What to Do with a Hung or Unresponsive Windows 7 Program


Sooner or later it happens to all of us – a Windows program gets hung up and just sits there frozen. You can open Task Manager (Ctrl+Shift+Esc) and try to close the hung program or use the command line to kill it [shown in our tips and tricks section]. But sometimes you might want to see if you can find out why the program got hung up in the first place or you may want to try to unfreeze it. In that case, Windows 7 has just the system tool you need.

It’s called Resource Monitor and has many features . One of them is a way to troubleshoot programs that don’t respond. Here is how it works:

  1. Open Resource Monitor by entering “resmon” in the Start-Search bar. Alternatively, open Task Manager ( keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+Esc), and click on the “Performance” tab  and then the button “Resource Monitor”.
  2. An example of the window that opens is shown below. In the CPU section of the “Overview” tab, right-click the executable file of the hung application. The listing of the hung application will be colored red.

The context menu that opens is shown on the right. You can close the hung process from this menu or you can choose the entry “Analyze Wait Chain…”  to see what other processes may be interacting with the hung program. If you know that an entry in the wait chain is not crucial you can try ending that process to see if it frees up the hung program. However, take care not to end a process that is vital to system operation. Ending a process here is not permanent, however, and rebooting the computer will normally restart everything.

Analyze Wait Chain in Resource Monitor

More informationWindows Seven Forums has additional details about Resource Monitor and hung programs.

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