We’ve all had them! We’re working in an application and suddenly everything freezes. Before I give you your choices about what to do, I want to put in a good word for “save first, save often.” The first thing you should do before even typing a single letter is to save your document. And then, save it every few minutes after that. It’s simple – just press CTRL-S.
If you are working in Microsoft Word, that program has an AutoRecovery feature that saves your document at a predetermined interval. You can custom set that interval. The default is 10 minutes. I would suggest you set it at 5 minutes. So that every 5 minutes, Word will automatically save your document. If you crash and freeze, you will have a saved copy of your work that has been save not more than 5 minutes ago.
That’s it – you won’t lose all that much data if your computer freezes.
OK – back to what to do. You basically have 2 choices. You can wait patiently to see if the computer will “unfreeze” itself. Sometimes, your computer gets busy doing some other operation and everything stops working until it finishes that operation. For example, your CD player may get busy and until it completes its operation, your computer is put on hold. Sometimes this may take a minute or two.
If after waiting for a few minutes and you are still frozen, then it’s time to take action – namely get your computer unstuck. The first thing to do is simply click on the Close button – the RED X in the upper right hand corner.
If this doesn’t quit the application, the next thing to try is to right-click on the frozen application’s icon in the Task Bar and select Close. This may also quit the application.
If that doesn’t work, it’s time to do the Force Quit using the Task Manager. The shortcut keys to open the Task Manager are ALT-CTRL-DELETE or SHIFT-CTRL-ESC. Click on the Applications Tab. Then click on the application that is frozen and click on End Task. Your application should quit.
This should do the trick – but it may take some time for your computer to carry out the command.
If your computer is frozen so badly that nothing seems to work, then you will have to do a “hard” shutdown. Press and hold in the power on button for 7 seconds and the computer will shutdown. Wait about 10 seconds before pushing the power button again to restart it.
You may lose some of your information, but if you save first and save often, and you set your AutoRecovery to 5 minutes, you won’t lose much!
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