Woman frustrated with computer

How to Troubleshoot Your Unresponsive Computer

Whatever you’re doing on the computer, the last thing you want is for it to become unresponsive. 

An unresponsive computer can be frustrating and cause panic. Why does a computer freeze happen in the first place? There are several reasons a computer stops responding to your commands:

5 Ways To Fix An Unresponsive Computer 

When a computer stops responding, people get immediately frustrated. Don’t be frustrated; try these methods below to resolve the issue yourself. 

1. Wait Several Minutes

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Before hitting the power button to do a hard shut down, give the computer a couple of minutes to see if the processes catch up. It’s not uncommon for you to do something more quickly than the computer can process, and it may seem as if your computer is locking up. Wait it out to see what happens. The problem may fix itself. 

2. Shut Down The Problematic Program 

When Windows isn’t responding, or you notice it’s freezing again, it’s time to use CTRL + ALT + DEL. Hold the three keys at the same time and bring up Task Manager. If you have your computer password-protected, you’ll have to enter the password before moving forward. In Task Manager, you can see what programs are running. If one appears not to be responding, hit End Task to shut the program down. 

On a MAC computer, the process to shut down a program is Command + period. You can also press the Command + Option + Escape buttons to bring up the Force Quit Applications window. 

Shutting down the program should help the computer start responding. Restart the program to get back to work. 

3. Check Browser Extensions Through The Browser’s Task Manager 

There may be times that your browser is to blame. It’s not the computer but the page you are on that is unresponsive. Again, CTRL+ ALT + DEL will let you know if the browser is causing the problem. 

If you want some in-depth information, you need to do a SHIFT + ESC button combination in Chrome. With Firefox, the action is hitting the menu button, going to More, and then Task Manager. Either way, you’ll learn what processes are happening in the browser and how much memory and CPU is used. This can help you pinpoint browser extensions that may be affecting performance.

4. Do A Hard Reboot 

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When it comes to a hard reboot, this means to shut the computer down entirely. There are a couple of ways you can do this. 

  • Use the CTRL + ALT + DEL buttons again to bring up the screen where you initially chose the Task Manager. At the bottom right-hand side is a power symbol. Click it to start the shutdown process. This may take some time, but the computer will eventually shut off.
  • The more extreme method is to hold the power button down and wait until the computer shuts off. Count to 10 and turn it on again. If it was a momentary lapse in “communication breakdown,” the computer should start up fine and work normally again.
  • With a MAC computer, the process of a hard shutdown can be started using the CTRL+ Media Eject keys. 

What happens to unsaved work when you do a hard reboot? For some programs, the work has been autosaved every so often, which will allow you to recover the autosaved version when you reboot the program. However, it is still safest to save your work periodically to avoid lost time.

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5. Have Tech Experts Address The Problem

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If you’ve done everything within your power to solve your computer freezing issue and it’s not working, it’s time to bring in the experts.  Reach out to the manufacturer if your device is under warranty. They may be able to replace the part for free.

If you don’t have a warranty, or the manufacturer will not cover the repairs, contact Your Friendly Neighborhood Computer Guy. We can get to the bottom of your issue and let you know the cost of the repair with fast, friendly service. 

There are many reasons your computer could become unresponsive. While some issues are minor with you quickly addressing them yourself, other issues may require a tech-savvy computer repair expert. If you find that your computer is still not acting right after applying the methods above, give us a call. We’ll be happy to help. 

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