Why on earth does Windows 10 keep freezing randomly?
Let’s get to the bottom of it.
There are a number of issues that can result in Windows 10 freezing randomly, some are software related and others could strongly hint that you’ve got some hardware issues.
There was a massive uptick in random freezes for Win10 sometime around the fall of 2017, when a new Windows Update rolled out. Don’t you love when there’s a new Windows update?
The update itself can cause your computer to randomly reboot and make you lose unsaved work when it applies itself to your computer, and that’s when it’s working correctly, not to mention the freezing it can cause down the road. Simply put, the whole thing is a big mess, but we’ve got some fixes you can try.
If Windows 10 is causing you headaches, try out these remedies that we’ve compiled conveniently in one place.
Microsoft staff themselves have attributed this increase in freezes to “Malware, outdated drivers, and corruption with system files…”
Let’s take their word for it and start there.
Fix 1: Updating your Drivers:
First things first, you’ll want to make sure all of your drivers are up to date. A Windows update can introduce new issues with existing drivers that used to work just fine, and then Microsoft blames it on outdated drivers. Nice, hey?
To check if your drivers are up to date…
1) Click Start then Settings.
2) Click Update & Security.
3) Click Windows Update, then Check for Updates.
From there, you can update all of the drivers for your devices, and see if that fixes the issue.
Fix 2: Free up Some Space:
If you’re running on empty when it comes to free space on your hard drive, this can cause poor performance and even random freezing. There are a number of ways you can accomplish this.
To free up space in Windows 10…
1) Click “Start” and search for the app Disk Cleanup, which will give you a few options.
2) Download WinDirStat, it gives you a visual overview of what’s eating up most of your storage space. You might have movies, old podcasts, games you aren’t playing… This will bring your biggest disk space hogs to light so you can remove them.
3) Empty your Recycle Bin.
4) Click Start and search for Add or Remove Programs to uninstall old apps you aren’t using.
Fix 3: Look at Recent Changes
If it wasn’t a new Windows Update that started to cause these issues, maybe it was another recent change to your computer? Have you recently added any new hardware, or installed any new software? Try rolling that back to help identify what’s causing the problems.
If you replaced faulty hardware, then simply removing it isn’t very practical, so keep that in your back pocket as a last resort. Try uninstalling any recently added software and seeing how that goes first, and then trying to rest of the fixes. If nothing works, it might be time to test your hardware.
Another option is to perform a System Restore to a previous date, if you have that feature enabled.
Fix 4: Repair Corrupt Files:
You can use a command called the System File Checker to see if you have corrupt files that could be causing issues. If you do, you can repair or replace them with a new version, and that might do the trick.
1) Click Start and type Command Prompt.
2) Ensure that your windows account has administrator privileges, and right-click on the Command Prompt and click Run as Administrator.
3) Type sfc /scannow then press Enter to begin the scan process.
4) This process can take a while, but once it’s complete, follow the instructions on screen depending on what the results of the scan reveal.
Fix 5: Disconnect External Devices
From external hard drives, digital cameras, charging cell phones, and even USB accessories like desktop fans, try disconnecting any external devices and see if that stops the random freezes.
This may even include needing to disconnect a USB mouse and keyboard, so if you have one with the older style of adaptor, that will come in handy. This is not a likely cause at all, but just something else to try when all else is failing. A new Windows Update could cause older devices that previously worked fine to stop working correctly, causing issues including freezing.
Fix 6: Update Chipset Drivers/BIOS
Visit the website for the manufacturer of your motherboard and look into updating to the latest chipset drivers for your board. They will have in-depth instructions on how you can do this.
Microsoft also recommends updating your BIOS, which once again can be downloaded at the website of the company that makes your motherboard. If you don’t know your exact motherboard, try looking up the model number of your computer if you purchased it pre-assembled, or visiting the website of the company that makes the computer for further info (HP, Dell, etc.)
Fix 7: Disable f.lux
f.lux is an excellent app that gradually reduces the amount of blue light your monitor omits as you get closer to bedtime. Blue light is believed to make it harder to sleep, and since f.lux came along, Apple have actually built this feature directly into their operating systems.
According to Microsoft, f.lux can cause some compatibility issues with display drivers in certain cases, which can lead to computers freezing. If that’s happening, try updating those display drivers, and try disabling f.lux and see if that solves the problem.
Fix 8: Reinstall Windows
If nothing else has worked so far, you can try re-installing Windows altogether. Sometimes, a fresh start will get the job done, but it’s very inconvenient, and you’ll want to make sure you’ve backed up all of your important files, and then backed up your backups, just to make sure.
Hopefully you’ve found a solution to your problem, even if it meant having to exhaust this entire list.