Dealing with a stuck or frozen computer can be a frustrating ordeal. Computers lock up for a variety of reasons, but most often it’s because they were overwhelmed with tasks and ran out of the resources to handle them. If this happens a lot then it might be a sign that you need to upgrade your computer by adding more RAM, upgrading the hard drive, or even looking to install a better graphics card.
Shutting down some programs and not running too many at the same time can be a great way to keep your computer from freezing up even without upgrades. However, try these quick and simple fixes to get your computer moving again before thinking about upgrades.
Troubleshooting a locked up or frozen computer
Before we get into the steps to take to unfreeze your computer, it’s important to see what kind of status your computer is in. To check if your computer is completely deadlocked, try hitting the Caps Lock button on your keyboard and seeing if the LED light on the keyboard toggles with it. If the LED doesn’t turn on or off then your computer is completely deadlocked and will need to be rebooted.
Occasionally a computer can be stuck on a complex task and freeze due to running out of resources. Before taking any of the below steps, try giving it a few minutes to see if it processes the tasks. Sometimes just giving some extra time to your computer will save you big headaches later on.
Utilizing the Windows Task Manager is the first thing you should try doing. If you are still able to move your mouse and click around, right click the Windows toolbar and select Task Manager. The window should look similar to the one below. From this window you can select the programs that aren’t working and choose to End Task. End Task will forcefully close the program so if you are dealing with a program with important unsaved information, then understand that you will probably lose that data.
Alternatively, if you can’t click anything on the computer, try hitting ctrl, alt, and del at the same time. This will bring up a Windows option menu where you can select Task Manager and then repeat the above steps.
Rebooting your stuck computer
If you’ve given your computer some time to ‘think’, and you can’t seem to use the End Task function, then it might be time to reboot your computer. If your computer is frozen then you probably won’t be able to use the power menu to shut down your computer. In this case you will need to locate the power button on your computer and press and hold it for several seconds.
This will forcefully shut down the computer, and you will lose any unsaved data you were working on prior to the freeze. Shutting down your computer this way can also result in an error screen, or Windows wanting to run a quick diagnostic to locate any corrupted files. Let Windows do its thing and eventually you should be able to log back in and continue using your computer.
PC Repair for your frozen computer
If your computer seems to freeze and get stuck on a regular basis, or shows these other 5 signs, then you might want to think about upgrading some of your hardware. Slow or frozen computers are often a sign that your computer just doesn’t have the resources it needs to complete the tasks you are requesting. Utilizing a PC repair expert like Dave’s Computers can be a great way to get your computer operational again, and they can even suggest and implement upgrades so that you don’t have to worry about a frozen computer again.