My program, game, or other software is closing to desktop

Updated: 06/30/2020 by Computer Hope
Note

This page is for users who encounter a crash without any error. If you're getting an error, try searching for the error message you're encountering.

Red X Error

This problem can be caused by a wide range of different issues, and with no specific error, it can be difficult to troubleshoot. However, following the below suggestions should help identify or give you a better idea of what's causing the issue.

Reboot the computer

Sometimes all you need to do is reboot the computer. If something was recently installed or there are other glitches with the software or other running programs, rebooting the computer fixes these issues. If the problem persists after rebooting the computer, continue with the steps below.

Close background programs

Close all other programs running in the background, such as instant messengers, media players, browser windows, etc. If the program or game no longer crashes, it's likely one of these programs running in the background is causing your issue.

Programming errors

A long list of programming errors can cause a program to abnormally quit. Make sure the program that is encountering the errors is fully updated with all the latest patches. Also, for a program or game that's been recently released, it can take time for all the bugs to be corrected. You may need to wait a few months after the date of release if patches and the suggestions below do not resolve your issue.

Note

If the program worked before a patch, it's likely that patch introduced new errors and another patch needs to be installed.

Hardware driver related issues

Especially in the case of computer games, driver problems cause lots of issues with programs you run on the computer. Make sure you have the latest drivers on your computer, especially in the case of your video card, which are often updated every month or two.

Links to driver sites and help with drivers found in our drivers help and information.

Verify system requirements

System requirements

Make sure the computer that is running the program is exceeding the system requirements. If the program requires 512 MB of memory and your system only has 512 MB, it may be time to add some additional memory to the computer.

For additional information about adding memory to your computer, see: How to install computer memory (RAM).

Check for heat-related issues

If your CPU, GPU, or hard drive is getting too hot, it can cause any number of issues. Make sure your computer is not getting too hot by installing a third-party utility to monitor your system heat.

Contact developer of game or program

Contact the game or program developer to see if they're familiar with any known issues or incompatibilities you may be encountering, and ask if any known resolutions are available.

A listing of contact information for hundreds of different developers is on our third-party software help and information.

Bad installation

In some rare situations, if the installation encounters errors during the installation, it can cause the program to not run properly. If you've followed the above steps, reinstall the program. Keep in mind that if any patches were installed, they need to be reinstalled.

Faulty hardware

If all the above suggestions were attempted and the program developer claims there are no known issues, you may have bad hardware in the computer.