laptop froze and won't turn off

What to Do If Your Laptop Froze and Won’t Turn Off

Picture this: you’re messing around on your laptop when all of a sudden, everything stops. Nothing you click has any effect, your screen slows down or freezes, and you can’t even access the menu to shut your device down and restart. What gives?

If your laptop froze and won’t turn off, don’t panic! There are plenty of ways to troubleshoot the issue, figure out your next steps, and reduce your downtime. Here’s what you should know to get your device back up and running.

Check Your Hardware

Before you jump to the wrong conclusion, make sure your laptop is really frozen.

If you’re using peripheral devices, any malfunctions can create the illusion that something is wrong with your computer. Whether you’ve hooked up your laptop to a second display or you’re using a Bluetooth mouse, try disconnecting these devices before plugging them back in. Replace the batteries or charge your devices as well.

You should also check your system’s fan. If a resource-hogging program has overworked your computer, the fan might not be able to keep up. Worse, a broken fan can cause excess heat to build up fast.

Sometimes, a problem with your fan can cause overheating and make your system freeze. If you think heat issues are to blame for your ongoing frozen screens, try installing a program that monitors your laptop’s core temperature.

Force Frozen Apps to Close

If you suspect that an app has caused your computer to freeze, try forcing it to close.

On a PC, press Control + Alt + Delete to bring up Task Manager. Choose the unresponsive app from the list, right-click, and select End Task.

On a Mac, press Command + Option + Escape to open Force Quit. Choose the unresponsive app from the list and select Force Quit. You can also go to Launchpad > Other > Activity Monitor to bring up a similar list of programs.

If this fixes your problem, you can resume your regular activities. If the same program keeps causing your computer to freeze, however, consider uninstalling it and finding an alternative.

Try Your Browser’s Task Manager

Does your laptop keep freezing when you’re using your browser? If so, you may notice that your browser is hogging the system’s resources whenever you bring up Task Manager.

Try bringing up your browser’s task manager function to get a more nuanced look at what’s going on. If a specific website or extension is using a lot of CPU and memory, consider getting rid of it.

Restart Your Computer

If you can’t even get your frozen laptop to open Task Manager, try restarting it. Even if you can’t shut your computer off via your settings, this option should work.

Do a Hard Reset

You’ll need to do a hard reset. Hold down the power button until your computer turns off. Wait a few seconds, then press the power button to turn your computer back on.

Boot in Safe Mode

If your computer keeps freezing, even after a restart, try restarting in safe mode. This mode limits the files, programs, and drivers in use. This may help you narrow down the culprit behind your frozen screen.

For PC users, you’ll do a hard restart as explained above. During the restart, you’ll need to press the F8 key over and over until you see the Advanced Boot Options menu. From here, use the arrow keys to select Safe Mode and then hit Enter.

Mac users will need to do a hard restart. During the restart, press and hold Shift until your login window comes up. After logging in, select Safe Boot in the menu bar.

Troubleshoot in Safe Mode

If your computer runs without issue in safe mode, the most likely culprit is an app, a corrupted file, or a driver issue. Consider checking and possibly deleting any new programs on your laptop to see if this helps. The same is true of recent drivers, which you should delete and reinstall to rule them out as a possible cause.

This is also a good opportunity to scan your computer for viruses and malware. Both Mac and PC laptops come with built-in antivirus programs, but you can also use a free or paid scanner to be safe. Make sure to do a full system scan.

For PC users, you can also try System Restore while in safe mode. However, this only works if you’ve created a restore point in the past.

Check for Updates

If you’re lucky, your screen issues are a known bug and your system’s developers are working on a fix. If so, you may just need to wait for or install the patch.

Both Windows and MacOS users should try updating any outdated software. This can boost your cybersecurity and address any minor glitches, including display issues, that may be plaguing your laptop.

Bring Your Laptop to a Pro

If you can’t even get your computer to restart, it’s time to call a pro.

For a newer laptop, check to see whether the device is still under warranty. Contact the manufacturer for help, as they may be able to solve the problem at no charge.

If you have an older device, getting local IT support is your best bet. Veteran tech specialists have plenty of experience troubleshooting laptop problems like frozen screens, allowing them to diagnose the issue in no time. Though you’ll have to pay them for fixing your laptop, the cost will often be far less than the expense of buying a new system!

These pros may recommend upgrading your RAM. This laptop solution may help frozen screens that keep happening because your system’s memory is maxed out.

Get Help When a Laptop Froze and Won’t Turn Off

If your laptop froze and won’t turn off, the steps above may help you figure out what to do. Whether you’re dealing with a resource-hogging browser or you’ve accidentally picked up malware, troubleshooting the problem can help you find the most likely culprit. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a computer technician if you need extra help!

We hope you found this article helpful. If so, be sure to take a look at our other posts for additional tech tips and tricks!

Add comment

Starting and managing a small business can be both exciting and challenging. As a business owner, you must wear multiple hats and navigate through various aspects of entrepreneurship. From financial management to...