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Help! My Computer is Frozen!

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Overcoming this Common (and Annoying) Problem

At times, our computers decide to go absent-minded and hang up on us. Here are some steps you can take when this happens.

  1. The first step is to check and see if your mouse cursor is moving. If you have battery-powered keyboards and mice, sometimes you can think your computer has frozen but in actuality, you just ran out of power.
  2. If your mouse is moving, try simply closing the application that is on your screen. There’s a chance that you simply have a crashed program.
  3. If your mouse cursor on the screen isn’t moving, try pressing CTRL+ALT+DELETE on your keyboard. On Windows computers, this will open the Task Manager. You then can try to manually close the programs or processes you have open.
  4. If the Task Manager doesn’t open, press the reset button on your computer. This is a last-ditch effort and when you press the reset button, you will lose all unsaved data on your computer. If your computer doesn’t have a reset button, as is the case with many desktops and laptops, you need to now move on to the next step.
  5. Press the power button on your computer. Generally, this will send a signal to start the shutdown sequence. If that doesn’t work, go on to the last step.
  6. Hold the power button down on your keyboard for ten to fifteen seconds. This generally will perform a hard shutdown on the computer system.

As an absolute last step, if your system is a desktop, unplug the computer or turn off the surge protector. If you have a laptop, remove the battery.

Once the system has powered-down, power it back up as normal. Generally, the system will start up correctly. If not, proceed through additional troubleshooting steps.

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