Top 10 Reasons for Computer Freezing

Updated on March 29th, 2019

Rohit Arora

Summary: The blog describes the categories of system hang which users generally face. It highlights the reasons that cause frequent computer freezing, which needs to be resolved with quick consideration.

If you find your PC turning unresponsive at times and it freezes suddenly, it’s time to get a thorough check of your system. Initially, you will need to identify the actual cause behind computer freeze issue to detect if it is software specific or hardware related. Identifying the actual reason will help resolve the problem quicker.

There are different types of system freeze issues and each category is detected by the system behavior. The problem can be categorized into Hang, Random Hang, Generic Freeze and Single-app Freeze.

Let’s understand these categories in detail.

  • Hang: Whenever a specific set of procedure is performed on a PC, it hangs up and needs to be restarted to recover.
  • Random Hang: When the system turns unresponsive frequently at regular intervals of time, and you will have to restart it to recover hard drive data.
  • Generic Freeze: The system turns unresponsive and automatically turns to normal functional state without any troubleshooting.
  • Single-app Freeze: When system freezes abnormally while you attempt to start a game, a particular program, or a heavy browsing website.
Computer-Freezing

Let’s now look at the top 10 reasons (Hardware as well as Software) that causes your PC to hang or freeze:

1: Too Many Apps Running

Each application open on your system takes some internal and hardware resources to keep running. If multiple apps and programs are running, your PC may run low on resources as memory is used by a number of applications. To avoid this, it is advisable to run one program at a time to make sure that computer freeze is not caused due to running multiple apps at a same instance of time.

Too-Many-Apps-Running
Figure: Multiple applications open at same time

2: Driver Issues

Outdated or damaged drivers can also be the reason behind frequent computer freezes. If video drivers being installed on your system are not updated, the computer might hang up while you attempt to play a video or a game. Analyze Windows Device Manager to ensure no ‘Other Devices’ are connected. Also, examine the list of devices to check that no exclamation mark exists corresponding to a device driver or if there is any red X marked next to the device.

Note: Make sure that latest drivers are installed for video, modem, sound and network devices being downloaded or connected to the computer.

Driver-Issues
Figure: Driver Issues

3: Operating System Issues

To ensure smooth functionality of the machine, make sure that all updates are installed. To be able to keep the system updated, it is vital that you use a legal copy of the operating system. It is advisable to always run an legal copy of Microsoft Windows to be able to download updates. If you are using Windows 10, the update option is automatically turned on. Windows does not allow turning this option off for home users.

In case, you face any type of data loss during update, try employing a third-party hard drive recovery software to restore your lost, accidentally or formatted data back to your device.

4: Excess Heating Up

If the temperature of your system processor is higher than usual, the chances are that the computer may freeze. The symptoms through which you can detect the higher temperature of your processor are abnormal noise on startup and high squealing.

Analyze the system when you turn it on and listen carefully to the sound generated by the fan. Also, monitor the RPM, enter CMOS setup and ensure that no error message is reported by the BIOS.

5: Hardware Misconfiguration

One major reason behind computer freeze issue is hardware misconfiguration. This may have occurred due to misconfigured hardware component that you recently installed to your computer.

Hardware component you installed recently may be incompatible with the computer. Remove that hardware and then test whether the computer is running smoothly. Then look for the most appropriate alternate for the removed hardware mechanism.

hardware-malfunction

6: Insufficient RAM

If the system freezes at regular intervals of time, the reason could be an insufficient RAM. It is mandatory to have considerable RAM to keep the system running smoothly. Sometimes, there could be applications and 3D games installed on device that makes it bulky and hence causes system hang issues.

In addition, it is quite probable that the motherboard, CPU or Power Supply may not be working appropriately. In such cases, upgrading RAM or reinstalling Windows OS may help resolve the issue.

Insufficient-RAM

7: BIOS Settings

In several cases, modifying BIOS settings can cause serious issues and may put the system in the freeze mode. Overclocking system processor or RAM causes instability problems. If this is the case that is causing the system to freeze, reset the BIOS settings to default. This can be done by removing CMOS and putting it back after several minutes.

Always ensure that BIOS firmware is timely updated to prevent such issues.

BIOS-Settings
Figure: BIOS Settings

8: Power Issues

Your computer power supply unit must be efficient enough to deliver sufficient voltage to the system. Even if you have a powerful computer with the latest processor, sufficient RAM, GPU and advanced motherboard, inadequate power supply or sudden power surge can cause computer freeze on next startup.

You can prevent this by installing an uninterrupted power supply unit that can handle low voltage issues and keep the system running for some time even if there is no power.

9: External Devices

Faulty USB or external devices connected to the system can cause frequent or random reboots. Devices such as a mouse, keyboard, USB camera or gaming consoles connected to the computer externally can be the actual cause of issues such as system shut down, followed by a freeze.

Remove all the connected devices to check if the system works normally. Also, update the USB device drivers to prevent such issues.

10: Hard Drive Malfunction

That clicking sound coming out of the CPU of your system is nothing, but a symptom alerting you that something is wrong with the hard drive. To resolve this issue, go to the manufacturer’s website and check for troubleshooting method.

Alternatively, run a diagnostic check to examine the hard drive and execute appropriate workaround thereafter. Due to hard drive malfunction, if any of the data gets deleted accidentally, it can be recovered efficiently using hard disk recovery tool.

In addition to the above-stated reasons, there are other factors as well that leads to a system freeze. Whatever be the cause, the solution is to prevent crucial data from getting lost. Therefore, it is advisable to follow a regular data backup strategy so as to avoid negative consequences, if anything adverse takes place.

Conclusion

If you encounter data loss due to any of the above mentioned computer freeze reasons, you can recover maximum possible data using Stellar Data Recovery Professional software which easily recovers files from damaged or inaccessible internal and external hard drives.


About The Author

Jyoti Prakash

Problem solver and Data recovery specialist. Usually share informative articles on data recovery, database corruption and ways to recover lost data. 

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58 comments
  1. Just came across this article now. My Windows PC randomly freezes and shows a blank screen with vertical lines on it. The colour of the screen is different each time, but it is always displaying vertical lines when it is happening. It also sounds a repetitive noise when this happens and I am forced to do a hard reboot of the PC. It happens randomly: from when browsing the Internet, to working on PowerPoint, to working on Word, to building websites on WAMP server, etc. I am running a 750W power supply with an ASUS Z97-A motherboard, Intel i5-4590 processor, 8GB RAM, and Asus R9 280X graphics card. All drivers (and OS) are up to date, both the SSD hard drive and normal HDD running without errors. System is also not overclocked. Any idea what this can be perhaps?

  2. Hi my system turns unresponsive and automatically turns to normal functional state without any troubleshooting. What should I Do?

    1. Hi Wendy,
      We have already mentioned above all the cause of computer freezing. But you may try some manual steps like scan your system with legitimate antivirus software. Secondly, check the driver and update it accordingly. Sometimes it creates problems. Further, check your operating system updates and proceed accordingly. Probably you fix your problem.

  3. o/s of desktop has been frezzing after tow days, again formating then doning working fine but after two days the problem same, plse tell me which type of problem

    1. Hello Dinesh,
      Please read the blog, you will find all the possible cause of the computer freezing problem. We have stated all of them in detail. In addition, I will suggest you take a backup of your data. If you find any data loss situation so you can try Stellar Data Recovery Free Edition. Thanks

  4. Hello Author,
    My pc just froze while playing a game then crashed, when I try to restart it’s in the bios and it says there is no hard drive even though there is one, so it won’t even start, what should I do?

    1. Hi Karim,
      If the system is not starting then you may avail our data recovery services wherein you may submit your drive in our lab and our experts can analyze it for you and check the possibility of data recovery. You can contact via mail or call. Thanks
      Contact:- Phone: +1-877-778-6087
      Email: support[at]stellarinfo.com

  5. Hello Author,
    My computer freezes randomly. I read your blogs you mention numbers of the cause which makes the computer freeze. I think on my computer there is no multiple application running issue, driver issue. I checked my bios setting everything is ok. So should I update my OS?

    1. Hi Kateri,
      You can update your OS because most of the time updates create problem in the functioning of pc. It will help to make your computer better. One more thing you should take a backup first of your data before updating OS and if you find yourself in data loss situation so you can use the free version of Stellar Data Recovery for Windows. Thanks

  6. Hey author,
    I have been facing freezing issues on my pc. It is freezing randomly. I am not able to do anything at that point except force shut down. One more thing I noticed that the temperature of the pc become higher with noise on startup. What should I do? Please help!!

    1. Hello Shawan,
      As we mention above Analyze the system when you turn it on and listen carefully to the sound generated by the fan. Also, monitor the RPM, enter CMOS setup and ensure that no error message is reported by the BIOS. Thanks

  7. Sometimes my pc of office freeze at a regular interval or running very slow, this is running on online ups but when we connect small offline ups in line with online ups system running normally and also when we use this pc on other position it works normally. our IT deptt and Maintenance deptt both are working on it but not given any positive response.

  8. Hello Author,
    Last week my pc was getting freezing when I was running some gaming apps! Whenever I play something, then my pc get freeze and loud sound and then returns on the board says Q-code 30(if that helps) Please suggest!!

    1. Hi Arshi,
      There is nothing wrong with your pc; code 30 is just telling you it woke from the s3 sleep state. It will stay on code 30 until you reboot. Thanks

  9. My laptop hang lot although I am not open any tab my laptop model is(Acer Swift 3 Ryzen 5 Quad Core – (8 GB/1 TB HDD/Windows 10 Home) SF315-41 Laptop (15.6 inch, Steel Grey, 2.1 kg)). I want to know the reason for that. Can upgrading to ssd can help me.

    1. Hello Shubham,
      It may possible due to an issue with OS and you can take the assistance from technical person. Thanks.

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