We’ve compiled a troubleshooting guide to help you fix Windows 8 crashes, freezes, Metro UI not responding, and other known problems on Windows 8. Since the operating system is relatively new, we will be continually updating this page to help out as many people as we can. If you can’t a solution to your problem, please do not hesitate to ask in the comments section below. Likewise, if you have found some working solutions, please share them in the comments!
Troubleshooting Windows 8 Crashes, BSOD, Freezes, Keeps Restarting, USB not working, Explorer.exe Crash, Metro Tiles Not Responding, and other Windows 8 Issues
Before anything else, make sure your PC system can handle Windows 8! Of course, you wouldn’t be running this on some low-end 90′s machine with 512MB RAM, right? Here are the specs your PC should *at least* have to run Windows 8:
- 1 GHz or faster processor
- 1 GB RAM (32-bit) or 2 GB RAM (64-bit)
- 16 GB available hard disk space (32-bit) or 20 GB (64-bit)
- DirectX 9 graphics device with WDDM 1.0 or higher driver
How to Fix Windows 8 Crashes, Errors, Freezes, Metro UI Not Responding, and more
Problem #1 Windows 8 Explorer Crash / Restart Loop
If Windows 8 Explorer keeps crashing and forces a never-ending restart cycle, you should make sure you have the latest Windows 8 update installed. Windows 8 auto-updates using cloud technology, so make sure you are connected to the Internet when logging on to Windows.
Problem #2 Windows 8 Freezes and Crashes Randomly
Symptoms of this freezing issue is during or after multimedia playback on Windows 8. Usually after several instances of freezing and crashing, you become unable to login to the desktop or open applications.
Firstly, make sure that all components of your PC are connected correctly. Last thing we want are simply misaligned devices that cause crashes. Next, run Windows 8 Update to ensure that you have the latest patches applied for operating stability. As a last resort, run a Repair Install of Windows 8 from your CD or USB installer.
Problem #3 Windows 8 Logs out automatically
Another common issue on Windows 8 is that it sometimes auto-logs out when you click on the desktop in Metro UI or when trying to open apps in Metro UI.
Problem #4 Windows 8 Metro UI apps crashes with nVidia video cards (single/dual GPU)
To solve this Windows 8 crash issue, try the following workaround:
- Verify you have the latest nVidia drivers for Windows 8. Check our Technical References page ways to do this.
- Open the nVidia control panel by right-clicking on the desktop
- In “Manage 3D settings”, choose “Integrated graphics” as the preferred graphics processor globally
- Apply/save the setting
- Restart Windows (this is to ensure DWM will use this new setting)
- Open “Device Manager” by right-clicking on the bottom left corner of the desktop
- Expand the “Display adapters” section
- Right click on the nVidia item and click “Disable”
- (Depending on your luck, you may be sent to a black screen where you’ll need to restart. The setting may also require a few attempts to take effect. Usually takes me 2 tries.)
- Verify the nVidia card is disabled in the Device Manager. (It will have a small gray icon)
- Try to launch a Metro app which crashed earlier, should work now
- Aside from the obvious fact this won’t work if there’s no alternate integrated graphics processor, this workaround also has the side-effect of disabling some display functionality which may be tied directly to the nVidia GPU – most likely the HDMI port and of course 3D grunt processing power.
On a related note, AMD users should also be aware that the Windows 8 Catalyst drivers are also plagued with a problem in OpenGL, but there’s a workaround for that too.
Problem #5 USB Ports Not Working on Windows 8
Symptoms of this issue is that the USB ports will cause lock-ups or USB drivers will crash and force you to restart your PC.
To fix this, try unplugging all plugged USB devices and restart the computer. Then plug them in one-by-one and see which is causing the crashes. Once you figure which device is causing it, make sure you’ve installed the latest drivers for that device.
Problem #6 Windows 8 Keeps Crashing Repeatedly
Here are more suggestions to this perennial Windows 8 problem:
Another possible cause of this looping crash problem are corrupted or missing notification database files that doesn’t have an entry allocated to store the application’s notifications. If you delete the notification database file or if the file is corrupt, applications do not receive new notifications. When these problems occur, it is advised that you uninstall and reinstall the application to correct the state of the application database.
Also, If you have application live tiles that use multiple image tile templates, you might encounter some issues that force Windows