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How to fix app not responding in Windows 10

Apps can become unresponsive for multiple reasons. An app may be working just fine but it may freeze suddenly and stop responding, and crash or close. In some cases, the app may try to recover while in others, you will have to force close it yourself.

Unresponsive apps

Apps may become unresponsive for many reasons but generally, the following will impact how fast or how well an app is able to run.

  • The size of the app’s cache or any cache that it uses e.g., File Explorer can freeze or become unresponsive if the icon cache is corrupt.
  • The system resources needed for the app to work e.g. Photoshop may freeze if there isn’t enough free memory for it to write to giving users the scratch disk is full error.
  • Other apps trying to interact with it e.g., sharing a file from File Explorer to Mail.

Here are some generic fixes you can try if a particular app becomes unresponsive often.

1. Free up system resources

If an app keeps freezing, and it happens to coincide with when you perform a system-heavy function e.g., importing a large data set in Excel or Access, make sure that you’ve quit all other apps that you do not need and then perform it. For system-heavy tasks, it’s a good idea to give the app as much processing power as you can spare.

2. Give app time to recover

An app may become unresponsive but still be working in the background. It will flicker between responsiveness and unresponsiveness. That means the app is actually working but slowly and with some difficulty.

Allow it to finish by giving it as much time as you can. Don’t repeatedly click buttons on the app’s interface, do not switch to other apps, and don’t use other features on Windows 10. Something as simple as partitioning a disk can result in the disk management tool freezing up so be patient with your app.

3. Clear cache

Check if an app that becomes responsive often has a cache that you can clear. Apps like Chrome and Microsoft Teams have their own cache of files. This cache helps them run smoothly however problems with these files can also affect an app’s stability. Check how you can clear or refresh the cache of an app.

4. Problems with files

It is possible that the app’s files have problems. This may have been caused by forcing the app or your system to shut down. The simplest fix is to uninstall and reinstall the app.

5. Use a different version of the app

An update to an app may have made it unstable. Try going back to an older, more stable version of the app that keeps freezing and use it until the problem with the latest version has been patched.

6. Reset app settings

Apps have their own stock/default settings that allow them to work well on most systems. Users can tweak these settings but the default settings will generally give you a more stable app. Try to reset the app to its default settings and see if it stops freezing.

Conclusion

The above are generic fixes that may solve problems with your app however, if the app continues to freeze, look for problems that are specific to that app and you’ll find a more effective solution.

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