Is your PC continuously freezing or hanging? Has it become so slow that you are now unable to do any work on it? If you answered positively to either of the stated questions, then your computer is probably in a terrible state.
Why is Windows 10 not responding?
Windows hardly ever sets out to cause problems for you on its own. Most issues that manifest in the Windows operating system environment are often a result of the operations or activities of programs and applications running on your computer.
Maybe, a specific program is malfunctioning or using up all computer resources. Or perhaps, viruses or malware somehow found their way into your PC, and the slowdowns or non-responsive state of your PC is merely a consequence of the presence of malicious programs. Software conflicts involving various applications are also in play as a possible cause of the Windows 10 failing to respond problem.
Even a buggy update can cause your system to become non-responsive. After all, specific Windows updates are notorious for breaking some PCs. The possibilities are endless. The most important thing is that you understand the state of your operating system environment is strongly affected by external influence from programs and applications.
Now, it is time we showed you how to get your computer up to speed.
How to fix the Windows 10 not responding problem?
It is crucial that you start with the first solution on the list. If it fails to deliver the result you were expecting, then you have to move on to the next fix. In general, you must go through the outlined solutions in this manner until you reach that procedure which proves to be the ideal fix in your case.
Restart your computer:
Our intention here could not be more apparent. If Windows 10 is not responding at all, you cannot do much but force a reboot. Since you probably cannot access the boot menu or options the usual way, you must use your power button to turn off your computer. Do this:
- Press and hold the power button for your device until all lights go By all lights, we mean the light on your screen or display, your keyboard light (if it is backlit), and so on.
- Once your PC has lost power, you might as well check out its state. After you verify that everything is in order, you must go on to turn it on once more using its power button.
Once Windows boots up and your system settles down, you should be interested in finding out if the issue has been entirely resolved. You could reattempt the operation you were executing earlier or carry out the task you were working on before your system stopped responding. Try to recreate the problem as much as you can and see how far you go.
If you cannot trigger your PC to go into a non-responsive state no matter what you do, then the problem you encountered earlier is probably an outlier. You might never see it again. As far as we know, a reboot of Windows is sometimes the only fix you need to get your computer back into its normal working state.
If you still struggle with slowdowns or the Windows not responding issue even after you restarted your system, then there is an underlying problem that must be gotten rid of in your case. You will do well to continue with the other fixes below.
Use a troubleshooter:
Troubleshooters are incredibly helpful tools that users can run to diagnose and fix a wide variety of problems they encounter on Windows. Since numerous reasons are in play as causes of the Windows 10 not responding problem, it is reasonable that we get help from a troubleshooter as early as possible.
The troubleshooter will run some scans on your computer to isolate the source or detect the cause of the problem. It might also move to resolve the issue if it possesses the capabilities to do so. Otherwise, it will tell you about it, and you will be the one to execute the required operation.
Follow these instructions:
- Open the Control Panel app. You can do this by right-clicking on the Windows Start icon that is always present on your desktop screen to see some essential programs or options from which you can select Control Panel.
- Once the program window in view is up, you must click on the options for View by to select small icons. From the list you see, select
- On the next screen, you will see a list comprising of categories for the troubleshooters on your PC. Click on the System and Security (usually the last item on the list).
- Under System and Security, you must select System Maintenance from the options present. The System Maintenance troubleshooter window should be up by now. Click on the Next button to initiate the required operations.
- The troubleshooter should begin its work. Once the job is complete, you will see a report on the operations it If the tool recommends you do anything, then you will do well to follow the advice given.
- Finally, after everything, you must restart your computer so that the changes resulting from the work the troubleshooter did can become effective. If everything goes well, then your computer will end up in a state where you can no longer observe the non-responsive issue or Windows slowdowns.
Update all your device drivers:
Drivers define, control, and manage the interactions between or the activities involving the hardware components that make up your computer (your keyboard, monitor, wireless network adapter, and so on) and the software running on your device.
A malfunction of a single hardware component is capable of forcing your PC to go into a non-responsive state. In extreme scenarios, problems affecting hardware devices result in Blue Screen of Death errors and severe crashes.
To be fair, the Windows refusing to respond problem is even relatively mild in comparison to other forms of issues users generally encounter when there is something wrong with their hardware devices.
Now, to fix problems affecting your hardware devices, you need to resolve issues with their drivers. Well, you have to find out which drivers are faulty or malfunctioning and move to replace them.
Given the problem you are facing and the current state of your system, you will find it incredibly difficult to identify the malfunctioning drivers. Even if your PC was in an excellent state, there is no guarantee on you being successful either way.
A more practical way of approaching the problem is your best bet here. To this end, we recommend that you do not spend any of your time trying to identify the problematic drivers. What you should do instead is try to fix the problem given the event that all your drivers are faulty. An update of all the device drivers your PC uses is the required fix.
If you were to update all your drivers manually, you would end up spending a ridiculous amount of time and effort carrying out the necessary operations, and the practical approach to the fix we recommended will end up being undermined. You need to use a different, faster, and more efficient method of getting the work done.
You need Auslogics Driver Updater. For one, after you download and run this app, it will move to scan your computer to locate the problematic drivers that are active. After the identification process is complete, you can move on to use the options for updating the drivers to their latest manufacturer-recommended versions.
With help from the recommended app, all the issues we were worried about are gone and the problems you were looking to avoid never come to be. You will do well to take advantage of it to get all your device drivers working at their optimal level.
One more thing: After you install all the needed drivers, you must restart your system to ensure that they have begun to function. Only after the reboot do we recommend you move on to check if the Windows not responding problem is still active or if it is gone for good.
Download and install Windows updates:
There is a good chance that the Windows 10 refusing to respond problem afflicting your PC has something to do with your system lacking specific or critical updates. Try to recall the last time you updated your computer or how long it has been since it last updated itself. After all, Microsoft made Windows 10 very much capable of checking for and downloading updates without much input from users.
It is also common knowledge that Microsoft often releases several patches of Windows updates to fix existing bugs in the Windows operating system environment and improve the overall performance and stability of systems. Surely, you can see how your system missing a vital update might be connected to the Windows failing to respond issue.
Fortunately, to fix the problem described here, all you have to do is download and install Windows updates. We recommend you install every available update to ensure that you do not miss out on anything.
Follow these instructions:
- Launch the Settings app: Press (and hold) the Windows button on your keyboard or click on the Windows Start icon you always see on your desktop screen. From the options and programs that show up, you must select Settings.
- Once the Settings program window is up, you have to click on Update and Security. Now, check on the left pane and click on Windows Update.
- On the right pane, you can view the Windows Update menu and options. If you see any available or pending update, you must click on the Download button to get it. Otherwise, you must click on the Check now button to get your system to contact Microsoft servers and see if there is anything that should be on your PC.
If Windows identifies updates that your computer is lacking, you will see some information to this effect and your system will display the Download button, which you must click on to get the updates.
- Follow the instructions that Windows provides on your screen to ensure that the download and installation operations for Windows Update operations go as smoothly as possible. Windows will ask you to restart your PC once the primary process is complete.
After the reboot, if everything went well, the Windows 10 running on your device might just become more responsive than before.
Check for viruses and malware:
If you are still struggling with the Windows non-responsiveness problem at this point, then we can no longer rule out some forms of external influence as the cause of your troubles. Perhaps, your system is suffering from a virus or malware attack however unlikely as it might be.
Understandably, we know too well that viruses and malware engage in numerous harmful activities that damage the files, processes, or components of a system and the PC failing to respond problem might just be a consequence of the harm that has been done already with more yet to come.
Of course, to solve the problem in this case, you will need to run a comprehensive or complete scan for all kinds of malicious items that might be operating on your PC. A regular or standard search will not do. Well, the full scan might require more time or resources to run and complete, but it is very much worth at this point.
- Launch your antivirus app. Navigate through the necessary options to enter its scan menu. There, you should see the option for performing a full or complete scan. Use it.
In general, you must go with the scan option that checks every location or directory on your PC for malicious items without exceptions or one that demands a considerable amount of time to operate.
- Allow the scan to proceed as required. Follow any instruction you see or perform any operation asked of you. After the scan is complete, you must go through the results to see if any malicious or harmful item was detected.
You will do well to quarantine suspicious files or marked items you cannot account for. You could also delete them at once if you are sure you would not ever have to bother about them in the future.
If your antivirus found nothing and you are skeptical of the work it did, then you could go a step further to run scans using another security app. Auslogics Anti-Malware will come in quite handy here. You will do well to download this program, run it and perform scans with it.
- At this stage, we would like to assume that you have gotten rid of the malicious items your antivirus or any other security program detected. A reboot of your PC is needed to allow things return to normalcy. After your system restarts, you are now free to check out the responsiveness of Windows and see if things have gotten better.
Do a clean boot:
A clean boot is an advanced troubleshooting procedure, which users employ to start up Windows with a minimal amount of services, drivers, and startup programs. Since third-party applications, programs or processes are not allowed to start, then there is more or less no external influence when you start up your PC using a clean boot.
Therefore, we can safely assume that your computer will end up in an environment or state where it is insulated from software conflicts, viral activity, and so on.
Finally, you can move to start up or enable some programs and applications and observe the changes that result from your action. Invariably, if you know your way around, you might manage to isolate or identify the source of your problem and get rid of it.
Here are the instructions on doing a clean boot you need to go through:
- First, you must launch the Run app. You can do this by pressing (and holding) the Windows button on your keyboard, then following up this action with a tap of the letter R key. Once the small program window appears, you must type in the following code into the text field you see: msconfig
Run the code: Click on the OK button to do this. One tap of the Enter key will do just fine too.
- We believe you have the System Configuration program window up and running now. Check under the General tab, tick the radio button for Selective Startup. You must also untick the box for Load startup items.
- Click on the Apply button. Now, you must navigate to the Services tab, and there, you must tick the box for Hide all Microsoft services to deselect them. The list of services will diminish. Now, you must click on the Disable all button.
- Click on the Apply button, and finally, you must click on the OK button. Restart your system. Your PC will clean boot this time.
After your system enters the secure or stable environment, you could go through the same steps above to enable some services. We recommend you place the services into groups. This way, you get to manage them better. Enable or disable specific groups at a time until you identify the problematic group.
If the services in the problematic group are numerous, then you might have to place them into groups again. In general, you must continue things this way until you isolate or identify the problematic service that is the cause of the Windows not responding problem.
Other things you could try to fix the Windows 10 not responding issue and similar problems
If you are yet to solve the problem in view, then you have nothing to lose from checking out this short list of additional fixes. Perhaps, one of them might finally give you a reprieve from your troubles.
Run the SFC tool:
A scan using the System File Checker (SFC) tool is often recommended for a wide variety of problems. It is unsurprising because this utility is very good at what it does. It works by checking for system files affected by corruption and replacing the corrupted items with good copies.
To perform the scan, you have to launch an elevated Command Prompt window and then run the required code. After the process is complete, you have to restart your system as you have done so many times already.
Check your hard disk drive (HDD) and temporary memory (or RAM):
At this point, it is not outlandish to suspect that Windows struggles might have something to do with a malfunctioning or damaged physical component of your PC. Given the nature of the problem in view, your disk and RAM are the two most important parts of your computer that must be checked.
We know of a built-in memory check tool you can run to check for problems affecting your temporary memory. A similar utility, albeit one that must be accessed through a Command Prompt window with administrative privileges, is available for use to test for issues on your hard disk. You will do well to use both tools.