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For many the move to the Windows 10 Anniversary update How to Get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update Now How to Get the Windows 10 Anniversary Update Now Windows 10 is receiving a major upgrade this month. The Anniversary Update is rolling out slowly. We show you how to upgrade now, how to delay the upgrade, and which pitfalls to watch out for. Read More has gone smoothly, but some users are experiencing constant freezing, with either the entire system locking up or specific elements like the Taskbar not responding.

Microsoft has acknowledged the problem and is actively working on a patch, but until then you’ll need to follow the steps below if you’re suffering from this freezing problem post-update.

Update: Microsoft released a Cumulative Update on August 31, which is supposed to fix freezing in Windows 10; the update is rolled out automatically. If you’re still experience the issue, first make sure update KB3176938 was installed. This update brings your Windows build number to 14393.105. To check your build number, press Windows key + Q, type winver, and hit Enter. If this update was installed, but didn’t fix the freezes, go ahead and try the alternative solutions below.

What Causes the Freezing?

This particular freezing problem is caused by the recent Anniversary Update, which added a number of new features to Windows 10. 9 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Features You'll Love 9 Windows 10 Anniversary Update Features You'll Love Are you still on the fence about the Windows 10 Anniversary Update? We have summarized the most important new features. Be sure to try all of them if you've already upgraded! Read More Users have reported that their system freezes; some for 20/30 second periods, others permanently.

newsletter-freeze-windows

According to Microsoft, the problem is affecting users who have their operating system installed on a SSD and their apps and data stored on another drive. However, there have been reports from some users who don’t match this description and are still having the problem.

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It seems likely that multiple culprits cause people’s systems to freeze and Microsoft has identified only one of those. Read on to find out how to solve this issue.

Boot into Safe Mode

You’ll need to boot your system into Safe Mode to perform the steps below, otherwise your system is probably just going to freeze!

boot-to-safe-mode-on-windows-8.1.png

To do this, first restart your system. When on the sign in screen, hold Shift and select Power > Restart. When your system restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart. Once complete, you’ll see a list of choices, so press F4 to choose to boot in Safe Mode.

If you need other methods, check out our guide on how to boot into Safe Mode How to Boot Into Windows 10 Safe Mode How to Boot Into Windows 10 Safe Mode Safe Mode is an inbuilt troubleshooting feature that allows you to fix issues at the root, without non-essential applications interfering. You can access Safe Mode in various ways, even if Windows 10 no longer boots. Read More .

1. Change App Install Location

Press Windows key + I to open Settings. From here, navigate to System > Storage. Beneath Save locations, use the New apps will save to dropdown to switch it to the same drive that your operating system is installed on. Then click Apply and restart.

app save location

This isn’t going to work for everyone, partly because you might not be able to fit all that data on a single drive.

2. Disable AppXSvc

AppX Deployment Service (AppXSvc) is a service that supports the deployment of Store applications. Disabling this can stop Store applications running correctly, though not necessarily, and that might be preferable to constant freezing anyway.

To disable this we need to head into the registry. Press Windows key + R, input regedit and then click OK. Always be careful when editing the registry How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry How Not to Accidentally Mess Up the Windows Registry Working with the Windows registry? Take note of these tips, and you'll be much less likely to do lasting damage to your PC. Read More as it can mess up your system if you fiddle incorrectly.

appxsvc

Once in the Registry Editor, navigate down the following folder path:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\ControlSet001\Services\AppXSvc

When here, double click the Start DWORD in the right-hand pane. Change the Value data to 4, click OK, then restart your system. Change this back to 3 if you want to enable AppXSvc again.

3. Install Intel Rapid Storage Technology Driver

This fix could work for you, you’re using an Intel CPU and one or multiple serial ATA (SATA) or PCIe drives.

Intel Rapid Storage Technology is primarily used for creation and management of RAID performance, but it can also be used on single drives. While Windows 10 is able to natively handle this without the support of third-party drivers, some users have reported that installing this Intel driver solved their freezing.

intel raid driver

To get the driver, navigate to Intel’s driver page and download the latest version. Unzip the file and run the installer within, then follow the steps through. Once the driver has installed you’ll need to restart your system.

4. Uninstall Antivirus

Microsoft has reported that having an outdated antivirus installed can cause problems and suggests uninstalling the software and then installing the newer version. Your mileage with this will vary, but it’s worth a shot.

Do a system search for uninstall a program and select the relevant result. Select your antivirus from the list and click Uninstall/Change. Follow the wizard through and then restart your system.

uninstall antivirus

You can then go ahead and install your antivirus again, downloading the latest version direct from the developer. However, you might find the inbuilt Windows Defender a suitable replacement How to Use Windows Defender Malware Protection on Windows 10 How to Use Windows Defender Malware Protection on Windows 10 Like any Windows operating system, Windows 10 is open to abuse and vulnerable to online threats. Security software is mandatory. Windows Defender is a good place to start and we guide you through the setup. Read More .

5. Create a New User Account

Some users have reported that creating a new local account Fix Windows Issues by Creating a New User Account Fix Windows Issues by Creating a New User Account Have you been troubleshooting a Windows issue to no avail? Creating a new user account could be your last resort. It's tricky, but we'll show you how to do it right. Read More solves the problem. To do this, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Then navigate to Accounts > Family & other people. Beneath Other people, click Add someone else to this PC.

create account

On the new window, click I don’t have this person’s sign-in information. Then click Add a user without a Microsoft account. Fill out the fields and click Next. Then log out of your account and into the new one.

6. Rollback to the Previous Version

If it’s been less than 10 days since you updated then you can still roll back to an earlier build 3 Ways to Downgrade Windows 10 & Rollback to Windows 7 or 8.1 Indefinitely 3 Ways to Downgrade Windows 10 & Rollback to Windows 7 or 8.1 Indefinitely You've either upgraded to Windows 10 to secure a free copy or were upgraded forcefully. We share three tricks that will help you downgrade now or later and save you if your upgrade failed. Read More . To do this, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Navigate to Update & security > Recovery. Beneath Go back to an earlier build, click Get started and follow the instructions.

go back to an earlier build

If this option isn’t available then you could download an ISO for a previous Windows 10 version and install from that. However, Microsoft doesn’t provide these, so you’ll have to get one from an unofficial source or use one you’ve previously created. If you have one available, check out our guide on how to create Windows 10 installation media How to Create Windows 10 Installation Media How to Create Windows 10 Installation Media Regardless of how you arrived at Windows 10, there's a way to create your own installation media. Sooner or later you might need it. Let us show you how to be prepared. Read More .

Wait it Out

If none of this is working for you then the best answer might be to wait it out. Microsoft is working on a solution for this and it’s expected that they’ll keep posting progress updates on their official forum, though at time of writing there’s no estimated date for when the patch will be out.

Nevertheless, this isn’t a shining moment for Microsoft, who decided that Windows 10 would force updates on users Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Pros & Cons of Forced Updates in Windows 10 Updates will change in Windows 10. Right now you can pick and choose. Windows 10, however, will force updates onto you. It has advantages, like improved security, but it can also go wrong. What's more... Read More . Considering that all the updates go through various rounds of testing, it’s surprising that this problem wasn’t caught.

Has the advice here helped you resolve your freezing problems? Do you have your own tips to share?

  1. Bess
    October 5, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Step 2 made things like 8 times worse, and I'm not sure why. Now nothing is working - I'm sure it's on me, but if you're going to try it please be super careful!

    • Joe Keeley
      October 5, 2016 at 5:58 pm

      Hey Bess - Please can you explain what's not working after following step 2? Remember, you can put the value back to 3 to revert your changes.

  2. David L
    September 29, 2016 at 10:34 am

    My PC was freezing if I left it alone for 5 minutes. Once frozen it stayed that way for between 8 and 10 minutes before coming back again. If I kept on using it the freeze did not happen.

    By a process of elimination I eventually narrowed it down to the task running cleanmgr.exe which waited for the PC to be idle for 5 minutes before commencing.

    I deleted that task and I have not had a freeze since.

  3. dan
    August 26, 2016 at 5:58 am

    Is it best to have the OS installed on an SSD and the data on an HDD, or vice versa?

    • Tina Sieber
      August 30, 2016 at 4:07 pm

      Your OS and all other frequently used files should be on the SSD for best performance. HDD can be used when read speeds don't matter (e.g. for small, light files).

      If storage space on your SSD is a limitation, you'll want to store the bulk of your data / backups on a HDD because HDD space is cheaper. Always have a backup!

      • dan
        August 30, 2016 at 8:33 pm

        Tina,
        If the OS gets loaded into RAM after bootup, other than perhaps speeding the boot process why not just store the OS on the HDD instead of taking up expensive real estate on the SSD?
        Thanks for your reply,
        Dan

        • Tina Sieber
          August 30, 2016 at 8:46 pm

          Good point, Dan!

          When I was speaking of the OS, I was also thinking of programs and apps. But you made me think...

          If RAM is big enough to load all system files necessary to run the system, which is probably the case with many setups, then it makes sense to store the OS on the HDD because read/write speed only matters at boot and shutdown and is negligible.

          For best performance, applications should still be run from the SSD, unless you never use more of them at the same time than can be handled by your RAM. Chrome makes me struggle with that. :) Alternatively, you could outsource the paging file to your SSD.

        • drb
          August 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm

          Thanks for your thoughts.
          Sometimes there are no clear answers.
          Dan

  4. Andrew
    August 25, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    PS I meant updates to 1511 since deployment of 1607

  5. Andrew
    August 25, 2016 at 1:18 pm

    I had this one with a laptop fitted with a hybrid drive and originally delivered with Win8.
    .
    I initiated the upgrade myself so I had backups of everything.
    It was completely locked after the update

    I tried booting in safe mode and doing a restore which failed.
    I then tried doing a reset which also failed.

    I then did a clean install of 1607 which worked fine.

    Conclusion: there's something missing in the 1607 update which is present in the full install.

    I've noticed that Microsoft has still deployed updates since the rollout of 1607 started.

  6. mIke
    August 23, 2016 at 11:23 pm

    So to put it bluntly, Microsoft don't really know whats causing this but expect their users to debug their problems for them free of charge !

  7. James Van Damme
    August 23, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    Boot off Linux flash drive and hit "install".

    Wait 10 minutes.

    Enjoy.

  8. Skip Spurgeon
    August 20, 2016 at 12:50 pm

    Step 2 worked to get my ssd laptop running again. Thank you. When trying to 'roll back to previous version' I could not get to the Update & security > Recovery screen. Now that it is running, I can get to it and have the option to uninstall latest update. Should I do that? Or just wait until MS gets the patch out? All is good right now thanks to you.

    • Joe Keeley
      August 20, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      Glad to hear that, Skip. If I was in your shoes and everything else was still running fine, I'd probably wait until the patch instead of rolling back. But rolling back is a fine choice if you'd prefer that!

  9. Ankit
    August 20, 2016 at 4:13 am

    Thank you! I have the same problem and on an ssd laptop that too! Will try the solutions and/or wait for Microsoft to fix it!

    • Joe Keeley
      August 20, 2016 at 12:55 pm

      No problem, Ankit! Let us know how you get on.

  10. Maitreya Vyas
    August 19, 2016 at 8:22 am

    Forced BSoD -_-

  11. Brett Medley
    August 19, 2016 at 6:44 am

    My computer doesnt freeze up for a few seconds like other reports, my computer is able to stay on for up to 10 minutes until it freezes over entirely and the only thing I can do is turn it off and back on again bedore the same thing happens. I basically have a dead laptop.

    • Joe Keeley
      August 20, 2016 at 12:56 pm

      Brett, did this start happening after the Anniversary Update? If so, you may find the solutions above still work for you.

    • Kevin
      September 13, 2016 at 3:16 am

      Me to , no solutions helped

      • David L
        September 29, 2016 at 10:36 am

        See my comment re cleanmgr.exe. Remove that task and see if it works for you.

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