What To Do If Your Computer Freezes
All too often computers freeze or deadlock, for various reasons that we’ve talked about in other posts. If your computer has stopped responding, follow the steps below.
Basic Procedures :
- • Approach 1: Press Esc twice.
- • Approach 2: Press Ctrl, Alt, and Delete simultaneously and choose Start Task Manager from the menu.
- • Approach 3: If nothing else works, turn off the computer by pressing its power button. That might bring up the Restart button, which is preferable.
- • Approach 4: If the power button doesn’t respond right away, just keep holding it down. It might take 4-5 seconds, but eventually it will turn off.
The Task Manager lists the names of currently running programs. If one of the programs is not responding, you found the problem. On the Processes tab, click the name of the program and click End Task. Of course, you lose any unsaved work in that program. Press Esc to quit Task Manager and return to Windows.
If that doesn’t resolve the problem, press Ctrl+Alt+Delete again and click the Power icon in the screen’s bottom-right corner. Choose Restart.
A Few More Things To Consider…
Give It Time
Sometimes a computer may appear to be frozen, but it’s only slow or busy processing a complex task. Why it is slow is a topic for another post. If you enter multiple commands or pound angrily at the keyboard, you only give it more commands to process. Be patient.
Is The Computer Really Deadlocked?
See if the computer responds by pressing Caps Lock on the keyboard and checking to see if the LED in the key turns on and off. If it does, continue to the next step. If not, the computer is deadlocked and has to be rebooted/restarted.
End The ProblemTask
If the Caps Lock LED turns on and off, Windows is still working. A non-responsive program may be causing the computer to freeze. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to open the Windows Task Manager, highlight the program that’s not responding and choose End Task. That should unfreeze the computer.
If none of that helped, reboot the computer. Press and hold the power button until the computer turns off. Again, this could take a few seconds. Once it is off, turn the computer back on and let it go through the normal startup process.
What Happens To Unsaved Work?
Some programs autosave your work every few minutes. If you’re working in a program that does this, you can recover the work up to the last autosaved state. Otherwise, you’re out of luck.
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