Unfortunately, it is common to find your laptop freezing up on you from time to time. It can be frustrating, especially if you do not know what the problem is or how to fix it! Fear not! Here are some great ways to help you troubleshoot and fix your freezing laptop.
Try a Basic Reset
When your laptop freezes! push its power button for a few seconds until it shuts down completely. After waiting a few seconds, press and hold down its power button for one or two seconds to turn it back on. A basic reset may resolve your freezing issue.
If your laptop continues to freeze after a basic reset, you should try disabling any connected devices that may be draining resources from your computer. Disconnect any external devices like printers, external hard drives, or flash drives, and reboot your computer.
Close Unused Programs
A frozen laptop can be very frustrating, and it is often a sign that your computer needs a good cleaning. Look at your taskbar, find any open applications (little squares with red X’s if they are closed or green circles if they are open), and close them out one by one.
You can also hold down Alt, Shift, Ctrl and Delete all at once to bring up a task manager, which will allow you to quickly shut down every program running on your computer.
Check Your Start-up Items
Chances are, one of your start-up items is causing your laptop to freeze. This happens most frequently if you’re using Windows. To check what’s loading when your laptop boots up, go to Start > Run and type msconfig into the box that pops up.
This will bring up a window with all your start-up items—if there is an item listed there that should not be (like an app from third-party site), uncheck it, click Apply, and restart your computer. If that does not work, try Safe Mode: restart your computer and press F8 as soon as you see a black screen; use arrow keys to select Safe Mode from list of options and press Enter. Then follow above steps again.
Change Your Power Settings
It is possible that your laptop’s power settings may be contributing to freezing. By default, most computers have an Energy Saver or Power Management scheme installed that reduces performance and puts an emphasis on battery life over speed. Switching these settings to High Performance may help prevent your laptop from freezing up.
You can easily change your power settings by right-clicking on an empty space on your desktop and selecting Power Options. You may need to select your laptop manufacturer, and then select either High Performance or Better Battery Life. If you do not see any of these options in your settings, consult your laptop documentation for instructions on how to access power options.
Remove Pop-Up Blockers
If your laptop is freezing, one of your first troubleshooting steps should be to make sure pop-up blockers are not causing an issue. Pop-ups on certain sites can cause programs to freeze while they load, making it difficult for you to close out of a program or exit your browser. That is why you want to make sure pop-up blockers are turned off.
If you are unable to exit out of a pop-up on your own, you can use Task Manager. To do so, hold down Ctrl and Shift on your keyboard at the same time. This will open Task Manager, where you can then find your browser or program that is having trouble closing and select End Task. If your browser is frozen and will not let you access Task Manager, try Ctrl+Alt+Delete instead to open Windows’ Start Menu.
Check for Hardware Issues
The first thing you want to do when your laptop freezes is check for hardware issues. If it is frozen due to a hardware issue, troubleshooting will do nothing to fix it, but if there is an underlying problem causing it, you can easily fix it.
Open your laptop and look at everything. Check for things like a loose connection, faulty memory, or hard drive, etc.