Programs not responding in Windows [Fix]
Do you have programs that are not responding on your PC? This can be quite an annoying issue, especially if you’re working on an important project. However, there’s a way to fix the problem and today we’ll show you how to do that on Windows 10.
What do you do if your programs in Windows are not responding? Well, it’s not an easy question to answer because there can be a lot of factors causing the problem, ranging from a faulty system, bad drivers, malicious software, and more. Since there’s no universal cause to this problem, it all depends.
Since it’s probably one of the oldest recorded issues in Windows operating systems that still occurs today, almost every Windows user has dealt with it at some point. Because of that, we’ll try to list as many solutions as possible to cover as many scenarios as possible. So, if you’re not sure what actually caused your programs to go unresponsive, review each of the solutions presented and see what works for you!
Windows programs are not responding? Try these solutions
- Restart your computer
- Check your antivirus
- Check for viruses
- Check drivers
- Reinstall the program
- Check for memory leaks
- Scan and fix registry
- Check for missing DLL files
- Run the system file checker
- Reinstall your system
Solution 1 – Restart your computer
Obviously, the first and the simplest thing you should do is restart your computer, especially if the issue occurred recently. Before you move on to more advanced solutions, hit that restart button and see if the program(s) is still unresponsive after the restart.
If the problem still occurs, keep reading this article.
Solution 2 – Check your antivirus
Windows 10 is infamous for interfering with various antivirus programs. What we want to do is check if your current antivirus solution conflicts with some of your programs. The easiest way to check this is to turn off your antivirus for a couple of minutes and run the program again.
If the program launches without any problems, it’s definitely interfering with your antivirus. In that case, you’ll want to whitelist that program and exclude it from further scans. But be careful, and make sure that program is completely safe to use and virus-free before you exclude it.
Another solution is to change your antivirus or even completely switch to Microsoft’s beloved Windows Defender.
If you want to ensure that your PC is malware-free, we suggest that you try out Bitdefender. This is a fast and reliable antivirus, and if you want to make sure that your system is free from malware, we suggest you try out Bitdefender.
Solution 3 – Check for viruses
Since we’re talking about antiviruses, you might as well check if your system is infected with malicious software.
Open your antivirus or Windows Defender and perform a deep scan. If there is any malicious software in your computer, your antivirus solution will remove them. After that, restart your computer and run the program once again. If the problem still persists, move on to another solution.
Solution 4 – Check drivers
The way programs and drivers work are quite similar. Both types of software receive frequent updates and new versions. So, if you haven’t updated your program in a while but have downloaded the latest driver, the two of them might not work so well with each other.
This especially occurs in Windows 10 because it’s highly dependent on Windows Update. So, make sure you’re using the latest version of the program you want to run. If you’re not running the latest version, you’ll certainly want to update it. Which brings us to our next solution.
Solution 5 – Reinstall the program
Updating an outdated program in Windows isn’t always a piece of cake. So, sometimes your best bet is to uninstall it and install the latest version. Reinstallation is also useful if your program gets corrupted as it deletes all damaged files and replaces them with healthy ones.
If none of the solutions from above managed to solve the problem, uninstall the program, and install the latest version of it.
If you want to completely remove an application, including all leftover files that might cause problems in the future, we advise you to use uninstaller software such as Revo Uninstaller. By using a dedicated uninstaller application, you’ll completely remove all files related to the problematic software.
- Get Revo Uninstaller Pro version
Once the software is completely removed, install it again and the issue should be resolved.
Solution 6 – Check for memory leaks
Now, let’s move to a problem that may not be directly tied to your unresponsive programs but can generate the issue: memory leaks. If your system becomes slow and your programs unresponsive, memory leaks are usually one of the main suspects.
Solution 7 – Scan and fix registry
Certain registry errors might also cause unresponsiveness because everything your program does goes into the registry. So, in the case of any disruptions, you might end up with an unresponsive program.
Since checking for such problems manually is a quite complicated task, we advise you to use a registry cleaner. Install a good one, scan for potential errors, and the tool will solve them for you. There are many great registry cleaners on the market, but if you’re looking for a fast and reliable registry cleaner, you might want to try out Advanced SystemCare.
Solution 8 – Check for missing DLL files
DLL files are files closely related to programs you use on your computer. These files help them function properly and affect their behavior in the Windows system. So, if a crucial DLL file is missing from your computer, you probably won’t even be able to start the program.
Since reacquiring DLL files isn’t always easy, we advise you to check out this article for more detailed solutions.
Solution 9 – Run the system file checker
The System file checker, or SFC, is Windows’ built-in tool to deal with various system errors. It might be useful with unresponsiveness, as well. If you’re not sure how to run this command, follow the instructions:
- Go to Search, type cmd, and open Command Prompt (Admin).
- Under the command line type the following command and press Enter:
- The scanning process may be lengthy.
Solution 10 – Reinstall your system
And finally, your last resort and the most time-consuming solution is to completely reinstall your system. You should do this only if you can’t find any other solution. Keep in mind that once you do that, you’ll have to install all your programs and apps once again, which can be painful. Also, don’t forget to create a backup of your data and files to keep them safe from deletion.
To reinstall your system, follow these instructions:
- Click Start.
- Open Settings.
- Open the Update & Security section.
- Choose Recovery from the left pane.
- Click Get Started under the Reset this PC.
- Choose Keep my files.
- After the procedure is finished, install your programs once again, and they should work without any problems.
We hope at least one of these solutions help you resolve the problem with unresponsive programs in Windows. Once again, since this is a widespread issue, we can’t know for certain what caused it for you. If you have any comments, questions, or suggestions, place them in the comments below.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in May 2017 and has been since revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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