Windows 8.1, Windows 8 or Windows 7 hangs or freezes

Summary

At times you may find that your PC has become unresponsive. This article provides recommendations to help identify the potential causes for this behavior, and to help resolve this problem. If the methods in this article do not resolve the issue, perform a search to get more help from Microsoft Support or the Microsoft Community using a more specific description of your problem.

Resolution

The first step is to identify the category of issue you are facing. For the purposes of this article, we will define four categories of behavior for PCs that become unresponsive, as follows:
  • Hang -- Your PC becomes unresponsive whenever you do a specific set of steps, and you must restart to recover the PC.
  • Random Hang -- Your PC becomes unresponsive seemingly at random, and you must restart to recover the PC.
  • Generic Freeze -- Your PC becomes unresponsive for a period of time, and then becomes usable again without taking any action. You don't need to restart your PC for it to be usable again. This behavior seems to affect all apps.
  • Single-app Freeze -- Your PC exhibits the same behavior as a Generic Freeze, except that it only occurs when running a specific app, such as when playing a game or browsing websites.
Please review the appropriate steps below, according to the category that most closely describes the behavior your PC is experiencing.




Troubleshooting a Hang
Troubleshooting a Random Hang
Troubleshooting a Generic Freeze
Troubleshooting a Single-App Freeze

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Article ID: 2681286 - Last Review: Feb 26, 2015 - Revision: 1

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