The 3 Most Common Solutions To Fix A Windows Computer That Is Always Freezing Up

Tina Sieber 30-12-2010

Does your computer freeze randomly? Do you face the Blue Screen Of Death 11 Tips to Help You Fix the Windows 10 Blue Screen Error What is a blue screen in Windows? How do you fix blue screen errors? Here are several fixes for this common Windows problem. Read More almost every day? Don’t let your computer terrify you!


Take action, track down what causes your computer to lock up on you and how you can stop it from happening. We have previously introduced 7 Common Reasons Why Windows Can Get Unresponsive The 8 Most Common Reasons Why Windows Gets Unresponsive Here are some of the most common reasons your computer becomes unresponsive so you can identify and fix these issues. Read More . This article examines how you can troubleshoot the causes for a freezing computer and what you can do to fix it.

If you’re struggling with a slow and unresponsive system, we will shortly be publishing a PDF manual called Windows on Speed which will help you learn what makes your system become sluggish and how you can regain a top Windows performance.  Make sure you subscribe to MakeUseOf so you don’t miss the manual when it comes out!

Prelude: Make a Backup

The very first thing you need to do when your computer starts acting up is to create a backup of your personal data. Don’t waste time trying to troubleshoot or fix anything. Just make a backup. Right NOW!

You should consider logging into Safe Mode to perform the backup. You may find that it makes your system a lot more stable! That would also be a first step in troubleshooting.

Now that you have your personal data backed up, let’s start troubleshooting and resolving the issues.


1. Troubleshoot Software Issues

A freezing operating system may have a lot of underlying issues. To verify whether or not your freezes are software-induced, boot your system into Safe Mode.

Safe Mode is a boot option that launches your computer in a very limited state. Only the most basic files and drivers absolutely necessary to run the operating system are loaded. If your system appears stable in Safe Mode, it is very likely that you have software issues, like driver conflicts or malware.

fix computer freezing

The article below explains how to boot into Safe Mode:


If you do not see an improvement in Safe Mode, proceed to point 2.

If you do see an improvement, try the following:

  • uninstall recently installed devices and their drivers.
  • make sure you only have one antivirus program installed.
  • perform a Windows upgrade.
  • update any programs you are using regularly and all hardware drivers.
  • if running a specific program causes the freezes, try to update, uninstall, and reinstall the program.
  • in Safe Mode, scan your system for malware and remove anything you find.
  • perform general system maintenance.

Here are some useful resources for the above steps:

2. Troubleshoot Hardware Issues

The Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) is a strong sign for a hardware incompatibility. The displayed error code provides a clue for what caused the computer to crash. Subsequently, you should analyze the error reports that Windows stores in response to a BSOD crash.


computer freezing

The following resources will help:

If updating or removing hardware drivers didn’t work and in case you don’t get a BSOD, you need to examine potential physical causes. Your computer could be overheating, a device could be damaged and dying, or a cable could be loose. Before you touch your hardware, however, make sure your computer is properly turned off to protect yourself. You must also ground yourself to avoid a discharge of static electricity, which could (further) damage your hardware.

The best way to troubleshoot hardware issues is to…

  • physically clean your hardware, i.e. free fans and power supply from dust.
  • check all cables for damage or loose connections.
  • check whether hardware components like the graphics card are properly plugged into the motherboard.
  • remove or replace single components like RAM modules and boot the computer without them.

The last point will reveal whether one of these components is broken.

3. Restore Windows

Windows can create restore points that allow you to roll back your entire system to a previous stable state. Make use of this feature and go back to a restore point where your system did not freeze or crash. The best thing is that you won’t lose your personal files.

fix computer freezing

This articles explains how it’s done:

Last Resort: Repair Or Reinstall Windows

The easiest way to resolve issues with a Windows operating system that constantly freezes is a fresh installation. It is normal to reinstall Windows every 6 months to 2 years. If you’re running an older installation, it’s about time that you give it a fresh start!

Did this article help you to fix your computer from freezing? Please report your experiences!

Image credits: vladislav_studio, iQoncept

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  1. Lorange
    April 14, 2016 at 4:57 am

    You can call on Microsoft certified technician at 1-800-585-2494.

  2. mikey b
    March 8, 2015 at 11:25 pm

    Freezing, in my experience is caused by a video driver that quits running and RAM that needs to be reseated

  3. Tina
    January 1, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Some people are not as smart as you are.
    Is there anything I didn't mention that you would suggest?

  4. Wwwparker
    December 31, 2010 at 6:37 pm

    Didn't learn a f'n thing.

    • Tina
      January 1, 2011 at 8:36 am

      Some people are not as smart as you are.
      Is there anything I didn't mention that you would suggest?

  5. Scott_T
    December 31, 2010 at 2:55 pm

    Most of the time lockups are caused by overheating. Next biggest cause would be HDs and memory failing I'd say.

  6. ITManx Ltd
    December 31, 2010 at 2:09 am

    Nice article, it should be noted that a BSOD is not just a sign of a hardware incompatibility, but could also be the sign of an impending hardware failure. As you suggested looking up the error codes is usually the fastest way to get to the bottom of the issue before it becomes more serious.