Windows 10 freezes randomly: How to fix it?

Microsoft has done its best to make Windows 10 as user-friendly as possible. However, convenience is incompatible with the occasional freezes that users of this operating system experience from time to time. If you also encounter this problem, we will tell you a few ways to fix it.

The causes of freezes

Many people encounter the problem of computer freezing when working with the Windows 10 operating system. It stops perceiving user commands or responds to them very slowly. This is a result of one or more errors during the operation. In most cases, the situation can be fixed in a few clicks.

There are many reasons why Windows may suddenly start to slow down and freeze. They can be divided into two groups: software and hardware. Software reasons include the impact of viruses, services, and applications on the system. The hardware problems are malfunctions, overheating, lousy bus contacts, etc.

Viruses and malware

Viruses and malware differ from each other. Viruses are program codes designed to damage the file system, destroy data, and destabilize the operating system. Malware is ordinary programs overloading RAM and the processor of your computer.

Check for malware

It is difficult to say if the viruses or malware cause more harm to your computer. Antivirus programs can successfully fight viruses if you remember to update your applications on time. But antiviruses are useless against malware because you install specific applications and agree to the terms of use yourself. This allows you to run a mining script on your computer, earn cryptocurrency for other people, or open access to send a massive amount of data.

To protect your operating system from viruses and malware, do the following:

  • Do not visit sites with suspicious content;
  • Update your operating system and antivirus databases;
  • Do not download suspicious programs and do not follow suspicious links sent on social networks or emails by bots;
  • Perform a complete diagnostic of your computer with 2-3 antivirus programs regularly.

If your computer has already been infected with viruses, open an antivirus program and run a full scan, then follow its recommendations.


Modern clip technology allows small chips and transistors to overheat when performing computational processes. Therefore, there should be an excellent cooling system on your computer. A thermal paste (a substance with high heat dissipation regulating the temperature between the cheap and the heatsink) should be liquid and not dried out. Dry paste loses its properties and only harms the device. The recommended lifespan of a factory regulator is no more than two years.

Overheating can reduce the performance of your computer as the chips lose their ability to calculate when heating. This can be caused by the dried-out thermal paste and the clogging of the system unit with excessive dust. Poor ventilation can also cause the heating of the individual components of your computer.

PC overheating
Image by Freepik

It is straightforward to fight the overheating of a personal computer. To do this, just blow the system unit well and clean the radiators from dust. It is necessary to use soft brushes or cotton swabs if you do not want to damage the contacts.

As for changing the thermal paste and cleaning the laptop, it is better to contact a service center specialist because small devices’ parts are closely fitted to each other, so they can easily break if you apply too much force.

Overheating can occur even in a dust-free computer when running a very power-consuming process that requires much CPU and graphics card performance. In this case, the fight against overheating can only be successful with a provisional application disabling.

In rare cases, the computer overheating can occur due to voltage spikes. If your power grid succumbs to sudden changes in current amperage, it is recommended to use a UPS (uninterruptible power supply). This device helps normalize the mains current and keep your computer from damage caused by power surges.

RAM problems

RAM (Random Access Memory) is the bridge between the user and the processor. RAM problems often result in a complete computer freeze or a blue screen of death with the corresponding error. If the negative impact is minimal, it can lead to slow PC operation. To run the RAM check, do the following:

  1. Press the Win + R key combination, type the mdsched command in the input field, and click “OK.”
  2. The memory check will launch. You will see two options: rebooting and then checking RAM or checking RAM when you turn on the computer next time.
  3. Choose the desired option.

Be sure to wait for a complete memory scan, no matter how long this process takes. It is worth noting that this scan can fix only minor RAM malfunctions. If the problem is more profound and the error is not fixed, you should scan each card separately in different sockets of the motherboard. This method allows you to determine the faulty part and replace it.

HDD instability

The hard disc drive is the most moving part of the PC. About half of all failures of computers are related to this device. Voltage fluctuations, problems occurring during rebooting, and errors caused by software malfunctions and viruses can harm the speed of the hard drive. This, in turn, slows down the operating system and leads to freezes. There are two primary hard disk debugging processes:

  • error checking and correction;
  • defragmentation.

Defragmentation is the process of “gluing” the files recorded on the hard drive as fragments. It reduces the time taken by RAM to find all parts of the files.

  1. Open “This computer”, right-click on any hard disk partition, and select “Properties”.
  2. Go to the “Service” tab and click on “Optimize” in the properties window.
  3. The optimization program will prompt you to select a disk partition. Click on “Analyze” and then on “Optimize.”
  4. Please wait until the wizard finishes its work, then repeat this procedure for all hard drive partitions.

To check if the hard drive has errors, open the “Service” tab again in the HDD partition properties.

  1. Click the “Check” button in the “Check for errors” column.
  2. Click the “Check disk” button.
  3. You will get a report from the program when the process completes. Minor errors will be fixed.

This method allows you to search for errors without rebooting the computer or stopping it from working.

Sometimes the computer freezes randomly due to hard drive overflow. Unfortunately, an operating system needs much free space for temporary files, caching, and other processes to work productively. If the system partition is entire, free up space immediately:

  • Delete unnecessary programs and move games to another partition;
  • Clean up your documents and the “Downloads” folder;
  • Get rid of any files that are not related to the functionality of your operating system.

Incorrect BIOS setup

BIOS is a unique setup of your computer’s settings and devices. Don’t change anything in this menu of your PC unless you have the proper experience and skills. Changing your BIOS setup can disable your mouse, keyboard, video card, and other devices. This can have serious consequences, including freezing your operating system.

BIOS problems

If you notice that your computer is not working after you make changes in the BIOS settings correctly reset it as follows:

  1. Go to the BIOS menu, and find one of the following options: “Load Defaults BIOS,” “Load BIOS Setup Defaults,” or “Load Safe-Fail Defaults.”
  2. Move the cursor over it and press Enter. Restart the computer if the setup didn’t do it by itself.

Problems related to installed programs and applications

A large number of installed programs overload the RAM and the hard drive. Some programs may work conditionally or even be hidden completely. In this case, you won’t even know the application is running and performing some actions.

It is recommended to remove suspicious applications, such as companion programs to the products you need:

  1. Press the Win + R key combination, and type the appwiz.cpl command, and click OK.
  2. Click on the program you want to remove. The button with the same name will appear above the list. Click on “Remove” to start uninstalling.

It is also recommended to remove all unnecessary programs from the Run menu (the process of activating applications when the computer is turned on):

  1. Right-click on the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. In the window that appears, click the “Details” button, then go to the “Autorun” tab. Right-click on the unnecessary application and select the “Disable” option.

After that, the application will not start when you turn on the computer, overloading your PC’s resources.

Why does only Explorer freeze, and how to fix this error?

Explorer is one of the primary Windows programs. It is responsible for navigating the file system and some utilities and connecting the entire system. If Explorer freezes for some reason while the OS is fully functioning, then its files are corrupted. Software failures or viruses can cause this error, so running a system scan for malware codes is necessary.

You can fix the Explorer freezes by restoring the system libraries:

  1. Press the Win + R key combination, type the CMD command, and press OK.
  2. Type the sfc /scannow command in the opened terminal and run it by pressing Enter.
  3. Wait for the program to scan and restore the files and reboot the computer. The error will be fixed.

The following conditions can indirectly improve the performance of Explorer:

  • The number of installed programs;
  • Autorun applications;
  • Running services.

Optimizing these areas of your computer can have a positive effect on Explorer.

Why do individual applications freeze?

There are many problems related to the freezes of individual applications. The main reason is the incompatibility between the program and the operating system. The problem can also be caused by damaged program files (this problem is similar to the situation with Explorer). In this case, it is necessary to uninstall and reinstall the program.

Compatibility problems are so common that the developers have added a corresponding solution to the context menu of applications and shortcuts:

  1. Right-click on the freezing program and select the option to fix compatibility issues.
  2. Wait for the wizard to collect the necessary information and click “Use recommended settings.”
  3. When the process completes, close the program and try to rerun the problematic application.

How to close a frozen application?

If an application freezes, it can harm the functionality of your computer. Therefore, the program should be closed and restarted.

Restarting your computer is the most revolutionary method of solving the problem. Other methods are more sparing:

  1. Open the Task Manager and select the application you want to close in the “Processes” tab. Press the “End task” button to complete the program.
  2. Some programs run several processes at once. To disable such an application, you need to end each running process.

You can also close the process using the Command Prompt:

  1. Open the Command Prompt, type the tasklist command and run it by clicking Enter.
  2. Execute the selected process with the taskkill /f /pid [number] /t command, where you should type the number in front of the process you are interested in from a second column instead of [number]. Run the command.

Why does the mouse freeze on the screen, and how to fix it?

PC Mouse Freezes
Image by jcomp on Freepik

The mouse cursor is an essential and convenient tool for entering commands on your computer. Its freezes can cause a great inconvenience when working on your PC. The causes of the freezes can be divided into two categories:

  • Software freezes, such as instability of drivers/software. You could also accidentally reset mouse settings in one of the “Control panel” applets. This is not a freeze, but it can make it challenging to use the cursor;
  • Hardware freezes. This is mechanical damage to the mouse, the wire, or the port the adapter is connected to.

When diagnosing a mouse freeze, the first thing to try is to connect the mouse to a different port if possible. The cursor will work typically, and you will find out that the connector is defective. If the problem persists, move on to the next step.

It is necessary to check the software causes, including the device driver. It may be corrupted or updated unsuccessfully. In this case, you need to update it again:

  1. Open the Device Manager. To do this, press the Win + R key combination and type the devmgmt.msc command and press OK.
  2. In the window that appears, open the “Mice and other pointing devices” tab, right-click on the device you are interested in, and click on “Update drivers.”
  3. The driver update wizard window will open. Click on the option for automatic searching for drivers to start the process. Please wait for the program to finish its work and restart your computer.

Regardless of the Windows version, freezes are a widespread problem. Every mechanism can suffer from damage and hangs. But if you determine the cause of the problem, it is straightforward to fix and prevent it in the future.