Computer Randomly Freezes on Windows 10? 10 Reasons Why.

computer randomly freezes windows 10

A Windows 10 computer freezing is not an uncommon occurrence. It could be that certain Windows elements like the taskbar or certain menus do not respond or, in some situations, the entire operating system becomes non-responsive.

In this article, we address the ten most viable solutions for fixing the problem. Try them out and see which works best for you.

Rollback Windows to a Previous Version

If you have recently installed a Windows update that you think might be causing the problem, one of the most logical fixes you can try is to roll Windows back to a previous version.

Follow the steps below if you want to do this:

  1. Click on the Windows logo in the left section of the taskbar and then on the little settings icon or type “Settings” and click on the link.

windows settings

  1. Once the Settings window opens, click on “Update & Security”.
  2. From the left sidebar (section), click on “Recovery”.
  3. Look for “Go back to the previous version of Windows 10” and then click on “Get started”. Note, that you can only initiate this rollback if you have only recently updated Windows (no more than 10 days ago).
  4. Follow the instructions and restart Windows.

Update Device Drivers

Whenever Windows freezes, this could indicate a driver problem. Although certain OS drivers are updated automatically through regular Windows updates, it does not hurt to check whether a certain device is using the most up-to-date driver.

Follow the steps outlined below to check for driver updates:

  1. Click on the Windows logo in the left section of the taskbar and type “device manager”. This will open the Device Manager window, listing all the available devices on your PC.
  2. Expand each group of devices, right click on a certain device you think may require an update and choose “Update driver”. It is a good idea to try this first with your Display adapters.

device manager

  1. Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software”.
  2. In case Windows finds a more recent version of a driver, install it, reboot the system and see if this resolves your problem.

If Windows fails to find a new driver for your device, you can always check for it on the manufacturer’s website.

Perform a memory check

Windows sometimes freezes whenever it has a damaged or corrupted memory card. If that is the case, you can replace it.

To diagnose the issue, performing a memory check, follow the steps below:

  1. Press the Winkey + R and type in “mdsched.exe”.
  2. Press OK and the Windows Memory Diagnostic window will open:

windows memory diagnostic

  1. Choose the first option and wait for Windows to restart.

The OS will display the progress of the memory check on a blue screen. When the test completes, you will know whether there is an issue with your memory card and whether you will need to replace it.

Check the system for corrupted files

In order to examine your system for missing or corrupted files, you should run a system file check. Windows comes with a System File Checker. The built-in tool allows Windows users to recover the original file system in case of missing or corrupted system files.

Follow the steps outlined below to perform the system file check:

  1. Right-click on the Windows start button and then on Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Type “sfc /scannow” in the newly opened window and execute the command with Enter.

command prompt

  1. Wait until the file verification procedure completes. It will take some time but you can observe the progress. Keep the window open until you see the result of the scan.

Disable CPU states in bios

Computers use minimal power when the user is not actively using the system by reducing the system’s voltage and multipliers. Disabling CPU states also means turning off the computer’s power-saving options.

This, on the other hand, results in a more stable Windows performance, reducing the number of instances in which your system might freeze.

Disabling the CPU states is accomplished with the following steps:

  1. Click the Windows logo button on the taskbar and go to “settings”.
  2. Click on “Settings” and a new window will open.
  3. Find “Updates & Security, click on “Recovery” and find the “Advanced startup” section on the right.
  4. Click “Restart now” under the option.
  5. The PC will restart and you will be presented with several options. Choose “Troubleshoot” => “Advanced options” => “UEFI Firmware Settings”.
  6. When BIOS starts, go for “Advanced” => “CPU Configuration”.
  7. Ensure that both “C1E Function” and “Intel(R) C-STATE tech” are with status “Disabled”. Use the up and down arrows to change the status of the options in case you need to.
  8. After saving these changes, restart the PC.

Disable Link State Power Management

This power-saving mechanism has two options – Moderate Power Savings and Maximum Power Savings. The former recovers faster but saves less power while the latter saves more power but the recovery time is increased.

Some Windows 10 users claim that turning off Link State Power Management has helped them with freezing issues and blank screens, especially in cases related to AMD and NVIDIA graphic cards.

Go through the following steps to turn it off:

  1. Press Winkey +R and type in “powercfg.cpl”.
  2. Click on the search result and the Power Options window will open.
  3. Click on “Change power settings”.
  4. In the newly opened “Edit Plan Settings” window, click on “Change advanced power settings”.
  5. The “Power Options” window opens. Click on PCI Express => Link State Power Management and set the setting from its current value to “Off” as seen on the screenshot below:

power options

Disable Fast Startup

Go through the steps below:

  1. Right-click the Windows start button in the taskbar and then on Power Options.
  2. Under “Power & sleep”, click on “Additional power settings” on the right.
  3. In the newly opened “Power Options” window, click on “Choose what the power buttons do” in the left pane.
  4. Click on “Change settings that are currently unavailable” and then uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended)”.
  5. Click on “Save changes”.

Turn off apps you don’t use

To reduce the risk of unwanted applications causing the PC freezing issue as well as speeding up your PC, you can turn off certain applications.
  1. Right-click on the Windows start button in the taskbar and choose “Settings”.
  2. Click on “Privacy”.
  3. Scroll to the bottom of the left pane and click on “Background apps”.
  4. Go through the apps listen in the right pane and disable those you don’t use.
  5. Reboot your PC.

Virtual Memory Reset

Sometimes, after the RAM of your PC completes an intensive task, the OS stores a file in the virtual memory. To reset it, follow the steps given below.
  1. Press the Windows logo button on the taskbar and type “advanced system settings”.
  2. A System Properties window will open. From the Advanced tab, click on Settings under Performance.
  3. The Performance Options window will open. Go to the Advanced tab and under Virtual memory, click on “Change…” as seen on the screenshot below:

system properties

  1. Ensure that the option “Automatically manage paging file size for all drives” in the newly opened window is not selected.
  2. Choose the drive where Windows is installed (usually C).
  3. Click on “Custom size” and set the Initial size and the Maximum size. You can set the Initial size equal to the Current allocated size at the bottom of the Virtual Memory window. The maximum size you can set is 1.5 times your computer’s RAM size. For example, if you have 8 GB of RAM, set the value to 12 GB or 12000 MB. You can increase this value even further but it may cause system problems and lead to yet more issues.
  4. When you are done setting the values from point 6, click on “Set” and then on “OK” to preserve your changes.
  5. Now you need to run Disk Cleanup. Click on the Windows logo button on the taskbar and choose “disk cleanup”.
  6. Select the drive with Windows and confirm with OK.
  7. Ensure you mark “Temporary Internet Files” and start the clean up with “OK”.
  8. Reboot the PC.

Perform a disk check

If the aforementioned methods did not fix the issue for you, run a disc check. Follow these steps to do so.
  1. Open the Windows file explorer with Winkey + E.
  2. Right-click on a hard drive and choose Properties.
  3. Go to the tools tab and under “Error checking”, click on “Check”. This will perform error checking on the selected hard drive. It is advisable that you close all other programs before running the procedure.
If you see no errors after the test completes then your issue is not related to the health of your hard disk.

These are 10 fixes that should help you solve your Windows 10 freezing issue. If none of these work for you, refer to the specialized Microsoft forum. However, you will find many of the answers to the problem already given here.

About the author

Ollie

is a Systems Engineer and a former Computer Tech Support Specialist. When he's not working or tweaking his Dell XPS 13, he enjoys taking a photograph or two.

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