Article Number: 000132224
Watch this YouTube video to learn how to fix system freeze issue in Windows 10.
Duration: 00:02:41 (hh:mm:ss)
Closed captions: English only
If your computer suddenly stops responding while in Windows, you may be experiencing a computer lock up issue. Lock ups can look like many things. To note a few:
For computer lock ups, there are steps you can take to attempt to discover the root cause.
A piece of hardware may be causing the lockup. Try unplugging all devices from your computer, including:
The only devices that you should leave attached to your computer are your monitor, mouse, and keyboard, if the computer is a desktop.
Once this is completed, unplug the computer from the wall, remove the laptop battery (if applicable) and hold the power button down for approximately 15 seconds. Then plug wall power back into the computer and attempt to restart.
If the mouse or keyboard is causing the lockup, go to the Dell Support Library page for Mouse, Keyboard, and Touchpad.
If you are unable to identify the issue by reverting recent changes or unplugging devices, you can troubleshoot using the steps that are listed below.Back to top
Windows may display an error code that is associated with the shutdown, restart, lockup, or error. Use the search engine of your choice to look for your specific issue as Microsoft has detailed information for each:
For general information about types of error codes, see the Dell Knowledge Base article, Error Codes on Dell Commercial and Consumer products.
Watch this YouTube video to learn how to fix blue screen or STOP errors in Windows 10.
Duration: 00:02:59 (hh:mm:ss)
Closed captions: English only
To determine if your computer is experiencing a hardware problem, run the Dell Preboot System Assessment (PSA) Diagnostics. For information about how to run Diagnostics, and to determine the issue, see How to Run a Preboot Diagnostic Test on a Dell Computer.
If onboard diagnostics and other troubleshooting have not identified the root cause, consider running the Quick Test or Full Scan at Dell personal computer Diagnostics. You can Run a Quick Test using SupportAssist.
Be sure to regularly run maintenance tasks on your computer to keep it at peak performance. Windows 11 and Windows 10 have integrated computer maintenance and performance tasks, and no action is needed.
For Windows 8, type
maintenance at the Start Screen, then select Perform recommended maintenance tasks automatically.
You can also use the System File Checker to verify the computer files and folders on your computer. To learn more about System File Checker, see How to Run System File Checker in Microsoft Windows
Often, outdated drivers or BIOS settings cause lockups. Be sure to regularly update your drivers to take full advantage of your hardware and software.
You should update your drivers and BIOS in the following order:
Try updating each of these drivers individually and then retest the computer to see if the problem continues. Learn How to Download and Install Dell Drivers.
Safe mode prevents non-essential applications and drivers from loading. This allows us to eliminate the software as a possible root cause of the lockups or stops responding.
For instructions on booting into Safe Mode, see the relevant link for your operating system:
Open applications and test the computer in safe mode. If the symptoms exist in safe mode, continue the troubleshooting steps in this article. If the symptoms do not exist in safe mode, the issue is likely related to a driver or software.
Be sure that your computer is running with the latest updates for Windows. To check for updates, Click Start, then Settings, then Update & Security. Then click Check for updates. Allow all updates to install and allow the computer to reboot as necessary. If you have issues with Windows Update, see How to Use the Windows Update Troubleshooter to Identify and Repair Windows Update Issues
If your computer is locking up or stopping responding while using a particular application, try uninstalling the application completely from the computer. Then reinstall it and browse to the software vendor's website to update the software to the latest version.
The use of multiple anti-virus software programs may cause your computer to lock up. Anti-virus programs come preinstalled on most Dell Computers, so customers sometimes install other anti-virus programs without realizing that there is already one installed. If you decide to install an alternate anti-virus software, you must first uninstall any other anti-virus programs that may be running on your computer.
Choose only one anti-virus program and reinstall it. It is not recommended to have more than one anti-virus software program installed on your computer. Multiple anti-spyware packages that do not have an AV component do not conflict and can remain on the computer.
Malware (virus, spyware, or other malicious software) can cause a Windows computer to lock up or appear to stop responding. To check for malware and to ensure that your computer's security software is current, see Protect Your Computer or Remove Malware in Microsoft Windows
For anything virus, malware, and security related we recommend the content and videos on our Security and Antivirus page on the Dell Support Site.
Blocked air vents can cause performance issues, as the computer may not be receiving the proper airflow and the processor may overheat. The processor slows itself down and its performance decreases can be interpreted as a lock-up, this is done to protect itself from overheating. To ensure that this is not the root cause of the lock-up issue, perform the following steps:
If your computer does not wake from sleep or hibernate, see Computer Does Not Wake Up or Resume from Suspend / Hibernate Mode.
Microsoft Windows contains a feature that is known as System Restore to roll back changes to the computer based on restore points that Windows commonly schedules. For more information about this feature, see How to Use System Restore in Microsoft Windows.
If the troubleshooting steps above have not resolved the problem, there is likely an underlying issue with the operating system. Use SupportAssist OS Recovery to reinstall Windows on your computer.
Restore your Computer Using SupportAssist OS Recovery
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07 Jun 2023