Question Games freezing when in Full Screen, "Desktop Window Manager" error ?

Jul 21, 2023
Windows 10 64-bit

Happened twice yesterday while playing two different games in full screen (Vengeful Guardian: Moonrider, Demon Turf):

The screen would suddenly "blink" and then the game would be frozen. The game music would continue, but there were no changes in the visuals, or any sound effects to show anything was happening in-game. The rest of the PC seemed unaffected. I could forcibly close the game and use my web browsers like nothing happened.

When I checked Reliability Monitor, it had two reports for "Desktop Window Manager", saying that that it had "Stopped working". Event Viewer has more information, and I can share that if you need; Just let me know if there's some files I need to find, or something specific I need to screencap for you.

This is not the first time Reliability Monitor reported this. On July 15 and July 16, when I started playing a PS2 emulator (PCSX2) and entered full screen... It worked perfectly fine with no freeze or other issues. But then I would check Reliability Monitor and see that it had reported Desktop Window Manager stopped working.

I didn't play the PS2 emulator for 3 days, and had no bad reports during that time. So I thought it was safe to play other games instead. But now here I am bring this situation to you all.

It may not be relevant, but if it's helpful to know: My PC taskbar has had two random occasions where it would stop responding to mouse input. The first time it was totally frozen for a few seconds. The second time, it noticed my mouse hovering over icons, but clicking on icons did nothing. This was fixed by pressing CTRL+S to bring up the search bar., it started responding after I did that.

Maybe it's connected to this issue? Do with that information as you wish.


This issue does not seem to affect windowed games. I just got done playing a game today in windowed mode (Gravity Circuit). I had the task bar still visible even while playing, and there was no crash after 1 hour of gameplay. That's around twice the time it took for the other two games to crash. This is really not ideal though, I really need to be able to play in Full Screen for a lot of my games.

I have not done any troubleshooting steps yet to be honest. Have not even shut the PC down since then. I have only signed out to enter my work User... and then signed back into my personal User... and finally I left her in sleep mode while I slept between yesterday and today.

I had some bad experiences with my previous PC and am very nervous about this situation. I don't trust myself to try troubleshooting without getting some advice first.

I'd really appreciate any help I can get.

Motherboard: MSI PRO B650M-A WIFI Micro ATX AM5 Motherboard
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 7600 3.8 GHz 6-Core
GPU: Gigabyte EAGLE OC Rev 2.0 GeForce RTX 3060 12GB 12 GB
CPU Cooler: Thermalright Peerless Assassin 120 SE 66.17 CFM
RAM: Corsair Vengeance 32 GB (2 x 16 GB) DDR5-6000 CL36
Storage: Samsung 970 Evo Plus 2 TB M.2-2280 PCIe 3.0 X4 NVME SSD
Case: Thermaltake Versa H18 MicroATX Mini Tower Case ($49.99 @ Amazon)
Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower GX2 600 W 80+ Gold Certified ATX Power Supply
Case Fan: Noctua A14 PWM 82.5 CFM 140 mm Fan

Windows 10 Home, 64 bit. Always connected to an online UPS