Windows 11 not Responding or Frozen: 8 Thorough Solutions

Everything you need to get your PC working smoothly again

by Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim Ali Alvi
Kazim has always been fond of technology, be it scrolling through the settings on his iPhone, Android device, or Windows. And at times, unscrewing the device to take... read more
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  • If the desktop in Windows 11 is not responding, that generally points toward a software issue.
  • It could be a conflicting app, an outdated driver, or malware causing the problem.
  • To fix the error, try updating the OS, installing the latest driver version, or running the built-in troubleshooter, amongst other methods here.
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As more and more people are switching to Windows 11, we are now seeing many more errors. One of the seemingly listless problems is the Windows 11 not responding issue.

When this happens, your system becomes frozen for some time, and you won’t be able to access most areas of your PC. To help restore normalcy on your PC, we have gathered the best fixes for the Windows 11 not responding issue in this guide.

Why does Windows 11 keep freezing?

There are various reasons a Windows 11 laptop might not respond to clicks. This could be due to issues with your PC or down to some third-party apps.

Listed below are some of the well-known causes:

  • Outdated PC: This Windows 11 unresponsive has been reported by some users to be caused by a bug in some versions of the OS. This has been fixed in the latest releases. Hence, the first fix to apply is to update your PC to the newest version.
  • Corrupt system files: At times, if Windows 11 is not responding after sleep, it might be due to corrupt or broken system files. You can use the built-in tools or dedicated software to repair and restore these files.
  • Memory issues: Issues with your PC memory can make it freeze sometimes. Thankfully, Windows 11 has a Memory Diagnostic tool that can fix this.
  • Outdated drivers: Drivers play an essential role in the smooth running of your PC. When crucial drivers are obsolete, Windows 11 might stop responding randomly. So, you need to update your drivers to keep your PC running optimally.

What can I do if the Windows 11 desktop is not responding?

We advise you to restart or force shut down your PC before trying other fixes. This is because the issue might be a minor glitch with some processes, which a simple restart can fix.

If this does not work, you can now proceed to the fixes below:

1. Disable the Search icon on Taskbar

  1. Right-click the Taskbar and choose Taskbar settings.
    taskbar settings windows 11 not responding
  2. Toggle the switch for the Search option backward to disable it.
  3. Now, restart your PC.

If your Windows 11 desktop screen is not responding, it might be down to the Search icon on the Taskbar. Some users reported that removing the icon solved the issue quickly.

2. Update Windows 11

  1. Press Windows + I to launch the Settings app, and select Windows Update from the tabs listed in the navigation pane on the left.Windows Updates
  2. Click on the Check for updates button on the right to scan for any available newer versions of Windows 11.Check for updates to fix windows 11 desktop not responding
  3. If an update is listed after the scan, click on the Download & install button.Download & install

3. Perform a clean boot

  1. Press the Windows key + R, type msconfig, and press Enter.
  2. Click the Services tab at the top, check the box for Hide all Microsoft services, and click Disable all.
    hide all windows 11 not responding
  3. Select the Startup tab at the top and click Open Task Manager.
    startup task manager
  4. Right-click each of the apps there and select Disable.
  5. Go back to the System Configuration window and click Apply, followed by OK.
    apply ok
  6. Finally, restart your PC.

Performing a clean boot disables all third-party apps and services from starting up. This should fix the Windows 11 not responding on startup issue.

If your PC typically works on a clean boot, you can now start enabling the apps and services in batches to know the one causing the problem.

4. Uninstall conflicting programs

  1. Press Windows + I to launch Settings, and select the Apps tab from the left.Apps
  2. Click on Apps & features on the right.Apps & features to fix windows 11 desktop not responding
  3. Now, locate the problematic app, click on the ellipsis next to it, and select Uninstall from the flyout menu.
    Uninstall to fix windows 11 desktop not responding
  4. Again, click Uninstall in the confirmation prompt that pops up.Uninstall

As already discussed earlier, an application is just as likely to cause the Windows 11 desktop not responding issue. Here, all you have to do is identify and uninstall the app.

To do that, recall the apps installed or updated around the same time you first encountered the error. Then, start removing them one at a time, restart the computer after each, and check if the error is eliminated.

Once the problematic app has been removed, you can safely reinstall the others that were uninstalled during the process.

5. Update the drivers

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Device Manager in the text field, and click on the relevant search result.Device Manager
  2. Double-click on the Display adapters entry here.Display adapters to fix windows 11 desktop not responding
  3. Right-click on the graphics adapter, and select Update driver from the context menu.Update driver to fix windows 11 desktop not responding
  4. Select Search automatically for drivers from the two options in the Update Drivers window.Search automatically for drivers
  5. Wait for your system to install the best driver available on the computer for the graphics adapters.

Drivers play a critical role in the effective functioning of every piece of hardware. While some of these may not considerably affect the performance, others, like the graphics driver, play a significant role and cannot be neglected.

So, it’s recommended that you update the graphics driver in Windows 11 to eliminate the desktop not responding issue. If you haven’t previously downloaded the latest version, find out how to manually install the drivers in Windows 11.

If the problem persists after updating the graphics drivers, install the latest versions for the other drivers. This may take a while, which is where a reliable third-party app could help.

We recommend Outbyte Driver Updater, a reliable tool that will automatically scan every possible source for the latest version and install it for all the drivers on the system. With all the drivers up-to-date, you will not likely encounter such issues.

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6. Run a malware scan

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Windows Security in the text field, and click on the relevant search result that appears.Windows Security
  2. Click on the Virus & threat protection option.Privacy & threat protection
  3. Now, click on Scan options to view all the different types of scans available.Scan options
  4. Select the Full scan option and then click on the Scan now button at the bottom.Full scan to fix windows 11 desktop not responding

Now, wait for the scan to complete, and once it’s done, check if the Windows 11 desktop not responding issue is resolved. Also, while we have used the built-in Windows Security to scan for malware, you can use any reliable third-party antivirus for Windows 11.

7. Perform DISM and SFC scan

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Windows Terminal in the text field, right-click on the relevant search result, and select Run as administrator from the context menu.Windows Terminal to fix windows 11 desktop not responding
  2. Click Yes in the UAC (User Account Control) prompt that pops up.Click Yes
  3. Next, click on the downward-facing arrow near the top and select Command Prompt from the list of options. Alternatively, you can hit Ctrl + Shift + 2 to launch Command Prompt in a new tab.Command Prompt
  4. Now, type/paste the following command and hit Enter to run the DISM tool:Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealthDISM to fix windows 11 desktop not responding
  5. Next, execute the following command to perform the SFC scan:sfc /scannowSFC scan to fix windows 11 desktop not responding

Once done, restart the computer for the changes to come into effect. Now, verify if the desktop not responding problem in Windows 11 is fixed.

The DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) tool and SFC (System File Checker) scan can fix many errors arising due to corrupt or missing system files, problems with the Windows image, or installation files.

8. Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool

  1. Press Windows + S to launch the Search menu, enter Windows Memory Diagnostic in the text field, and click on the relevant search result.Windows Memory Diagnostic to fix windows 11 desktop not responding
  2. Click on the Restart now and check for problems (recommended) option.Restart now and check for problems

The last thing you should look out for is problems with the RAM. The Windows Memory Diagnostic is a built-in tool that will help identify and eliminate issues with the RAM.

That’s it! By the time you execute the methods listed here, the desktop not responding problem in Windows 11 should be fixed. Unfortunately, if that’s not the case, you are left with no option but to reset Windows 11 to its factory settings.

If it’s not just the desktop but the whole computer, learn what to do if Windows 11 keeps freezing randomly.

Tell us which fix worked for you in the comments section below.

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