When your computer freezes, it’s incredibly annoying, but have you ever wondered why it happens? In this article, we’re going to take an in-depth look at 15 reasons why your computer freezes and what, if anything, you can do about it.
1. You Don’t Have Enough Memory
In the past, computers had to make do with small quantities of RAM or random access memory. The user would open a bunch of applications, and then the processor would shuttle the data it needed to run them into high-speed memory, accessing them when required.
The problem was that the RAM could quickly fill up, and the CPU would find itself having to retrieve data from regular HDD storage. Needless to say, that slowed things down a lot.
Today’s computers tend to have more RAM, but filling it up can still be a problem if you’re running high-intensity applications. The solution: supplement your existing memory with additional sticks of RAM or stop opening multiple resource-intensive applications.
2. You’re Messing Around With The BIOS Settings
A lot of PC enthusiasts like to tinker with processor and RAM speed settings in the BIOS. While it’s fun to see whether you’ve lucked out with highly overclockable components, it’s not wise if you want to avoid freezing.
Processors and RAM modules have automatic fail-safes that kick in when temperatures excess thermal limits. If your computer regularly freezes, it could be because the components in your system are throttling.
3. Your PSU Is Failing
A faulty power supply unit, or PSU, can cause your PC to freeze or suddenly restart if it cannot supply a constant stream of power. The only solution is to whip it out and insert a new one.
4. There’s A Problem With Your External Devices
Problems with external devices are often tricky to diagnose. Most people assume that the reason that their computers are freezing is because of issues with on-board hardware and software, but external HDDs and memory sticks are also problematic.
Remember, when external components connect to your computer, they essentially become a part of the system. Try removing them to see if the crashing stops.
5. You’ve Got Malware
Malware comes in all shapes and sizes. Some just sit in the background collecting data while others actively use system resources or attempt to stop you from using your computer altogether.
6. You’re Using Buggy Applications
Almost always new or unsupported apps have bugs that cause them to crash. Video games are notorious for this. When Batman: Arkham Knight first launched on the PC, gamers experienced regular crashes.
Over time, the developers worked on the code and improved it, but to start, it was a nightmare! Hence, if your computer is crashing regularly all of a sudden, see whether a new app might be the cause.
7. Your Computer Is Too Hot
As previously discussed, when components get too hot, they throttle back. In some cases, they can shut down altogether.
If your computer is getting too hot and you haven’t been playing with overclocking settings in the BIOS, then check for a fan or pump failure (depending on whether you’re using air or water cooling).
All processors and GPUs need dedicated fans and radiators to keep them below temperature thresholds. Your computer could be freezing because of a failed fan.
8. You Have Network Issues
Problems on the network or with the server can cause individual apps or your entire computer terminal to crash. If you rely on a server, check that it can support the requisite bandwidth.
9. You Have Too Many Apps Open Simultaneously
Unless you’re running a processor with sixteen cores and thirty-two threads, it’s unlikely that you have the processing power to run dozens of applications on your computer.
More often than not, you’re reliant on a four-core CPU with limited multitasking capability. In this situation, you’ve got a couple of options: upgrade your CPU (and usually your motherboard and RAM) to get more cores or stop opening so many apps all at once.
10. You Have Too Many Background Tasks Running
You might not have dozens of applications active, but many programs you install on your PC perform tasks in the background. This has the same effect as having too many apps open.
Check your task manager to see how many apps are running in the background and how much system resources they are using.
11. Your Storage Is Corrupt
Your computer can’t do anything to read corrupted files correctly. If there’s a problem with your hard drive, it’ll keep initiating a read sequence, trying futilely to understand the information in storage.
Often the only solution is to reinstall the operating system or stop using the drive and look for ways to rescue any non-corrupted files that remain.
12. Your Anti-Virus Is Hogging System Resources
Anti-virus software is a resource-intensive application. On a low-powered computer, it can hog a significant chunk of the available processing power.
Not all anti-virus software, however, is created equal. Some apps actually have a relatively minor impact on system resource usage compared to others.
Also, check to make sure that you’re not using two anti-virus apps in tandem. If you’re using a third-party app on Windows, switch off Windows Defender in the control panel.
13. You Haven’t Updated Your OS
Most OS updates happen semi-automatically. A couple of years ago, Microsoft experimented with forcing Windows users to accept updates at a time of its choosing (not popular as you might imagine).
It’s vital, however, that you update your operating system. The reason for this has to do with how significant updates to the OS relate to other apps. If you’re using a non-updated version of Windows, for instance, you may run into compatibility issues. Also, you may put yourself at a higher risk of malware if you don’t install the latest security patches.
14. You’ve Installed Incompatible Hardware
Check to make sure that any new hardware you install, including RAM, is compatible with the rest of your system. Quad-channel RAM, for instance, won’t work with a dual-channel mobo.
15. You Have A Virus
If you suspect a virus, run a virus scan. Failing that, store all your essential files on an external drive and reinstall your OS fresh.
Having a professional IT support company like Geeks On Wheels look over your computer will help address any issues, even before they fully occur. If your a business, then you may want to invest in a managed IT service to ensure your computers stay in tip-top condition, minimising any risk of freezing occurring.
Check out our article on 15 reasons why you should choose managed IT services for more information. Or, call our team today on 01273 686 442 (Brighton Office) or 020 8638 0200 (London Office).