How to Fix Not Responding Errors

More often than not the cause of programs not responding errors or Windows not responding errors, is outdated device programs or software versions. Below is a free download to find all needed system components precisely for your computer system:

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And here are some tips for the do-it-yourselfer

The Windows hourglass. The Windows spinning wheel. No matter which form appears on your monitor, if the hourglass or spinner refuses to budge, you’ve got a “not responding” error. These icons are meant to tell you that Windows is busy. Most of the time, they last a second or two and you are able to resume your tasks. But when they don’t, Windows is stuck and you’ll likely see a message box that further enlightens you with a message saying that Windows or the program is not responding.

You can manually fix not responding errors; however, the steps depend on what’s not responding and the overall condition of the computer system. For example, if you consistently receive not responding errors with a particular program, you’ll want to focus on the program itself first. On the other hand, if a variety of programs stop responding, your system is likely low on resources and your repairs should focus on freeing system resources.

Using the Task Manager
The Task Manager is a built-in tool that is useful when not responding errors occur. If you can get the Task Manager to open, you can then close the non-responsive program and avoid a full system crash. The Control + Alt + Delete key combination will launch Task Manager. From there, select the non-responsive program and click End Task.

Troubleshooting Program-Related Not Responding Errors
If a single program consistently freezes, think about whether this is a new or recurring problem. If new, what changes have you made lately? Have you downloaded a new program or installed new hardware? If so, consider uninstalling the new addition to see if the new software has interfered with your program.

If the software comes with a repair tool, try repairing it. For example, Microsoft Office comes with built-in repair tools that you can access from outside the software. Updating software with the latest patches and hotfixes from its vendor is also effective at repairing known bugs and errors.

Troubleshooting System-wide Not Responding Errors
Computers that are low on disk space, CPU power, and memory often generate not responding errors. Use the Task Manager to see where your system is struggling. Once launched, click the Performance tab and look at the graphs. What percentage of your CPU Usage is in use? How much free memory is available?

If the CPU usage is in the high 90 percent range, you’re asking your computer to do too much at once. This is usually related to having too many programs open at once or using a program (such as video editing software) that requires extensive processing power. This is also true when Task Manager shows that you do not have much available RAM. In addition, your hard drive may be nearing capacity.

To deal with the overabundance of programs, run a complete virus and spyware scan to rule out hidden, resource-gobbling programs. From there, go to Start > Run and type in MSCONFIG. Go to the Startup tab and remove unnecessary programs from the startup list.

Finally, go to My Computer and right-click your hard drive. Choose Properties and run the Disk Cleanup tool, especially if it looks like your hard drive is almost full.

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