PC Components

What Causes a Computer To Freeze?

Computer Freeze

Have you ever experienced your computer freeze randomly? Such freezes become very annoying, especially when working on something important or time-sensitive. Sometimes these freezes are uncommon and happen due to a program crashing, but they are often very frequent and caused by something more than just applications.

Quick Answer

Usually, the computer freezes due to a lack of enough processing power, CPU overheating, or software-related issues such as the one caused by operating system updates or drivers not installed correctly.

Your computer freezing up might be quite frustrating. Even if you just use your computer occasionally or for fun, it can still interfere with your work or other activities and make you waste time restarting and opening all of your apps. However, computer freezes aren’t a big deal and can be fixed if troubleshot correctly.

Read on further to understand why a computer freezes!

Causes of Computer Freezing

It’s time to obtain a complete inspection of your system if you notice that your PC occasionally becomes unresponsive and freezes. You must first determine the precise source of the computer freeze issue to determine if it is a hardware or software-related issue. Finding the real cause will make the problem easier to tackle.

There are various reasons for your computer to freeze or become unresponsive. All of these reasons are unique in their ways and require different strategies to troubleshoot them.

Overheating CPU

Overheating is one of the frequent causes of computer freezing. Your CPU may get quite warm, particularly if malfunctioning. A built-in fan should keep your computer cool as it operates; if it’s dusty or not functioning correctly, your computer may be overheating. Likewise, your graphics processing unit (GPU) might overheat.

When your computer starts to freeze, check if the bottom of the laptop or the rear of the PC tower is hot to see if your computer is overheating. You should turn off your computer and thoroughly clean it. Spraying the dust around the fan is possible using bottled air. It could be an issue if you take these steps and it still overheats.

Malfunctioning Applications

Applications that are malfunctioning occasionally might cause your computer to freeze. You may determine whether a program is at fault for your computer stalling in several ways. The simplest method is to recall recent computer history until the last time you added any new applications. 

You could do a system restore to return the machine to a previous time if the freezing began after the installation of a certain application. If this fixes the issue and the computer no longer freezes, the application is at fault.

By looking at the active processes on your PC in the background, you may also identify what applications might be causing a computer freeze. Then, you can launch the Task Manager and keep it open while using your computer to monitor these processes.

If the computer freezes, keep an eye on the CPU, disc, and memory tabs and see which one has high numbers. The one with high numbers could have the solution’s secret. When you start your computer next time, use the Task Manager and examine the processes. The software program causing the computer to freeze may have a high task manager load. Check to see whether upgrading or removing the software fixes the issue.

Limited RAM

Your computer may randomly freeze if you have limited RAM. Likewise, your computer will operate poorly when apps and programs eat up all or most of the RAM, sometimes leading to irregular freezing.

So when you open multiple applications simultaneously to multitask, your computer’s performance will start to decline because your computer runs out of memory. It will then begin using “virtual memory” stored on your hard drive to make the difference, and since hard drives are much slower than RAMs, your computer will freeze.

Security Issues

There are chances that your system has been infected with a virus. One of the most obvious indicators that your computer is infected is when it stops or crashes. In certain instances, the virus overwhelms your system by launching many background programs, consuming up all of your computer’s RAM and causing it to stop. After restarting your computer, if the problem persists, it’s important to check the virus using the most recent protection program.

Malfunctioning Drivers

Outdated or broken drivers can also bring frequent computer freezes on. For example, when you try to play a game or watch a movie on your computer, it can freeze if the video drivers installed on your system are not updated. Verify there are no “Other Devices” linked by looking at Windows Device Manager. Additionally, check the list of devices to see if any devices have any exclamation points in place of device drivers.

Tweaked BIOS Settings

Changing BIOS settings may lead to major problems and put the system into a frozen state. For example, problems result from overclocked RAM or the CPU. So, reset the BIOS settings to their default values if the machine freezes. To accomplish this, remove the CMOS battery and replace it a few minutes later.

High CPU Usage

There is a potential that your computer won’t be able to handle the demanding duties if you are using CPU-intensive software. It may feel as though your computer is stopped when you attempt to click a button or even conduct a basic action like closing a window, even when this is not the case. Allow your CPU a minute to complete all the tasks it is having trouble with.

Outdated Operating System

Make sure all updates are installed to guarantee the system operates smoothly. You must use a legitimate copy of the operating system if you want to be able to upgrade it. To be able to obtain updates, it is always advised to run a legitimate copy of Microsoft Windows. When running Windows 10, the update option is already on. Windows do not let home users disable this feature.


Listed above are all the potential causes that your computer freezes. You can use these causes to troubleshoot your computer and fix it so that you can continue working!

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