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Why does my computer seem to be frozen? The hourglass keeps spinning but nothing happens, or my mouse won't move, etc.

Article ID: 5
Last updated: 17 Jun, 2015

Do not turn the computer off by the power button. This can cause more serious problems. Use that only as a LAST resort.   Instead, hold down the ctrl, alt and delete keys to open the Windows Security window. Click on the Task Manager button. In Windows 7, you will see the "Applications" tab, which is a list of all the programs you currently have open. In Windows 8 or 8.1, this tab is called "Processes", and the relevant programs are the ones listed under "Apps". Often, the program that is giving you problems will have a status of "Not Responding" instead of "Running" (In Windows 8/8.1, it will be highlighted in red).

Select the program you are having difficulties with and then select the button labeled "End Task". You may get window that says "The program is not responding". If you do, select "End Now". Give the computer a minute or so to end the program. Once the program closes, you'll want to restart your computer properly.

Only after exhausting all other options should you press your computer's power button, as doing so can corrupt system files and create further issues with your PC.

For more information or to get assistance,  Contact the helpdesk at 518-244-4777 or by emailing


Article submitted by Jon Brennan

Article ID: 5
Last updated: 17 Jun, 2015
Revision: 2
Views: 8199
Comments: 0
Posted: 28 May, 2008 by -- .
Updated: 17 Jun, 2015 by Bosanko B.
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