IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL is one of the most common Windows errors.
The term IRQL is referred to as Interruption Request Line, which is a code used to signal urgent attention to any occurring error. It appears on your laptop or PC’s display with a bluescreen error showing a prompt like “Dumping physical memory to disk”. This kind of error is one of the most distressful errors in the Windows Operating system; you can encounter it anytime, even while saving a file or running an important presentation or gaming program.
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL generally occurs when there is a situation where a system processor device driver tries to seek access to a memory address to which it lacks access rights. In short, to make sure you understand it clearly, it is a memory-related error in your device.
DO you need deep technical knowledge to fix this error?
Although it is a technical error, you don’t need to worry about all the probable technical solutions. Sit back and enjoy reading the article, and I’ll guide you through the fix! I’ll take you through the reasons behind these errors and guide you with steps to solve them. So let’s start!
Why does the screen turn blue in IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error?
The blue screen error, or as it is generally called the Blue screen of death(BOSD), is annoying. It causes your system to reboot while collecting some error forensics.
Here are some common reasons for IRQL blue screen error :-
- Your motherboard or ram is malfunctioning or is damaged
- Improper upgrade or downgrade of windows software.
- Overheating of the CPU also causes BOSD. If your CPU system is above a specific temperature, the system automatically shows this error.
- Incompatible driver installation also causes BOSD. If the new drivers installed reacts with the older versions, it might cause a blue screen error.
- Some system files are damaged or corrupt.
Familiar causes for IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and its solution.
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL is a memory-related error. There could be many reasons behind this type of error. The common causes which people have encountered most of the time are your best bet to go for when trying to fix it for the first time. Thus, here is a list of common causes and suggestions related to it.
- Incomplete or damaged software installation: Damaged or incomplete installation often causes this error. You might have updated your PC or laptop recently, and if it doesn’t get installed correctly or you have installed any other software programme which is causing some issue in the back-end, you’re bound to get this error. The best option for this type of cause is to check windows “Reliability Monitor”. It will show you all the installation errors or failures in the recent past.
- Incompatible device drivers:- windows operating system has a vast range of device driver software for your device. Thus, they push a lot of generic software updates specifically for the drivers of your device but with new updates often comes compatibility issues. In turn, these compatibility issues repeatedly bring BOSD error or IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in your system. The best way to resolve this error, if it is because of device drivers incompatibility, is to roll back to the previous version.
How to roll back to the previous version of drivers? Let me help you :-
- Open your device manager using the hotkey win+x.
- Then right-click on the device .in the option.
- Select properties.
- Then go to the driver tab.
- You will find a “rollback driver option”.
- Finally, your drivers should roll back to their prior version once you click that button.
If the rollback option is greyed out, you need to uninstall the current driver and install the previous one manually.
- Malfunctioning hardware:- If your device is malfunctioning or repeatedly failing with errors, it might be because of your faulty hardware. Thus, it is better to check error reports in your device’s reliability monitor option. To open the reliability monitor, type “perform/rel” in the run box or PowerShell.
The best way to fix malfunctioning hardware is by disconnecting it from your PC. You might need to replace some hardware like keyboard, mouse disk drive, etc.
- Corrupt System files: It might often happen that your system files get corrupt due to some malware, virus, or other reason. Corrupted files often lead to blue screen errors and thus need a fix.
To fix it, follow the above steps :-
- The best way to fix this is to run the ” DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth command (run at an administrative command prompt or in an administrative PowerShell session).”
- If, after a successful run, the command finds anything to report,
- Run” DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /restorehealth”.
- The above command will clean up things in your system files.
- Then, you have to run a system file checker until it displays fixed or nothing is found.
- Next, run the system file checker by typing SFC /SCANNOW
- If the command runs, then that should fix the IRQL error.
Some other solutions or fix to IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error.
- Run the Memory Diagnostic tool – The blue screen of death or BOSD is a memory-related issue. The reason behind this troublesome error could be a problem with your RAM. So, you need to check your RAM and find out if anything is wrong with it. You have to run the Windows Diagnostic Tool to find if there is an issue in your RAM.
Let me guide you through the process.
- Navigate to the search box in your windows start menu.
- Type in “Memory Diagnostic” in the search box.
- Then click on the “windows memory Diagnostic ” and proceed.
- Then click Restart now and check for problems in the diagnostic tab.
Wait for your system to run the diagnostic and find the problems. Once the process is done, your computer will show you the detected issues on your display. This will take quite a while; thus, stay patient.
- Verify your drivers- IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error often gets solved by running a driver verifier. Although this solution is a bit tricky or technical, you don’t need to worry about it. Just follow the steps given below, and it will be a breeze.
Steps to run Driver verifier-
- Go to the search box present in the start menu and type in “Cmd.”
- Then right-click on the command prompt in the best match space.
- Select “Run as administrator” to continue.
- type “verifier” in the command prompt window available and press enter to proceed.
- Choose “create standard settings ” and click next.
- Click next to continue.
- Select the drivers you want to verify and then click finish.
Once the above process is done, windows will restart and try to resolve the drivers’ errors, which should fix your BOSD error.
- Try troubleshooting hardware – It has been found that the main reason for IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is often hidden in some hardware problems. To know whether your hardware has any problem try troubleshooting it.
Guide to run a hardware troubleshooter-
- Navigate to the settings option in the start menu.
- You will find Update & security on the settings page, click on it and continue.
- Then, click on troubleshoot and select “Hardware and Devices” visible on the right side to continue.
- Select “run the troubleshooter” to continue for the other process.
- You need to wait for the system to detect the problems if any. If the computer finds any issue or error, it will be shown to you, and you will have to select the problem you want to resolve.
If the troubleshooting doesn’t show any error, there is no problem with your hardware, and you need to try another solution.
- Update your drivers- As I have mentioned previously, driver incompatibility is one of the reasons behind the IRQL error. It often happens you don’t update your drivers, and you encounter BOSD. Thus have let you know the steps to roll back to previous versions, but here now, I am going to show how to get it updated.
Follow the steps to update your drivers successfully –
- Open file explorer and then find the This PC option on the left side of the window.
- Right-click on “This PC” and select manage.
- Then choose the Device manager option available under the System Tools option.
- Right-click the disk device under the disk drivers menu.
- Then choose update driver.
After you finish updating the drivers, you should restart your system for the proper installation of drivers. Check if the issue is over after you are done with the whole process.
- Keep your PC cool- A computer is a machine, after all, and it will produce some heat, but sometimes when your PC overheats, it causes many issues like memory dumping or IRQL error. I’ll provide you with some practical ways to keep your CPU heat under control.
- Its always recommended to upgrade your CPU fan if you face any overheating issues.
- Using a water cooling kit is a good option if you do very intense work on your system.
- Using multiple cooling fans is another option if you need to solve the CPU overheating issue. If you’re wondering if a water cooling system is safe for your electronic PC, it is very safe and damages your computer.
- Reset This PC – Resetting the PC is one of the easiest fixes for the IRQL error on windows. If you’re not sure of the reason behind the BOSD error you are facing, this process is a very convenient way to solve the issue. The only problem with this solution is it works sometimes. Only when the error is due to corrupted files or some software or driver related issue.
Here is the guide on how to reset your PC :-
- Go to the search box in the start menu.
- Open Settings and select Update & security.
- Click recovery and proceed with clicking Get started on the right.
- The window will now display two options in front of you.
- Select one of them suitable for you, either ” keep my files” or “remove everything”.
- Windows will guide you through the resetting process, read the options and click reset.
Resetting is an easy process, but it takes a good amount of time. It would be great if you could be patient while the whole operation was taking place. Once your PC is on again, check if the problem is resolved. Suppose it doesn’t, then you have to reinstall your operating system again.
- Use clean boot to uninstall and troubleshoot- windows clean boot is an option available to you to start windows with a minimum set of startup and driver programmes. When your system starts up with bare minimum programmes, it stops the possibilities of any trouble caused by the specific programme on windows startup.
Guide to windows Clean Boot :-
- Use the hotkey “WinKey+R” type in “MSConfig”.
- Under the selective startup setting, uncheck load startup items in the general tab.
- This will disable all startup items present on your computer system.
- Then go to the service tab, select Hide all Microsoft services, and click disable all.
- Now click OK to close the window.
Finally, once you are done with the above process, your pc is ready for a clean boot. Now you can uninstall the different program that wasn’t uninstalling or created some problems.
Graphics Drivers can cause Memory dumping error or BSOD(Blue Screen Of Death)
I personally have faced IRQL errors several times while using my windows computer. The error popped up most of the time when I tried running games or very graphics-intensive software. The reason behind this is buggy graphics driver software. Thus, I constantly recommend not installing any new graphics driver until at least two weeks of age.
If you already have installed any new graphics driver update and you have started facing a blue screen error, try rolling back to the previous version of the driver.BOSD is often encountered with Nvidia graphics driver updates, and thus it is helpful to go through reviews in forums before installing a new Nvidia driver update.
Different IRQL error situations and the reason behind them.
Here is the list of IRQL error code situations :-
- irql_not_less_or_equal after RAM upgradation.
If you get a BSOD error after you recently upgraded your RAM. The reason behind this could be incompatible RAM or the incorrect installation of RAM. Keep these two things in mind before you upgrade your ram.
- The RAM is compatible to your system requirement.
- You should install the RAM properly.
- irql_not_less_or_equal after an Windows update
On rare occasions, you might encounter this error after a new windows update. Try uninstalling the latest Update, and the issue should go away.
- irql_not_less_or_equal due to CPU overheating.
It is recommended not to overclock your PC fans as it often gets your system very hot and thus gets it crashing time and again. Using a cooling pad or uninstalling stress-causing heating applications can resolve IRQL errors in this situation.
- irql_not_less_or_equal ntoskrnl.exe.
If you face any error code dumping related to the .exe format, you should know this issue is important and needs the expert’s attention and work to solve it.
FAQ:-Frequently Asked Questions
What causes blue screen Windows 10?
The BSOD(Blue Screen Of Error) is caused due to faulty hardware or because of some issue in device drivers.
What is the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error?
It is a memory dumping error showing you a stuck blue screen where crashing data is collected and the system restarts.
What is a memory management error?
This error occurs when a software allocates memory wrongly, a software does that due to some bug or malware.
Can the RAM present in CPU cause IRQL not less or equal error?
Yes, most of the time, this error is related to RAM.
Can GPU(graphics processing unit) cause IRQL error?
If you are a hardcore gamer, the GPU can be a reason for this error of memory dumping.
What is the complete form of IRQL?
Interrupt Request Level (IRQL).
Can I turn my device off while in BSOD?
No, the OS is no longer working during that error, so you can’t turn off your personal computer or laptop at that time.
What is the IRQL level?
IRQL defines the hardware priority at which a processor operates at any given time.
Does IRQL error continuously restart your OS?
Users often report multiple restarts after memory dumping; thus, it constantly restarts your device continuously.
What causes IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL?
There are Various reasons that are causing this error. Some of them are :
- Incorrect software installation
- Windows updates or a downgrade to a lower version of Windows.
- Overheated CPU.
- Corrupted registry.
- Hardware issues.
- Damaged system files.
- Incompatible drivers.
Final words :-
This article was a technical guide to solve IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Errors for the not so technical people. I have precisely mentioned steps to solve this error and solve this irritating issue. In this article, you will also know about different reasons behind such errors, which will often help you through different error situations. You can visit and read this article anytime you wish to and try resolving the BSOD issue. All the solution that I’ve mentioned above works on WINDOWS 10. Thus, you can use it on your latest windows stable build update. I hope you have a fantastic day ahead, ciao!