Navigating the Deep Freeze: Unraveling the Mysteries Behind Computer Freezing Issues

February 17, 2024 | Blog

Few people realize that a computer bought four to five years ago will be significantly slower and more likely to freeze than those bought within 18 months. However, even newer computers experience issues like slowness and freezing. 

Fortunately, even with an older computer, there are ways to navigate ‘the deep freeze.’ In this blog, the team at My Computer Works has discussed why your computer screen could be experiencing freezing issues and how to unfreeze your screen.  

Why Is My Screen Frozen

Software Issues

Software issues are the most common reason for your computer to experience freezing problems. This is because a computer often loses control over an application. When this happens, it tries to run the application in a way your Windows PC doesn’t recognize, leading to freezing. 

In addition, there are times when old software doesn’t work well on new Windows versions, which causes your computer to freeze. For example, when your computer’s software drivers are outdated, corrupted, or missing. 

Viruses or Malware

Did you know that it’s estimated that computer viruses cost $55 billion annually in repair and cleanup costs? This is unsurprising, considering about 62 percent of Mac computers are infected with viruses, and 560,000 new malware items are detected daily. 

Suffice it to say, it’s highly likely your PC, whether Windows or Mac, has a virus or some form of malware, and if you’re experiencing freezes and crashes, it could be due to this. 

This is because viruses and malware overwhelm your computer’s system by opening several applications that run continuously in the background, which uses significant amounts of your computer’s memory – thus causing it to freeze.

Running Too Many Programs

We’re almost all guilty of running too many programs on our PCs at once, especially those who like having multiple tabs at once. 

Unfortunately, running multiple programs at once, like a few PDFs, Word documents, a music player like VLC, a calculator application, numerous webpages, and a PowerPoint can cause your PC to become incredibly slow and freeze. 

Those with more RAM will get away with having more applications and webpages open than those with less RAM. Yet, if you’re experiencing freezes, it might be time to consider a solution regardless of your RAM capabilities. 

Bad Drivers

Few people realize that bad drivers can cause more issues than blue screen errors. In fact, bad drivers are one of the leading causes of computer slowness, poor performance, compatibility issues, and freezing. 

This is because bad drivers can become outdated and corrupted, which causes the drivers to become unable to communicate with your computer’s hardware properly. 

Overheating CPU

Have you noticed your computer is hot to the touch or that it’s making loud fan noises? If so, it might be because your CPU is overheating, which can lead to abrupt shutdowns, blue screen crashes, or screen freezes. 

Computer freezes tend to happen when you perform resource-intensive tasks that strain an overheating CPU. In addition, a computer can freeze because of an overheating CPU when you have blocked air vents, defective fans, unresponsive applications, too many browser tabs open, and outdated software. 

How To Unfreeze Your Screen?

Method One – Perform A Restart

Often, the first thing you should consider doing if you’re experiencing a frozen computer is to try restarting it. However, if you have a Windows computer, you don’t need to switch it off at the wall to restart it. Simply press the Control, Alt, and Delete buttons simultaneously to open your PC’s Task Manager. 

Once in the Task Manager, you must select the ‘restart’ option. This should allow your frozen PC to restart. If you have a Mac computer, press Command first, then Option, and lastly, Escape to restart it. Should these soft resets not work, you must perform a hard reset on your computer. This will involve holding down your computer’s power button until it shuts down. After a few seconds, you can push the power button to turn it back on and check if the issue is resolved. 

If you still experience a frozen computer after restarting it through a soft or hard reset, there is likely an underlying PC concern that needs to be addressed. To troubleshoot, you should reboot safely and follow the recommended steps. A professional can help you if you’re unsure of what to do. 

Method Two – Check For Updates

The second thing you should check if you’re experiencing a frozen screen or computer is your device’s drivers. As you know, outdated, corrupt, or missing drivers can lead to freezing, so to check if they are the cause, you need to go to your computer’s settings and install any driver updates. 

If there are no updates, check if your drivers are corrupted or missing. If any are missing, you must download them by finding the drivers that match your computer. Since this can be difficult, most individuals use third-party software to identify corrupt or missing drivers or an IT professional. 

Once you believe your driver issue is resolved, restart your computer to check if the freezing issue persists. If so, it might be time to bring in professional help. 

Method Three – Free Up Space

Chances are, if your PC has little space left, this could be the reason for its continuous freezing. Luckily, if your computer is freezing because there is little free space, the easiest solution is to make space. To do this, delete any unnecessary files and uninstall applications you no longer need. 

You should also free up RAM space by closing programs and applications you are not using. Closing tabs and documents will also cause less strain on your CPU and prevent freezing. 

Method Four – Check Hardware

Sometimes, your computer could freeze because you have hardware that isn’t connected properly. For example, you could have loose cables, a faulty RAM slot, or a connected external device that could be causing your PC to freeze. 

When checking your hardware, you should also check that your components are clean and dust-free, as dusty fans, RAM slots, and other components can lead to freezing and an overheating CPU. If you notice that these components are becoming dusty often it might be time to invest in a better fan to improve airflow and a better cooling system to avoid crashes. 

Method Five – Perform A Virus Scan

If your PC keeps freezing even though you’ve tried methods one through four to resolve the problem, it’s time to perform a virus and malware scan. 

Since viruses do an excellent job hiding on your computer, it can be difficult to know they are even there, which is why many people don’t realize they cause computer freezing issues. 

To determine if a virus or malware is causing a slow computer or leading to endless freezes, you need to perform an antivirus check using built-in antivirus software like Windows Defender or bought software like Malwarebytes, which My Computer Works sells. These antiviruses can help identify, contain, and destroy viruses to resolve your computer freezing issues. 

Troubleshooting And Prevention Tactics For A Freezing PC Screen

Troubleshooting and prevention tactics for a freezing PC go hand in hand. When faced with PC freezing, you must troubleshoot by checking for various issues. For example, you need to check for: 

  • Poor ventilation: Check if the fan is running properly and isn’t too dusty. 
  • Unclean internal components: Dusty fans, CPUs, and RAM can lead to freezes, so give them a clean.
  • Outdated device drivers: check if the drivers are outdated or corrupt. 
  • Malware and viruses: Perform a scan using reputable antivirus software to eliminate potential threats causing system freezes.
  • Software: Review recent software installations or updates, as conflicts can trigger freezes. 
  • Power settings: Adjust power settings to prevent the system from unexpectedly overheating or entering sleep mode. 

In addition to troubleshooting, there are ways to prevent your computer from freezing. For example, to prevent freezing, do the following: 

  • Maintaining adequate free disk space.
  • Avoid completing resource-heavy tasks simultaneously.
  • Use reliable hardware components. 
  • Regularly clean dust from fans and ensure proper airflow to prevent overheating.
  • Implementing a cooling pad for laptops to aid in temperature control.
  • Frequently back up data. 
  • Consider using system restore points to restore the system to a stable state. 
  • Hire an IT professional to complete routine maintenance and repair. 

The Wrap-Up On Navigating The Deep Freeze

There are many causes behind why your computer keeps freezing, but luckily, you can also undertake numerous solutions to address the issue. 

However, we understand that resolving a PC freezing issue alone can be challenging, so our team at My Computer Works is ready and waiting to help. Our expert team of IT professionals will help you identify the cause of your PC’s freezing problem and recommend solutions. Simply contact us here to learn more.

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