Computer randomly shuts down in Windows 10 [Fix]

By: Ivan Jenic
6 minute read

All of us have experienced one or two spontaneous shutdowns or restarts from time to time. Sometimes the culprit is hardware, sometimes software. Either way, it’s an isolated event. However, what happens if shutdowns repeat frequently? On daily or even hourly basis?

That is just the case with the problem we are addressing today. Namely, the IT forums are full of people asking for the solution. In most cases, they never had sudden shutdowns on Windows 7 or Windows 8.1, respectively. And then they, determined to upgrade to Windows 10, suddenly entered the world of nerve breaking. You’ll hear a lot of generic solutions from Windows technicians, but that is, with all due respect, a lot of apologetic nonsense. So we prepared our list of workarounds for both tower and laptop computers.

We won’t tell you this troubleshoots will repair your computer definitely, but it may help you eliminate usual suspects. Additionally, you’ll learn a thing or two about standard steps you should take in similar situations.

How to fix computer random shutdowns in Windows 10

The first steps you should take are related to drivers. In previous Windows releases, they often caused BSODs (Blue Screen of Death) and shutdowns. So, what you’re going to do is check your GPU drivers firstly. The majority of generic drivers that you’received trough the Windows Update can be used, but that’s not the case with GPU drivers. You’ll need latest drivers provided by the official manufacturer.

  1. Right-click Start and run Device Manager.
  2. Find Display adapters.
  3. Right-click on your GPU and open Properties.
  4. In the Details tab, open HardwareId and copy the first line to your clipboard.
  5. Now, move on to Drivers tab and Uninstall driver.
  6. Paste the first line and search. You should see the exact name and details about the GPU you’re using.
  7. Navigate to an official drivers provider site and download proper, latest drivers.
  8. Install drivers and restart PC.

If you are using dual-GPU with Intel (integrated) and AMD/nVidia (dedicated) graphic cards, make sure to update drivers for both.

Additionally, you may look to update your SSD firmware. Some of the users reported a decrease of shutdowns after that procedure is done.

Turn off the Sleep mode

Sleep mode is great in scenarios when your PC/Laptop is idle for a long period of times. It preserves energy while enabling you to continue with use in a few seconds. Until it became a problem in Windows 10. Namely, some users, instead of standard sleep, experienced complete shutdowns. To be precise, it seems that the Safe mode equals Hibernation in some cases. Because of that, your next step would be to disable sleep mode. We’ll continue from there.

  1. Open Start.
  2. Click on Settings.
  3. Open System.
  4. Set both Screen and Sleep to ‘Never’.

You can also try and set it on ‘5 hours’ timeout. That way some other possible interference should be prevented.

If the shutdowns repeat, move on to the next steps.

Turn off Fast Startup

With newly added Fast Startup, Microsoft tried to speed things up while maintaining the stability. But, since it affects the way your PC is shutting down, it may summon a lot of errors. Luckily, you can disable it, check the PC behavior and move on to the next steps if the workaround failed.

  1. Right-click Start and run Power Options.
  2. In Power Options click ‘Choose what the power buttons do’.
  3. Click ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’.
  4. Uncheck the ‘Turn on fast startup (recommended)’ within the Shutdown settings.
  5. Click OK to confirm and you are done.

Tweak advanced power settings

It seems that a lot of issues are related to power settings in Windows 10. Random shutdowns may be on the list. We have a few tweaks for advanced power settings that are worth trying. Have in mind that you’ll need the administrative permissions in order to perform them.

  1. Right-click on Start and open Power Settings.
  2. Choose your default power plan and click on ‘Change plan settings’.
  3. Click on ‘Change advanced power settings’.
  4. Navigate to Processor power management.
  5. Change the value from 100 to 0 in ‘Minimum processor state’.
  6. Now, navigate to Hard Disk > ‘Turn off hard disk after’ and reduce the value until it shows Never. It goes both for ‘plugged in’ and ‘on battery’ for laptops.
  7.  Save changes and exit.

Check CPU temperature

In some cases, your CPU or GPU may overheat and that will lead to shutdowns. Namely, your motherboard is programmed to shut down everything in order to prevent serious damage to your CPU. This especially goes for laptops that are most of the time lacking an adequate cooling system for intensive gaming. You can check system temperatures with 3rd-party tools or just casually touch backside of the laptop. If the temperatures are alarmingly high, you’ll need to take some actions.

  • Clean fan bay on laptops or CPU cooler on a desktop.
  • Change thermal paste.
  • Use the cooling pad of some kind to reduce heating.
  • Change overclock settings to default.

In case your notebook/PC is in warranty, we advise you to take it to your supplier and let the professionals do the cleanup.

Update BIOS

Even though BIOS updating is not advisable, especially for beginners, sometimes it’s required. If misused, BIOS update can cause a lot of problems and most of them are fatal to your PC. Some motherboards offer special update tool featured in BIOS settings. If you have a new motherboard, you’ll have an easy time updating.

However, those of you with the older configurations have a much harder task. Make sure you gather all the information before performing the process. Moreover, if your motherboard is up to date, don’t upgrade it.

Check HDD state

Another thing worth checking is your HDD. If your HDD is corrupted or it has damaged sectors, you’ll probably encounter a large variety of problems. Most of the time the system won’t boot, but it may as well be related to sudden shutdowns. For that purpose, you can use 3rd-party tools and scan the disk (like HDDScan), or use the built-in tool and do it internally. For starters, the built-in tool will serve you right and here is how to use it.

  1. Right-click on Start and run Command Prompt (Admin)
  2. In the command line type following command and press Enter to confirm.
      • wmic diskdrive get status
  3. You’ll know your hard disk is healthy when prompted with ‘OK’ for every partition.

On the other hand, if you are seeing ‘Unknown’, ‘Caution’, or ‘Bad’, your hard disk have some issues.

Perform clean reinstall

At the end of the day, the clean reinstallation is the most viable solution. Of course, if the hardware isn’t the instigator of the uncalled shutdowns. You can use Media Creation Tool to easily obtain installation setup for either ISO DVD or bootable USB. Have in mind to backup your data from system partition before the process commence. Moreover, take a good care of your license key. The process is not as hard as it was on some of the previous systems so you’ll be able to finish in two hours.

That should wrap it up. We hope you’ll find these workarounds appropriate for the issue. Finally, all you can do is try since Microsoft is the one that should address this issue with more enthusiasm.

In case you have any suggestions, alternative solutions, or questions, don’t forget to tell us in the comments.


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