The vein in your right temple starts to pulsate. The frustration — almost too much to bear...
Your computer has frozen for the sixth time this morning. If only you knew the cause, and what to do to fix it. The good news?
Once you’ve finished this article, you will.
So, let’s get to it.
“Why Does My Computer Keep Freezing?”
It’s one of the most common questions an IT support team hears.
Thankfully, nine typical causes make it easier to identify a fix. If you want to learn why your computer keeps grinding to a halt — pay attention to this list:
1. Too many programs open at once
When you open a program, it uses valuable disk space. Open too many, and your computer will run out of processing power. The result? The death-toll spinner that signals your computer has frozen.
...so, what next?
First, open Task Manager (Windows) or Force Quit (MacOS). Then, pinpoint the program that’s frozen. Now, close it. And from here-on-in, only run the applications you need at any given time and, when you finish using one, shut it down.
Another handy tip is to disable the auto-launch of apps like Skype on start-up — but if your computer crashes when you work on standard daily tasks (or it simply can’t handle the programs you need to do your job), consider upgrading to a more powerful device.
2. An outdated driver
The driver is the internal system that maintains the information flow between the hardware and software. If the driver becomes damaged, old or obsolete, then your computer will freeze — but thankfully, the fix is simple.
If you update (or upgrade) your drivers as often as possible, you’ll avoid a sluggish machine.
Do colleagues ever give you that sideways glance as your computer sounds like its gearing up for take-off? If yes, you can give them the reason why: overworked machines are liable to overheat and rumble like a jet engine.
And the excess warmth causes internal processors to slow down (which creates a noise), then — the heat causes the freeze (oh, the irony).
In worst-case scenarios, excessive heat can damage the integrated circuits, breaking the device for good.
So, if your computer starts to whir: close unused programs, give it a few minutes to cool off, and shut it down if that doesn’t do the trick — only once cool, reboot.
4. Insufficient RAM
Random Access Memory is a crucial component in any device: without it, your system would sit stuck in a constant deep-freeze (and even as you start to run out of RAM, performance will slow to a crawl).
To resolve the issue; try reinstalling your operating system. If this doesn’t have the desired effect, then you can feel justified asking for a RAM upgrade.
5. Issues with BIOS settings
BIOS stands for ‘Basic Input Output System.’
In less-technical speak, it is software stored on a tiny memory chip on your computer’s motherboard — and it’s the very first software to run on start-up.
You might need to adjust your BIOS to troubleshoot an issue. In fact, if someone has modified the system before, they may have inadvertently put the system into a freeze.
Simply resetting to default settings might be your solution.
6. Faulty external devices
If your laptop keeps freezing and you simply cannot find the cause, it may not be an issue with your computer at all. Faulty USBs, defective keyboards, even a malfunctioning mouse can be the source of your woes.
So, start by disconnecting them all. Then, one-by-one, re-connect keyboard, your mouse, the external hard drive and see if any bring your computer to a standstill.
If a USB is the issue, update all device drivers to the latest software (it’s good practice to keep all devices fully up-to-date).
These days, computer viruses are everywhere. It’s never been easier to click a link and unknowingly download malware, only for a virus to take over: first affecting performance, and ultimately, freezing your entire system — but it’s also never been easier to protect against computer viruses and spyware.
Installing trusted anti-virus software is a critical step: just be sure to pay for a licensed version, then update it regularly, to ensure your computer remains secure from any lingering threats.
8. Corrupted files
Corrupted files are computer data that suddenly becomes unusable due to a defect, or a bug in the software. A corrupted file won’t work, which will cause your computer to stop working, too.
The issue could be temporary, happening just once before vanishing forever. Or it could endure, causing your computer to crash repeatedly.
If that’s the case, you might find a fix for the corrupted data. However, more often than not, you’ll need to delete the file before replacing it with a backup version.
9. Software errors
No software is immune from the occasional hiccup.
Even if bought from a reputable vendor, a third-party application can often be the cause of your frustrations; as if any widget tries to access a resource your operating system can’t recognize, your computer will happily hang up its boots and freeze.
Solving the issue could be as straightforward as updating all software to the latest version — but if the issue persists, think which applications you’ve recently added, delete them systematically, and you should find the program that’s to blame.
Truth be told, a computer can freeze for any number of reasons: and it’s hair-pulling-ly frustrating.
But if you spend a few minutes investigating the cause — you’ll not only fix the issue yourself….
You’ll make big freezes a thing of the past.
Still stuck in a freeze?
Give us a call on 253-584-5906, and we’ll help you fix the issue — or if it’s just friendly advice you’re after, we’re always happy to chat.