IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Windows 10 [Fixed]

IQRL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL stop code is a Blue Screen of Death error that forces your computer to turn off or restart. This error usually occurs as a result of corrupt or outdated drivers. It can also happen due to overclocking settings.

This BSOD error can also occur during gaming and is caused by the GPU drivers. However, you can fix this error code by performing a few operations. This guide will discuss what this error is, its causes, and five possible solutions to fix it.

What is IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Error?

This blue screen of death error usually occurs suddenly during gaming or high performance. It is an indication that the drivers are conflicting between different hardware devices.

This error can occur in different situations, and I have listed them below. With that said, are some of the most common situations where you may encounter this error:

irql_not_less_or_equal ntoskrnl.exe – As a quick reminder, this executable file is the kernel (core) of the operating system and usually indicates that the problem is a severe one.

irql_not_less_or_equal overclock
A lot of gamers confirmed that they often encountered this BSOD error after overclocking their computers. As a result, disabling overclocking is the most likely solution to fix this error.

irql_not_less_or_equal CPU overheating
When your CPU is overwhelmed, it overheats, and that may cause this BSOD error. As I mentioned above, you can disable overclocking to reduce overheating. Also, check if there are any particular programs and apps that are putting a strain on your computer.

If there are such apps on your computer, you need to disable them as soon as possible. You can also use dedicated cooling software and a cooling pad to reduce the frequency of this issue.

irql_not_less_or_equal after you upgrade RAM – Some users reported that this BSOD error occurred after they upgraded their RAM. Make sure that the new RAM is compatible with your device and that you installed it properly.

irql_not_less_or_equal after Windows update – In rare cases, this BSOD error may happen after installing the latest Windows updates. As a result, uninstall the updates and check if you were able to fix the issue.

irql_not_less_or_equal and memory_management – A couple of times, these two BSOD errors go hand in hand. According to user reports, when the first error occurs, the second one often follows it after reboot.

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Error

What Causes this IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on Windows 10

This Blue Screen of Death error suddenly appears on your computer with IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL displayed. You may be wondering why this error appears.

Therefore, I have listed a couple of reasons for this IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error below. They include the following: 

When the system file is damaged, you will likely get this BSOD error when the system file is corrupt. Most times, system file corruption occurs due to a virus attack or malware infection of a Windows system file or a Windows operating system related program file.

When you install hardware with incompatible drivers: After installing the new hardware, its driver conflicts with the previous driver and causes BSOD. 

When the CPU is overheated: When the CPU is above a given temperature, your computer will immediately shut down via BSOD to prevent damage to the CPU.

When you update or downgrade to install Windows: Windows updates or downgraded installations can cause system files to be improperly replaced and conflicts between different versions of Windows. 

When there is a problem with the hardware: This BSOD error may occur when the motherboard or RAM is damaged.

When the registry is corrupt, it could result in registry corruption when you install or uninstall the software. And this can lead to BSOD.

When the software is not installed correctly, it often results in BSOD when you poorly install the software.

How to Fix this IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Windows 10

Now that you know the causes of IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Windows 10, it will now be easier to understand how to solve it. I have listed the necessary solutions to fix this IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error below.

But before you start fixing IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Windows 10, you need to back up important data to prevent data loss during the operation.

How to Start your Windows 10 in Safe Mode to Fix BSOD Errors

You need to follow the safe mode option if you want to apply the solutions below. Otherwise, you will not be able to get past the blue screen. You can follow the steps below to open the system in safe mode.

  • Step 1: Hold down the ‘Shift’ button and click on the on-screen power button.
  • Step 2: Click on the restart option and hold the shift button simultaneously. 
  • Step 3: Now, click on ‘Troubleshoot’ and click on ‘Advanced Options.’
  • Step 4: Click on the ‘Startup Settings’ option and input ‘Restart.’ 
  • Step 5: Now, you need to wait until Windows 10 updates start, and click on ‘Safe Mode.’ Now, you need to check if the stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error is still occurring.

With that said, you can try uninstalling malware to fix this BSOD error. If this IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error appeared after you installed a piece of software, it most likely happened because there is a virus on that software. Therefore, you can use this solution of uninstalling the software to see if it can resolve the error. To do this, you need to follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: You need to click on Settings from the Start menu to continue.
  • Step 2: – Now, click on Apps on the Settings page to continue.
  • Step 3: – Click on Apps & features and then locate the app that you want to uninstall. 
  • Step 4: – Now, select the app and click on Uninstall.

If you are still getting the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error after uninstalling the recently installed software, you need to try the potential solutions below.

Solution 1 – Keep Your Computer Cool

When your computer runs, it generates a lot of heat. Your computer accessories need to get rid of the hot air from the computer as soon as possible. If it does not do this, it will cause the temperature to be too high.

Therefore, you need to take some steps to cool your computer. I have provided several ways that you can reduce the temperature of your computer. They include the following:

  • Upgrade the CPU fan: The CPU fan performance needs to be high. This is because if it is not high, it will not be able to eliminate the heat generated by the computer in time.
  • Install another fan: One fan may not be enough to solve your CPU overheating problem, so you may need to install more than one fan.
  • Install the Water Cooling Kit: When your computer is configured too much, and the fan cannot solve the issue of high CPU temperature, you should install the water cooling kit. This tool is very safe, and you do not need to worry about damaging your PC.

If you are still getting the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error after keeping your computer cool, you need to try the potential solutions below.

Solution 2 – Run Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool

When the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Windows 10 error is displayed on your computer screen, there may be a problem with the RAM. Therefore, you will have to check the RAM. And you can do this by running the Windows Memory Diagnostics.

To check if the RAM is wrong, you need to follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: – Type memory diagnostic in the search box and click on Windows Memory Diagnostic to continue.
  • Step 2: – Click on Restart now and check for problems. Make sure you pay attention to save your tasks and close all windows before rebooting.
  • Step 3: – You need to wait for the PC to find the issues for a period of time. Once the search is completed, the computer will display the detected problem on the screen.

If you are still getting the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error after running the Windows memory diagnostic tool, you need to try the potential solutions below.

Run Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool

Solution 3 – Update Driver

This is another excellent way to fix this error code. When the driver is not compatible, it could be that a driver has not been updated to the latest version. When this happens, it causes conflict between the drivers, and a blue screen appears. So, if in order to fix this IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL BSOD error, it is a good idea to update the driver.

To update your driver, you need to follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: – You need to open File Explorer and right-click on This PC to continue.
  • Step 2: – Click on Manage to continue.
  • Step 3: – Click on the Device Manager under System Tools option to continue.
  • Step 4 – Now, right-click on the disk device under Disk Drives, and then click on Update driver.
  • Step 5: – When the process is complete, reboot your computer to see if you have solved the error. If it still occurs, you need to try the next solution.

If, after updating the driver, you are still getting the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error, you need to try the potential solutions below.

Solution 4 – Run Hardware Troubleshooter

This solution is another excellent way to fix this error. Hardware errors may also cause an IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL BSOD error. Therefore, you should try running the troubleshooter to see if there is an issue with your hardware.

To run the troubleshooter, you can follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: – Click on Settings from the Start menu to continue.
  • Step 2: – Now, click on Update & security on the Settings page to continue.
  • Step 3: – Click on Troubleshoot and select Hardware and Devices in the right to continue.
  • Step 4: – Click on Run the troubleshooter to continue.
  • Step 5: – Now, the computer will start detecting the problems. Be patient and wait for the process to finish. Once the scanning process is complete, if there is an error, it will be displayed. Now, you can choose the problem you want to fix. If there are no problems, then it is probably not a hardware issue.

If, after running hardware troubleshooter, you are still getting the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error, you need to try the potential solutions below.

Solution 5 – Run Driver Verifier

When the BSOD IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error occurs, you can also fix it by running the driver verifier. However, you should know that this solution is for advanced users.

I will walk you through the process of running the Driver Verifier below. Before you start, you need to create a system restore point before running this tool to avoid unrecoverable operations.

  • Step 1: – Type cmd in the search box and select the best-matched option. Now, right-click on it and click on Run as an administrator to continue.
  • Step 2: – Type verifier in the Command Prompt window and press the Enter button on your keyboard to continue.
  • Step 3: – Now, click on Create standard settings and click on Next to continue. If you are a code developer, you can click on Create custom settings (for code developers).
  • Step 4: – Now, choose the drivers to verify and then click on Next to continue. You should check the ‘Select driver names from a list’ option to view all the drivers installed on your computer.
  • Step 5: – Now, select drivers to verify at first and then click on Finish.
  • Step 6: – Once you finish, you need to restart your computer, and then Windows will place extra stress on your drivers to help you fix the problem. If the blue screen keeps flashing, you need to go into safe mode to do these things.

Run Driver Verifier

If this solution did not work, you could try resetting the computer. Resetting your computer lets you save your personal files or delete them. And it is really convenient and efficient. To do it, you will have to follow the steps below.

  • Step 1: – Click on Update & Security on the Settings page to continue.
  • Step 2: – Now click on Recovery and click on Get Started on the right to continue.
  • Step 3: – Choose whether to Keep my files or Remove everything to reset your computer.
  • Step 4: – Now read the subsequent messages and click on Reset.

This solution will take some time to fix your computer, so you need to be patient. And if, after trying this solution, the problem is still there, you need to reinstall your operating system.

How to Recover Unsaved Data when the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error occurs?

The BSOD error with stop code IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL occurs so suddenly, and chances are you probably won’t stand a chance against it. Therefore, if you were in the middle of some important work when the error occurred, you will lose your data. Your computer may shut down even before you save the data.

It is not a pleasant situation to lose all the unsaved or any data because of this error, but there are many ways for you to retrieve them back. Recoverit Data Recovery software is excellent in retrieving various types of data files. Whether it is video, audio, or word document, you can recover them all.

For Windows users, you can download this software by clicking on this link. If you are using Mac, you can download it here. Now, to recover the lost data, you need to download the application and launch it on your system. Double-click on the Recoverit logo and then follow the below-given steps.

Step 1: – Select a Location

To do this, you need to find the lost or unsaved data. When you see it, you need to select the location from where you lost your files under the option that says, ‘Select Location.’ Now, click on the ‘Start’ tab and start the process.

In addition, if you know the location of the lost data, you can click on ‘Select Folder’ in the ‘Select Location’ tab.

Step 2: – Scan the location.

Once you click on the ‘Start’ tab, Recoverit will start the thorough scan. Now, when you see your lost data files, you can pause or stop the process any time in between.

Step 3: – Preview and Recover

With Recoverit, you can get a preview of all the files that feature the file type, size, date modified, etc. When you are assured of the files you need, you can easily click on the ‘Recover’ button. Now, click on ‘Save’ to store it in a different storage location. Ensure that you save the data files at a different location.

Conclusion

The Blue Screen of Death error with the stop code IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL can occur due to corrupt drivers. This error forces your computer to turn off or restart. Sometimes you may fix it by updating the drivers. This guide has given you the information required to fix this error, and I believe that you can now fix it.

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