So, you’re disappointed by the rude behavior your PC has been showing lately – by shutting down automatically – everyone knows it’s disgusting, right? So, why does your computer start shutting down while gaming & are you eager to learn how to fix it?
Overheating, driver issues, insufficient power, and BIOS issues are the major reasons behind a PC shutting down automatically. To fix the problem, update your drivers, turn off the fast startup mode, check CPU temperature, and turn off the sleep mode.
Are you concerned why your GPU is overheating most of the time? If yes, then here’s an interesting article to help you learn more about overheating issues in GPU.
But if you’re looking for the definitive explanation of each issue that could be causing your computer to shut down randomly, go through the complete guide for sufficient information. That said, let’s roll in.
What Are The Causes For A PC to Shut Down Automatically And How to Fix It?
Following are the main causes that could make your PC shut down automatically. I’ve also laid down their effective solutions to help you get your PC back to normal working.
The overheating of the CPU is one of the major causes for a PC to randomly shut down. This is because the motherboard is designed to shut your computer down during overheating to avoid serious damage.
The overheating issue is mostly experienced in laptops since they usually don’t pack an effective cooling system or offer a good airflow.
To find out whether or not the overheating is causing your laptop to shut down, you could simply touch the backside and try to analyze the temperature or use tools for checking the CPU temperature.
Following are some of the best CPU temperature monitor tools you can use:
- SolarWinds CPU Load Monitor.
- Open Hardware Monitor
If you want to check the CPU temperature, go through our definitive guide on “CPU Monitor Tools” for detailed information.
Either way, if you feel that the temperature is very high, here are some effective ways to cool down your laptop:
- Change the thermal paste (highly recommended)
- Make sure the air passageway of your laptop isn’t blocked
- Clean up the laptop from the inside (especially the fans)
- Consider using a cooling pad
If you’re using a computer, you can use software to identify the temperature of the CPU and GPU.
If it is unusually high, here’s what to do:
- Make sure the fans are working fine
- Consider increasing the fan speed
- Manage the proper airflow for the computer (make sure there is no blockage in the air passageway)
- Clean up your computer with a blower
If the problem still remains, there could be another reason:
2. PSU problem
Another major reason behind the automatic turning off of your computer could be the power supply failure. It’s a common issue among computers and the following are the typical symptoms:
- Automatic blue screen crashes
- More noise coming from the computer
- The computer doesn’t start but the fans spin
If you feel that the computer/laptop has these symptoms, likely it’s a PSU problem.
Now, how to solve it? First, you need to test whether your PSU is dead or alive. Here are the simple steps to do that.:
- Make sure that the power supply switch (if there is) is turned on
- Use a different power cable to make sure it isn’t dead
- Go through the internal connections inside the PC (especially the power connectors and peripherals)
- Remove all the peripherals from the computer except the GPU if you don’t have onboard graphics and restart
- Make sure the power cable is secure in the wall socket
If the PSU still doesn’t work, it’s time to visit the market and either purchase a new power supply or get the current one repaired.
3. Virus Infection
Do you know what a virus does? Exactly what it was programmed to do. The exciting part is, some of them are programmed to shut down your computer. So, it could also be a reason for your computer to automatically shut down.
If this is what the case is, here are some simple steps to follow:
- Download and install a virus scanner and remover software
- Disconnect the internet
- Restart your computer into safe mode and delete any temporary files
- Now, run the virus scan and (recommended) or quarantine the virus
But, if your computer is in a terrible condition and doesn’t even allow you to do this procedure, a considerable solution is installing new Windows (or the OS you’re using).
4. Driver Issue
If you’re not a computer geek, let me break it down for you.
The computers run on hardware that cannot do anything on its own and requires drivers (software) which have the instructions to make that specific hardware (eg, Ram) run. But if the drivers get affected, the hardware cannot function properly and it could result in the PC suddenly powering off.
Now, what is an unsuitable driver that could cause your PC to turn off? Well, outdated software (driver) is the most common issue behind this. So, the first actionable step is to update all the drivers.
If your screen is laggy & choppy, and you find some real performance dips then here is a definitive guide for you to roll back your GPU driver.
Most likely this will solve the issue. But if it still remains, the next step is to make sure the driver is compatible with the hardware you’re using. If it still doesn’t work, other hardware issues could be the problem:
5. Other Hardware Issues
When a certain piece of hardware fails, dies, or stops working, the motherboard shuts the overall system down. This is down to prevent any internal damage.
And oh, if you don’t already know, hardware is the machinery on your computer. For instance, the Ram, CPU, and GPU, are all hardware.
Coming to the point, how to determine whether a hardware component is failing in your computer? Or, how to identify WHICH hardware component is failing?
Well, here are some effective steps to take:
- Test your RAM using the Windows built-in Memory Diagnostic tool. But if your computer doesn’t even start, you can try cleaning up the Ram with an eraser
- Check hard drive Smart status by using the SMART analysis tool which views the information of the hard drive’s health status
- Use Prime95 to stress test your CPU. The software forces the processor to perform various calculations and figure out whether it’s CPU causing the issues
- Use 3DMark to run a GPU benchmark and make sure the GPU is working fine. If it overheats or fails during the test, it means the GPU isn’t performing properly
If nothing works, consider visiting a repair shop to get the hardware issue solved.
If nothing works then here is a complete blog about how to determine if any hardware is failing.
6. Sleep Mode
Sleep mode is an amazing option for people who frequently use their computer/laptop. However, it could be the cause behind your PC turning off randomly, if your computer is set up to go to sleep after a certain time.
To change the sleep settings, follow these steps:
- Go to Menu > Settings on Windows
- Click System settings
- Go to Power & sleep
- Now, set the screen and sleep to never
7. Battery Issue
Among the biggest reasons for the system to shut down automatically in laptops is the battery issue. If the battery of your laptop is dead, it’s common that it’ll turn off often.
But, how to identify whether your laptop battery is dead or alive?
Firstly, if you’re addicted to using your laptop with a power switch always plugged in, you won’t know whether the battery is fine or not.
But if you disconnect the charger and the laptop goes to complete power off right away, it means the battery has passed on.
At this point, if you’re thinking of getting your battery repaired, well, it’s not gonna happen. The only way around is investing in a new (or used) battery for your laptop. But before you head over to the market for that, consider the warranty of the laptop battery (if any).
Tips To Avoid Your Computer Shut Down Randomly
Following are some effective tips to prevent your computer from shutting down automatically.
Deal with the overheating problem:
If you don’t like the disgusting computer issues (which no one does), make sure you keep your computer cool by making sure there is no blockage in the air passageway and regularly changing the thermal paste of the processor and GPU (once a year, at least). Also, keep cleaning up your rig with a blower to keep it optimized.
Keep the Windows updated:
Do you prevent Windows updates? Have you turned them off from your PC? Well, you seem to be missing a lot of improvements, bug fixes, and optimizations that could help your computer hardware perform well.
Keep the drivers updated:
For the seamless working of your computer hardware (CPU, GPU, RAM, etc), it’s important that you install compatible software. Also, keeping the drivers (software) updated will ensure the optimization of the hardware.
Install an antivirus:
Install an antivirus to keep your PC away from viruses. The best ones on the market include Bitdefender Antivirus Plus, Malwarebytes, and McAfee Antivirus Plus. Install any of these and get started fighting for your PC’s security.
Regularly check the health of the hard drive:
Install dedicated software to track the health of your hard drive. It will help you prevent data loss and unexpected (yet annoying) computer errors.
Install temperature tracker software:
Make sure to install temperature tracker software that will help you monitor the temperature of different hardware parts. It can help you prevent serious damage to your hardware due to overheating.
The Final Say
“What to do when a PC shuts down automatically” is a frequent query regarding computer issues. Have you come by this error and are unable to find out what to do next? Then this guide is for you.
It explains what possible reasons could be causing your computer to shut down randomly as well as lays down their solutions. I hope it helped you resolve the error you werr facing. That said, consider sharing it with family & friends and help them out as well, because, “sharing is caring”.
FAQs on Why Does a PC Shut Down Automatically
Following are the answers to frequent queries regarding the automatic switching off of a computer.
Why does my laptop shut down suddenly when I play games?
Overheating is among the major reasons for a computer to suddenly shut down. It is common when playing games. If you don’t want to come by this issue again, change the thermal paste of your CPU and make sure there is no blockage in the air passageway of your computer/laptop.
How do you fix a computer that keeps turning off while playing games?
There can be many reasons for a computer to turn off during gaming. Try cooling up the computer, changing the thermal paste of the CPU, cleaning up the Ram, and making sure there is no PSU (power supply) problem.
Why does my PC shut down when I play games?
The main cause for your PC to shut down when playing games is overheating. To overcome this issue, change the thermal pastes of your CPU, GPU, and clean up the Ram. Also, blow away the dust of your computer/laptop with a blower.
Why does my computer not start but the fans spin?
The major reason your computer won’t start is Ram. Open up your PC, remove the Ram, clean it up with an eraser, and interchange the Ram sticks across different slots. If it still doesn’t work, try putting only a single Ram stick and then put the other too.
How to check if the PSU is dead or alive?
The simplest way to identify whether your PSU (power supply) is dead or alive is by trying a different power supply on your computer. Don’t have another power supply? Consider checking it out using a multimeter/power supply tester.