Your computer stops responding…
- You’re typing on a Word document, and all of a sudden your cursor stops moving and your computer becomes unresponsive.
- You’ve just launched your browser and nothing is happening on your screen. You try to click it again, but the computer isn’t responding to anything you do.
- You left your computer running but when you return the screen is black. The power light on the computer shows it’s on, but it doesn’t respond to you.
- Your computer is installing patches, but the current message hasn’t changed for 30 minutes.
What you do at this point is critical.
More suggestions to solve a frozen PC
How to resolve a frozen Mac
Don’t just force the computer off
I have heard from many people who just force their computer off every time their computer fails to respond. But shutting down a running computer by holding the power button is like playing Russian roulette. You have a good chance of it going well, but there is also a small chance of things going very wrong. If the computer loses power before certain system files get saved, then they can become corrupted and prevent your computer from booting successfully again.
You may think that the computer is just performing the single task that you are working on, but computers can be running hundreds of other tasks in the background. So the freeze may be related to the program you are working on, or it may be related to any of the other tasks it is also running.
Solving a freeze is more of an art than a science. This article provides some suggestions to help you, but please realize that your best bet is probably to contact us.
If the screen is black, then the computer may have just gone to sleep. Tap the ‘Ctrl’ key a couple of times, and move the mouse. Then wait a moment or two to see if the computer responds. This will wake a computer that is configured to turn off the screen or go to sleep after a period of inactivity.
The solution to the freeze will depend on the cause, but these steps will help in most situations:
If all else fails:
Once the other options have been exhausted, the only thing left to do is press and hold the power button on your PC to force it off. Please recognize that you are running a risk when you do this, and system files can become corrupted (leaving your computer in an un-bootable state). Please send us an email if you have to force it off, so we can track the issue for you. Hopefully, it won’t happen again for a very long time.
If you force your PC off this way, please wait a minute and then press the power button again normally and check that it boots up fine. If you have problems, please let us know.
How to help prevent a computer from freezing:
Every computer will freeze now and then. If your computer is freezing frequently, then there is a problem that needs to be addressed. Please contact us to check on this for you.
- Reboot your computer regularly
- Don’t click more than once
- If the computer does not respond immediately to your entry, don’t reenter the command. Clicking repeatedly on an icon will not make it open faster, it will send the same command multiple times once the computer responds to you again. In the best case, this can open multiple windows of the selected program. In the worst case, it can cause your computer to really freeze… when it was just slow the first time.
- Don’t open as many programs at the same time
If you have questions about this, please let us know and we will be happy to assist you.