“Unfreeze” your computer without rebooting

By | March 16, 2011
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This is a tip for Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 (32bit or 64 bit). This is one of our favorite tricks. If you’ve ever been faced with a situation where your computer has become unresponsive (frozen), we’re going to show you a trick that can help you unfreeze your computer without rebooting. Like all things Windows, this trick won’t work 100% of the time, but it will work most of the time. You can use this trick when your computer completely freezes up and the only thing left to do is to resort to shutting off your computer at the switch and then turning it back on.

There are lots of things wrong with doing that, even if the consequences are not as nearly as catastrophic as they were with earlier versions of Windows. In those older versions of Windows, shutting off your computer at the switch was like playing Russian Roulette – you never knew if your computer would start up again or die on the spot. Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 are all much more forgiving.

But even with Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7, shutting your computer off at the switch and then turning it back on should be done only when you have no other choice. Some bad things can still happen although seldom do they result in disaster like they did with Windows 95, 98, and Windows ME.

Shutting your computer off at the switch and then turning it back on will certainly unfreeze your computer. It may also result in causing some Windows problems too. One thing is for sure: you’re going to lose any documents you were working on. Also, restarting by turning the computer off and back on takes a lot of time. Windows is notorious for taking a long time to reboot.

So, here’s a really nifty trick that has bailed us out more than a few times – you might want to memorize this one because someday you’re going to need it.

If you’re ever working in Windows and suddenly everything freezes, don’t panic. Don’t hit the “Off” button. Don’t take a chance on losing your work.

Try this first:

If you’re using Windows XP —

1. Press the “CTRL” “ALT” “DELETE” keys in sequence
2. Task Manager Appears
3. Click The “Processes” Tab
4. Find any and all instances of “Explorer.exe” and close them all by right-clicking and choosing “End Process”
5. If you’ve done this successfully your taskbar will disappear – don’t worry – that’s what you want.
6. Now, while you’re still in Task Manager, click “File” “New task” and type in “explorer.exe” (without the quotes)
7. Your taskbar should now reappear and your computer that was frozen should now be ready to go

Windows Vista & Windows 7 users – you’ll find this easier for you (You can also use the CTRL+ALT+DELETE keys to open Task Manager as well.)

1. Right-click an empty place on your taskbar
2. Choose “Task Manager”
3. Click The “Processes” Tab
4. Find any and all instances of “Explorer.exe” and close them all by right-clicking and choosing “End Process”
5. If you’ve done this successfully your taskbar will disappear – don’t worry – that’s what you want.
6. Now, while you’re still in Task Manager, click “File” “New task” and type in “explorer.exe” (without the quotes)
7. Your taskbar should now reappear and your computer that was frozen should now be ready to go.

(There are other ways to open Task Manager too – for instance CTRL + SHIFT + ESC.)

This trick will work most of the time – but not always. Sometimes you cannot even use your CTRL – ALT -DELETE keys. If this happens you’ll just have to turn off your computer with the power switch and turn it back on. But don’t do that until after you’ve tried this trick. It often works and it can save you a lot of aggravation.

2 thoughts on ““Unfreeze” your computer without rebooting

  1. Richie

    Unfreeze Your Computer I Read About Windows 7 …. I Have Windows 8 Or 8.1

    Reply

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