Why Do Windows Computers Become Unresponsive? 8 Common reasons: The most common reasons for your Windows PC being unresponsive are listed here, along with how to diagnose and resolve these issues.
When your computer becomes unresponsive, it’s inconvenient. Even if you do not lose work, hanging programs or a complete system freeze might significantly reduce your productivity.
Why Do Windows Computers Become Unresponsive?
PC issues that do not result in a blue screen or other complete shutdown typically present as an unresponsive Windows 10 machine. Let’s look at the most prevalent reasons for your Windows PC becoming unresponsive and how to resolve them.
1. Inadequate Resources
One of the most prevalent causes of Windows being unresponsive is a lack of available resources. The two components that frequently cause performance bottlenecks are your RAM (memory) and CPU.
All currently running apps are stored in RAM on your computer. If those programs consume all available physical memory, your computer is forced to use the page file, which is a part of your storage disk that functions as backup RAM. For further information, see how to control your computer’s virtual memory.
Even if you have an SSD, using the page file is significantly slower than using actual RAM dedicated to running apps. As a result, when your computer is forced to rely on the page file, you will notice a slowdown.
Read also: Top 25 blogging SEO tips for 2022
To inspect, open the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc, click More information if necessary, and then click the Processes tab. Sort by the Memory heading to determine which processes are the most resource intensive. Close any unnecessary programs at the top of the list, and your system should recover.
Network Usage in Windows Task Manager
It’s the same story with excessive CPU utilization. Taxing activities, such as video encoding, consume a significant amount of CPU power. As a result, your system may become unresponsive while your CPU is working overtime.
2. Incompatibility of Hardware
If a piece of hardware is incompatible with your version of Windows, stability difficulties may occur. Typically, hardware failures result in Windows crashing due to the OS’s lack of alternatives. These difficulties, however, might also result in system freezes.
When this occurs, consider whether you just added new hardware to your PC. The issue could be caused by any printer, mouse, keyboard, USB drive, or other external device. If you’re using an out-of-date piece of hardware, consider upgrading to a more contemporary gadget and seeing if it helps.
It is feasible to get legacy hardware to function with newer versions of Windows using compatibility modes and a few changes. However, this is frequently fruitless. Generally, it is easier to run legacy software on a modern PC than it is to run legacy hardware.
3. Driver Concerns
Even if a specific piece of hardware does not cause a computer to become unresponsive, its driver may. In case you’re unfamiliar, a driver is a little piece of software that enables Windows to communicate properly with devices.
A generic Microsoft driver will suffice for basic devices such as a mouse or keyboard. However, utilizing all of a device’s functions requires its own driver. If your installed drivers are out of current, incompatible with your version of Windows, or for the incorrect device, problems can occur.
The usual rule with drivers is that they should not be tampered with if everything is functioning normally. Third-party driver update applications are frequently dubious and may cause more problems than they fix. If you suspect a driver issue is causing system instability, we’ve discussed how to securely replace out-of-date drivers.
4. Issues with the Windows Registry
The Registry is a database in which Windows stores a wealth of information about your machine and setup. When you install or uninstall software, alter a setting, or make changes to the Registry, Windows saves the information.
Generally, the Registry operates without your intervention. We strongly advise you to avoid Registry cleaners, as they are ineffective at best and potentially hazardous at worst. Even if there are obsolete Registry entries, “cleaning” hundreds of errors will not result in noticeable speed improvements.
If your Registry becomes so corrupted that your PC becomes unresponsive, you’ll almost certainly need to reinstall Windows. It should never reach that stage unless you make an error when editing it, use a Registry cleaning, or become infected with malware.
5. Any Kind of Malware
Malware, an umbrella word comprising viruses, spyware, worms, and other types of infection, has the potential to cause havoc on your system. Whether adware injects advertisements into your browser, causing it to freeze, or rootkits steal system resources, malware can take control of your computer and damage performance.
Conduct a scan with the free version of Malwarebytes to see whether your machine is infected with any harmful applications. Additionally, ensure that you understand how to avoid contracting a virus in the future to ensure that this does not happen again.
6. Utilization of Multiple Antivirus Programs
Fortunately, Windows 10 includes Windows Defender, which is a sufficient antivirus solution for the majority of users. However, if you prefer to use something else, you should ensure that it does not wreak havoc on Windows’ performance.
Disable Windows’ antivirus software
Multiple antivirus apps running together frequently results in conflict and slowdowns. If you want a second viewpoint, periodically run an on-demand scanner such as the aforementioned Malwarebytes.
Alternatively, you may wish to utilize a free internet virus scanner such as VirusTotal. These allow you to scan a file simultaneously with dozens of different antivirus programs, ensuring that yours does not miss anything.
If you do decide to replace Windows Defender, ensure that you choose one of the top Windows security packages available. Avoid unbranded apps, as they may be under-optimized, resulting in slowdowns.
7. Bugs in the application
Unfortunately, you have no influence over poorly constructed software. Whether it’s an out-of-date app that hasn’t been updated in years or a terrible Chrome extension, you may discover that your computer becomes unresponsive just while a particular program is running.
If you’re able to pinpoint which app is causing the issue, ensure that it has the most recent updates installed. Occasionally, new versions can resolve these types of issues. If that is not possible, use a service like AlternativeTo to find a suitable replacement.
If the issue occurs in your browser, try disabling extensions one at a time to see if it resolves the issue.
8. User Adjustments
After you’ve ruled out all of the preceding possibilities, it’s likely that your stability issue stems from an adjustment you’ve made to Windows.
While changes to the Control Panel or Settings app should have no effect on your system, utilizing third-party tools to personalize Windows may accidentally break anything.
Consider the tools you’ve used to customize Windows 10 privacy settings, the Taskbar, or other significant modifications. Consider reverting those if no other source of instability can be identified.
When Windows Becomes Unresponsive, You’ll Understand Why
The likelihood is that when your PC becomes unresponsive, one of these causes is to blame. Because the majority of them are within your control, all it takes is some troubleshooting to determine where the issue is. Once you’ve resolved the issue, you can resume normal use of your computer.
If you’re not interested in spending time troubleshooting your unresponsive PC, consider resetting Windows 10 to a factory default configuration.