One of the most frustrating thing to ask yourself is why does my computer keep freezing? Buying a new computer is usually a long-term investment. The price of a standard desktop computer or a laptop today isn’t so high when compared to the prices and hardware available a couple of years ago. However, the biggest issue with a computer is the life span. I remember my own PC being worth the price of a modern day gaming PC. However, its specifications are considered pretty low in today’s standards. It arrived with 2 gigabytes of RAM, a dual-core processor, and a powerful Nvidia graphics card. My old PC had its tenth birthday a couple of years ago and it’s still running.
Unfortunately, it has its issues. Age is a big factor which has its influence on how computers work. No matter how careful you are, a computer is still going to experience some issues over time. Many different factors can contribute to your computer’s freezing and bad performance. Even though PCs and laptops are not as expensive as they used to be, you still want to use your current one as long as possible because it’s not easy to start from scratch. This article will list out some of the major reasons your computer might be freezing along with explanations in order to help you to maintain your computer.
Difference Between Freeze and Lag
Before answering why does my computer keep freezing, you first need to understand the difference between freeze and lag.
Freeze is generally referred to the event your computer stops responding. It gets “stuck”. The computer literally stops all operations on the screen. You will notice that during a certain ‘Freeze’ events, the mouse cursor moves; whereas, on others, even the mouse cursor freezes. In certain freezes, you will notice the computer hard disk going haywire. You would usually hear the ticking or ‘loading’ sounds from the hard disk. Furthermore, there are also a certain ‘Freeze’ events where the computer stops all its operations and then restart on its own.
Lag is something that is different. Although like freeze it is also related to both hardware and software issues, lag usually refers to aging hardware. For example, when gaming, if your frame rates skip, this is a lag. This is different from the lag due to slow internet connection. Furthermore, while watching certain videos your omputer seems to lag, there is something going on with the hardware or software.
So Why Does My Computer Keep Freezing?
Freeze is generally considered the worse of the two. We will cover the reasons behind freezing here. Also, most of the times, fixing the following issues can also resolve the lag issues.
High temperature and freezing sounds like a paradox, but it is a leading reason for the issue. Your laptop or PC was not built to be able to operate at extremely hot temperatures. Every computer was programmed to either freeze or turn off when a certain temperature is reached. There are fans installed on your processor and your graphics card and you should clean them regularly. A lot of dust can accumulate if you don’t clean your computer regularly which can then lead to your fans not doing their job properly and the CPU or the GPU can overheat easily.
There are many software available for keeping track of your computer parts’ temperature. A simple google search can find you a good software for this particular issue. One such free software is the CoreTemp. Consider buying additional fans or liquid cooling if your computer operates in areas of significant heat or humidity.
Visiting unverified websites, opening insecure email or installing certain software can lead to your computer getting infected by a certain type of malicious software. Computer viruses come in all shapes and sizes and have different functions. Some malware replicates itself multiple times and slows down your computer. Other tracks your activity. Some viruses can even access certain parts of your hardware, such as the webcam. Computer hacking develops as fast as computer technology so this will always be an issue.
You can protect yourself by buying a commercial antivirus or installing a free one from the Internet. Educate yourself online on which antivirus software works the best and always keep it up to date. If you restrict your antivirus software from updating, it won’t be able to register new types of threats and they will pass every check and remain on your computer, dealing damage.
The performance of your entire computer is depending on the amount and the speed of your Random Access Memory, or RAM. RAM is responsible for storing and accessing processes already opened on your computer. Some processes or programs are more RAM-consuming, such as video games, software for image and video editing or software used for installing new content on your computer. If you keep a lot of programs like this opened, your RAM won’t be able to handle all of them and your computer might freeze suddenly.
If you have anything under 4 gigabytes of RAM, consider an upgrade. RAM has also become cheap these days and you can buy 4 gigabytes of RAM for as much as some dozen bucks. If some damage occurs to your RAM, consider replacing it. Replacing RAM is the cheapest option.
The infamous Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) is often caused by a malfunctioning RAM.
Recently Installed Software or Hardware
Not every software was carefully developed and designed for every operating system. Be extra careful when downloading specific software from the Internet. Always look for feedback from other people and don’t use suspicious software mostly advertised in ads. Even if the software is completely legit, it may try to perform actions or access something that your computer simply can’t recognize. The computer’s natural reaction is to freeze or show you the blue screen of death, as it commonly referred to.
Check all of your third-party applications and update everything necessary. Try the System Restore function in order to revert your computer to the state before a new program was installed or a new part of hardware was added. Reinstall drivers for a certain hardware you recently installed. Also make sure that you have at least 10% of your hard disk memory available.
The Hard Drive
The hard drive contains all of the files and programs you installed. It needs to be checked and taken care of often because a simple error on the hard drive can corrupt an important file and you can pretty much say goodbye to it. Tools for maintaining your hard drive come pre-installed in Windows such as Disk Defragmenter, Disk Cleanup, and Check Disk.
Disk Defragmenter is used because Windows does not install files right next to each other on the hard disk. Files used for a single program have to be searched for on the hard disk which takes time. Disk Defragmenter puts those fragments back Together. Disk Cleanup is used to get rid of unnecessary files which only occupy space on your computer and Check Disk checks the hard drive for errors and bad sectors. If you find these tools slow, there are many better alternatives available online.
It won’t Last Forever
A computer can be a sensitive machine and it’s not something that can be used carelessly. Don’t leave small children around the computer for a long time since they can cause damage like deleting something important or visiting malicious websites. You will certainly regret careless behavior when you find out that one of the components needs to be replaced. Clean your computer regularly and keep everything up to date. However, time is a strong factor so don’t expect your computer to run 10 years without any freezing or crashing.
So sometimes before asking why does my computer keep freezing, consider how old your computer is.