Windows

Does Windows 10 Freeze Your Computer? Try This!

Joe Keeley Updated 23-03-2020

Windows 10 should run smoothly for most people, but there are times when Windows 10 can freeze or lock up your system. Sitting there while your computer hangs is frustrating and you shouldn’t have to deal with it.

Advertisement

Whether your computer is freezing after installing Windows 10 or one of its updates, or if it’s just suddenly starting locking up, we’re going to provide various steps to stop Windows 10 freezes.

1. Free Up Storage Space

Your computer can slow down if your drive is nearly at full capacity. This is because Windows 10 doesn’t have enough space to effectively manage itself.

Windows 10 This PC drives

To check your situation, navigate to This PC in File Explorer to take a look at the volume of your drives. If they’re in the red, it’s time to delete unnecessary data. See our guide on which Windows files and folders to delete Delete These Windows Files and Folders to Free Up Disk Space Want to clear disk space on your Windows computer? Take a look at these Windows files and folders you can safely delete. Read More .

You might also want to invest in a new storage drive if you’re constantly battling with the amount of space you have. External hard drives are cheap, if you’re not confident in installing something within the computer case itself.

Advertisement

2. Clean the Inside of Your Computer

Dust will build up inside your computer over time. This is likely to happen quicker if you have your computer close to the floor or have pets. Not only is it gross to have your computer full of dust, but it can also slow your system down too.

Dusty computer
Image Credit: Vinni Malek/Flickr

Your computer generates heat, which is why your case has fans to try to regulate airflow and keep temperatures stable. However, if your computer is full of dust then it can be hard for those fans to be effective. If your computer gets too hot, it then throttles performance to prevent the components from burning out and failing.

Turn your computer off, unplug everything, open up the case, and use compressed air to blast the dust out. More information can be found in our Windows PC spring cleaning checklist The Spring Cleaning Checklist & Toolset for Your Windows PC Your computer needs a regular checkup, just like your car or your garden. The hardware can collect dirt, while the software can bloat and slow down your system. Let us guide you through the cleanup. Read More .

Advertisement

3. Check the Health of Your Components

If you’ve had your computer a while, the components inside might be failing. Faulty RAM is often the source of Windows 10 freezing. A failing hard drive could also be the culprit, especially if you notice the freezing when trying to access files.

Follow our guide on how to test your PC for failing hardware How to Test Your PC for Failing Hardware: Tips and Tools to Know We show you computer hardware and PC diagnostic tests to help you scan your system and spot failing hardware before it's too late. Read More . If your hard drive is failing, back up your data immediately, then ideally replace it with a solid state drive. Replacement RAM is usually inexpensive.

4. Update or Rollback Your Drivers

Generally, you should only update drivers when there’s a problem with your computer. Now, it might be that a driver updated and that’s what has caused Windows 10 to freeze. Alternatively, you might need to update a driver to solve the problem.

For information on how to update, see our guide on how to find and replace outdated drivers How to Find & Replace Outdated Windows Drivers Your drivers might be outdated and need updating, but how are you to know? Here's what you need to know and how to go about it. Read More . If that doesn’t work, you should try going back to an older driver version. For help on how to do that, see our guide on how to take back driver control Take Back Control Over Driver Updates in Windows 10 A bad Windows driver can ruin your day. In Windows 10, Windows Update automatically updates hardware drivers. If you suffer the consequences, let us show you how to roll back your driver and block future... Read More .

Advertisement

5. Uninstall Antivirus and Cleaner Tools

You don’t need to bog your computer down with multiple antivirus programs or pointless cleaner tools. If you have lots of these programs running, they’re likely going to clash and hog your system resources. For most people, the inbuilt Windows 10 Security package is more than enough.

Press Windows key + I to open Settings and click Apps. Then, select each unnecessary program on the list in turn, and click Uninstall.

Windows Security full scan

Next, it’s time to do a virus scan to ensure your system isn’t infected. A virus could be draining your system resources and causing it to freeze. Do a system search for Windows Security and open the app.

Advertisement

Go to Virus & threat protection > Scan options > Full scan > Scan now. The tool will automatically clean up any viruses or malware.

6. Assess the Event Viewer

A good way to check what problems are occurring on your system is with Event Viewer. Do a system search for Event Viewer and open it.

Windows 10 event viewer

On the left pane, double click Windows Logs. This is broken down into different sections. The relevant ones are Application and System. Look in these two logs and check for entries with a date and time that coincide with Windows 10 freezing. Alternatively, look for those with a level of Error or Critical, since these detail the worst problems.

Once you have found something, copy and paste the event information into Google. There are far too many possibilities to cover here, so hopefully someone else has asked about the error online.

7. Create a New User Account

Creating a new local account can stop Windows 10 freezing. To do this, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Then navigate to Accounts > Family & other users. Beneath Other users, click Add someone else to this PC.

Windows 10 create a new user

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.

8. Go Back to the Previous Version of Windows 10

If Windows 10 started freezing after an update, it makes sense to reverse that update. If it’s been less than 10 days since you updated then you can go back to an earlier version easily.

To do this, press Windows key + I to open Settings. Navigate to Update & Security > Recovery. Beneath Go back to the previous version of Windows 10, click Get started and follow the instructions.

Go back to the previous version of Windows 10

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 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 .

Keyboard Shortcut to Fix a Frozen Computer

While system freezes aren’t as common as they used to be, they do still occur—and since there are many reasons why it could happen, it can be hard to pinpoint the problem. Hopefully, one of the troubleshooting steps here has resolved your frozen Windows 10 computer.

If you want some more tips to combat a Windows 10 freeze, check out this keyboard combination to combat a frozen computer Use This Hidden Keyboard Combo to Fix Your Frozen Computer Did your computer display freeze? This little-known shortcut can get you going again in seconds and is much faster than restarting. Read More .

Related topics: Troubleshooting, Windows 10, Windows Tips, Windows Update, Windows Upgrade.

Affiliate Disclosure: By buying the products we recommend, you help keep the site alive. Read more.

Whatsapp Pinterest

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. dan
    April 12, 2020 at 5:39 pm

    As long as an app is not running it only takes up HDD space, so I see no need to uninstall it, even if it is only used occasionally.
    Dan

  2. Shahaan
    December 6, 2018 at 6:16 am

    I installed Debian.

  3. Max
    March 16, 2018 at 4:21 pm

    I had this problem for the 2nd time now. The first one I thought it was a HDD problem and replaced it.
    Less than one year later the same issue came back and the solution was really easy: I had 4 dropbox-like programs running simultaneously, including onedrive. I disabled all of them and everything got fine again. It seems there is a problem with many of these apps running together, win 10 simply freeze for like one minute many times per hour. You canĀ“t work.

  4. Gretchen
    November 10, 2017 at 4:40 am

    My Dell laptop froze tonight for about 10 minutes. Ctrl-Alt-Delete didn't work. Fortunately, it came back on.

  5. Asgeir
    July 7, 2017 at 8:49 am

    My W10 used to freeze about weekly. Month ago I changed the power settings from "average" to "high performance". Since then fluid, but ...

  6. Paul Mathews
    May 31, 2017 at 9:53 pm

    I had this issue with win 10 on my ssd.
    made a clonre of it with FalconFour's Ultimate Boot CD v4.61.7z
    i got 3 drives
    first one had 3 different linux not ssd
    1t
    2nd
    2te
    ssd
    win10
    about 1te data
    the problem not able win 10on first drive
    booting a 2
    thank you

    • Stevez
      March 24, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      Yep those are words all right.....

  7. Pamudi
    May 8, 2017 at 10:23 am

    I was doing fine and then I wanted to shut down mu laptop. Then it said that one app was still running ; something called home management. However I checked to checked to make sure all the apps were closed and I never knew about this app.Then it said this was stopping Windows from closing and instructed me to close it and shut the computer down. So when I did that, the computer shut by itself and now I can only sign in but the desktop is just blank! Help!

  8. Davin Peterson
    March 24, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    After I waking my PC up from a long sleep, Windows 10 seems to be frozen for a short while before it will let me do anything

  9. Steinar Bruun
    February 8, 2017 at 2:15 am

    Thanks very much!!! If you are ever in West Vancouver come over for dinner!

  10. Jesse
    February 2, 2017 at 2:41 am

    I really wish I just stayed with MAC. I'm not a PC hater, but it is amazing how often my ASUS 2016 Zenbook freezes when I'm just running Google Chrome and not even streaming anything. I have done all the diagnostics and slimmed down the processes to the bare bone and nothing seems to work.

  11. Karl
    December 22, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    Hello, I had this problem after I updated newest update couple days ago. Short of reinstalling Windows 10. I have tried disabling various windows search and superfetch and so on. Well, for me I noticed starting up windows 10 setup that the problem stopped so I accidentally used Microsoft edge to do some research and the problem still didn't return so I uninstalled Mozilla Firefox. Learned how to delete and create a new user profile with "firefox.exe -profilemanager" and its been an hour so far with no freezing or lags. I dunno if this is any help but the new version of windows update told me that daemon tools ultra was incompatible with the new update. They should also mention to reinstall firefox as well. Hope this helps someone.

  12. Ronald Fox
    December 21, 2016 at 5:16 pm

    I want to get this solution on record.

    I also have a Windows 10 computer with an SSD and a hard drive. I keep data on the hard drive so it can be easily backed up, and some programs on the SSD and some on the HD.

    My computer started freezing, to the point where it would freeze randomly several times a day, or even several times an hour. Some of the published solutions suggested lowering the security requirements for some remote procedure calls, which helped the problem somewhat but didn't alleviate it. The RPCs affected could be determined by examining the event viewer.

    I finally tried another solution. I had DLR4 memory chips, rated at 1.2 volts. I went into the bios management program and changed the DRAM voltage from 1.2 to 1.35 volts. The computer has not frozen even once since. The CPU and mother board temperatures were not affected, so I'm home free. I've been running without problems a few months at this point.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

    • Calo G
      January 30, 2017 at 9:34 pm

      How did you delete cleanmgr.exe?

      • David L
        January 30, 2017 at 11:07 pm

        I didn't. I just disabled the task. You don't really want to delete it as you may wish to use it occassionally.

      • David L
        January 30, 2017 at 11:08 pm

        I didn't. I just disabled the task.

    • big
      February 7, 2017 at 9:53 pm

      plese explain could not disable cleanmgr.exe :(

  15. 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.

        • Anonymous
          August 30, 2016 at 9:07 pm

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

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

    PS I meant updates to 1511 since deployment of 1607

  17. 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.

  18. 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 !

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

    Boot off Linux flash drive and hit "install".

    Wait 10 minutes.

    Enjoy.

  20. 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!

  21. 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.

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

    Forced BSoD -_-

  23. 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.

        • Beth
          November 24, 2018 at 6:18 am

          I am just a PC user, not a program geek. Please explain the fix (or dummies).