Some users have reported that their Windows computer freezes or crashes when watching videos. It does not matter whether they watch videos online in their web browsers or offline in media player software, their computer either freezes or crashes. If you are facing the same issue on your Windows 11/10 computer, the solutions provided in this post may help you.
Computer freezes when watching videos
If your Windows 11/10 computer freezes or crashes when watching videos, the following suggestions may help you fix the problem. Before you proceed, we suggest you check for Windows updates. If an update is available, install it and then check if the problem occurs.
- Run an appropriate troubleshooter
- Roll Back your graphics card driver or uninstall the latest Windows Update
- Update or reinstall your graphics card driver
- Troubleshoot in a Clean Boot state
- Perform SFC and DISM scans
- Try another media player
- Clear your web browser cache and cookies
- Try another web browser
- Increase virtual memory
- Create a new user profile
- Perform an In-place Upgrade
Below, we have explained all these fixes in detail.
1] Run an appropriate troubleshooter
Windows 11/10 has built-in automated troubleshooters that help users fix problems on their computers. Your computer crashes or freezes every time you play a video. Hence, running the following troubleshooter can help.
- Video Playback Troubleshooter
- System Maintenance Troubleshooter
To run the Video Playback Troubleshooter, follow the steps provided below:
- Click on Windows Search and type control panel.
- Select the Control Panel from the search results.
- In the Control Panel, change the View by mode to Large Icons.
- Click Troubleshooting.
- Click Hardware and Sound.
- You will see the Video Playback option at the bottom of the page. Click on it to launch the Video Playback Troubleshooter.
- When the Video Playback Troubleshooter appears on your screen, click Advanced and select the Apply repairs automatically option. After that, click Next to start the troubleshooter.
The steps to run the System Maintenance Troubleshooter are written below:
- Open the Control Panel.
- Change the View by mode to Large Icons.
- Select Troubleshooting.
- Click System and Security.
- Now, click System Maintenance. This will launch the System Maintenance Troubleshooter.
- When the System Maintenance Troubleshooter appears, click Advanced and enable the Apply repairs automatically option.
- If you see the Run as administrator option, click on it and then click Next to start the troubleshooter.
Wait till the above troubleshooters complete the troubleshooting process. After that, check if you can play a video or not. If not, try the next solution.
Fix: Video Playback issues, problems and errors
2] Roll Back your graphics card driver or uninstall the latest Windows Update
You can try rolling back your graphics card driver and see if this helps. Open the Device Manager and open the properties of your graphics card driver. Now, see if the Roll Back option is available. If yes, roll back the driver. This action will uninstall the latest driver update.
If the problem has started occurring after installing a certain Windows Update, we suggest you uninstall the latest Windows Update and see if it helps.
3] Update or reinstall your graphics card driver
One possible cause of this problem is the corrupted or outdated graphics card driver. You should update the graphics card driver. To do that, open the Optional Updates page in Windows 11/10 Settings and see if an update for your graphics card driver is available there. If yes, consider installing it. Updating the graphics card driver should fix the problem.
If this does not work or if an update is not available, visit the official website of your graphics card manufacturer and download the latest version of your driver from there. After that, uninstall the currently installed version of your graphics card driver from your computer using the Display Driver Uninstaller (DDU) software. Don’t worry, you will not lose your display after installing the graphics card driver. After uninstalling the driver, run the installer file that you downloaded from the manufacturer’s website to install the graphics card driver manually.
4] Troubleshoot in a Clean Boot state
There might be a conflicting background or software causing the problem. By troubleshooting your system in a Clean Boot state, you can identify that program. In a Clean Boot state, Windows starts only with necessary apps and services. All other services and startup apps remain disabled. After starting your system in a Clean Boot state, play a video and see if it freezes or crashes your system. If not, you are facing the problem due to a problematic background app or software.
To identify the problematic application, enable some of the disabled programs in the Clean Boot state and then restart your computer in the normal mode. Now, play a video and see what happens. If your computer crashes or freezes this time, one of the programs that you have just enabled is the culprit. To identify it, start disabling the programs one by one that you have just enabled and play a video every time you disable a program. This process will take time but help you find the culprit. Once you find the problematic application or software, uninstall it and find its alternative.
5] Perform SFC and DISM scans
One possible cause of this problem is the corrupted system image files. There are many causes of the damaged system image files, like a power surge, malware or virus infection, etc. If there are any damaged system image files on your system, running the SFC and DISM scans will repair them.
After both the scans get completed, you should be able to play the videos without interruption.
6] Try another media player
There are a number of free media player software available on the internet. You can download and install these free media players on your system to play videos.
7] Clear your web browser cache and cookies
If a video playback in your web browser freezes or crashes your computer, there might be some corrupted cache or cookie data. Clear the cache and cookie data of your web browser and see if it helps. To do so, press the Ctrl + Shift + Delete keys. This shortcut will open the Clear Browsing Data window in most web browsers. Now, select cookies and cache, and delete them.
8] Try another web browser
Play the video in another web browser. This will let you know whether the issue is occurring on a particular web browser or not. If the video playback does not freeze or crash your computer, reset the browser you are facing the issue with. The process to reset some popular web browsers is written below:
- To reset Chrome to default, open Chrome settings, then open the Advanced Settings. Scroll down and you will see the “Restore settings to their original defaults” option.
- To reset or refresh Firefox, open Firefox Settings, then go to “Help > Troubleshoot Information.” Now, click on the Refresh Firefox button.
- To reset Microsoft Edge to default, open Edge, then go to “Settings > Reset Settings.”
9] Increase Virtual Memory
Another effective solution to fix this problem is to increase Virtual Memory. Increasing the virtual memory may improve the system performance. If this fixes the problem, upgrade the physical RAM. If this method does not fix the problem, revert the changes that you have made and try the next solution.
10] Create a new user account
Sometimes, the problem occurs on a particular user account. You can check this by creating a new user account. Open your Windows 11/10 Settings and create a new local administrator account. After creating the new user account, log out from your current account and log into the new user account that you have just created. Now, play a video and see what happens.
11] Perform an In-place Upgrade
If none of the above solutions worked for you, perform an In-place Upgrade. The in-place upgrade installs the Windows operating system without uninstalling the existing one. It also repairs the user’s system. Though the in-place upgrade does not delete any data from your computer, we recommend you backup all your data on an external hard disk before proceeding.
Read: Windows crashes or freezes even in Safe Mode.
Why do my videos keep freezing?
There might be many reasons why your video keeps freezing on a WIndow computer. If the media player that you are using to play the video does not support codecs, it may freeze. Another cause of this problem is the corrupted system image files. In such a case you should run SFC and DISM scans to fix the problem.
If you are experiencing freezing issues while playing videos in your web browser, delete its cookie and cache data. Also, check if the problem is occurring on other web browsers. If not, you have to reset the browser you are experiencing the problem with.
Sometimes a problematic background application causes problems on a Windows device. You can identify that program by troubleshooting your computer in a Clean Boot state.
You should also update your graphics card driver and see if this helps. If the problem is occurring on a specific media player, switching to another media player will fix the issue.
Why does PC suddenly freeze?
If your Windows PC freezes suddenly, your system image files might be corrupted. In this case, running the SFC and DISM scans will help.
If the problem occurs frequently, it might be an indication of faulty RAM. You can check the health of your RAM by using the Memory Diagnostic Tool. If your RAM is healthy and your computer freezes when you run multiple programs, you should upgrade your physical RAM.
Hope this helps.
Read next: Windows computer freezes while installing Graphics driver.