Windows 11

Why does Windows crash? Most common causes

Windows crashing — whether one of several blue screen of death errors displays or the entire operating system shuts down and you can’t boot into it — is very frustrating. Not only do you lose the work you are about to finish, but troubleshooting why Windows crashes can be difficult. When crashes occur, you are probably wondering how to prevent these issues from occurring in the future. Let’s take a look at the most common causes of Windows crashes, and what to do when Windows keeps crashing.

Why does Windows crash?  Most common cause - Windows

1. RAM problems

Why does Windows crash?  Most common cause - Windows

Since your computer keeps important data in RAM, memory issues can cause Windows to crash. Usually error codes like Fatal Exception Error When Windows tries to retrieve data from memory but cannot do so correctly. If this keeps happening, your RAM may fail.

You can use a free tool like MemTest86 to see if there are problems with your RAM. It is also worth making sure that the RAM chips are installed correctly in their slots. Note that while insufficient RAM can cause your system to hang, it will not usually cause Windows to crash.

If you are sure that the RAM is not the cause, sometimes a motherboard problem can cause similar problems.

2. Driver problems

Drivers are specialized programs that allow Windows to interact with the various components that are connected to your computer. Most of the time, drivers are installed and updated automatically when you connect a new peripheral device or run Windows Update.

However, when drivers get corrupted, they can cause serious problems to appear. Manually installing the wrong driver, or updating to a new version provided by the manufacturer with some bugs, is a common way for this to happen.

When troubleshooting blue screen errors, look for any indication of any specific device, as it might be the culprit. It is also a good idea to open Device Manager (accessed by right-clicking on the Start menu) and check for any warning icons that represent hardware conflicts.

3. Hard disk failure

Why does Windows crash?  Most common cause - Windows

If the storage drive (whether it’s a hard drive or solid state storage medium) in your computer is bad, you may be experiencing Windows crashing. This may be shown by crashes that only occur when you try to open certain files, which indicates that a particular partition of the drive has been corrupted.

For an older hard drive, a clicking sound is another sign of a faulty drive. Since Windows needs to access files via your storage disk to function properly, it may crash if the disk cannot read these files. If this sounds like your problem, learn what to do about a faulty hard drive—and definitely back up your data as soon as possible!

4. Computer overheating

Excessive heat causes major problems for sensitive components inside your computer. A system operating for an extended period of time at elevated temperature may be permanently damaged. To combat this problem, a computer often shuts down automatically when it gets too hot, which usually causes Windows to crash.

An overheating problem can have many sources. If you have a desktop, make sure there is adequate ventilation in the enclosure. You should also check to make sure all the fans inside are working properly and the heatsinks are not loose (check the thermal paste). Make sure to clean your computer regularly to remove excess dust as well.

If you use a laptop, try to avoid placing it in your lap or on surfaces such as blankets, which can clog system cooling sources. See our tips on preventing your computer from overheating for more advice.

5. Malware infection

Malware, including viruses, trojans, and other unwanted files can wreak havoc on your system. While troubleshooting Windows 10 crashes, it makes sense to run an anti-malware scan to rule out any errant tampering.

Scanning with the built-in Windows Defender is a good first option. For a second opinion, we recommend installing the free version of Malwarebytes and running a scan. If you find any malware, hopefully the crashes will subside after the infection is removed.

6. Registry Corruption

Why does Windows crash?  Most common cause - Windows

The Windows registry is a huge database of information where Windows and applications store their entries. Due to the regular addition, removal, and changes of registry entries, there is a possibility that its contents may become corrupted.

Some misconfigurations in the registry have a slight effect, but others can completely crash Windows. This is why we recommend that you avoid using registry cleaning apps, as they often do more harm than good. And if you read a guide that recommends changing the registry value, be careful not to change anything else while you’re inside.

If you suspect that a corrupted registry is the source of your Windows crash, there isn’t much you can do apart from resetting Windows 10.

7. Application conflicts

Most application errors do not cause Windows to crash; It only affects the application in question. However, sometimes, particularly bad app crashes can cause the entire system to shut down. If Windows crashes when you open a particular app, you should try uninstalling the apps to see if it fixes the problem.

If you think that Windows 10 itself is freezing your device, learn what to do when Windows 10 freezes.

8. Energy problems

If you eliminate other possibilities, there is a possibility that Windows crashes are caused by the power that is getting into your computer. Usually this is caused by a faulty power supply.

If the computer power supply is damaged, the power flow may be choppy or become too weak. Of course, this can cause your computer to crash. Replacing the power supply is the best troubleshooting method.

Another power related issue is the setup in your home. An overloaded circuit, weak wires, or plugging your computer into a bad power socket can all cause malfunctions due to power issues. To test this, try moving your device to another room and see if the problem persists.

9. Running an unsupported version of Windows

Why does Windows crash?  Most common cause - Windows

We’ve assumed you’re troubleshooting Windows 10 above. However, if you are running an older version of Windows, this may contribute to your problem. Windows 7 and earlier are no longer officially supported by Microsoft, which means they no longer receive security and stability updates.

For this reason, you may find that older Windows versions crash often. You should update to Windows 10 as soon as possible in order to be on a supported platform.

Speaking of this, to get the best results on Windows 10, you should make sure that you install Windows Updates, which can often fix stability issues that lead to crashes. However, sometimes, immediately installing the latest major update of Windows 10 can cause instability on its own.

If you recently updated Windows 10 and started experiencing crashes, head over to الإعدادات -> التحديث والأمان -> الاسترداد. There, you can go back to the previous version of Windows 10.

Why does Windows keep crashing? Now you know

We have looked at the reasons why Windows 10 crashes most often. As you’ve seen, a lot of it is related to components, whether it’s an incompatible driver, a broken component, or a lot of heat. These problems can often be difficult to diagnose, but by checking these causes, you can solve your problem.

If you specifically encounter crashes while gaming, learn what to do when games crash in Windows.

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