Almost everyone who has used a computer knows the dreaded blue screen of death. Unfortunately, this is not the only way your computer can crash. There are many reasons why this happens, along with many ways to address these issues, from mild irritants to lingering frustrations.
We will take a detailed look at how to unlock your computer from both a software and hardware point of view.
Why do computers freeze?
There are many different reasons why computers crash, but most of the time it is caused by some overload of the computer.
When you think of a computer crash, you probably mean general insensitivity to your actions, such as typing, cursor movement, etc. However, this does not mean that anything is broken. Instead, the processor is probably overloaded and has been temporarily disabled to protect the system.
There are, of course, other explanations for a frozen computer. This may be related to:
- Overheated components
- software error
- driver corruption
- AComputer virus
While you may not immediately know "why" your computer freezes, there are several ways to troubleshoot and diagnose the problem so it doesn't happen again.
Steps to unlock your computer
When troubleshooting why your computer freezes, start with the most obvious solutions first. Sometimes you just need to charge a wireless mouse or keyboard. Or maybe a simple hard reset could do the trick.
If these direct solutions don't help, there are a few possible solutions you can try before delving into potential software or hardware issues.
1. Close programs in Task Manager
In most cases, the cause of a computer crash is a program failure. Fortunately, Windows 10 makes it easy to close programs in the Task Manager.
- Open Task Manager by pressing Ctrl+Alt+Delete.
- Shows which apps and background processes are running.
- Notice how much CPU and memory each uses.
- If any two combined numbers are close to or greater than 100%, some programs require you to press the "End Task" button.
- This frees up physical memory and CPU usage, which can solve your computer freezing problem.
- Alternatively, if a single program crashes, you can use "End Task" to manually close it and unlock your computer.
2. Check your browser extensions
Browser extensions sometimes don't work as expected, which can cause your computer or browser to crash. In particular, Google Chrome can consume resources if you open many tabs or use too many extensions. If this scenario seems familiar to you, it's likely that your browser is crashing, not your computer.
- In this case, try disabling all extensions and see if that solves the problem.
- If so, enable them one by one to isolate the browser extension causing the problem.
- Once you've identified the problematic extension, remove it and save yourself the headache of crashing your computer multiple times.
Software solutions to defrost your computer
If the above solutions don't work, there may be a problem with the software. Fortunately, there are several actions you can take to fix this problem. These include using System Restore, reinstalling newer drivers, and scanning your computer for malware and viruses.
1. Use System Restore
System Restore is a great, if somewhat underused, feature in Windows 10. System Restore creates a snapshot of your computer's current state so you can "restore" it at a later date. In addition, each time changes are detected in the system, new points are created. This is very useful if a system or driver update fails or if you install a faulty application that you want to completely remove.
To use System Restore, you must first enable it manually. This is how:
- Open the Start menu.
- Search for "Create a restore point" and click on the first result to open the System Properties page.
- Select your hard drive in the "Security Settings" section.
- click onset upCommand.
- To chooseEnable system protection.
When the feature is active, you can load System Restore at any time. Think of it like loading a previously saved file into a video game. If you accidentally mess up something that crashes your computer, you can always load a previously saved file.
2. Reinstall the latest drivers
If System Restore doesn't fix your problems, you may want to reinstall all the latest drivers. Sometimes, if drivers are not properly updated, they can cause problems, including system crashes.
To avoid this, you can reinstall the drivers in two ways. Both take place in Device Manager.
- Open Device Manager from the taskbar or Start menu.
- Right-click on the drivers and select the option to automatically search for updated drivers.
- Now you can update the drivers (if they need them).
If the above doesn't work, you can automatically uninstall and reinstall the drivers. This will resolve any issues related to the recent driver installation.
- Open Device Manager.
- Right-click on the appropriate driver and selectDelete.
- Restart your computer and Windows will automatically reinstall the driver.
Now you can determine whether an incorrect driver installation is responsible for the failure of the computer. Take a look at oursHP Tech publishes an article on updating drivers here.
3. Scan for malware
Malware is one of the most damaging things when using a computer. Many PC users are unaware that there is malware on their system that over time can wreak havoc on their device and even crash it.
To check this,install a malware scannerand be sure to remove any malware found. Also, make sure you keep Windows Defender Firewall running at all times so you don't accidentally download something that could harm your computer.
Hardware solutions to defrost your computer
While software problems are the most common cause of computer crashes, hardware can be the cause. Also, don't assume you need to make changes or updates immediately, as there are some steps you can try right away. These include checking the hard drive, making sure the components are not overheating, and testing the RAM.
1. Check your hard drive
To check if the hard drive is to blame:
- Go to "My Computer".
- Right-click on it to open the Properties tab.
- Go to the Tools tab.
- Run the "Check for errors" scan.
If the computer detects errors on the hard drive, it tries to fix them manually. However, this may indicate that it is necessaryreplace the hard driveIn a second.
2. Don't let your components overheat.
An overheated computer is a common cause of computer crashes and freezes. Even if it's not the direct cause, it could be a secondary problem. Also,Never let your components get too hot.as this may shorten its service life. There are several third-party apps that you can use to check the temperature of your components, and you can also take steps to avoid this problem.
First, remove all dust and dirt from the computer case. This keeps the computer well ventilated and the cooling fans working properly. For more desktop cleaning tips,click here for the HP Tech Takes article.
Keep in mind that computer components can overheat if not replaced every few years, especially with more expensive, more powerful machines. For more information on when to update components,See our HP Tech Takes upgrade guide here.
3. Test your RAM
Another step you can take to prevent your computer from crashing is to test your RAM. Your memory can be the cause of not only freezes but also boot problems. If you want to completely replace your RAM, ourThe HP Tech Takes Guide takes you through the (fairly simple) steps.
To test your RAM:
- Open the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool from the Start menu.
- The tool automatically restarts your computer and checks for RAM problems by running various tests.
- After the tests are completed, the computer will restart and display the test results.
When you go through them, you'll find that your computer can't handle today's RAM speed due to older components. In this case, you may need to replace the RAM or adjust the RAM speed to a lower setting in the BIOS setup screen.Read more about RAM speed here.
Disgustingenter the BIOS on a Windows computer:
- Press the BIOS key set by the manufacturer. It can be F10, F2, F12, F1 or DEL.
- Once in the BIOS, you can manually set a lower RAM speed or enable the XMP profile, which includes the recommended RAM speed.
There are many reasons why your computer crashes. Before you think about costly upgrades, keep in mind that it may just be a matter of troubleshooting various options to make sure you eliminate potential causes.
Although the above methods cover a wide range of problems, there are special cases where it is worth taking your computer to a specialist. If fixing a hardware or software problem is beyond your ability or desire, a specialist is better suited.
However, in the vast majority of cases, you should be able to prevent your computer from crashing by following our simple tips.
More by author:Daniel Horowitz is a co-author of the journalTom HP Tech. Daniel is an author based in New York and has written for publications such as USA Today, Digital Trends, Unwinnable Magazine and many other media outlets.
- Use the hidden administrator account.
- Use a password reset disk.
- Use a Windows installation disk.
- Use HP Recovery Manager.
- Factory reset your HP laptop.
- Contact a local HP store.
Restart the computer. At the first screen on restart, before the HP or Windows logo appears, press the f8 key repeatedly. If you have no home screen, type Administrator and leave the password field as blank.How do you unlock a locked laptop screen? ›
Unlocking Your Computer
From the Windows 10 login screen, press Ctrl + Alt + Delete (press and hold down the Ctrl key, then press and hold down the Alt key, press and release the Delete key, and then finally release the keys).
Click on Start >> Control Panel >> User Accounts and Family Safety >> User accounts. 3. Select "Manage another account", and select your user account that is forgotten password, and then select "Change the password".What to do if your laptop won't let you login? ›
- Method 1: Restart your computer.
- Method 2: Run the Startup Repair tool.
- Method 3: Boot your computer in Safe Mode.
- Method 4: Create a new user account.
- Method 5: Disable fast startup.
Click the human icon to open the CMD window, type net user password, then press “Enter”. Then you can unlock your HP laptop with the new setting password.What is the default password for HP laptop? ›
What is admin default password on HP laptop? Generally, the initial password for HP laptop administrators is not fixed, which is set by users when setting up an administrator account for the first time. If you haven't set such a password during the system installation, the default password is blank or password.Why is my Ctrl Alt Delete not working? ›
Check Your Keyboard
First, check to make sure that your keyboard is properly plugged in. If it's not, then that could be the reason the Ctrl + Alt + Delete shortcut isn't working. Another thing you can try is to hold down the Fn key, then try the Ctrl + Alt + Delete combo again.
- After restart, click the Administrator account and sign in to Windows.
- Wait until Windows setup the new account.
- When the account setup is complete, simultaneously press the Win + R keys to open the run command box and type: ...
- Select the locked-out user and click Reset Password.
Step 1: Log in to Windows 10 with another sign-in option. Step 2: Open a Command Prompt as administrator. Step 3: Type net user user_name new_password and hit Enter key to reset your Windows 10 password. Replace user_name and new_password with your username and desired password respectively.
- Step 1: Start or restart your HP laptop and hit F11 or ESC + F11 key repeatedly to go to the Choose an option screen. ...
- Step 2: Click on Recovery Manager to access HP Recovery Manager.
- Step 3: Click Factory Reset to reset HP laptop to factory settings.
Try to log in with Built-in Administrator and change the earlier password or you can create a new user account. If the issue still persists try performing a system recovery on your PC and check if it helps. If the issue still persists after trying out the steps.