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IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Windows 10/11 (solved) 2024

Interrupt Request Level (IRQL) is a Windows feature that helps the operating system prioritize processor interruptions. Here is how to fix blue screen irql_not_less_or_equal on your computer.

Windows stop code IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error, also known as the “Stop 0x0000000A” usually occurs when a driver or kernel-mode process attempts to access a higher IRQL (Interrupt Request Level) or memory address that it did not have permission to access. This violation can lead to system instability and unexpected crashes, resulting in the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD). Outdated or Incompatible drivers, hardware issues, or corrupt system files are the most common reasons behind this blue screen error. And you can fix things, by updating Windows and the installed drivers, repairing corrupt Windows files using SFC or testing RAM using the Memory diagnostic tool. So, let’s find out all about irql_not_less_or_equal on windows 10 and the solutions that help fix the error.

Driver irql_less_or_not_equal Windows 10

This is typically a memory related error that occurs if a system process or a device driver seeks access to a memory address for which it lacks valid access rights.  When this error is triggered, numerous potential causes may be worth investigating.

  • Outdated, incompatible, or corrupt device drivers are a primary cause of this error. When a driver attempts to access memory at an incorrect IRQL, it triggers the error.
  • Faulty hardware components such as RAM modules, hard drives, or graphics cards can also lead to this error.
  • Certain software applications or system services may conflict with each other, leading to memory access violations and triggering the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on windows 10.
  • Overclocking your CPU or RAM beyond their recommended limits can destabilize the system and cause this error.
  • Corrupted system files due to malware infections, disk errors, or improper shutdowns can also result in this error.

If you are getting this blue screen error at startup, or Windows restarts frequently, in such situations start Windows 10 in safe mode and apply the solutions listed below.

Update Your Drivers

Outdated or incompatible device drivers can cause conflicts and lead to the irql not less or equal on windows 10. Updating drivers ensures that they are compatible with the operating system and other hardware components, reducing the likelihood of conflicts. You can use Device Manager or third-party driver update tools to accomplish this.

Note: Most users report reinstalling the network drivers to fix the Driver help them fix the Driver irql_less_or_not_equal error. Also, try updating the display driver and audio driver as well.

  • Press the Windows key + X and select “Device Manager” from the menu.
  • In Device Manager, expand the categories and right-click on each device.
  • Select “Update driver” and choose to search automatically for updated driver software.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to update the drivers for all devices, especially critical components like the graphics card, network adapter, and chipset.

Update network driver

Reinstall driver

Also, you can try to reinstall the driver which probably helps fix the problem as well.

  • Open the device manager,
  • Expand network adapters, right-click on the current driver select uninstall driver,
  • Click yes when asking for confirmation, to completely remove the driver.
  • Now, just restart your computer to reinstall these drivers back.

Alternatively, you can use a third-party driver updater tool to automatically scan and update all your drivers with one click.

Run System File Checker and DISM

Another possible cause of IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on windows 10 is a corrupted or missing system file. System files are essential components of your operating system that enable it to function properly. If a system file is corrupted or missing, it can cause various errors and problems. To fix this issue, you can use the System File Checker (SFC) tool.

SFC is a built-in utility that scans and repairs any corrupted or missing system files.

  • Press the Windows + S keys and type cmd in the search box.
  • Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator from the menu.
  • In the command prompt window, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  • Wait for the scan to complete and fix any issues that it finds.
  • In addition, run the DISM command dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth 
  • This will perform an advance scan to repair Windows image and repair any corruption,
  • Let the scanning complete 100%.  Restart your computer and check if the error is resolved.

Run SFC and DISM command

Check Hardware Components

Faulty hardware components, such as RAM modules or hard drives, can cause memory access violations and trigger the error. By testing and verifying the integrity of hardware components, you can identify and replace any faulty parts, restoring system stability.

  • Shut down your computer completely. Open the case and ensure all hardware components are securely connected.
  • Use diagnostic tools like Windows Memory Diagnostic or Memtest86 to test RAM modules for errors.

Memory Diagnostic tool

  • Run CHKDSK to check for hard drive errors. Open Command Prompt as administrator and type “chkdsk c: /f /r” then press Enter.

Run chkdsk command

  • Verify proper connections for peripherals such as external drives or graphics cards.

Check for Software Conflicts

Conflicting software applications or drivers may attempt to access the same memory space, leading to the error. By uninstalling recently installed software or drivers and disabling unnecessary startup programs and services, you can eliminate potential sources of conflict and prevent the error from occurring.

  • Start windows in safe mode, to do this press Windows key + R, type msconfig and click ok
  • Switch to the boot tab, check mark next to safe boot and select minimal option,
  • Click apply and ok to save changes, restart your computer to start Windows safe mode.

Safe mode boot option

In Safe Mode, uninstall recently installed software or drivers that may be causing conflicts.

  • Press Windows + R to open Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then hit Enter.
  • Locate the recently installed application or third-party antivirus, and then click Uninstall.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstall process, and then restart the computer for the changes to effect.

Once you are done, again open System Configuration and uncheck the safe boot option to start Windows normally.

Clean Install Graphics Driver

Graphics drivers are crucial for the proper functioning of your graphics card and can often be a source of the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error if outdated or corrupted. A clean installation of graphics drivers ensures that any existing driver files are completely removed before installing the latest version. This helps eliminate any potential conflicts or issues related to outdated or corrupt driver files, thereby reducing the likelihood of encountering the error.

  • Press the Windows key + X and select “Device Manager” from the menu.
  • Expand the “Display adapters” category, right-click on your graphics card, and select “Uninstall device.”
  • Check the box that says “Delete the driver software for this device” and click “Uninstall.” Restart your computer.
  • Download the latest graphics drivers from the manufacturer’s website.

Download NVIDIA driver

  • Install the downloaded drivers, following the on-screen instructions.
  • After the installation is complete, restart your computer again.

Disable Overclocking

Overclocking your CPU or RAM can push them beyond their stable limits, resulting in system instability and errors like IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL. Reverting to default clock speeds eliminates the overclocking-related stress on hardware components, reducing the likelihood of errors.

  • Enter BIOS settings by restarting your computer and pressing the BIOS key (usually F2, Del, or Esc).
  • Navigate to the overclocking settings and revert CPU and RAM settings to default.
  • Save changes and exit BIOS.

Keep your Windows 10 up to date

Microsoft regularly releases updates and patches for Windows 10 and 11 to address known issues and vulnerabilities, including those that may cause the stop code IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. Keeping your operating system up to date ensures that you have the latest fixes and improvements, reducing the likelihood of encountering errors.

  • Open Settings using Windows key + I,
  • Go to Update & Security > Windows Update.
  • Click check for updates to allow download and install Windows updates from the Microsoft server.
  • Once done you need to restart your PC to apply them.

Check for windows update

 Perform System Restore

System restore allows you to revert your system to a previous stable state before the error occurred. This can be effective if the error was triggered by recent changes or installations, providing a quick and reliable way to restore system stability.

  • Press the Windows key + S and type “System Restore” then select “Create a restore point.”
  • In the System Properties window, click on “System Restore” and follow the prompts to restore your system to a previous stable state.

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