Nothing works more to kill your productivity than a computer giving a “not responding” response. There are a lot of reasons why your computer may give a “not responding” feedback. In this article, I have highlighted the common reasons why you may get that response while working on your PC.

Why does my computer always say not responding?

There are different reasons why your computer may display a “not responding” feedback. Depending on what you are working on at the time or what software was in use, the problem may range from what is staring you in the face, that is, an issue with the current software you were working with, to all kinds of other problems on different applications in your PC.

A “not responding” response from your PC is usually not so much of a big deal and is mostly an easy fix. However, if it becomes persistent, you may need an expert to take a look at it.

Below is a list of the most common reasons why your computer says not responding and how you can fix it.

Reasons Why Your Computer Says “not responding”

Software problems

If your computer is not responding, it may be an issue with your software. Your software may act up for a few reasons and that in turn, results in your computer freezing or not responding.

Too many running application

Even though your Windows can efficiently multitask, running too many applications at once can sure cause it to act up a bit. It is advisable to run only important applications at the same, others can be closed to keep your Windows at its best performance.

Update issues

Another reason for a “not responding” response may be that your present OS is outdated and needs updating. Your PC may be acting up because of this reason. All you will need to do is to update it.

Malware attack

If you keep getting a “not responding” message after all the above reasons, you might want to consider a malware as the culprit. Your computer may not be responding due to the activities of a malware.

Driver related issue

Drivers are the small but important software that enables Windows to interface with hardware appropriately. If there is an incompatibility between your Windows and the driver of a particular hardware, you may get a “not responding” message when that hardware is in use.

Incompatible Hardware/Software

If a particular hardware is not compatible with your version of Windows, it may result in a not responsive computer. One way to check if this is the reason your computer is acting up is to disconnect the hardware and see if your computer responds normally. You may also want to confirm by reconnecting the hardware and see if the problem persists. Watch out for newly acquired hardware or software to pinpoint the problem.


As you very well know, if you overwork your computer, it will begin to overheat. And most times, you can feel the heat radiating off your PC. An overheated computer can bring about a “not responding” feedback, apps may begin to act up and your computer can freeze.

How To Fix A Not Responding Pc

  • Enable Task Manager
  • Restart your Computer
  • Run antivirus check
  • Uninstall and Reinstall Problematic Software
  • Run System File Checker Scan
  • Run a clean boot
  • Enable Task Manager

Setting up the Task Manager on your computer will ensure that you can close apps quickly. To set up your Windows Task Manager, follow the following steps:

  1. Press the following keys on your keyboard- Ctrl + Alt + Del
  2. Select Processes
  3. Select the non-responsive app
  4. Click on End Task
  5. Restart your Computer

One of the very first things you can do to fix a nonresponsive PC is to restart your computer. In some cases, this works and fixes the problem. In other cases, it is likely that the problem persists.

Not to worry, there are other things that can be done to fix a not responding computer.

Run antivirus check

Windows 10 comes with its antivirus called Windows Defender. If you have a nonresponsive computer, you may want to run an antivirus check to be sure a malicious malware is not the problem.

However, in some cases, the protection from Windows Defender may not be enough. You can also install external antivirus to protect your system from malware. After running a check, follow through with the suggested solution to restore your system to normal functioning.

Uninstall and Reinstall Problematic Software

If a particular software appears to be malfunctioning, one thing you can do is uninstall it. Afterward, restart your computer and reinstall it. If that solves the problem, then you know the software was responsible for the “not responding” response of your computer.

Run System File Checker Scan

A System File Checker (SFC) Scan checks through your system for any file that is not working right and promptly fixes it. To perform an SFC scan, go through the following steps:

  1. In the search box, type cmd
  2. From the search results, right-click on Command prompt
  3. select run as administrator
  4. Enter the SFC command – SFC  /scannow and press Enter
  5. Run a Clean Boot

A clean boot helps to temporarily disable any currently running third-party app. This way, if a third-party app is the cause of the problem, it can easily be detected. To run a Clean boot, follow the steps below:

  1. Type msconfig in the search box
  2. Click on Systems Configuration and select “selective startup”
  3. Click on “Load System service”
  4. Select “Hide all Microsoft services” and then click on “Disable all”
  5. On the Startup tab, click on “Open Task Manager” and then click on “Status” to sort by Status
  6. Next, highlight all enabled applications and disable them
  7. Finally, reboot your computer

If the system goes back to working properly, then you can note which running app(s) were disabled.


If your computer says “not responding”, it is more often than not a minor problem that can be easily fixed. Above are some of the most common reasons why your computer says not responding. If the non-responsiveness persists, however, contact an expert to come to check your computer.


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