8 Fixes For Computer Freezes When Playing Games

Often, we have seen that our PC freezes for no reason while we are playing games or using other heavy applications.

It is annoying and frustrating to get stuck right before you are about to win the game you had been trying for more than an hour.

Fret not, in this guide, we will assist you in fixing the problem, and we will also provide some tips about how it can be better.

Solutions To Stop Your Computer From Freezes While Playing Games

  1. Lower In-game Settings
  2. Restart Windows Explorer
  3. Disable Background Programs
  4. Check Your Thermals
  5. Update Your Drivers
  6. Upgrade Disk To SSD, Migrate OS And Games To SSD
  7. Check Your Hardware
  8. Increase The Size Of Virtual Memory

Fix 1: Lower In-game Settings

Inconsistent or choppy framerates could be a probable cause for computer freezes. It happens when you push your hardware, either CPU or GPU, to its limits.

  • Slightly lower the overall quality and texture of the game
  • Drop the playing settings to low or medium instead of high or ultra.

Though these methods might affect the gaming ambiance a bit, the frame rate would be smooth.

Fix 2: Restart Windows Explorer

Here’s another fix for you if lowering the in-game settings didn’t do the trick. For this, first, exit your game and then restart Windows Explorer from the task manager.

Step 1. Simultaneously press Ctrl + Shift + Esc keys to open the task manager dialog box.

Step 2. Click on the “more details” arrow to view the list of all the currently running processes in your system.

Step 3. Scroll the list of processes until you find one named “Windows Explorer.”

Fix computer freezes while playing games

Step 4. Right-click on Windows Explorer and select restart from the options.

Close the task manager window after applying the changes and check if the computer freezes when playing games or not. You can use this fix in Windows 7 systems as well.

Fix 3: Disable Background Programs

Games require a considerable amount of memory and processing power to function smoothly. Sometimes unwanted or unnecessary programs keep running in the background and hog the memory casing freezing issue. You can disable them to free the RAM and processing power.

Step 1. Simultaneously press Ctrl + Alt + Delete keys and select task manager to open the task manager dialog box.

Step 2. Click on the “more details” arrow to view the list of all the currently running processes in your system.

Step 3. Scroll the list of processes and check which ones occupy the most Memory, GPU, and CPU.

Disable background programs in Windows 10

Step 4. Check if they are unimportant. Right-click on these programs and disable them.

Fix 4: Check Your Thermals

Overheating of the graphics card or processor is a dangerous risk of gaming. To compensate for the risk, the computer automatically throttles down its performance to protect itself from damage.

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Using the on-screen display (OSD), you can use MSI Afterburner to check the thermals while playing games using the on-screen display (OSD). Here are a few more methods you can perform to test the stability of your system.

CPU Stability: An inefficient or unstable CPU could cause overheating problems in the system. You can use tools such as Core Temp to keep an eye on temperature reading in real-time.

There are tools like Prime95 that allow users to put their CPU through paces and run stress tests. Stress tests punish the processor for determining any stability issues in CPU or RAM.

GPU Stress Test: The look and feel of your game depend on the graphic card or video card. Overheating can lead to performance degradation in video cards and cause instability and random framerate drops while gaming. Tools like FurMark can help you benchmark performance by stress-testing the GPU.

Clear computer dust: It is possible that your computer is overheating because the internal hardware is covered in dust. This can happen when you have been using the PC for a long time.

Check the PC fan: High thermals can happen when the fans in your system aren’t working. Make sure that the fan’s power cable is tightly connected, or you can replace the old fan with a new one to improve cooling.

Fix 5: Update Your Drivers

The most common and obvious fix is to update any incompatible driver manually or using third-party software such as DDU (Display Driver Uninstaller), DriverFix, Driver Easy, etc.

The auto-update feature of Windows 10 sometimes fails to update the drivers in the device manager. Also, for this fix to work, you must keep your Windows 10 OS up-to-date.

You can perform clean driver installation using DDU to remove all previous driver installations from your PC. Make sure to use DDU in safe mode to uninstall any driver and turn off the Wi-Fi or internet.

Once DDU removes all traces of any previous drivers, you can go to your graphic card manufacturer’s website, Nvidia, AMD, Intel, or others, and download and install the latest drivers for your graphics card.

You can use Driver Easy and DriverFix tools to update your drivers. They are much easier as you don’t need to download the drivers from the manufacturer’s website, which is a somewhat risky procedure, especially if you download and install the wrong driver.

Fix 6: Upgrade Disk To SSD, Migrate OS And Games To SSD

Outdated or insufficient memory hard drives will slow down your computer while playing games or other heavy programs.

Fixing this is a three-part process:

1. Get a new SSD

Step 1. Buy a new SSD online or from a shop having greater capacity than your current hard drive.

Step 2. Install the SSD on your computer. Get professional help in case you are unsure.

Step 3. Initialize partition of the OS. Go to Disk Management and right-click on the unallocated SSD volume. Click on Initialize Disk and select “MBR” or “GPT.”

2. Migrate OS to the new SSD

You can use the EaseUS Todo Backup tool to migrate the Windows OS to the new SSD safely. The device works for Windows 7/8/10 and can migrate the Windows OS, installed games, software, and programs to the new disk.

Step 1. Empty the new SSD and connect it to your system.

Step 2. Start the EaseUS Todo Backup tool to clone Windows 10.

Step 3. Click on System Clone given on the left panel and select the destination disk (your new SSD or HDD) to start cloning Windows 10.

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Step 4. Click Proceed.

3. Step-up PC to run games from SSD

Step 1. Insert your new SSD or HDD and reboot your PC.

Step 2. Press F2 or F8 when the PC is restarting to enter the BIOS setup.

Step 3. Navigate to Boot options and select the new HDD or SSD as the new booting drive. Save the changes and exit.

Step 4. Restart your PC and check if Windows 10 is running smoothly on your new disk.

Fix 7: Check Your Hardware

Your current PC must pass the minimum requirements for the game you are playing; otherwise, you need to upgrade it.

1. Check the health of the hard drive: Horrible gaming experience could result from faulty drives. They can also lead to total system failure. There is software like Hard Disk Sentinel that can check the HDD health and performance capability.

2. Check the power supply: If the power supply isn’t sufficient for your PC, your whole system will malfunction, or it will throttle down to compensate for the loss.

Fix 8: Increase The Size Of Virtual Memory

If you are a professional gamer or love to play heavy online games, you will probably be better off with more memory. That said, 8GB is enough space for gaming alone, but not when you factor in other background running programs.

Virtual memory allows you to increase your system’s memory and performance when the physical memory is exhausted.

Step 1. Press the Windows icon and search for View Advanced system settings.

Step 2. Go to the Advanced tab and click on the Settings button given in the performance section.

Increase virtual memory to resolve computer freeze

Step 3. Tap the Advanced tab in the Performance Options window and press the Change button.

Increase virtual memory Windows 10

Step 4. Make sure that you uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drive options and tap the Custom size radio button.

Increase virtual memory

Step 5. Enter the Initial size and Maximum size you want for the paging file. Make sure that you have selected the system drive.

Step 6. Paging will increase the virtual memory size. Press Set and then hit OK.

Part 2: Tips For You When You Are Playing Games With Your Computer

  1. Use Gaming Computer/Notebooks
  2. Improve Internet Speed, Update Network Bandwidth
  3. Update CPU Chip
  4. Leave Sufficient Memory, Add New Memory Cards
  5. Install Compatible Games On Your OS
  6. Never Use Your Computer For Too Long
  7. Play Games Downloaded From Reliable And Trusted Channels

1. Use Gaming Computer/Notebooks

Playing heavy online games on a standard computer or business notebook is bound to leave you stuck in the middle. These systems are not capable of handling the stress of gaming and will overheat.

The professional gaming laptops come with higher-equipped hard disks, CPU, Graphics cards, etc., and have better installation compatibility for gaming.

2. Improve Internet Speed, Update Network Bandwidth

Playing online games with low internet bandwidth is not a good combination for a smooth gaming experience. You should update it to higher if your games are enormous.

Before playing games, make sure that your internet cables are attached tightly to your computer to prevent bandwidth loss.

Also, if your Wi-Fi router is old, change it to a new one and release the network bandwidth limit on your PC.

3. Update CPU Chip

If your CPU chip is incompatible with the current motherboard or old, it can degrade the computer performance.

CPU causes system freezing

You can purchase a new CPU processor from your computer’s manufacturer, which will be compatible with the model and make of your system, and then replace the old incompatible chip with the new one. Make sure to get professional help if you haven’t done this before.

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We recommend backing up your data and OS using software such as EaseUS Todo Backup for Windows to prevent any data loss.

4. Leave Sufficient Memory, Add New Memory Cards

You must leave sufficient memory on your memory card to allow the computer to breathe easily and get suffocated.

If your computer is short on supply of memory, you can extend the storage by adding new memory cards or memory sticks.

Step 1. Go to the store and buy a new memory stick having the same capacity as your current memory card. Try the new TF card.

Step 2. Install the memory card in your system. Get professional help if you don’t know-how.

5. Install Compatible Games On Your OS

It is possible that the game you are using isn’t compatible with your hardware and hence can’t run smoothly.

Make sure that you install the games on your PC after checking their compatibility and requirements. You can upgrade the Windows OS or your entire system so that your gaming experience isn’t affected.

6. Never Use Your Computer For Too Long

Using your computer for too long at a single go can lower its performance. Although it is a machine, it still needs time to cool down, rest, and remove all the stress. Care for your computer so that it doesn’t quit on you by crashing itself.

7. Play Games Downloaded From Reliable And Trusted Channels

Downloading games or any files from unknown or harmful websites can be hazardous. There is a high possibility that the game is a virus or is bringing viruses or other unwanted contents with it into your system.

The virus or malware can cause your game to freeze in the middle or cause your computer to underperform while stealing essential data from you.

Conclusion

There could be numerous factors for why your computer freezes when playing games, and we hope this guide could help you identify and fix them correctly. 

Other fixes, including virtual memory extension, running system file checker (sfc /scannow in command prompt), clearing junk files, etc., can help you fix PC freezes while gaming.

Some of the above-given fixes require you to have professional support or experience, so make sure you get it to avoid any unnecessary damage to your PC.

FAQs

Why Does My Pc Keep Freezing When Playing Games?

There could be numerous causes for your computer to freeze when playing games, such as:
Insufficient memory in computer hard drive
Insufficient storage or memory
Automatic update of Windows 10 causing games to get stuck
Poor network bandwidth or internet connection
Higher than regular RAM or CPU usage
Incompatibility issues between game and computer
Low performing graphic card
Outdated or incompatible graphic card
Low disk space
Virus or malware attacks
Overheating of system components

How Do I Prevent My Computer From Crashing When I Play Games?

1. Lower In-game Settings
2. Restart Windows Explorer
3. Disable Background Programs
4. Check Your Thermals
5. Update Your Drivers
6. Upgrade Disk To SSD, Migrate OS And Games To SSD
7. Check Your Hardware
8. Run System File Checker (sfc /scannow in command prompt command line to fix the system files)

What Causes Short Freezes In Games?

Short freezes are generally caused by graphic driver issues or low memory issues. A computer running low on RAM, CPU processing power, or GPU is bound to make up for it by throttling down its functions and affecting your smooth gaming experience.