How To Fix a Computer That Randomly Restarts
If you’re a regular PC or laptop user, there may be nothing as annoying as your device restarting on its own periodically. This is not only unpleasant, but it also causes you to lose important work in progress.
If you’re having issues with your computer randomly restarting and want answers, you’ve come to the right spot. This article will share tips to resolve the problem on Windows 10, 7, and Mac. Learn how to regain control of your device with ease.
Windows 10 PC Randomly Restarting
If your Windows 10 reboots as soon as you open a program, don’t worry. Many users experience the same issue. Below are the most common fixes to the Windows 10 randomly restarting issue.
Disable the Automatically Restart Feature
A common reason for a computer randomly restarting is a feature is telling it to do so. Check if this is the issue by following the steps below:
- Enter “This PC/My Computer/computer” into the search box next to “Start.”
- Right-click on the result.
- Go to “Properties.”
- Navigate to “Advanced System Settings,” then “Settings….”
- Uncheck the “Automatically Restart” feature and press “OK.”
You have now disabled the feature that makes your computer restart randomly. Continue working on your PC to see if the issue is solved.
Disable Automatic Driver Updates
Maybe there’s an automatic driver update that requires your PC to restart every time. If you’re sure your drivers are correctly installed, you can disable the automatic driver update feature.
- Navigate to the Windows Search Bar and enter “Advanced Settings.”
- Select “View Advanced Settings” from the results.
- Navigate to “Hardware,” then “Device Installation Settings.”
- Check “No (your device might not work as expected)” and select “Save Changes.”
Tweak the Power Settings
Another reason your computer may be restarting is that the power settings are configured incorrectly. Here’s how to reconfigure the setting to hopefully solve the issue:
- Enter “Power Options” in the search box on your Windows 10.
- Select “Edit Power Plan” or similar items in the power settings.
- Select “Change advanced power settings.”
- Stay on the “Balanced” section and click on the “Processor power management.”
- Select “Minimum processor state” and set it to 5% or even 0%.
- Click on “Apply,” then “OK.”
If your computer keeps restarting after editing the power options, proceed with the next section.
Update Your BIOS
Updating BIOS is another way to solve random Windows glitches. Just navigate to your motherboard manufacturer’s website and get the latest BIOS version. It’s essential to check the motherboard manual, so you get the right version. Otherwise, you risk damaging your computer. If you’re not sure about which BIOS you need, it’s best to contact a professional.
Check for Overheating
If your PC is overheating, it may result in occasional restarts. You can check your computer’s temperature by accessing the BIOS or with any third-party software. Additionally, your device may need some pressurized air or dust cleaning to clear vents or other openings of debris.
Inspect Your Computer for Hardware Issues
If none of the suggestions above work, a hardware issue might be giving you random restarts. Check the CPU (central processing unit) or power supply and make sure they are in perfect order. If your laptop or PC is still under warranty, have it checked out at your local repair shop.
Mac Computer Keeps Restarting Randomly
Mac computers are known for being resistant to many issues common for the Windows OS. However, they’re not perfect. If you’re experiencing a reboot issue with your Mac, try the suggestions below.
Check Your Software
Make sure you install all software updates on your Mac. If the operating system indicates an app is causing the restart, you may see a notice suggesting moving it to “Trash.” Do so and see if the issue is fixed.
Also, you can isolate the cause by running your Mac in safe mode.
Finally, you can reinstall the macOS. If the issue doesn’t get resolved, check the hardware as detailed below.
Check Mac Hardware
You want to start by checking your peripheral devices. If you don’t have any, skip the steps below and continue to the next section.
- Turn off your Mac.
- Disconnect all printers, hard drives, and other devices. For desktop Mac users, leave the keyboard, display, and mouse connected.
- Turn on the Mac.
- Check if the device keeps restarting.
- If it does, check the internal RAM and third-party hardware from the section below.
- If it doesn’t, reconnect each peripheral device until you figure out what’s causing the issue.
Check RAM and Third-Party Hardware
Some Mac models come with removable RAM. Maybe the SSD you recently installed isn’t compatible with your system, or it’s installed improperly. Remove it if possible and run a test with the original disk or memory.
If none of the steps above help, contact Apple Support.
Windows 7 Computer Restarting Randomly
Has your Windows 7 been failing on you whenever you open a particular program or simply browse the web? Try the suggestions below to fix the issue.
Turn Off the Automatic Restart Feature
- Navigate to “Start,” then “Computer.”
- Right-click on “Properties” and move to “Advanced System Settings.”
- Click on “Settings” in the “Startup and Recovery” section.
- Uncheck the box next to “Automatically restart” under “System failure.”
- Select “OK” and proceed with using the computer normally.
Should the issue reappear, continue with the suggestions below.
Check for RAM Issues
If there’s an issue with your RAM, it may result in random restarts of your PC. Use MemTest86 or perform a benchmarking test to discover whether RAM is causing the issue.
To use MemTest86, simply download it on your computer, and the app will run automatically. Run six or seven scans for accurate results. The red result means faulty RAM.
Run a benchmarking test by following the steps below:
- Open your Performance Monitor by pressing the “Windows Key + R” and typing “perfmon /report.”
- Wait for 60 seconds for the system to collect data.
The results will be visible in the “Diagnostic Results” tab. There will be three sections – Informational, Basic System Checks, and Resource Overview. If there’s any severe issue your PC is facing, you’ll also see the “Warning” section. If not, look for RAM issues under “Resource Overview.”
Check or Replace the Power Supply
Use this step if you believe dust or dirt may be affecting your power supply.
- Turn off the computer and unplug the system.
- Open the PC casing’s side cover or your laptop’s back cover by unlatching or unscrewing. There will be a small box in one corner featuring a fan and a rating sticker. This is the power supply.
- Disconnect the wires connected to your motherboard.
- Unscrew and unlatch the power supply once you disconnect the cables.
- Look for blocked air paths or dust in the power supply. Clean it and put everything back.
Check for Overheating
Have you noticed that your computer restarts randomly after running a specific program? If so, your CPU may be working too hard and causing the device to overheat, leading to random restarts. You can use third-party software such as CPUID or your PC’s built-in sensors to investigate the issue.
You can download HWMonitor PRO here. Simply install it on your computer and run it. You’ll see a list of processes and their value in terms of temperatures. Check for temperatures after running a task-intensive program.
You can also use your built-in sensors. To do so, follow the steps below:
- Reboot your PC or laptop.
- Press F2 when the Windows logo appears. For Dell devices, press F10.
- You’ll be transferred to BIOS. If not, you’ll see a menu with different options. Select BIOS using your arrow keys and hit “Enter” once you’re there.
- Use the arrow keys to choose H/W monitor and hit “Enter.” Alternately, select “Status” and hit “Enter.”
The system will show temperature and voltage readings for your PC. The readings should be within limits. If not, it means your device may have an overheating issue.
To solve the overheating issue, clean your system and make sure the cooling (fan) system is in order. You may have to replace your thermal paste (a gel-like substance) or clean your heat sinks (small objects that attract and evenly distribute heat).
Computer Randomly Restarting While Gaming
If your computer keeps restarting while you’re gaming, you may want to try one of the suggestions below.
One of the most common reasons a PC restarts during gameplay is because the CPU gets too busy. To keep this from happening, you need to clean your computer. Clean the dust in the PC and make sure fans work properly. If nothing changes after cleaning the fans, and the CPU keeps overheating, consider changing the CPU cooler.
Check for GPU Issues
If your computer mainly restarts as you’re playing a game, the issue may be in your GPU (graphics processing unit). Unplug your GPU from the device and use the system’s integrated graphics. If the computer doesn’t restart anymore, it means you should have your graphics card checked.
Also, always make sure you have a proper cooling system and perform regular driver updates.
Regaining Control Over Your PC
There’s hardly anything more annoying for computer users than random restarts. The issue is irritating but also easily solvable in most cases. This article has provided you with solutions for your Windows or Mac devices to prevent the restarts from happening again.
Which method worked best for you? Did you have to replace your GPU? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.