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How To Fix An Unresponsive Laptop

It’s frustrating when your computer freezes. That’s especially worse when you’re about to finish something very important. Here’s what you need to do if your laptop becomes unresponsive all of a sudden. 

IT Briefcase

Have you noticed that your computer starts to slow down like it’s crawling and eventually become unresponsive? If so, you’re not alone. Almost anyone who uses an old laptop can relate. The good thing is, there’s a possibility that you can fix it. 

Not just fix it, but you can actually prevent it from happening again. Here’s how: 

Give it time to catch up

If you’re doing something that is CPU-intensive, chances are your old computer or even a new, but the lower-spec laptop will suffer from freezing. When you’re faced with this situation, give your computer some time to catch up.

It’s surprising that what seems to be a frozen laptop actually, it’s still working in the background. On the other hand, if you have a mouse attached, make sure it’s working properly. Sometimes, it’s just your mouse got disconnected from the USB port, or it ran out of batteries. 

Kill the culprit

When you gave it enough time, but still Windows didn’t recover from it, it’s time for the classic: Ctrl + Alt + Delete combo. Press this key combination and choose Task Manager. A pop-up screen will show you a list of running programs. 

If you see any non-responding program, select them and click the End Task button. Windows should respond back almost immediately after you closed the program. You can restart the program and continue working. 

On the other hand, if your laptop freezes every time you’re running the program, you need to consider uninstalling the program and finding an alternative. On the flip side, you might also consider a hardware upgrade. It could be the program is running out of essential resources. 

Check your browser

If your computer is running fine but your browser gets stuck on a specific page, it could be the browser is the only thing that is freezing and not the computer itself. If you press the magic combination again, Ctrl + Alt + Delete shows the browser isn’t responding. 

If this is the case, open Chrome and press Shift+Esc. This will show you Chrome’s task manager. If you’re using Firefox, click on the menu button and navigate to More > Task Manager. 

You will see different processes running in your browser. Oftentimes, extensions are causing this kind of problem. You can disable the browser’s extension and see if it fixes the problem. 

Reboot your computer 

When Ctrl + Alt + Delete doesn’t work, the only way left is to do a hard reset. Press and hold the power button until the computer turns off. This will restart your computer. If you’re working on something important and your computer suddenly froze, there’s a possibility that you can recover it. 

Microsoft Office programs like Word, Powerpoint, and Excel have auto-save backups. You just need to open the program you’re working on, and an auto-recovery menu will appear on your screen. 

Reinstall drivers 

Although System Restore can fix a lot of issues, there are limitations. This can be from leftover drivers when you installed a new video card. The old driver often conflicts with the new driver. 

On the other hand, if the problem occurred after you installed a new driver, try uninstalling the new driver and see if it fixes the problem. 

Check for malware infection

Computer glitches are sometimes caused by malware. If you haven’t checked your computer for a while, now is the best time to do that. Free scanners can do the job. Make sure to let it comb through your hard drive. 

Test your hard drive 

Failing hard drives often cause hangups and other issues. When you’re running a malware scan, you might as well check your hard drive’s health. You can run the wmic diskdrive get model in the command prompt for Windows users and the DriveDx for Mac users. 

If these tools show that your hard drive has existing problems, replace it immediately to fix the problem. 

Check for overheating

Excess heat can freeze your computer too. You can install temperature monitor apps to help you with overheating problems. 

Check your RAM

Defective RAMs can also freeze your computer. Check your RAM if it’s already at the point of failing. To check your RAM, click on the Start menu and search for the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool. This will reboot your computer and test your memory. You will be notified if there are any issues. 

Bring your computer to a certified computer repair shop

When everything else fails, it’s time to bring your computer to the pros. Warranty is very important in this matter. That’s because they will replace any failing components on your computer for free. 

However, if the warranty is no longer in effect, make sure to bring your computer to a certified repair shop. They will diagnose the problem and give you an honest assessment. In addition, you will have to pay a little bit of cash for the services rendered.