FIX: Computer crashes while playing games in Windows 10

  • If you're a long-time PC gamer, then you know how great it feels to dedicate time to your passion. Unexpected issues such as your computer crashing while playing games could ruin the entire experience.
  • If this happens, take action right away and install latest drivers, make sure PC doesn’t overheat, and disable background programs.
  • When the problem is solved, our gaming section is an ideal place to keep up to date on the latest reviews and guides. Don’t hesitate to check it out closely.
  • To prevent similar issues from ever happening again, remember we have a dedicated Gaming hardware hub where you can find the latest news and great hardware products to make sure gaming works like a breeze.
How to fix Computer crashes while playing games

Windows 10 is a very gamer-friendly operating system, and the fact that it is becoming the leading gaming platform in the world proves that.

But, things may not be as smooth as they should always because there’s a chance that you could encounter some problems while playing games on Windows 10.

Some gamers recently reported that their computer randomly crashes while they’re playing games. And since this is a serious and very annoying issue, we’ll see what we can do to solve this problem.

So, if you’re encountering the crashing problems on your Windows 10 computer, try some of the following solutions.

We’ve written extensively on game issues in Windows. Check out these guides for more information.

How can I fix game crashing problems in Windows 10?

1. Install Latest Drivers

Windows 10 had problems with drivers compatibility since day one, and those problems are not resolved yet. So, there’s a chance your current graphics card driver isn’t compatible with Windows 10.

So, just in case, go to Windows Update, or Device Manager, and check for updates of your graphics card driver.

All your drivers need to be updated, but doing it manually is very annoying, so we recommend you to download this driver updater tool (100% safe and tested by us) to do it automatically.

Both Microsoft and graphics cards manufacturers are aware of the problem, and they’re working on the solution.

So, even if your graphics card driver isn’t compatible with Windows 10 right now, it doesn’t mean that it won’t be compatible in the future. So, sometimes the best solution is to wait for a little.

But if you’re sure your driver is compatible with Windows 10, something else is the problem, in that case, check out some of the following solutions.

Alternatively, you can update drivers manually. Here’s a step-by-step guide to do that.

2. Install Proper Software

Most of today’s games require some additional software to work properly. In most cases, these programs are DirectX and Java.

So, make sure you install all the required software and then try to play the game again.

If you’re not sure which programs you need to install in order to play your desired game, try to google a little bit, or read the game’s documentation.

3. Make sure PC doesn’t overheat

Overheating is one of the most common instigators of sudden crashes on PCs. Especially if you’re running something which is power-intensive as modern games certainly are.

Your PC is automatically programmed to shut down in case the CPU or GPU temperature hits the critical levels. That way, it protects itself from major hardware failures.

Which are quite common after the extended exposure to the heat. So, what you’ll need to do is to check the cooling system, clean all fans, remove all dust and debris, and move from there.

Also, applying thermal paste on the CPU is a must. It’ll reduce the overheating substantially. Moreover, you should also add some additional coolers if there’s free space to do it.

Just make sure that your power supply isn’t overwhelmed. If you need some software to follow the temperature changes, you can download SpeedFan and check the readings or even control the rotation of the main fans.

Keep your mind at peace and your computer cool with these tools that monitor your PC temperature!

4. Disable background programs

Even though the game is probably taking the most of your system resources, additional background programs can hog on your RAM or CPU, which can also result in sudden shutdowns or crashes.

For that matter, we advise you to disable those resource-hogging applications in order to reduce the toll they put on your PC.

Here’s how to disable background apps from starting with the system:

  1. Right-click on the Taskbar and open Task Manager.
  2. Select the Startup tab.
  3. Disable all unimportant and resource-heavy applications.
  4. Restart your PC and look for changes.

5. Skip on the onboard sound device

The generic sound driver provided by Windows 10 Update for onboard sound device occasionally collides with other devices, especially GPU.

That might lead to GPU failure, which will eventually lead to crashes, which eventually leads to a repetitive nerve-wracking experience. And we don’t want that.

So, it’s advised to remove the onboard sound device and use only the Realtek one. That way, you should be able to avoid the possible conflicts between the devices.

Here’s how to do it in Windows 10:

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and open Device Manager.
  2. Navigate to Sound, video and game controllers.
  3. Expand this section, right-click on the onboard sound device and Disable it.
  4. Close Device Manager and restart your PC.

6. Scan for malware

It’s hard for malware to cause as critical issues as this one certainly is, but, nonetheless, lately, we see a lot of crypto mining malware which ‘steals’ your CPU resources.

For that purpose, we advise you to perform a thorough scan with either Windows Defender or any third-party antivirus you have at your disposal.

Here’s how to use Windows Defender to scan for possible malware infections and clean your system:

  1. Open Windows Defender from the notification area on the taskbar.
  2. Choose Virus & threat protection.
  3. Select Advanced Scan.
  4. Highlight Windows Defender Offline scan.
  5. Click Scan now.

50% of Windows users don’t use an antivirus. Don’t be one of them and protect your PC with the best tool!

7.  Check your Hardware

Maybe the problem isn’t related to the system at all, maybe it’s on your hardware. While I was looking for proper solutions for the game crashing problem in Windows 10, I saw one user had a problem with his graphics card.

Namely, he didn’t have a power supply strong enough for his graphics card, and that caused him a lot of problems.

So, keep in mind to check if your computer is ‘assembled’ right, and if you find out that something’s wrong, just change your current components with the proper ones.

The special emphasis goes to RAM and HDD. Sometimes the HDD gets corrupted, or RAM memory stick gets broken.

So make sure everything works fine in order to exclude the hardware as the possible reason for the crashes while gaming.

Check out these HDD health check tools to keep your PC up and running!

We also have to mention the compatibility problems with the games themselves. Some older games (10+ years old) are simply incompatible with Windows 10, therefore there’s nothing you can do to play them on your PC.

That’s about it, I hope this article helped you to solve the problems with the game crashing on your Windows 10 PC. If you have any comments or questions, just reach for the comment section below.

While you’re there, you can also tell us what’s your favorite game to play on Windows 10.

FAQ: Learn more about computer crash when playing games

  • Why does my computer crash when playing games?

The most common reasons for a computer crashing when playing games are the lack of new game updates from the official website and outdated graphics card drivers.

To fix this issue right away, check out this guide on how to update drivers.

  • How do I stop my computer from crashing when I play games?

Running the game client in admin mode, double-checking that the game is installed correctly, and using this guide to fix high latency/ping in games are all recommended.

  • Can a monitor cause a PC to crash?

It’s unlikely for that to happen unless you install a dodgy driver. DVD drives using SATA or IDE connections may also be related to this issue.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.