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Stuck on CTRL+ALT+DEL Screen? Here’s How to Fix This

The Ctrl+Alt+Delete screen has been a part of Windows for years. It’s the go-to tool when Windows freezes up. If you’re unable to click on anything on the screen, or your system has slowed down to the point where you cannot quit the apps that are slowing it down, the CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen (or the GINA screen) is what you should turn to.

CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen

The CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen has carried forward to Windows 10 so anytime your system is stuck, you can tap this key combination and bring up a menu that allows you to open the task manager, among other things.

Are you stuck on CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen?

The CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen is supposed to help users perform important tasks quickly but, this screen can get stuck at times. This is rare; even if your system has crawled to a stop, you should still be able to access the CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen. If the CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen is unresponsive, i.e., you cannot click anything on it, try the fixes below.

1. Restart the system

A restart may be the fix to this problem if it is one-time thing. To restart the system;

  1. Press and hold the power button on your laptop or desktop until it shuts off.
  2. Remove the power adapter/power cable and connect it again after a minute.
  3. Boot up your system.
  4. Once you’re on the desktop, tap the CTRL+ALT+DELETE keys and check if the screen is responsive.

2. Run startup repair

If the CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen freezes every time you access it, there may be a problem with your system’s files. Run a startup repair

  1. Force shut down the system (press and hold the power button).
  2. Boot it again and force shut it down when you see the Windows logo.
  3. Repeat this 3-5 times and you will see the Troubleshoot menu.
  4. Go to Advanced options>Startup repair.
  5. Allow the repair to finish and return to the desktop.
  6. The CTRL+ALT+DELETE will now be responsive.

3. Turn off Fastboot

One of the reasons the CTRL+ALT+DELETE may become unresponsive is Fastboot. The feature’s name implies it will help your system start up faster but it has been known to cause problems such as a Windows 10 system unable to wake from sleep or a system displaying a black screen when it wakes from sleep. Disabling it is a good idea.

  1. Open File Explorer.
  2. Paste this in the location bar Control Panel\Hardware and Sound\Power Options and tap enter.
  3. Click Choose what the power buttons do in the column on the left.
  4. Click Change the settings that are currently unavailable. 
  5. Uncheck the ‘Turn on Fast startup (recommended)’ option.
  6. Click Save changes.

4. Roll back graphics drivers

Problems with graphics drivers manifest in unexpected ways and a frozen screen is one of them. Roll back the graphics driver if the CTRL+ALT+DELETE continues to freeze.

  1. Open Device Manager.
  2. Expand Display Adapters.
  3. Double-click the on-board graphics card.
  4. Go to the Driver tab.
  5. Click the Roll Back driver button.
  6. Once the driver has been rolled back, restart the system.

Conclusion

The CTRL+ALT+DELETE screen is a quick way to get to the task manager and to lock the system or change the password to your system. It doesn’t freeze often or run into much trouble but it’s nothing startup repair can’t fix.

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