You’re typing away about to finish up some important work—before the deadline—when something terrible happens.

The blue screen of death.

Now your computer has to restart (painfully slowly), and you have to hope it saved your work.

While computer crashes can take us by surprise sometimes, they are easy to prevent if you know what causes them. We’ve put together these five common causes of a computer crash to help you get started.

So let’s dive in!

1. Hardware Conflicts

One of the most common causes of computer crashes comes down to faulty hardware.

For example, your computer communicates with other devices, such as a printer or a flash drive, through IRQs (interrupt request channels). Each device has its own IRQ. So when you plug in a printer and a flash drive at the same time, they’re using different channels.

But sometimes these IRQs don’t get installed properly. This means the printer and the flash drive has to share the same IRQ, which can lead to a computer crash.

Your computer might also crash if you try to use too many devices at the same time—even if everything was installed correctly.

2. Not Enough Memory

Your computer needs a certain amount of memory to run. If you fill your computer up with files, it might not have enough memory left over to keep going.

This can cause a crash.

Fortunately, this type of crash has a simple fix. Go through your computer and delete things you don’t need or move them to external memory devices.

3. Malicious Software

Without the right protection, it’s incredibly easy to download malware or ransomware to your computer. You might not even know you have one.

Some of these malicious software can mess with your computer settings. It can even cause your screen to freeze and your programs to crash. This can overload your computer and cause the entire thing to crash.

It’s always a good idea to invest in virus protection software to keep this—and worse—from happening to your computer.

4. Overheating

Your computer generates heat as it runs. It then has to vent this heat out to keep running. If your computer for some reason can’t vent out heat and gets too hot, it will shut down as a failsafe.

If you have a problem with your computer overheating, try keeping it in a place that allows it to circulate air better. You can also buy a fan to help keep it cool.

You should also clean the inside of your computer from time to time. This will prevent dust from building up, which can also lead to overheating problems.

5. It’s Getting Old

If your computer is getting old, it might not be able to keep up with your needs. This can cause it to give out on you several times.

While new computers aren’t cheap, you should start shopping for a new one if yours is over five years old.

Getting to the Bottom of Your Computer Crash

Computers aren’t just an important part of everyday life, your business can’t run without them. That’s why getting to the bottom of your computer crash is so important.

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