How to Fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL Error in Windows 10/11

If you’re a Windows 10/11 user, you’ve probably encountered the dreaded IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error at some point. This frustrating blue screen of death (BSoD) can disrupt your work and leave you scratching your head. But fear not, because in this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the nitty-gritty of fixing the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 10/11. We’ll cover everything from understanding the root causes to implementing practical solutions. So, let’s roll up our sleeves and get your Windows system back on track!

Understanding the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL Error

Before we jump into the fixes, it’s crucial to understand the nature of the problem. The IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error stems from a driver or hardware issue that leads to conflicts in the memory. The IRQL, or Interrupt Request Level, is a core component of your computer’s memory management. When it encounters an error, it triggers the dreaded BSoD.

Common Causes of IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL Error

Let’s pinpoint the culprits that can trigger this error:

  1. Outdated Drivers: Incompatible or obsolete drivers are a leading cause. Ensuring that your drivers are up to date is a significant step in resolving this issue.
  2. Faulty Hardware: Malfunctioning RAM modules or other hardware components can wreak havoc with your system’s memory.
  3. Corrupt System Files: Windows relies on a host of system files to operate. If any of these files are corrupted, it can lead to a BSoD.
  4. Software Conflicts: Certain software applications may clash with system processes, causing instability.
  5. Overclocking: Pushing your hardware beyond its limits, a process known as overclocking, can lead to system instability and BSoD errors.

Now that we’ve identified the usual suspects, let’s move on to the practical solutions.


Update Your Drivers

update your drivers

One of the most common reasons for the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is outdated or incompatible drivers. To fix this:

  1. Identify Problematic Drivers: Start by identifying which drivers might be causing the problem. Look for any recent driver updates or installations.
  2. Update Graphics Drivers: Graphics drivers are often a source of trouble. Visit your graphics card manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers.
  3. Use Device Manager: In Windows 10/11, you can update drivers through the Device Manager. Right-click on the Start button, select Device Manager, and navigate to the drivers you want to update. Right-click on them and choose “Update driver.”

Check Your Hardware

Check Your Hardware

To ensure your hardware is functioning correctly:

  1. Check Your RAM: Run a memory diagnostic test by searching for “Windows Memory Diagnostic” in the Start menu. This will help identify any issues with your RAM.
  2. Inspect Other Hardware: Make sure all your hardware components are securely connected. Loose cables or components can lead to errors.
  3. Run Hardware Diagnostics: Many manufacturers offer diagnostic tools for their hardware. Run these tools to identify and fix hardware issues.

Repair System Files

Repair System Files

Corrupted system files can be a headache, but Windows offers a built-in tool to fix them:

  1. Use System File Checker (SFC): Open Command Prompt as an administrator and type “sfc /scannow” (without the quotes). This command will scan and repair corrupted system files.
  2. Run DISM Tool: In Command Prompt, run the command “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” to restore your system’s health.

Resolve Software Conflicts

Resolve Software Conflicts

Software conflicts can be tricky to diagnose, but here’s what you can do:

  1. Uninstall Recent Software: If the error started after installing new software, try uninstalling it and check if the problem persists.
  2. Update or Reinstall Problematic Software: Sometimes, updating or reinstalling the software causing conflicts can resolve the issue.

Avoid Overclocking

Avoid Overclocking

While overclocking can boost your system’s performance, it can also lead to stability issues. If you suspect overclocking is the cause:

  1. Reset to Default Settings: Enter your BIOS/UEFI settings and reset your CPU and RAM settings to default.
  2. Stress Test: Run stress tests to ensure your hardware can handle the default settings without errors.

Prevention is the Best Cure

Preventing the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is more manageable than fixing it after the fact. Here’s how you can avoid encountering this issue in the future:

Regularly Update Drivers

Keep a close eye on driver updates and ensure your hardware is always running on the latest versions.

Perform Hardware Maintenance

Regularly clean your computer’s internals, check for loose connections, and ensure your hardware is in top shape.

Backup Your System

Regular backups can save you from catastrophic data loss in the event of a BSoD.

Avoid Overclocking

If you don’t have the technical know-how to overclock safely, it’s best to avoid it altogether.

Use Antivirus Software

Malware can wreak havoc on your system, so invest in reputable antivirus software and perform regular scans.


In conclusion, the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 10/11 can be a significant headache, but with the right approach, it’s entirely fixable. By understanding the underlying causes and following the steps outlined in this guide, you can resolve the issue and ensure your Windows system runs smoothly. Remember, prevention is often the best solution, so keeping your drivers up to date, maintaining your hardware, and taking precautions against potential threats can go a long way in avoiding this error altogether. With these tips, you’ll be well-equipped to tackle the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error and keep your Windows 10/11 system in top-notch condition.

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Aniba is a research analyst at She is preparing for CSS, She is very passionate about Cybersecurity, and She loves to write about it.