In this post, we will show you how you can unfreeze your computer without shutting it down. This situation, when you are working, and the computer suddenly freezes or becomes unresponsive could be very frustrating – especially when you have to force shut down or restart your system which results in the loss of unsaved work. You can’t move the mouse cursor even a pixel to access the desktop, open File Explorer, any app, etc., and shutting down seems the only option. So, the next time you are stuck in such a situation, you can use some simple solutions that may help you unfreeze your Windows 11/10 computer or laptop without any need to shut it down.
How to unfreeze a computer without shutting down
If you want to unfreeze your computer without shutting it down, then try the following suggestions:
- Wait for some time
- Check the connected devices
- Check if the computer is deadlocked
- End the non-responding program(s)
- Reset your Graphics Drivers.
Let’s see these options.
1] Wait for some time
Before you rush to press the power button when the computer freezes, you should wait for some time. It may look like the computer is deadlocked, but it might actually be too slow to respond or it hangs when some heavy usage program occupies all the available RAM and/or utilizes CPU resources for a short period. So, wait for a few minutes and see. It actually works.
2] Check the connected devices
Sometimes, the problem is with the connected device(s). The computer may freeze when the user connects a USB drive, external hard drive, or some other device (phone, keyboard, or mouse). So, in that case, you need to check the connected devices.
Disconnect the external devices one by one and see if the computer unfreezes. If yes, then it means the connected device is faulty. If it is a USB drive or external hard drive, connect it to some other computer and see if it works. If yes, format the drive or perform an antivirus scan. If the computer becomes unresponsive after you connect your phone using a data cable, then change the data cable.
3] Check if the computer is deadlocked
You should also check if your computer is deadlocked. Press the NumLock key or Caps Lock key and see if the LED light is turned on or not. If it turns on, that means the Windows is working and then you can use the options covered below.
If you don’t see a LED light, then the computer is deadlocked (Windows is not working, the mouse is not working already, and the keyboard is also not responsive). In that case, restarting or shutting down will be the only option.
4] End the non-responding program(s)
Now, if Windows is working, then there would be some unresponsive program(s) because of which you face this trouble. So, you need to find and end those non-responding programs.
If the computer is not deadlocked and the keyboard can be used, press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete hotkey. Highlight the Task Manager (using the down arrow or Tab key if you can) in the resulting screen, and hit the Enter key. You can also try to open the Task Manager directly using the Ctrl+Shift+Esc hotkey.
Use the Up and Down arrow keys to select an unresponsive program (or process), and press the Document key or Menu key on the keyboard to open the right-click menu. If the Menu key is not present, press Shift+F10 for the selected process. Highlight the End task option in the right-click menu, and then press the Enter key to end the process. Alternatively, you can also use the Alt+E hotkey for the selected process to end it.
5] Reset your Graphics Drivers
Again, this option works only if the computer responds and the keyboard can be used. All you need to do is press the Win+Ctrl+Shift+B hotkey to reset your graphics drivers. Your computer screen may go black one or two times in this process. Now you should be able to use your computer.
That’s all! Hope something will help.
How do you unfreeze a frozen screen?
If the computer freezes, then you should close the unresponsive programs using the task manager (if possible). Or else, you should wait for a few minutes, and then reboot your computer. On the other hand, if the Windows computer freezes or hangs randomly, then you should uninstall crapware, check Startup items and disable unwanted apps, and update your computer to the latest version. You should also disable the Windows indexing service, especially if you have a low-performance system. You might have to perform a system restore if you don’t see any improvement.
What do you do when your computer freezes and Ctrl Alt Del doesn’t work?
If the computer freezes and the Ctrl+Alt+Delete shortcut doesn’t work, then use the Ctrl+Shift+Esc hotkey and see if it works to open the Task Manager. You should also check the connected peripherals and disconnect them. If nothing works, then force restart your system. Press and hold the power button for 5 to 10 seconds and your computer should work as expected after the restart.
Read next: Computer freezes when watching videos.