How To FIX “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” On Windows 10, 8 and 7

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The IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL is the most common Blue Screen Of Death (BSOD) error on Windows 10, 8, and 7. Most of the time, this is error is caused by a faulty device or Windows service driver that tries to access unauthorized memory addresses on your RAM that it did not the right to access. The IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL stop code error generally appears when you update or install a new driver on Windows or when you update your system. In this article, we will see why you get the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL blue screen error and how to QUICKLY fix it.

IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error is caused by a faulty driver, buggy service, or defective RAM. to solve this problem, update your devices drivers, disable unnecessary running Windows services and check if your RAM is not faulty.

What Causes IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL BSOD Errors?

The IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error can be caused either by a hardware or software problem. Here are the main problems causing the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL stop code error:

  1. A faulty device driver

    Most of the time, IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL is due to a faulty driver on your Windows. you either have an out-of-date driver or using a faulty one. Update your device’s drivers to the newest ones to make sure you solve any driver problems on your computer.

  2. A faulty Windows Service caused by a third-party software

    Sometimes, When you install third-party softwares or tools, they install Windows services on your system. Services are computer programs that run in the background, if a third party installs a faulty service on your Windows your computer may crash with an IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL Blue screen error

  3. An incorrect Windows Update

    When you perform a Windows update on your system to a newer version, if the old files are not correctly replaced by the new ones then this can result in IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL errors.

  4. A faulty RAM

    If there are problems with your RAM stick, then your Windows will likely crash if a program tries to access a part of your RAM that is faulty.

Now that we saw the main reasons why Windows crashes with a IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL blue screen error, lets see how to fix this issue.

How To Fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL By Updating Drivers

The main problem causing crashes with IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL stop code error is a faulty driver on Windows. Update your drivers or reinstall them to fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL problems.

Most of the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL driver errors are caused by the graphic card driver. If your Windows crashes when you are playing video games or using programs that require a lot of GPU usage, then it’s most likely that your graphic card driver is faulty.

Follow the steps below to fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL BSOD by updating drivers

1. Open Device Manager

Click on the Windows button on your keyboard and start typing “device manager”, search for the Device Manager and click on it.

2. Right click on your graphic card driver

In the list of devices, go to Display adapters and right click on your graphic card driver

3. Update or reinstall your driver

Click on Update Driver to update your device driver with a new version of your driver. You can also uninstall the device and reinstall it if the device’s driver is corrupted.

IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL

After restarting your computer should work properly with the new driver. If you still get the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error then try one of the other methods in this article.

Fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL BSOD Caused By Faulty Softwares

Sometimes softwares like antiviruses install services on your computer. Windows services are programs that run in the background of Windows. If a service tries to access a part in your RAM that it has not the right to access then Windows will crash with an IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL stop code BSOD. This may also cause Windows to not start at all

If you have installed any program recently like an antivirus then uninstall it and see if the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error shows again.

If Windows is not starting the start Windows in Safe Mode and uninstall recently installed programs.

How To Fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL If Windows Is NOT STARTING

If you get the blue screen error at Windows boot then you won’t be able to update drivers or uninstall programs to fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL.

You have to boot Windows in Safe Mode to be able to access your desktop and thus update your drivers to fix the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error.

Follow the steps below to start Windows 10 in safe mode to fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error.

1. Start you computer

Make sure that your PC or laptop is off. Turn it on with the power button.

2. Interrupt the normal boot process of Windows 10 three times in a row

When your computer is booting, suddenly interrupt the boot process of Windows three times in a row with the Reset or Power button. (If you use the Power button, you have to hold the power button for at least 4 seconds to force the PC to shutdown). This causes Windows 10 to automatically enter the Automatic Repair Mode.

Windows automatic repair mode

3. On the “Automatic Repair” screen, Click on “Advanced options”

Wait for Windows 10 to make a diagnosis of your computer, then when a blue screen show up saying “Automatic repair” and “Your PC did not start correctly” click on the “Advanced options” button

Automatic repair screen

4. Click on Troubleshoot

On the next screen click on troubleshoot

Click on Troubleshoot

5. Click on “Advanced options”

Click on “Advanced options” to access more advanced options to change Windows behavior during startup.

Select Advanced options

6. Click on “Startup settings”

Click on “Startup settings”. This allows you to change Windows behavior on startup, this will allow us to start Windows 10 in safe mode.

Click on startup settings

7. Click on “Restart”

On the next screen, click on “Restart” to reboot your computer. After restart Windows will ask you in which mode you would like to start your system.

Restart PC

8. Press 5 to boot in Safe Mode

After restart Windows will prompt with startup settings. From here you have many options, Press 5 to enable Safe Mode with Networking, this will allow you to boot in safe mode with access to the internet. this will allow you to update your drivers online.

Press 4, 5 or 6 to boot in Safe Mode

Your computer will restart automatically after you have pressed 5. After Windows startup, update your drivers and uninstall recently installed software to fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error.

Fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL By Disabling Services

If IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL is caused by a running service, you can fix this issue by disabling unnecessary running services at Windows startup.

Follow the steps below to fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL by disabling unnecessary services at Windows boot.

  1. Open “Msconfig”

    Click on the Windows button on your keyboard and start typing “msconfig”, search for the Device Manager and click on it.

  2. Click on “Services”

    In the next window, click on the Services tab to see all services that automatically start when Windows boots.

  3. Click on “Hide all Microsoft services”

    In the bottom left, click on “Hide all Microsoft services” to hide all system services from the list. We want to disable only unnecessary services.

  4. Click on “Disable all”

    After you have hidden Windows services from the list, click on “Disable all”. This will disable all third-party and services installed by softwares from automatically running at Windows startup.

  5. Restart computer

    After disabling all unnecessary services, restart your computer.

After restarting your computer, the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL should not appear again and your computer will not crash again.

Replace RAM

A faulty RAM can lead to IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL bluescreen errors. Try replacing your RAM with a new one and see if you still get the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error.

If your computer has more than one RAM stick, then remove one and let your computer work only with one to see if you get the irql not less or equal error. if you PC doesn’t crash then that means that stick that you have removed was faulty. If you still get the irql not less or equal blue screen then switch the rams and see if you system crashes.

With this simple trick you can diagnosis which RAM is causing IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL problems.

Remove Recently Plugged Devices

A newly plugged hardware device that is faulty can cause Windows crashes with IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL stop code error. If you have recently connected new hardware devices (keyboard, speakers, VR headset, etc.) then try unplugging them to see if it solves the bluescreen problem.

Replug your hardware devices one by one until you find the one causing IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL crashes.

Wrapping up

In this article, we saw many methods to solve IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL problems. Most of the time updating or reinstalling devices drivers will suffice. If your computer keeps crashing after trying all the solutions above, then reinstall your Windows with a fresh installation.

See also How To Fix Driver Power State Failure On Windows 10

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