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Keyboard Shortcuts to Fix Frozen Computer

You’ve probably encountered a situation where your computer hangs or suddenly freezes and Windows is unable to respond for a variety of reasons. There is a little-known key combination that can help you return the device to a normal state.

Key combinations to fix computer crashes

Windows has a standard key combination to restart the video driver that can be used at any time, which is Win + Ctrl + Shift + B.

After pressing the above key combination, the screen goes black for a while, and then you hear a beep when the video driver restarts. After 12 seconds, the display will return to normal. Since this only affects the graphics driver, all other applications will stay where they are.

Note that this key combination only works on Windows 8 and Windows 10; Windows 7 users unfortunately cannot take advantage. This method works no matter what graphics driver you use, from Nvidia to AMD and even Intel integrated graphics.

Restarting the graphics driver can help fix the problem when the machine hangs Restarting the graphics driver can help fix the problem when the machine hangs

A few other tricks when hanging apps

Depending on what’s causing the hang, this shortcut may or may not help. If it’s the graphics driver, restarting them without rebooting should work.

If the above methods do not work, try Alt + Tab to switch to another program. If that doesn’t work, try Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager and stop that hanging application.

When all of the above doesn’t work, try Ctrl + Alt + Del. If you’re lucky, the Task Manager will appear with a message that it has detected an unresponsive application. Task Manager lists the names of currently running programs, including unresponsive programs.

On the Processes tab, click the name of the program that is causing the problem, and then click the End Task button. Of course, you will lose any unsaved work in that program. (If you accidentally used Ctrl + Alt + Delete somehow, press Esc to exit Task Manager and return to Windows).

If after a while Windows is still unresponsive, you can only force shutdown by holding down the Power button, which also unplugs the power and is the last solution when the system hangs.

1. Press and hold the Power button until the computer turns off.

2. Wait for 60 seconds, then restart the computer by pressing the Power button again.

3. If you are asked whether to start your computer in Safe Mode or Start windows normally. Select the Start Windows Normally option.

As mentioned above, restarting your computer will cause data loss, and you may lose all your unsaved work.

Reference:

  • Fix Windows Explorer crashes on Windows 10
  • How to fix a Computer Keeps Crashing Problem
  • Summary of some ways to fix Windows 10 crashes, BSOD errors, and reboot errors

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