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The good thing about computer lockups is that they probably don't happen every day unless you have a serious software or hardware problem. However, even periodic freezes may not only be frustrating but costly if you don't save a document before your computer stops responding. There's no need to panic when your computer locks up, but it does help to understand why your machine may freeze as you work. Application Lockups · When your browser or another application stops responding, it may be the only thing on your computer that’s not working. If you cannot interact with a program, try to switch to another program or open your Start screen. If you can get to the Start screen, the problem probably lies with the application that’s frozen. You can terminate that application by right clicking its name in the Task Manager and selecting “End Task.” Before you terminate the app, review its CPU and memory usage values. Those appear in the Task Manager table. If those values are high, the program may be consuming more resources than it should. Memory and Hard Drive Space · A computer may freeze or use extra resources for multiple reasons. If the same application keeps locking up, ensure that you install the most recent updates for that program. You can also check the program’s support site and look for lockup issues that the site may explain. Applications can also freeze when your computer’s memory or hard drive space runs extremely low. That could happen if you don’t have much memory while running multiple applications at once. The Windows Disk Cleanup unnecessary files and free up hard drive space. If you need to run many programs at the same time, consider purchasing additional memory. Viruses· It may seem like “run an anti-virus scan” is the main solution that people suggest for resolving a host of problems, but many times it is a possible remedy. Because a malware program has the ability to access all your files and system components, it may be causing your computer to freeze. Lockups can be random or occur when you perform certain tasks. In addition to running a full virus scan, tell your security program to run a boot time scan if it has that capability. A boot time scan can identify threats that regular scans miss because it runs before Windows starts. Memory Problems · One of your computer’s memory sticks may have a problem even though the computer still works. Faulty memory can cause programs to malfunction and your system to shut down. If your computer keeps locking up and you can’t discover why, check your memory by running the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool. If it discovers a problem, visit your computer manufacturer’s website and seek guidance there. You could also remove your memory sticks and take them to a computer store for testing. Take the whole computer if you don’t feel comfortable removing those sticks. Hard Drive Issues · The hard drive, another critical system component, can also bring your computing to a halt. Sometimes, you can detect potential hard drive problems by listening for changes in the way your hard drive sounds as it spends. Windows has ability to diagnose many hard drive problems and repair them automatically. Trigger this process in Windows by searching for “Computer,” clicking the “Computer” icon and right clicking the hard drive you’d like to check. You can then click “Properties,” select “Tools and then click “Check.” A wizard will guide you through the repair process.