How to Fix a Frozen Computer Screen: A Comprehensive Guide by Mira

Dealing with a frozen, unresponsive computer screen can be frustrating to many of us. In the year 2023, a frozen screen might seem nostalgic to the old days when screens were stuck in the same place for minutes. So you might wonder How to Fix a Frozen Computer Screen?

Don’t panic – in most cases. It’s possible to fix it with a few simple steps. This comprehensive guide will walk you through various solutions to fix it when your computer screen freezes or stops responding.

What Causes a Computer Screen to Freeze?

Before jumping into the fixes, it’s helpful to understand what causes a computer screen to freeze in the first place. Here are some of the most common culprits:

  • Software issues – A buggy app or driver conflict can cause your computer to hang or freeze. This is one of the most common reasons.
  • Overheating – Dust buildup or faulty fans can cause some components, like the CPU or graphics card, to overheat, resulting in freezes.
  • Hard drive problems – If the hard drive is corrupted or damaged, it can lock up the computer when trying to access files.
  • Insufficient RAM – Having too little RAM available to run open programs can bog down the system and lead to temporary freezes.
  • Malware or viruses – Malicious software often purposefully freezes screens or triggers crashes.
  • Hardware failure – Defective hardware like bad RAM or a failing power supply can prevent the computer from booting up properly.
You may be interested to read

How to troubleshoot Wi-Fi connection on laptop

How to Speed Up Your Slow PC

Caring for Your Alienware Laptop: Essential Guidelines

10 Solutions to Try When Your Screen Freezes

If you’re currently staring at a completely frozen, unresponsive computer screen and don’t know how to fix it, don’t worry. 

Here are ten practical solutions that can help get your PC back up and running again:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + Delete

The classic Ctrl + Alt + Delete key combination still works to interrupt many freezing issues and brings up the Windows Task Manager. 

Press and hold these keys together to see if it snaps your computer out of the frozen state. 

If Task Manager opens, you can then restart frozen processes or programs, Or you can just simply end them.

This way, your computer will work in its normal state again.

2. Press the Windows Key

Press the Windows key on your keyboard to open the Start menu. Sometimes this works even when everything else is frozen. You can then access Task Manager from here or restart your PC.

3.  Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc

This keyboard shortcut directly launches the Task Manager without having to press Ctrl + Alt + Delete first. Use this to force open Task Manager and fix the frozen processes.

4. Unplug USB devices

If your computer freezing corresponds to when you plug in a USB device like a camera or smartphone, try unplugging it. Faulty or incompatible USB devices can cause your computer to freeze too.

5. Restart the computer

If nothing else works, Restarting always works. Restarting your computer should clear any software hangs and refresh the PC. 

For laptops, press and hold the power button to force a restart if needed.

6. Boot into Safe Mode

Booting into Windows Safe Mode starts your PC with only the essential drivers and services. This can isolate conflicts with third-party software. Restart your PC and press F8 to access Safe Mode.

7. Check for overheating issues.

As mentioned, overheating can lead to frozen screens because accumulated dirt in the air chamber destroys the airflow.

To fix it, open up the PC case and use compressed air to clean out vents and fans. Replace the thermal paste on CPUs. Make sure all fans are running properly.

8. Scan for malware and viruses

Use trusted antivirus software like Malwarebytes to scan for malware. Quarantine or remove any infections found which could be freezing your screen.

9. Update drivers

Outdated drivers can cause conflicts resulting in freezes. Use Device Manager to update all your drivers, especially GPU, chipset, and USB drivers.

10. Test and replace hardware

Faulty hardware like RAM, hard drives, and power supplies can lock up your computer. Run hardware diagnostics or swap in new components to test. Consider replacing damaged hardware

How To Fix Frozen Computer Screen Step By Step

For the solutions that require more steps, here are detailed walkthroughs to resolve your frozen screen:

1. Using Windows Task Manager to Restart Frozen Processes

Windows Task Manager is a powerful tool for troubleshooting frozen computers. Here’s how to use it:

  • Using Windows Task Manager to Restart Frozen Processes
  • Windows Task Manager is a powerful tool for troubleshooting frozen computers. Here’s how to use it:
  • Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager directly. If that doesn’t work, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete and select Task Manager.
  • In the Processes tab, look for any application using high CPU or memory. Select it and click End Task to close it.
  • Still, frozen? Select any critical Windows processes like Explorer or RuntimeBroker and click Restart to refresh them.
  • If individual applications don’t close, you can restart the computer from within Task Manager by clicking File > Restart.

2. Booting into Safe Mode to Troubleshoot Software

Restart your computer completely.

  1. As it is booting up, press and hold F8 until you see the Windows Advanced Boot Options.
  2. Select Safe Mode and press Enter.
  3. Windows will now restart in Safe Mode with only essential services. Test if the freezing issue still occurs.
  4. If the issue is fixed in Safe Mode, it likely relates to third-party software. You can then troubleshoot software as the cause.
  5. Once done testing, restart the computer and boot normally again.

3. Checking for Overheating of Components

  1. Press the power button to turn off the computer safely if it isn’t frozen.
  2. Unplug the computer and remove the side panel to access the insides.
  3. Check CPU and GPU fans to make sure they are spinning properly. Replace any defective fans.
  4. Use compressed air to blow out dust from heatsinks, vents, power supply, and other components.
  5. Reapply thermal paste to the CPU if old or dried out. Make sure the heatsink is seated properly.
  6. Monitor computer temperature with software like Speccy or SpeedFan. Anything above 90°C could cause freezes.
  7. Consider upgrading to a larger PC case or more powerful CPU cooler if temperatures are consistently high.

4. Scanning and Removing Malware

  1. Download and install a trusted antivirus program like Malwarebytes or HitmanPro.
  2. Update malware definitions and run a full system scan. Quarantine anything suspicious found.
  3. If malware keeps reappearing or freezing continues, boot into Safe Mode With Networking. Run scans again.
  4. Back up important data and do a clean reinstall of Windows if malware is persistent. Wipe and reformat all drives.
  5. Make sure you have up-to-date antivirus protection. Scan regularly to prevent future malware issues.

Frequently Asked Questions about Frozen Screens

What causes the blue screen of death?

The blue screen of death, or BSOD, appears when Windows encounters a critical error it can’t recover from. Often it’s related to faulty hardware, drivers, or low-level software.

Why does my computer freeze when playing games?

Gaming puts a heavy demand on your hardware, so an inadequate GPU, overheating, or outdated graphics drivers can cause game freezes. Tweak graphics settings or upgrade hardware if needed.

My screen froze after a Windows update. What should I do?

Try rolling back the Windows update if possible. Other fixes include refreshing the PC, booting to Safe Mode, and checking for driver conflicts.


Dealing with an unresponsive, frozen computer screen can certainly be frustrating. This raises the question of How to Fix a Frozen Computer Screen.

You can follow the process mentioned above. Hopefully, this guide has given you some helpful troubleshooting steps to get your PC back up and running smoothly again.

 Be sure to keep your computer up to date, clean of dust and malware, and avoid overtaxing the hardware. With the right maintenance and these fixes, you can minimize future freezing problems.


  • Mira Edorra

    I'm Mira Edorra, your go-to gadget gal! I’m originally a California girl, born and raised in Silicon Valley, where people are as busy as bees, making all sorts of amazing tech stuff. But now, I live all the way over in the UK! At 32, I’m living the dream as a digital nomad, Traveling is my jam and gadgets are my peanut butter - a perfect combo, don't you think? As I bounce around the globe , I get my hands on loads of cool gizmos, and I just can't wait to share all my discoveries with you!From testing drones on mountain peaks to troubleshooting laptops in cozy cafés, my travels fuel my tech expertise. Got a gadget query? I'm your girl. Even if I don’t have the answer right away, Google and I are like Sherlock and Watson - we leave no mystery unsolved.

Leave a Comment