It’s not fun if your computer shuts down unexpectedly and you lose all the data you have been working on for hours. It can happen while writing a critical report, working on a presentation, or even in the middle of a conference call.
Think about it; you’re staring at your PC screen, typing away at the keys, when suddenly, out of nowhere… BAM! It’s one of the most annoying things that can happen to a computer. It’s shutting off, seemingly at random times.
While it may seem straightforward, there are many things you’ll want to check to determine the root cause of your PC shutting off by itself. A PC shutdown can be caused by anything from a nasty piece of malware to problems with the power supply or even “supernatural forces”.
There are no aliens involved, and if the thought of your PC shutting down without warning scares you, then this article will help you diagnose the problem and fix it.
Reason #1: Overheating Hardware
If you are experiencing computer crashes pretty often, it is worthwhile to monitor the internal temperature of your computer. If your laptop overheats, it’s not a good thing. When it overheats, the CPU will turn off to save itself and the rest of your computer.
If you ever find your computer’s fans running above the average speed, or it produces a lot of noise, or if you notice the computer is hotter than usual, you know there might be a problem.
It’s normal for a computer to generate heat, but there are several things you can do to reduce your PC’s temperature to make it run cooler and last longer.
- Check the internal cooling fans in your PC. If one or more is broken or not working, your PC will overheat.
- Consider investing in a laptop cooler or cooling pad if you’re using a laptop.
- Cleaning fans and vents can prevent your PC from overheating.
- If those tips fail to help, reapplying thermal paste may help.
Overheating is one of the significant reasons computers can shut down at any moment. If you don’t take care of your heating PC, it could overheat to the point that it causes permanent damage to its hardware.
Reason #2: Incompatible Drivers
If your PC keeps randomly shutting down, outdated or missing drivers might be to blame. In addition to being unstable, outdated drivers can cause crashes and freezes, making it difficult for you to get your work done.
The quickest way to ensure that your drivers are up-to-date and secure is to use Windows Update. This update tool from Windows eliminates the need to download drivers from third-party websites.
Before you do anything else to your PC, here’s how you can update outdated drivers, fix your issues, and get better performance:
- Search for “Windows Update” in your taskbar’s search box.
- Click on “Check for Updates“, and Windows Update will automatically seek out and install the latest drivers.
- The update utility will download all necessary drivers for your hardware and install them on your PC.
Hardware devices on your computer rely on their drivers to function correctly. And, If a device driver is infected, outdated, or missing, then your computer will most likely have conflict issues and be generally unstable.
Reason #3: Malware and Virus
As it turns out, some malware and viruses can also cause your computer to shut down abruptly. These are malicious pieces of software designed to infect your computer, steal your personal information and cause your computer to shut down continuously.
If you’re having trouble with a virus or malware, there is a solution to your problem. You can use Windows Defender, which comes free with Windows, to scan your computer and remove malicious programs.
The following steps will show you how to use Windows Defender to check your PC for malware and viruses:
- Search for “Virus Protection” in the taskbar and select the “Virus & Threat Protection” tab to view Windows’ built-in security options.
- You can perform a quick scan of your PC or opt for a more in-depth scan by selecting “Full Scan” in “Scan Options“.
- Your system will scan all the running files and programs on your PC for malware and viruses, and you will clean your PC.
Maintaining your PC’s safety from malware, viruses, and threats can keep it from crashing on its own. In addition to Windows Defender, you can also use any other antivirus software you have to protect your computer from viruses, spyware, and other threats.
Reason #4: Hardware Failures
An unexpected shutdown of your computer can also be caused by a faulty power supply or a failing memory stick. Figuring out what is causing hardware failure can be slightly tricky, though.
In most cases, the problem is likely caused by a piece of hardware that you recently added; removing it may fix the problem. But before you start replacing parts, The trick is to break them into smaller and smaller pieces — and find out what is broken.
Here are some steps to isolate the problem and resolve the issue from a hardware perspective.
- Remove any recently added hardware that might be causing the problem and see if it works.
- Disconnect all external devices except the keyboard and monitor and check if the computer starts.
- Check all of your connections and make sure they are secure. If any of your cords are loose, snap them back into place.
- Take out and clean the memory sticks of your PC (with a cloth or tissue) and the contact points within.
- The power supply is likely to be the culprit if everything else fails. Try swapping power supplies and see if it works.
- If, after doing this, your computer still doesn’t behave normally, it might be time to call in a professional.
The most common cause of any computer hardware failure is the power supply. Components like CPU, Motherboard, and RAM can fail alone, but usually, they fail because of the power supply failing first.
Reason #5: Software Issues
If your computer still shuts down randomly even after trying all of the steps above, there may be a software problem or an issue with your operating system. Compared to hardware problems, these are generally easier to troubleshoot.
Your computer may be overloaded with too many programs taking up all the available memory, or you may have corrupt files on the operating system or improperly uninstalled programs that are causing it to crash randomly.
Here are a few tips for fixing any problem that might pop up in software or the operating system itself.
- Clean up your PC by deleting unnecessary files, junk data, unneeded software, and hidden files to free up the memory using a PC Cleanup program.
- Defragment your hard drive partition to work more efficiently so your disks and drives can work.
- Restore Windows to an earlier state to revert your computer configuration to an earlier point to see if that fixes the problem.
- If you’re still having troubles, it may finally be time to reinstall Windows OS.
With the proper troubleshooting steps and techniques, one can solve all kinds of issues without paying someone else. If you have checked all of this and your computer is still randomly crashing on its own, you may need to have it serviced at a repair center.
It’s always a good idea to reach out to a professional if you encounter anything you’re unsure of how to handle.