How to Fix Unresponsive Programs in Windows XP


Programs on a Windows XP operating system can become unresponsive because of memory problems. Too many opened browser windows, large media applications and instant-messaging programs running at the same time prevent the system from distributing random-access memory (RAM) efficiently. As a result, a program freezes because it lacks sufficient memory to run its processes.

Shut down the unresponsive program from the Windows Task Manager. To do so, press "Ctrl," "Alt," and "Delete" together to open the Task Manager.

Click the "Processes" tab. You should see a list of the currently running programs on your computer displayed in ".exe" format.

Scroll through the processes tab and click the unresponsive program (e.g. messenger.exe) and click "End Process." This will force the program to terminate.

Close additional programs you have running to free up system RAM. The more programs you have running, the more memory you need; that means a program is likely to become unresponsive. Closing down extra programs and browser windows fixes unresponsive programs.

Relaunch the program after closing the additional ones and resume use.

Uninstall the program and reinstall a fresh copy if it is still freezing. A program that is continually unresponsive could have damaged files. To uninstall the program, click the Windows "Start" button and click "Control Panel."

Double-click "Add or Remove Programs" to open the programs window. Click the program you want to uninstall and click "Change/remove" to uninstall it.

Reinstall the application using either an installation disc or an Internet download.