Your presence here clearly shows that you want to know why your computer screen freezes, but the PC keeps running. Modern computers have made great strides from their early days. PCs are now household items that anybody can own and troubleshoot, thanks to advances in hardware reliability and user-friendly support resources. Yet this does not make them immune to problems.
A frozen screen is one such issue, but the computer will continue to function normally. And what exactly triggers it? Furthermore, what steps may be taken to correct this? Several of the causes for this phenomenon and potential approaches to fixing it will be discussed below. OK, so let’s begin.
At some time, it will affect everyone. You’re in the middle of anything on the computer, whether it’s a crucial assignment, mindless browsing, or a game of Solitaire, and suddenly it stops.
Frequently, users will discover that their screen has frozen, but their computer continues to function normally. A typical symptom of this problem is the inability to control the mouse pointer’s position. Even so, you see that your computer is still active.
This results from a screen lockup while the computer continues to function normally. Well, sometimes it’s because of new drivers; sometimes, it’s because of Windows Update; sometimes, it’s because of new Hardware, etc. Let’s start investigating to find out why this is happening and how to stop it.
Why Your Computer Screen Freezes But PC Keeps Running?
As annoying as computer freezes can be, few things are more unpleasant than being in the middle of an important project or movie when your computer suddenly freezes. The only way to fix a stuck cursor or a Blue Screen of Death is to restart your computer manually.
However, doing so prevents your work from being frozen in time. The best course of action is to learn about the potential causes of computer freezes and what you can do to avoid them.
Causes For Screen Freezes But PC Keeps Running
If your computer’s screen freezes but the machine continues to function, there are a few likely explanations. It might be a hardware problem, but often it’s the result of faulty software. You must figure out which of the many answers best fits your situation.
So, here are a few primary causes of a frozen computer:
- Hardware components, including the central processing unit (CPU), graphics processing unit (GPU), non-volatile memory express (NVME), solid-state drive (SSD), and random access memory (RAM), are protected from overheating by heat spreaders. However, the Hardware inside will overheat and freeze if your computer casing lacks ventilation.
- Driver corruption or obsolescence can cause several issues, as drivers for your computer’s Hardware are among the most crucial software components. Let’s say one of them has become obsolete or corrupted. This will undoubtedly lead to problems, especially if the drivers are essential, like the chipset, graphics processing unit (GPU), or audio drivers.
- If you’re using an older computer, the CPU, graphics card, or memory (less than 8GB) might be to blame for the stuttering and random freezing you’re experiencing.
- Computer Freeze Due to Incorrect BIOS Settings or Corrupted BIOS: A computer freeze might also result from incorrect BIOS settings. Alternatively, a faulty CMOS battery or BIOS will have the same result.
- If your computer keeps operating after the screen freezes, a virus assault is likely to blame.
System file corruption or deletion is another common cause of system failure.
These are only a few typical causes of a frozen display. The PC will keep running, as the problem lies with the driver, the OS, or a specific piece of Hardware.
How To Fix Screen Freezes But PC Keeps Running – 5 Solutions
What follows is a discussion of potential fixes if your computer’s display freezes but the machine usually functions. Remember that you might lose some data when attempting these changes, so tread carefully.
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- Its purpose is to copy whole operating systems or individual discs.
If the patch or remedies don’t work, your data is safe from corruption, thanks to these precautions. Following the completion of the backup, please attempt the following five options:
Solution 1: Perform A System Restore
A system restore is the first option. Screen freezing is one of the most typical problems after installing a flawed Windows or Driver update. That being the case, reverting to a prior restore point can assist in rectifying the situation. How to achieve this is as follows:
- Type “Control Panel” into the Start menu to access it.
- Find “Recovery” in the system settings menu.
- Then, go to System Restore and choose Open.
- You may use the System Restore wizard if you want to use a different restore point.
- Choose a path forward by pressing the “next” button.
- Hold tight while we fix this.
- Restart your computer.
Your computer will revert to an earlier point in time. Therefore, the screen-freezing problem should be resolved. If it doesn’t work, though, try something else.
Solution 2: Perform A Clean Boot
A fresh pair of boots is often all that’s required. The PC may freeze if you install specific software, drivers, or services. Because of this, you must disable all of them before starting your computer. How to achieve that is as follows:
- To open the Run dialogue box, tap the Windows key + R.
- Select “run” and “type MSConfig” to launch the configuration utility.
- To do this, navigate to the Services tab in MSConfig.
- Choose the corresponding box in the bottom left to conceal all Microsoft services.
- Once you’ve hidden all of Microsoft’s services, you may click the “Disable All” button.
- Apply, then OK should be connected.
- Power off your computer and let it cool down.
This will force a restart of your computer, but only with the minimum set of services required by Microsoft. Therefore, many users’ problems will be resolved with this update.
Solution 3: Free Up Hard Disk Space
A shortage of free space on your system disc (also known as the C drive) is likely to blame for this problem. Checking the size of your C Drive is essential for this reason. You should learn to free up hard disc space if it’s less than 10 GB. What’s more, you can make some room by doing this:
- Get into File Explorer right away.
- To access the properties menu, right-click the “C drive” icon.
- Select “Disk Cleanup” from the Capacity menu.
- Mark every box that applies, and then hit “OK.”
- Sit tight till it’s done.
Especially if this is your first time decluttering your C drive, you might expect a few megabytes to be made available. However, if you need additional space on your computer, you may continually expand your C drive. You might also try uninstalling some unused software.
Solution 4: Run The System File Checker
It’s pretty uncommon for a computer to freeze because essential system files have been accidentally deleted, corrupted, or are just missing. You will need to use CMD and the DISM command to check for missing or damaged system files. And here’s how:
- To open the Command Prompt, select the Start menu and enter CMD.
- Get into the command prompt using the Admin account.
- In the command prompt, type SFC /scannow.
- We must now await the procedure verification.
- Follow the following question prompt for more information.
- You can exit CMD and restart your computer if the System has detected and repaired any corrupted files.
- After a scan, if no damaged files were found, you can try running “DISM /Online Cleanup-Image /restore health.”
- Keep waiting till this is done.
- Put an end to CMD and reboot your computer.
Any missing or damaged files won’t cause any problems anymore. This should prevent future freeze-ups in your computer. It’s time to try the following solution if not.
Solution 5: Check Hardware Temperature
If none of the suggested software fixes do the trick, the problem is undoubtedly caused by some component of your Hardware. RAM, a graphics card, a central processing unit, or even the motherboard might be at fault if your computer randomly freezes. Comparing their temperatures might be a straightforward approach to identifying the culprit.
When your computer boots up, you may enter the bios and check the processor’s temperature. If the value is less than 40, it is probably not the root of the problem. The Hardware Monitor in CPUID is a tool you may experiment with. Here’s what to do when you’ve finished downloading and installing it:
- Launch HWMonitor on the computer.
- See whether the motherboard is overheating.
- The next thing to do is to look at the temperatures of the central processing units.
- Scroll down to view the current temperatures of your RAM and hard drive.
- Finally, make sure the GPU’s temperature is monitored.
But what should be done if temperature checks reveal that equipment is running too hot? For some advice, please consider the following:
- Clean your computer’s inside with a compressed-air can or air blower.
- It’s time to swap out the CPU and GPU thermal paste.
- Using Isopropyl alcohol, clean the contacts on your NVME, SATA, and SSD devices.
- Reseat hardware such as GPU, RAMs, NVME, and power cables
This will ensure that thermals aren’t causing an issue in your PC. If the problem persists, one of the Hardware with high temperatures might be causing the issue.
Is Your Computer Still Not Responding? Here Are Some Additional Tips
1. Wait: Give It A Minutes To Catch Up
When using a lot of processing power, your laptop may appear permanently stuck for a split second, even if it isn’t. If your computer seems frozen, giving it a few minutes to catch up and complete its task may help.
Even if it happens by chance, you’d be astonished at how often this works (and is not a chronic problem). It can take a split second for a computer to recover from an action that consumes its RAM. It should be alright after a few minutes as long as this isn’t a regular occurrence.
2. Check Your Peripherals
When you say the computer has frozen, how convinced are you that it is frozen? Verify that all of your linked devices are active and working correctly. Perhaps a battery died, or a connection was lost. This will make it appear as though your computer has frozen, but the input is not being processed.
Look at the peripherals of your computer and ensure the mouse, keyboard, and trackpad are all operational. Even if you think everything is good, you should check the condition of your USB ports.
3. Delete The Offending Programs
Windows may recover, but if it doesn’t, or if it begins freezing again after it does, you’ll need to resort to an old standby: Delete, Shift, and Cancel. To view a list of currently active applications, press this key combination and then select Task Manager from the menu that appears. To get a comparable menu on a Mac, press Command + Option + Escape.
If any of them are unresponsive, choose them and hit the End Task button. For a single incidence, that ought to be sufficient. After quitting the software, your operating System should immediately become responsive again, allowing you to restart it and pick up where you left off.
However, if your computer frequently freezes while that software is active, you may want to consider removing it and replacing it. An update to the Hardware may be necessary if the program’s demands exceed the System’s.
4. Check Your Browser Task Manager
Even if everything else on your computer functions well, your browser could get stuck on a specific web page. This can make you think your entire computer is frozen when it may simply be the website you’re now viewing. In such cases, Windows Task Manager may report that your browser isn’t responding, but further investigation may be required to determine why.
When using Chrome or Edge, you may access the browser’s task manager by pressing Shift + Esc. Select More Tools > Task Manager from Firefox’s menu. If a page or add-on uses up a disproportionate amount of resources in your browser, you may check this to see what processes are running.
As an additional possibility, you may be experiencing a common extension conflict; for instance, I once had problems with the Grammarly plugin constantly stalling Google Docs. Attempting to resolve this issue by temporarily removing all browser extensions may be the solution. Like Grammarly, we can only hope that a patch will soon be released.
5. Reboot And Try Again
If you cannot use the Task Manager, your computer is completely frozen, and a hard reset will be required to get it going again. For a fresh start, switch off your computer by pressing and holding the power button until it shuts down, then restart normally.
Depending on the application and how it handles unsaved documents, you may be able to retrieve everything you were working on before the freeze. Microsoft Office’s Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, for instance, constantly save backups of your work so that you may restore it the next time you use the software. You may also use the menu options File > Info > Manage Document(s) > Recover Unsaved Document to restore a file that was accidentally closed before it was saved.
Investigate the crashing application to see whether it has a comparable feature; this won’t always work, but it’s worth a go. You may be forced to redo some of your previous efforts if it doesn’t.
6. Check The Reliability Monitor
If you still can’t establish the reason for your lockups, you’ll have to conduct some further troubleshooting. In these cases, I propose monitoring Windows’ Reliability Monitor—its lesser-known error-reporting function buried in Windows’ settings. Open the Start menu, search for “reliability,” then select the View reliability history option that displays.
You’ll see a graph of your PC’s stability over time, including crash records and other issues alongside updates and newly installed software. Suppose you can locate an issue mentioned around the same time your freezing problem began. In that case, Reliability Monitor will allow you to study technical details or seek Microsoft’s database to solve the problem. These details may include some problem codes you may search for further information. Microsoft’s database, however, seldom ever works, but it’s something to try.
If those don’t help, you may utilize the graph to find out what programs or updates were installed before the freeze started. If new software or update seems to be the culprit, try returning the computer to the condition before it was installed.
7. Learn More About Blue Screen Of Death
For more insight into your computer’s issues, see if a crash and the dreaded Blue Screen of Death follow the freezing. Though the blue screen’s QR code and “Stop Code” provide good jumping-off points for investigation, they rarely offer conclusive results.
BlueScreenView(Opens in a new window) is a free program I recommend checking out as well; it interprets the “dump file” your computer generates when it crashes and displays the information in a slightly more user-friendly manner. (Download links are at the bottom of that page; they’re a little hard to find). Technical as ever, but you can now scroll horizontally to see which driver or device caused the crash and which codes you can look up to identify the offender.
Try BlueScreenView’s WhatIsHang(Opens in a new window) or AppCrashView(Opens in a new window) if you’re experiencing a freeze or crash. Once again, using System Restore to roll back to a previous point could help you troubleshoot and hopefully fix the issue.
These are a few typical causes of frozen screens and how to fix them. As a result, double-check not only the software but also the Hardware that has been mentioned in this article. Make sure you have a backup of your data before you try any repairs. Taking this precaution will ensure that no extra data is lost.
Frequently Asked Questions
Please refer to this section if you have any further inquiries.
How Come My Computer Keeps Freezing Up On Me?
Overheating Hardware is a common cause of this problem. If that’s not the case, you likely have a corrupted operating system or driver. Therefore, a clean installation of Windows or updated drivers may be necessary.
The Computer Screen Has Frozen; How Do I Unfreeze It?
Whenever a computer freezes, the standard method for unfreezing it is to restart the machine. But if you can still control your mouse, try exiting your session by pressing ALT + CTRL + DEL. When the blue sign appears, select “Sign Out,” wait a moment, and then sign in again.
When Control-Alt-Del Fails To Unfreeze Your Computer, What Other Options Do You Have?
If the CTRL + ALT + DEL method doesn’t work, you can restart your computer by pressing and holding the reset or power button for 5 seconds. As soon as the System has been shut down, it would help if you continued it.