“(Not Responding)” – What does it mean, and what do I do about it?

'(Not Responding)' is Windows' way of telling you that a program might have a problem. Sometimes '(Not Responding)' is benign, but sometimes it's a sign of a deeper issue.


I am using windows XP PRO, and I am having difficulty when I am browsing or using a program. After a few minutes the computer freezes and I get a message in parenthesis saying (not responding). Sometimes I have to log off and log-on again to fix this problem. But after a few minutes it happens again. How can I fix this?

“Not Responding” appears in the title bar of a running program when Windows detects that the program isn’t behaving properly. Exactly why depends on the specific program and what you were doing at the time.

Let’s look at some of the possibilities which range from actual software or hardware problems, to user impatience.

Windows expects a running program to “interact” with Windows, and respond to Windows’ requests in a timely fashion. If you type a key and the application doesn’t take it because it’s too busy doing something else, that could be a problem. Similarly, if you click on the Close Program “X” on a programs’s window, and the program doesn’t acknowledge that, then that too is a potential problem.

When Windows asks a program to do something, like take a keystroke or close itself, and the program fails to acknowledge that request within a certain amount of time, the program is “Not Responding”. If the program never comes out of that state, we might also call it “hung”, as in “hung up” on something.

There are “legitimate” reasons this can happen. For example, if the program you’re using is doing some very long, CPU-intensive calculation, it might not respond in a timely fashion. An example might be a graphics program performing a reduction or other operation on a large image. If, during that operation, you attempt to close the window and nothing happens, after a few seconds Windows might add “(Not Responding)” to the title bar to indicate that it has tried to pass your request to the application, but the app’s not listening.

Anything that causes the application to stop responding can cause Windows to add the ‘(Not Responding)’ moniker to the title bar.

While it might be considered bad form or bad design to not respond to user input or to Windows while performing lengthy calculations, it’s quite legal and legitimate. Once the calculation is complete, the program starts listening and responding again.

A recent real-life example of my own: earlier this evening I was working on a Visual Basic program that performs various database operations. I modified it to access a database remotely across the internet which turned out to be a mistake, because the operation became extremely slow on my DSL connection. While VB was accessing the database, it was unresponsive to everything else. Windows tagged it as “(Not Responding)”. Since I hadn’t saved my program to disk (bad form on my part), I was loath to just kill it and lose my most recent edits. So I just let it continue while I did other things. An hour later the operation completed, and VB became responsive again.

Anything that causes the application to stop responding can cause Windows to add the “(Not Responding)” moniker to the title bar.

So while lengthy calculations are one semi-legitimate way it could happen for a while, what are some of the other things that can cause it?

  • Programming Error – the classic case of an “infinite loop” in programming is perhaps the most common example – if an algorithm is mistakenly written such that it never ends, and within that algorithm Windows is never given a chance to operate, the application may become “hung” and unresponsive. As a user of the app, there’s not much you can do here except avoid whatever it is you did that brought the application to that point.
  • Software Design Error – really just a variant of the preceding point, but I think of it as a different class of problem. The example I see from time to time is a program that displays an error message in a pop-up box. Some applications transfer total control to that message box such that the application’s main window will stop responding until you click “OK” on that message. If for some reason that box is displayed improperly – say off the screen, or behind the application’s main window – then it will appear as if the application is hung as it waits for you to click on the message you can’t see.
  • Hardware – hardware that is malfunctioning can, in some cases, cause the software that interacts with it to fail in ways that make it unresponsive. For example a USB card reader might experience a failure, and the next program to attempt to read from the device might end up “(Not Responding)” because of the problem.
  • Hardware Drivers – This is really just a combination of the previous points. All the hardware on your system is in some way controlled by software. If that software has a bug, even if the hardware is working properly, the result could be a hung application. If hangs appear to be related to interacting with a specific device it might make sense to make sure that you have the latest drivers for that device – not to mention the latest updates for Windows as well.

Viruses and Spyware – whether intentional or simply because they’re poorly written, viruses and spyware can in fact cause other programs or Windows as a whole to misbehave in various ways including causing applications to become unresponsive. Make sure your anti-virus and anti-spyware software is running and up to date.

All that is pretty vague, I know. It almost boils down to “it could be anything”, which is unfortunately fairly accurate. The actual cause, and the solution, will depend on the specifics of what you’re seeing. Does it happen all the time, or only when you do certain things? One specific application, or several? All of these things and possibly more are clues necessary to ferret out the cause and come to a solution.

Without more specifics, my general recommendation is to make sure Windows is up to date, make sure your hardware drivers are up to date, make sure that the anti-virus and anti-spyware packages on your system are working and have up to date databases. If the problems persist, try to narrow down the common causes,
if any.


  1. victoria abrams

    hi leo. i am using IE7 beta3 with xp sp2. when browsing this happens often. i should probably tell you that have cable internet access. microsoft said it is a data transmission error (that the pages are loading incompletely) and that is why i can’t click on the page and i have to use the task manager to close the browser. IE provider says it’s IE7’s beta version. I’m just learning this stuff but is it possible that this is a RAM issue. our total is 512. we have autocad, illustrator cs2, and flash pro to name a few.your help would be appreciated. thanks

  2. Theresa

    I get the “Not responding” message when I try open a large document using Microsoft Word. Is this a known problem and if so, how do I resolve it. Thanks Leo

  3. george

    when i try to open photoimpression4 or funhouse i get the timepiece cursor in photoimpression and it just sits there blinking and in funhouse i get timepiece and it just sits there doing nothing,both programs say program not responding when i try to exit them and i have to use control,alt,del to get out of either program,what is going on,and how can i get them to work? thank you

  4. george

    when i try to open photoimpression4 or funhouse i get the timepiece cursor in photoimpression and it just sits there blinking and in funhouse i get timepiece and it just sits there doing nothing,both programs say program not responding when i try to exit them and i have to use control,alt,del to get out of either program,what is going on,and how can i get them to work? thank you

  5. dom

    hi leo, when i try and download anything off the internet i get the download box come up but nothing actually downloads, when i click on the box i then get a message saying ‘file download not responding’. help is much appreciated



  6. Seenu

    Hi Leo
    Iam using R Connect dialer in my laptop. After get connected it is working propertly and after some time it is hanging.
    plz help me in the same..

  7. Jack

    I’m on AOL9SE by Compac and VerDSL, a computer novice.Every thing seems slow,”not resp” comes and goes on occasion. Can you help or should I hire local GEEK?? I read the article!!

  8. Mani

    Hi Leo,

    I have a VB code in which I make the execution sleep for 60 seconds using the sleep method in Kernel32.dll
    The trouble is the task manager the program application is listed and shows that its ‘not responding’. Although the intended operation of updating my oracle database every 60 seconds is being performed as desired.
    Why is it showing not responding in the task manager?


  9. Leo A. Notenboom

    Hash: SHA1

    Because for those 60 seconds your application isn’t responding.

    Try putting a 1 second delay in a loop of 60 iterations. The performance impact
    will be negligible and Windows should be happier.


    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)


  10. Mani


    Firstly, let me thank you, for your reply.

    I followed your suggestion, but, as long as the program is in the 60 iteration for..loop, the application shows not responding in the task manager.
    I noticed one thing though, as soon as the program comes out of the loop the program returns to running state in the task manager.

    Is there any other workaround?


  11. Leo A. Notenboom

    Hash: SHA1

    I missed a step. Assuming this is VB6, add a call to DoEvents() in the 60×1
    loop as well.

    Not sure about VB.NET … I believe there’s something similar.

    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)


  12. Srini

    We have a VB Application which is running on win 2003(Application Server) and SQL 2005(cluster DB), to handle the performance we run around 4 instance of the same VB application on the same Application server. When we run more than 2 instances of the application (around 4), these few of the instances are going to NOT RESPONDING stage for a while and coming back to normal, this is happening for all the instances randomnly. But the CPU utilization is less than 10% and the server is normal and responding, only Apps are going to Not Responding stage.

    We have recently migrated these apps from Win 2000 and SQL 2000 to new server with Win 2003 and SQL 2005 from then we are observing this issue.

    Please help me if you have any solution for this.


  13. Kim

    Dear Leo,

    I usually log in to my Bebo account about twice a day. I enter the site http://www.bebo.com/ into my browser/address bar, and the main page always comes up with the space to enter your username and password.

    I would usually type in my username and password and my home page would appear with the ch-ch-changes and all that jazz, but today when I entered my details and pressed enter to sign in, only the header of my Bebo home page loaded and then the program came up with “(Not Responding)”. It has never done this before and I have no idea why. I had to close the window and reopen my browser again. I wondered if Bebo was under maintinance for the time or something, so I typed in one of my friends username and password (still using the same computer) and it took me to her home page no problem. Why is my Bebo page not working all of a sudden? Please help me! By the way, all my other internet programs/websites I visit are working absolutely fine, it’s just my Bebo home page with the problem.


  14. someone

    hi leo
    every time i use my anti-spyware program
    spybot s&d it works perfectly untill the actual
    deletion off my spyware than it comes up with
    a not responding sign why is that
    ps i put a fake email adress since i have over 1000
    unread and junk emails

  15. Guy

    Hi Leo,
    I read your text on the ‘not responding’ state of windows XP. I write some small applications myself (delphi) and when these applications have some bigger tasks to do, windows also consider them as “not responding”. I built in some progress reports in my applications (10% complete, 20% etc) and when windows decides that my program is “not responding” these progress reports no longer are updated. my question is. with these longer tasks, is there a way to still remain responding according to windows ?

  16. Michael


    Your article is interesting and helps me understand what might be happening, I wonder if you have missed some other scenario. Many applications are multi-threaded, and as such perform most of their long running or CPU intensive work in a thread that does not interact with the UI. In applications like this, there should be no ‘Not Responding’ scenarios. However, I do see applications that this occur even though they are multi-threaded. Is there any way that the OS is actually causing the application to not respond to the OS’s request to the application?

    In your example, you wrote the application so it was easy to determine the problem. Is there a way to determine what an unresponsive application is doing? In your case, it was network I/O, this would have caused your application to block on the OS’s low level I/O.

    Thanks for any thoughts..

  17. Leo A. Notenboom

    Hash: SHA1

    I’ve actually never found a reliable way for non-programmers to answer “what is
    this application waiting for” when it hangs. The developer, of course, can run
    the application in a debugger and often see exactly what;s going on, but those
    resources are not available to the average user.

    Naturally multiple threads need to interact. Typically if a UI thread hangs
    even though there’s another worker thread doing the heavy lifting, it’s because
    the UI thread is in fact waiting for something from that worker thread, or
    there’s a syncronization problem between the two. (OR there’s something in the
    UI that needs waiting for.)



    Version: GnuPG v1.4.7 (MingW32)


  18. Art

    I have ‘one’ program, Incredimail, that is non responding. I have done a system restore, uninstalled and reinstalled the program, all with the same results. The home screen comes up but the cursor does nothing when I click on a task to do. The Incredimail support people have been making suggestions but nothing useful. All of my emails and address book is tied up. No other programs are running except Windows so I don’t think it is a math delay. Any suggestions? I know when I uninstall not everything is deleted so when I reinstall I get the same results.

  19. Ron White

    I am having a problem upon start up with my laptop hanging up. Task Manager gives me this: On Screen Display Not Responding. Nothing gets me out of it but a hard shut off. Then I have to go through a disk certification scan when I start up. It usually works then. I have tried registry fix programs, antispyware, and virus scans. Nothing seems to correct the problem.

  20. David Ha

    While I am scanning a document,it suddenly froze
    and “program is not responding ” pops up.I do not want to power off to exit – What is the correct and effective way to solve this issue ?

  21. Ralph

    My wife abd I we each have our ouw PC, they both seem to have the same problem.
    Sometime a popup saying send to microsoft and sometime just not responding.
    I did run sfc /scannow, did I do the right thing

  22. ubernommen

    While I am scanning a document,it suddenly froze
    and “program is not responding ” pops up.I do not want to power off to exit – What is the correct and effective way to solve this issue ?

  23. Jack

    I’m developing in Access 2003, and I use a lot of VBA. I have a CPU intensive process that invariably results in a “not responding” message in Task Manager. Once that happens, my progress counters also free. If I leave it alone, it finishes on schedule. Is there something like “doevents” for Access 2003? I sure would like to be able to run my application in the background, pop in from time to time to monitor its progress, and avoid the “not responding” message. Ideas?


  24. Jacqui Faulkner

    I’m not a PC expert, but I’m quite certain that one aspect of this problem is the speed of your broadband connection. I had a very poor download speed with one provider, and switched to BT, paying for its premium broadband service. Now I’ve got it, 20% of all the links I click on, result in ‘this program is not responding’ etc – ie an entirely sudden, new problem I never had before, and without any other changes taking place (eg software, firewall etc). So I do wonder whether my PC is now just trying too hard and too fast for its own good!!?. One thing’s for sure: it ain’t solved easily, because even BT’s own experts can’t tell me whats wrong, and how it might be put right….

  25. Jacqui Faulkner

    An update on my last comment: I SOLVED THE PROBLEM!!! I picked up a tip from another site, which was that McAfee Site Advisor is full of bugs and is prime cause of “this programe is not rsponding”… Sure enough, I disabled McAfee, and in the weeks since, I’ve had absolutely no problems – not one. So if you’ve got McAfee…..that could be your answer…

  26. jennie

    Everytime I try to open the program, Pagemanager 7, “not repsonding” appears on the top of the screen and the computer freezes. I need to scan documents but I cant even open the program. How do I solve this problem?

  27. roy

    I have a serious problem with my Opera web browser “not responding” at almost every comand. I have updated my Vista with the newest servicepack and I use the latest verson of Opera. The problem occur just with Opera. Any ideas?

  28. Sandra Crofton

    I have a chronic and severe case of DO NOT RESPONDing. It seems to have grown when I unwittingly acquired COMPUSERVE, which I did not elect to have, but that seemingly has pirated my system. This happened when I subscribed to Norton Antivirus and was required to remove all antivirus programs so they could download the Norton. I was told that the download would take about 45 minutes, the sytem would turn off, and when I restarted it I would have Norton operational. However, when I turned on my system, it had been taken over by COMPUSERVE and there was no Norton–which basically told me that if I did not send them “only $19.95 a month” they would crash my system. I called the Norton tech and they spent hours, and were able to download the Norton and get most of the COMPUSERVE off my system, but it is still festering in a folder on my desk top, that also contains all of the files on my system. I cannot delete it. When I try to drag the files to the TRASH, I get a message that says “YOU CAN NOT DELETE THIS FILE.” Since then, everything I do is very slow and if I have even two files open, it (does not respond). ALSO I can not RESTORE my system to a date before it was eaten by COMPUSERVE, as they also disabled my restore application and it does not work after the date of seizure. ANYBODY know about this and does anyone have any SOLUTIONS to rid myself of COMPUSERVE?????????????? THANKS S

    I’m thinking that things sound bad enough that you may be looking at a reinstall of your system to clear this thing up.


  29. bob

    Ok, i have been trying to download call of duty world at war beta, and when its done downloading, i choose run, and it starts to install, but then i get the not responding thing! It happens with almost anything i download of the internet. please help?

  30. Michael

    Jacqui Faulkner posted here at June 29, 2008 9:51 AM and mentioned her own solution to ‘Not Responding’ messages.
    I sure can relate to the frustration these messages and the delays in processing Windows commands can cause.
    I run McAfee Security and McAfee SiteAdvisor is an automatic installation component which sits on the bottom of your screen above the Task Bar.
    So, I have discovered that by clicking the little arrow next to the McAfee SiteAdvisor icon a drop down menu appears and there is the Disable McAfee SiteAdvisor option.
    I have done that and will report back here in one week and let you know the outcome.
    PS I will surely know if this makes a difference as I would average 10 or more ‘Not Responding’ messages per day.

  31. Angela

    It’s not McAfee. I have the same issue. I have seen on another site that it’s the microsoft update creating the problem. Delete the update…can’t remember the number and it fixed the problem. I still have the issue since I did not have the update and if I do I can’t find it. The “not responding” is on all of my programs. It’s very frustrating. I hope someone can find the answer soon.

  32. Simon

    I’m on AOL 9.0 when I go to the search box there is no mouse arrow only the “I” cursor, you click and nothing happens then the bar at the top flashes several times the “I” becomes an egg timer then its ays at top AOL 9.0 Not Responding, before allowing you to search as normal. Facebook and some other programs have behaved similar.

  33. Larry

    I have vista home premium and my (not responding
    ) problem occurs about every 30 minutes or so. It seems to always pop up whenever I use the Firefox 3 and I was wondering if it had to do with a browser that windows would rather not see succeed. I’ve even changed from the firefox beta version thinking it was still full of bugs.
    Anyway…any suggestions?

  34. Maggie

    I have been trying to download Yahoo IM. It loads up to 100% and freezes and then i get a message that program is not responding. Why is this and what can I do to fix it?

  35. anthony

    I get this when I try to open ‘computer'(Vista)to get to my external hard drive..when my phone line and Internet is disconnected I am able to access my e/hard drive easily…strange?

  36. david mk

    i’m playing call of duty waw and after 5 minutes or so the game freezes so i hit the windows button then ctrl alt del to bring up task manager and it says that the game is not responding i’ve been playing this game fine from it came out in nov. i tried uninstalling. running reg cleaners and all i can think of. yes and call of duty 4 it happens with it as well. just seems to be with my games

  37. Pearl Rigg

    For a few weeks now i have been getting random program not responding messages. It happens when i try to open Yahoo broadband and also sometimes when logging off my computer. Then it doesnt happen for 3-4 days at a time! I have done a registry clean with Registry Mechanic and done all my maintenance checks etc. Checked for spyware and virus which comes up clean.Usually it only happens once a session but why? Im on windows xp sp/3. I have 92% space on my hard disc.But my reg check says my memory is low at 43%. I have checked for memory leak in task manager and it all seems to be ok.

  38. Pearl Rigg

    Further to my recent question on why my pc kept getting program not responding messages I have uninstalled the reg mechanic as it proved pretty useless and also a spyware program and some unused programs that have never been used. Pc starts up a lot faster and so far no more program not responding messages.Fingers crossed!

  39. Oscar Germino

    I was using a facebook while I was do some of my profile it said not responding it was very strange for what happened

  40. Jim Hightower

    XP, IE, OE 1.5 gig ram. Matsonic MS9317E+(USB) mother board 5.5 years. Crashed about a month ago with a fatal blow. Reinstalled original windows disk and all upgrades to Service pack 3. IE 7. All operations work fine–except–when shutting down it gets the “Not Responding” progress bar, not every time but more times than not. When I click on the button that says I’ll lose data it shuts down normally. Starts up normally every time. Using Comodo security suite.

  41. Natural4realz

    I have a couple problems with ERROR messages. I have xp Home edition 512 MB X86 Processor XP Service Pk 3 (Version-5.1.2600)
    I have been recieving the..” Program Not Responding” when I am trying to close a window and Its been VERY VERY slow or FREEZES while I am playing online scrabble on Pogo.com. I have KASPERSKY SOFTWARE installed,
    I also recieved the error RUNNDLL message, and I was told it might be related to Registry. How to I find a free registry to do all the set-ups ect??
    I have the windows registry repair now and It will scan and I get a list of.. EMPTY REGISTRY, and NON-EXSISTENT FILES/FOLDERS.. The program is suppose to FIX the errors but I will get the same errors a 1 hr later.

    Sorry for the multiple questions.. Its they drive me NUTS!!! lol
    I saved the report if I can send it to you let me know where

  42. c. berg

    I am convinced that this issue is endemic to win xp or vista. It happens on my home computer and our office computers. As well. I have a number of friends who constantly complain about this issue. I have not found a suitable solution to this issue. Send your complaints to Microsoft, this is their doing.

  43. Oscar Germino

    i was using facebook while i was using facebook application it said “not responding.” it was wasted my time.

  44. h.s.h.s


    i just want to ask
    opening alot of programs in the same time
    cause “not reponding ” the paging or not ??

  45. Islam Muhammed

    u r soooooooo right,@ the 1st 5 minutes it was (not responding),,,then,it was singing like a canari…u r good!

  46. Oscar Germino

    i was using facebook to log-in to the facebook application it said “not responding” it did not work it happened everyday while i was using internet.

  47. Oscar Germino

    I was using facebook on my profile because I was doing my yoville application it said ‘not responding” it was suffered computer behaviour and I lose my time

  48. oscar germino

    i was doing networking on facebook it said ‘not responding’ it was a wasted of time and i lost my patience

  49. oscar germino

    i was using facebook it was not responding it was a wasted of time it makes me frustrated that it was freezing.

  50. Bob B.

    When clicking to shut down WinXP, the “This
    program is not responding” sign comes up and
    requires 2 times of “End Now” clicking for
    shutdown to occur. How can this be fixed?

    No way for me to know with the information provided. Depends on what program it’s telling you is not responding. Should be part of that error message.

    – Leo
  51. Oscar Germino

    I was using facebook applications when I was log-in it said not responding it was like a computer behaviour it was wasted of time.

  52. TDK3

    hey leo and everybody here … i have a really big problem with this … please reply [email address removed]

    problem: this not responding error appears to me when im using firefox or utorrent for long time and i cant do anything (alt+f4/ctrl+shift+esc/ ctrl+alt+del doesnt help!!) then i have to shut down the laptop by pressing on the turn on/off button and this not good also this make me lose recent saved data …so please help (i use vista home premium original) and all things up to date … please reply anybody thank you

  53. ctrl+alt+del........???.........

    — Your Question —
    Hello Leo,I have many questions, but perhaps no response
    …????.. I asked for pop-ups(how to stop these pop-ups,
    tried everything, but ….),(say hello here no pop-ups) but
    not here … my friend Leo now to stop them, but I have very
    serious questions, because when I am often in my web browser
    stops (blocks) and write (not Responding )…. much time is
    given and I do not know … I get emails from people not
    known companies and can not stop them .. .. even had a
    virus, worms and other …. now when I put my computer had
    a blue screen and very quickly, says BOT DELETE screen ….
    another screen, but I saw very quickly disappear, ask any
    help because I think it is a hacker, hackers know me and
    made me pause numbers on the computer …. I have
    antivirus, but it excluded (suspended) .. suspended my
    Firewall ??… I do not know what to do and assistance ….
    please please please please … Thank you very much … With
    respect, your buddy …

    Your question is very difficult to understand, but it sounds like time to reformat/reinstall. How do I remove a virus?

    – Leo

  54. bill

    I have the same problem and now cannot access anything on the computer. In looking for a fix I discovered that this is an ongoing problem since approx. 2004 on tens of thousands of computers, maybe hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, who knows. This is unbelievable. I cannot believe anyone including microsoft has not been able to or willing to fix this problem. If anyone has a fix he/she could probably make a couple million dollars.

    The issue here is that it’s not one problem. “Not Responding” is a symptom that can be caused by any of thousands of different types of problems. As a result it’s not possible to come up with a single fix for this symptom. Each problem must be fixed individually.


  55. Lou

    I’m getting this more and more…not responding…hanging apps…locking up. Never had any problems with connection with Comcast, but I was a fool and decided to go with Verizon FiOS. I am NOT happy….and support there is horrible. My virus, adware, spyware programs are all current and up to date. Computer is 1 and 1/2 yrs old. I’d throw it out and go back to Snail Mail, but they’re closing post offices. Yada yada yada.

  56. Susie

    Let me correct what I wrote:
    I too, have that “program not responding” error when clicking on MS Word and MS Excel document and worksheet files and when shutting down the computer. I tried going into windows task manager and ending explorer and then running it again. This seems to fix the problem but only temporarily. After awhile it resumes again.

    I have been running antivirus and antispyware programs. The computer appears to be clean.

    Please make some suggestions.

  57. Terry

    I have “RegCure” installed on my computer but I still keep getting the Message “Not Responding” I scan with regcure but its an on going thing.
    Can You Help…….Please?

    Not at all surprised that a registry program would have no effect. This type of problem is rarely registry related. It is, however, related to the SPECIFIC program that’s not responding. There is no single, general, fix.


  58. rajpreet

    respected sir and members,i have a problem that is from 15 days.in morning when start downloading via utorrent after sometimes when i could not use my pc but utorrent is running it says not responding in task bar,and when i comes to pc,i could not use internet browser(google crome,mozilla,ie) although it is connected.what the problem seems to.i always have to shut down pc and restart.reply ppls

  59. Oscar Germino

    I was using facebook,youtube,and other site it said not responding it was happened it makes me annoying and create problems on the websites.

  60. Ben Hognestad


    I’m getting this problem too. It seems that whenever I open a bunch of programs (sibelius, orian platinum) I can’t do anything in them, because the second I open them it says they aren’t responding. I get the same thing with explorer too, although its less frequent.

    My computer is also running painfully and ridiculously slow…

    As far as I know, my norton is up to date, and I’m pretty sure I have spyware stuff too, though I don’t really know… (I didn’t set this computer up myself)

    My real question is weather I need to take this in to a place and get it looked at or not


  61. oscar germino

    I was at the library I was using facebook then I was doing some application on facebook it said not responding it was a wasted of time.

  62. Carl

    I’ve noticed this problem on EVERY computer that I access and it seems to have become a fairly common problem with everyone. My personal opinion is that our computers are being internally bogged down by tracking software. these Not Responding problems began soon after the Patriot Act was passed. Prior to which when you requested a page, your browser would not freeze and you could click another link prior to the first requested one loading. Now as soon as you request a page it is almost as if the internal tracking is so aggresive that it boggs the entire computer down. may sound like a paranoid delusion but I notice these small changes and it is apparent that we are being cataloged and tracked in everything we do on the web. So much that it is making our computers non responsive. That’s my take.

  63. chuck sunder

    In IE7, Tools, Internet Options, Programs, Manage Add-Ons, Find Shockwave Flash Object and disable it. It solved my (not responding) problem. Good Luck.

  64. Oscar Germino

    I was using my facebook and I was using facebook application when I was used that it said “not responding” I was frustrated it takes me more than a minute.

  65. Jeff

    I have gone through several situations with my previously used computer.I think I have eradicated most of the other users stuff,perhaps one or two are hiding in here somewhere.But since I have been using computers since June I could be lost in space anyway.It all started as registery errors,then plain old errors,stops, slow downs,dissconnects,transfers,deletions,doing something totaly different now to not responding,total stops,deletions,transfers-like posessed.I got Reg Tool and Norton,Reg Tool-does more,every day I get 5-10 reg probs,1000 of these and 1000 of those to fix.I think I may have hit the end of these problems? Is this the way it goes on the internet? I hate “not responding” I cant seem to get rid of it.

  66. aini

    wenevr i open my lap tp it says the window is not responding? what should i do? what is the problem behind it? can i get any remedy?

  67. tonygts

    Yes Leo, I totally agreed with you that Not Responding message in title bar is quite legal and legitimate while Windows (especially Vista) is performing lenhthy operation. However, it is indeed an overlook of Miscrosoft in designing an OS (especially a new OS like Vista and Windows 7) without thoroughly consider assigning high enough proirity interrupts to Input/Output devices such as mouse click and keyboard input.

    I have been facing the same “Not Responding” problem with Vista for about a year, and still couldn’t find any solution after so many complaints at many forum sites; e.g. http://forums.cnet.com/5208-12546_102-0.html?threadID=302723&start=30&tag=forum-w;forums06

    This problem seems very likely to be Vista problem and not the broswer (IE) problem because it also happens to other application like Microsoft Excel especially when Excel is accessing the Internet to retrieve data using WebQuery. If I click a second time on any open program, I get that “Not Responding” error message almost imediately and I have to wait about 10 to 15 seconds. This is not just very frequent, but a sure occurence. It is not a Ram problem either because I have a 3G Ram in my laptop. Very frustrating indeed!
    I kind of agree with someone in a forum saying that it is a problem of Agreesiveness or Too Sensitive (timeout too fast) to this “Not Responding Issue” in Vista though Microsoft may think that it is legimate, which I think is a “Frustrating Legitimacy”! Just wonder why Microsoft is not trying hard enough to resolve this problem after so many complaints in such a long time!

  68. Barry S. Finkel

    I am getting “not responding” om various programs more-and-more these days on my XP Pro computer. I am familiar with IBM mainframe operating systems, so I know something about the internals of operating systems. My interpretation of the problem is that there is a resource shortage within the operating system, but I have no idea what is short nor how to correct it. When this happens I usually see two lines for the affected application in the Task Manager Applications Tab.
    I cannot put the blame on any one application, as many applications go into this state now-and-then (Firefox, Ad-Aware, Spybot Search and Destroy, et alii). I would have expected Vista or Win7 to behave more sanely, but from some of the comments I read, it appears that the problem still exists in the newer MS operating systems.

  69. Randal S. Chase

    This problem happens continually under Windows 7 and it is obviously NOT an application problem. It happens in IE8, in WordPerfect, and with other software programs. Something as simple as trying to rename a folder hangs up consistently. I’ve checked for a eliminated all spyware and viruses. I’ve tried re-loading the applications. And it still occurs. Once again, it appears that Microsoft is using all of us as their beta test sites for software that ought to have been working before releasing it at hundreds of dollars per copy. I’m really frustrated with this.

  70. Debbie Okubo

    I also get “not responding” every 3 minutes and takes between 15-30 seconds to come back. It happens when I’m on different websites, so it’s not related just to 1. It’s happened on MSN, bettycrocker & facebook. I use Vista and have 3G RAM. It started about 2 months ago. It is very frustrating. What should only take a couple of minutes to look up can take an hour or more since you have to stop & wait every 3 minutes.

  71. Ross

    Using laptop with Vista Home Premium, Core2Duo, T5750, 2Ghz & 3GB RAM. I am also getting the same Not Responding error. It is ANY application I run. All Office Apps, Firefox, you name it…it’s happening…and it also started about 2 months ago!!! How odd… Just guessing it is a Microsoft licensing issue with a 3rd party product that expired & stopped working on a most recent Windows Update. Or it could just be plain broken – Ockham’s Razor would suggest the latter!

  72. roddog

    I too had Vista start doing this about 2-3 months ago. I was running Windows 7 beta on another machine and it was perfect. I, in my cynicism, assumed it Msoft’s way of forcing an upgrade to 7. So, I dutifully did so on my one year old Vista box. To my dismay programs hang constantly in in 7, heck it even hangs in shut down. All this from a clean install. All drivers are updated and no hardware was incompatible. The part that stinks the worst is that the machine has a intel matrix storage raid, since its software controlled every time 7 has to be shut down by the power button method the 2 terabyte drives have to be verified for errors…say goodbye to 5-6 hours of computing time as it slows the machine to a crawl.

    I truly am considering drinking the Mac Kool-Aid and getting one and saying it just works…and when it doesn’t a “Mac Genius” will fix it.

  73. Oscar Germino

    I was using facebook application like farmville it said “not responding” it was wasted of time and did not work it was very frustrating to me and other internet users.

  74. Noor Motani

    Same happens to me. Mostly in Windows mail and IE8. I am operating on vista home premium 32bit with 4 gis ram. I have checked the system with Norton IES 2010, Maleware byte and Advanced system optimizer 3. No malware found. I am curious to know how to find out what is running that slows the interaction between windows and the application. In my case it is the Microsoft’s own windows mail and IE8.

  75. James

    I think it is a bad design for microsoft to allow a third party program to take over the OS with this “not responding” and in vista and windows 7, the little circle…. The operator is allowed to be impatient and should have the ability to “kill” the “not responding” task. But very often, I find that the only solution is to reboot the machine with a power switch. This should NEVER happen. The OS MUST exercise control over all tasks. Microsoft has taken a very poor design approach at this IMHO.

  76. Scott

    This is happening to me when working with Microsoft office. Say.. I am inserting a picture. Yikes.. stalls then I have to wait, stalls, wait. Am I short on RAM… I have two gigs right now. Maybe I’ve got too much in my system tray? I never had these issues with my old computer which had less memory and I ran the exact same programs.

  77. Marc Hibbs

    Bought a wonderful HP laptop Pavilion Entertainment model … from Office Depot … loaded Vista and it worked great with no problems … received a copy of Windows 7 when it came out and it was properly installed … now internet message is Not Responding and little circle appears and I must click and start over in internet exployer … this is very frustrating … can I go back to Vista? Or is there a fix for this problem… wonder if this is a Exployer 8 problem…. Thanks for the help…

  78. Chris Lawson

    I have read your articles and, as I too am a novice, as Jan requests earlier could you please tell me STEP BY STEP how to change the password for my Linksys Router? (It was only changed by a ‘boffin’ and he didn’t tell me what he was doing!)

    That article’s been on the site for some time already: How do I change my router’s password?


  79. connie iler

    on internet all the ti butme but i do give rest but it been doing it all the time sence i have it.when im on it still does it still doing it . please help me i spent to much money on this already need help to keep it on at all times when im on it thank you. connie iler. got it at walmart cheap one e machine.

  80. David Daignault

    I too have the “not responding” curse and if I let the computer just set, it corrects itself after a few minutes. The interesting factor is that I have 2 computers. both on a cable connection, and it seems to occur more often on one than the other. I swapped the 2 machines and it happened again…more on the swapped one than the other. Ever heard on an internet connection being the culprit?

  81. chilly pepper

    Hello Leo
    I can see by the comments that tons of folk are having the not responding prob on XP, but from what i can see is that we still do not know what to do about it. so, short of reinstalling windows, what do i do about it? can you tell me?

    thanx chilly

    As you’ll see in the article you just commented on, “it could be anything”, so there’s no advice that I can give here that will simply answer “what to do about it”. It depends on all of the specifics of your situation. Reread the article and perhaps you’ll have some ideas of where to look in your situation, but this is a case where there’s little specific “how to fix” advice I can offer.


  82. Diana Muscarella

    I am paying for internet service monthly. And all my computer says, is Windows not responding to facebook and yahoo. It allows one message then keep seeing not responding. Cannot clear yahoo messages because not responding all day long from windows. Been going on for months. Any suggestions. It has been checked for viruses does not have any. Is there always problems with windows 7 not responding to anything. Please help if you can.

  83. Dan

    Hi Leo
    need your help urgently. I’m experiencing “not responding’ every single time I open my pc. For amost all programs.Very frustrating.What to do? Could it be because of small memory?Mine is 2 gb.(windows 7)Please answer and save me!

  84. Keith

    Is there a way to tell Windows to delay showing the “not responding” message?
    It seems to come on if a program within about 1 second if a program doesn’t load in a timely manner.
    But within a couple of seconds, the program (any program) completes loading or runnig and the message goes away.
    If there was a way to tell Windows to ignore or not to test for, say, 5 seconds, the message would not come up in most cases.
    Just testing and responding to a programs actions in itself probably slows the operation of a program down, adding to the loading or running time


    I get the not responding when checking e-mails The little wheel spins half spins reverse spins freezes … this is a recent problem. What can be done?. Jane

  86. Jim Bennett

    I run a CADD program that exhibits the exact “Not Responding” behavior you describe while running a legitimate lengthy process. It will start the process and then give the “Not Responding” error after a varying amount of time. Unfortunately the “Not Responding” disables feedback that the program is giving to the screen in it’s own menu system. If left alone the process will finish and the program will return to normal responding state, however it is nice to be able to see the feedback that the program is giving to monitor the process. This only became a problem in Windows 7 and 8 (&8.1). The process runs and responds flawlessly in Windows XP. My understanding is that Windows pings the program and waits for a response, giving the “Not Responding” error if it decides that the program does not respond in a timely manner. My question is can the “Not Responding” ping from Windows be disabled? The processes that the CADD program runs which cause the “Not Responding” can take anywhere from a few minutes to several hours. Thanks!

  87. Tina

    Hi Leo,
    After using escan as an antivirus my computer is unable to reboot. What may be the reason and how can it be fixed?

  88. peace

    My phone cannot download watsapp and other apps because of some error with my phone i really need help,what can i do?

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