‘Not responding is a response’
Jonathan Carroll

Believe it or not, ‘not responding’ errors can scare the living daylights out of anyone. Creepy?

Of course not. Because you know how to fix what is not responding and get your computer in tip-top shape.

Here are 10 issues that might have caused your ‘not responding’ problem (along with our proven what-to-do tips):

1. Problematic Software

If your Windows doesn’t respond, your software might be the main culprit.

Here is your action plan:

  1. Use Task Manager:
    Ctrl + Alt + Del -> Task Manager -> Processes -> Select the problematic software -> End task.
  2. Restart your computer
    (If it is frozen, press and hold down the power button – your PC will turn off. Then turn it on).
  3. Check if your PC is OK now.

Does the ‘not responding’ issue still persist?

Explore the vendor’s website to find out whether the issue has been reported. Search for patches available for your product. If you cannot fix the problematic software, consider reinstalling it.

2. Too Many Processes Running

To tell the truth, your Windows 10 is a great multitasker. Nonetheless, everything has its limits: running multiple programs at the same time can exhaust your OS and cause it to stop responding.

Run one program at a time to find out whether your ‘Windows doesn’t respond’ issue is caused by your OS spreading itself too thin.

3. Windows Update Issues

Your Windows might be a bit cranky when it needs updating. Try using Windows Update to fix your ‘not responding’ problem:

Start -> Settings -> Update & Security -> Check for updates

4. Malware Infection

If your Windows 10 is laggy and unresponsive, malicious software might be at work. Therefore, it is time to run a full system scan:

  • Run your main antivirus in order to scan and clean your PC.
  • If you don’t have a third-party security solution installed, make use of the built-in Windows Defender: Settings -> Update & Security -> Windows Defender -> Open Windows Defender -> Full
  • Your main antivirus may miss some stealthy malware intruders – that is why it needs extra help. We recommend you to use a special anti-malware tool, e.g. Auslogics Anti-Malware, to enhance your computer security.

5. Overheating

An overheated computer can bring about multiple ‘not responding’ issues.

Take a look at these questions:

  • Does your PC seem hotter than the surface of the Sun?
  • Do suspicious noises keep coming from your computer?
  • Do annoying freezes as well as random shutdowns persist?

If your answers are ‘yes’, chances are heat-related issues are to blame.

In this case,

  1. keep your PC cool and make sure air circulates around it;
  2. open your computer and physically inspect your fans – they may need cleaning;
  3. check your BIOS for error reports.

And no worries if the above-mentioned tips seem a bit complicated – it is OK to find a trustworthy service center and have your PC inspected by a pro.

6. Hardware Problems

Hardware-related issues can lead to the ‘Windows not responding’ problem.

Here are some ideas to trace the culprit:

  • Go to Device Manager to check whether it indicates any hardware conflicts:
    Start -> Control Panel -> Performance and Maintenance -> System -> Hardware tab -> Device Manager
    Win + X -> Device Manager
  • If you have added any new hardware to your PC, remove it and check whether the issue is still present.
  • Remove your PC’s components (modem, sound card, etc.) one by one to identify the faulty hardware.

Not a hardware expert? That’s not a problem – just have your computer serviced.

7. Bad Drivers

Outdated or corrupted drivers can prevent your OS from responding properly.

You can troubleshoot your drivers by:

  • Running Windows Driver Verifier: Start menu -> Type verifier -> Enter
  • Utilizing Windows Device Manager: Win + X -> Device Manager -> Expand the device entries -> Search for the problematic driver -> Right-click on it and select Update Driver SoftwareHow to behave if a program keeps not responding?How to make programs respond in Windows?
  • Finding the latest updates for your device drivers through the vendors.
  • Using a special tool to fix all your drivers (Auslogics Driver Updater can help you).

8. Missing or Corrupted System Files

Missing or corrupted system files can make your Windows 10 unresponsive.

Run System Files Checker to repair them:

  1. Start -> Enter Command Prompt -> right-click Command Prompt -> select Run as administrator -> Enter DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth -> Enter sfc /scannow
  2. Wait for the system scan to finish -> Reboot your computer

9. Other Issues

Here are some other issues that can lead to the ‘Windows doesn’t respond’ drama:

  • junk files
  • Windows Registry issues (corrupt keys and invalid entries)
  • unbalanced system settings
  • non-optimal Internet connection settings
  • improper resource allocation

You can troubleshoot them one by one or use a special diagnostic tool, for example Auslogics BoostSpeed, to save time.

10. Operating System Problems

If nothing seems able to get your PC back on track, your Windows 10 might be having issues.

Here are some tips to resolve them:

Restore your system to an earlier point:

  1. Start (right-click) -> Control Panel -> System and Security -> File History
  2. Recovery -> Open System Restore -> Next -> Select the most recent working restore point -> Next -> Finish -> Yes

Reset your computer:

Start Menu -> type ‘Reset’-> Reset this PC

Note: resetting your PC to its factory defaults settings allows you to keep your personal files.

Reinstall your OS:

Keep in mind that reinstalling your OS means losing all your personal data. Therefore, in order to avoid emotional trauma, make sure your important files are properly backed up. You can perform data backups manually or use a special backup tool, e.g. Auslogics BitReplica – the choice is yours.

We hope our tips have helped you oil the wheels of your computer.

Do you have any ideas or questions regarding this issue?

We are looking forward to your comments!