computer needs to cure the problem, and it works. And since it can restart, you have to force it manually.

You can also check how to repair the automatic repair loop in Windows 10 if your computer shows endless circles trying to repair itself when booting or rebooting.

  1. Boot Windows in Safe Mode

If your computer is booting to a step where you can restart it properly, go ahead and do it. While on safe mode, don't do anything; reboot it. Like I stated above, several reasons make your computer freeze when restarting.

If it can't force your computer to restart manually, then try in safe mode. It works in many cases, and you should give it a try.

  1. Repair Windows System Files

One of the causes of computer freeze is missing or damages Windows files. You can fix this by repairing windows. This process is safe, and no changes come with it on your computer. Your PC will function normally, and you won't lose any data or files.

This repair has different names in different windows OS. In Windows XP, it's called Repair Installation; in Vista and Windows 7, it's called Startup Repair, in Windows 8, it's Reset your PC or Refresh your PC, and in windows 10, it's Reset this PC.

  1. Boot Using Last Known Good Configuration

If you suspect the changes or updates you made might cause your computer to freeze, the last known good configuration might be the best solution.

It will make your computer return to the last state before you made any changes or updates. Your computer should start successfully without any signs of freezing.

  1. Use System Restore in Safe Mode

Your computer might freeze due to damaged drivers, registry issues, or a crucial file. If you conduct system restore and return all those things to the last working state, which would be the solution to your freezing PC.

Some computer freeze causes can make you unable to use safe mode. If this is the case, use system restore. In windows 10 and 8, use Advances Start Options, and in windows 7 and Vista, use System Recovery Options.

Not that system restore is irreversible. 0nce you perform it, you can't undo it.

  1. Scan for Viruses

If malware is the cause for your computer freeze, scan it using malware removers or your antivirus.

If you can reach the safe mode stage, you can still scan for viruses using a bootable malware scanner. You can check these scanners online. I always recommend going the free ones before making any decision on buying the same. Google ‘Free Bootable Antivirus'.

  1. Clear CMOS

If BIOS misconfiguration is the cause for your computer freeze when restarting, you need to fix it by returning BIOS setting to factory default. It is done by clearing the BIOS memory on the motherboard.

If fixing CMOS doesn't fix your PC from freezing, ensure that each BIOS setting is completed one by one. It will help you identify which settings caused computer freeze if it happens in the future.

  1. Replace CMOS Battery

If your computer is 3 years old or more, or if it has been off for quite some time, it's time you replace the CMOS battery.

If the batter is not keeping charge, it can be the reason why your PC is freezing. These batteries are not expensive and are available online or at your local computer stores.

  1. Reseat Components

Reseat anything you can see and get hands-on. Reseating helps in reestablishing connections in your computer, which are, at times, the cause of a computer freeze. It can be the magic fix that you have been looking for.

You can reseat the following hardware and see if it will fix the freeze:

  • Power cables
  • Internal data
  • Memory modules
  • Expansion cards

Also, unplug and plug in your mouse, keyboard, and any other external devices attached to your PC.

  1. Electrical Shorts

Check if any faults are causing your computer to short. In some cases, electrical shorts are the cause of computer freeze after restarting. And it is good to fix them before more damage is done to your computer.

  1. Test Your PC RAM

As I had stated earlier, failing the RAM module can cause your computer to freeze. In many instances, the memory fails slowly and might work at some point.

If your computer's RAM modules are failing, your computer will start up and freeze within seconds. If the memory test shows some issues, you need to replace it and stop the freeze when starting your computer.

  1. Check Computer Power Supply

The power connection can be the cause of a computer freeze. Check and replace the power supply cables if you find any issues with them.

It's not a common cause for a computer freeze, but it's worth checking.

  1. Hard Drive Data Cable.

If the cable that connects the motherboard and hard drive are faulty, it can cause your computer to freeze, and you need to replace it with a new one.

The old drives use PATA cables while the newer ones use SATA cables. You can get these cables from your local store or borrow them from any other drive using similar cables.

Important: make sure you do all the above troubleshooting, as the following two steps are more difficult and maybe destructive.

  1. Hard Drive Test

A physical problem with the hard drive can be the reason why your computer is freezing. If it cannot read and write data properly, then it can't load any OS properly.

If the test shows the hard drive has issues, replace it but remember you will have to install windows afresh once you perform this task. Ensure you back up data and files before performing this function.

  1. Install clean Windows.

This process is the last resort solution. It will erase all the drives and install windows from scratch. If you have to it, perform this function if the hard drive test showed it is physically okay.

My Computer Only Freezes When Playing Games

It is so frustrating when playing a game and your computer freezes randomly. In this part, I will guide you on how to solve this problem easily and quickly.

You don't have to try all the fixes highlighted below; go through them all and find the best that suits you.

  1. Lower In-Game Settings

There are games with specific minimum requirements for your computer to be able to play them smoothly.

If your computer meets the minimum game requirements, you can lower the in-gaming settings and see if this will unfreeze your PC. If this does work, you can try the next fix.

  1. Update Drivers

If some drivers are outdated or missing, they can stop or freeze your computer while gaming. You should update your drivers, especially chipset and graphic card drivers, and see if they cause the computer to freeze.

There are two methods to update your drivers:

  • Update Manually

Go to the manufacturer's website and look for the drivers that are compatible with your computer. It is a pretty hectic process. Make sure you select the drivers compatible with the exact model number of the hardware in your computer and the type of OS you are using.

  • Update Automatically

The automatic method is easy and takes a shorter time than the manual one, but you need a third-party tool.

You don't have to know the compatible drivers or the operating system; the tool automatically identifies your computer needs.

Follow the steps indicated on the tool guide and install all the drivers that are missing or faulty n your computer. You can get these tools online; for this article, you can search Driver Easy tool or any other that you prefer.

  1. Clear Temp Files.

If your computer has no enough memory to store temp files, it may freeze or slow down operations. To identify this problem and fix it, use the following steps.

  • Press the Win key and R simultaneously to open the Run Box.


  • Type ‘temp' and hit Enter


  • Please choose all the files found in the temp folder and erase them.


  • Relaunch your game. If the problem is not sorted, use the next method.

4. Check Memory

If the memory card has some issues, it can cause your computer to freeze randomly. Follow the below procedures to identify the problem and how to fix it.

  • Type mdsched.exe once you open Run Box and hit enter


  • Click ‘Restart now and check problems (recommended) to run the check immediately. Click ‘Check for problems the next time I start my computer if you want to run the check later.


  • The screen below will show when Windows restarts, with the progress of the check and passes run on the memory card. If you see no errors, your card is okay, and you need to try the next procedure.


  1. Modify Virtual Memory Size

Virtual memory is simply an extension of the computer's physical memory. It consists of a part of the hard drive and RAM. If your computer runs out of RAM when gaming, the system temporarily uses virtual memory to save files.

If the virtual memory is not enough to save the said files temporarily, it will slow down or freeze. Use the following steps to fix this problem and unfreeze your computer when playing games:

  • Press the Win key and Pause/break simultaneously. Click ‘Advanced System Settings.


  • Click on the ‘Advanced' tab then ‘Settings'.


  • On the performance options, click the ‘Advanced' tab, then ‘change.'


  • Uncheck the ‘Automatically manage paging file size for all drives box.


  • Choose the system drive-partition or hard drive where you installed your system. In many cases, its disk C: Select ‘custom Size'. Insert the ‘Initial size' and the ‘maximum size' for the virtual memory. Hit ‘set' and then OK.
  • Initial size. It varies depending on the computer you are using. If you are unsure about the size, enter ‘Recommended.'
  • Maximum size. You shouldn't set this too high. It is supposed to be 1.5 times the size of your RAM. For instance, if the RAM is 4GB, virtual memory should be 4X1.5, which 6144MB.


  • Relaunch your game and see if the problems are solved. If not, go to the next method.

6. Check System Files

If your computer is still freezing during gameplay, the cause could be a corrupt system file. Run the system file checker and see if there are missing or corrupted files. Use the following steps to repair the files:

  • Open the command prompt and run as administrator


  • Type sfc/scannow and then hit Enter


  • It will take some time. Once the scan is done, restart your computer and see if the problem is resolved.


  1. Remove Malware and Viruses.

Another cause for computer freezing when gaming is viruses and malware. Ensure you have an antivirus and or malware remover. Scan your computer for viruses and see if the frozen computer will play games normally. As I highlighted earlier, if viruses attack your computer, they can halt all operations in the system. 


We hope the above-stated methods have worked for your freezing computer. If you haven't resolved the issue, it means you are experiencing a hardware issue that is hard to fix.

If you have a warranty, you can contact your manufacturer to help you repair your PC. If not, you can contact your local computer expert to check why your computer is still experiencing freezes.

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