There’s nothing more frustrating than having your computer freeze without warning or explanation. Unfortunately, PC users are bound to run into this problem at one point or another. It could be a result of several reasons, and the fix may not be apparent at first.
Newer operating systems are prone to suffer from problems like this, and Windows 11 is no exception. If you’re looking for a solution for a Windows 11 PC that locks up a lot, or if individual apps keep going unresponsive. you have come to the right place. Here are possible causes and fixes to the Windows 11 freezing problem.
How to Quickly Fix a Frozen App or System on Windows 11
If a program on Windows 11 locks up, or if the entire operating system comes to a sudden standstill, there are a few tricks you can do to get things working again. Note that these are quick fixes and won’t solve the underlying issue that’s causing the freezing problem.
1. Launch Task Manager for Frozen Apps
This works if an application is frozen, but your system is still responsive. To launch Task Manager, press Ctrl + Alt + Del on your keyboard. This will bring up a menu with Task Manager as one of the options. Launching Task Manager should force you out of that application and enable you to end the task. Simply right-click on the app you want to close and press End Task.
2. Sign Out to Fix an Unresponsive Task Manager
If the application is unresponsive and you have a frozen screen after opening Task Manager, you can sign out of the session. Use Ctrl + Alt + Del to pull up the same menu as before, but select sign out. This will close any running application by force and return control to you.
3. Force a Shut-Down for a Completely Locked-Up System
This is an unhealthy process for your system, so you wouldn’t want to get into this habit. You should first try other methods of force closing programs without Task Manager. If those don’t work, hold down on your computer’s power button until you see a blank screen. Then, click the power button again to start up your system. This should temporarily remedy the frozen screen.
Long-Term Solutions for a Windows 11 Freezing Issue
The quick remedies may get you out of a bind, but they won’t prevent the problem from occurring again. The best way to fix the problem is to identify what might be causing it. Here are a few possible causes and their fixes.
1. Change the Screen Resolution
This might not seem like a problem initially, but it is worth noting that Windows 11 has different hardware requirements than its predecessor. Your current resolution may have been fine before, but depending on your graphics hardware, it may be causing your system to crash.
Here is how you can change your screen resolution.
- Open your Windows Settings
- Select System > Display
- You can change your screen resolution under the Display Resolution sub-menu.
Try a few different resolutions to see if any of them solve the freezing problem. If not, you can try common Windows screen resolution fixes.
2. Update Your GPU Drivers
It is important to keep all your display drivers up to date. Outdated drivers could interact negatively with Windows 11 and cause your system to freeze. As such, we’ve itemized the steps you can follow to update your drivers.
- Right-Click on the windows icon and open Device Manager.
- Scroll down to the sub-menu labeled Display Adapters.
- Here, you will see a list of the graphics processors currently running on your system.
- Right-click on the device and select Update driver.
Update all display drivers to be on the safe side.
For dedicated graphics cards, it’s best to search for the latest driver on their website. Here is how you can update your Nvidia graphics card drivers on Windows. You can also update AMD graphics card drivers on Windows.
3. Adjust the Virtual Memory
Lack of memory resources is a common cause of freezing issues on any system. For example, you could be running tasks your system cannot keep up with. In a case like this, it is important to ensure that your virtual memory is set to the correct value. Here is how to go about it.
- Open your system settings.
- Type Performance into the search bar and wait for the options to pop up.
- Select Adjust the appearance and performance of Windows.
- The Performance Options menu will pop up. Then, under the Advanced sub-menu, click Change.
- The Virtual Memory menu will appear. Make sure that the currently allocated memory matches or is higher than the recommended memory.
Having the paging file size under the recommended value could be causing the freezing problems you are experiencing. Consequently, adjusting this figure appropriately would solve your freezing problem.
4. Run an SFC Scan
If your freezing problems started suddenly after an update, it could have damaged some essential files. You can fix this problem by running an SFC scan. This process will verify your system files and fix any lapses that it may detect. Here is how to run the scan.
- Click on the Start button and type cmd.
- Right-click on Command Prompt and run it as an administrator.
- Type sfc /scannow and hit Enter on your keyboard.
This process may take a while and shouldn’t be interrupted. You can also achieve this by setting up a file scan shortcut for Windows 11.
5. Clear Temporary Files
Everyday system processes generate temporary files. Unfortunately, one of these files may be corrupted, and it could be causing your system to freeze and crash. Luckily, you can eliminate this possibility by clearing your temporary files, and here’s how.
- Open your Windows Settings.
- Select System
- Navigate to the Storage submenu.
- Select Temporary Files.
- Ensure all the relevant temporary files are selected, then click Remove files.
- Restart your system.
This method should clear out any unnecessary files. You can also try other ways to delete temporary files on Windows 11.
6. Check for RAM Issues
Faulty RAM could be another reason why your Windows PC freezes often. Our guide on the signs and symptoms of a dying RAM stick covers the main ways to spot bad RAM, including some diagnostic scans you can try.
If it’s too much of a hassle, you can easily take your PC to a trusted technician for evaluation.
7. Reset Windows 11 to the Factory Defaults
If none of the above solutions remedies your problem, you can try resetting to a clean slate. Resetting your system should be a last resort, as backing up all of your important files can be a lot of work.
If you want to try it, here’s how:
- Open Windows Settings and select Recovery on the System tab.
- In the Recovery menu, choose Reset PC.
- Choose whether you prefer to keep your files or remove everything, then follow the on-screen prompts to reset your PC successfully.
This process could take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on your system’s specifications, so ensure you have enough time to do it.
Knowing the Problem Is Half the Solution
Sudden system freezes can be inconvenient, and it is important to identify the problem as early as possible. Checking each possibility may be a cumbersome process, but it will save you a lot in the long run.
The strenuous troubleshooting process is worth it to have Windows 11 running as smoothly as possible on your system at the end of the day.