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How to Handle a PC Freeze

Don’t get locked down when your computer locks up. Escape the cold grip of a PC freeze.


  • Step 1: Launch Task Manager Open the Task Manager to quit an unresponsive application or process by pressing the Control, Alt, and Delete keys, or by right-clicking an empty space on the taskbar and then selecting Task Manager.
  • TIP: Look for the words "Not Responding" next to the frozen application or process in the Task Manager.
  • Step 2: Quit unresponsive application Select the unresponsive application and click End Task to quit.
  • Step 3: End processes Click the processes tab, select the process, and click End Process to quit any processes that are frozen or taking up too much memory.
  • TIP: Download an application watcher tool that shuts down bad processes before they crash.
  • Step 4: Shut down Shut down the computer if freeze problems persist. Press and hold the power button until the computer shuts off.
  • Step 5: Restart Restart the computer and reopen your applications to make sure the freeze problem has been resolved.
  • FACT: In 1988, Robert T. Morris, a graduate student at Cornell, unleashed the first widely known computer "worm."

You Will Need

  • PC
  • Internet access (optional)
  • Application watcher tool (optional)

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