IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL is a BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) error that causes the system to crash. The error occurs when the software, driver, or hardware tries to use a higher Interrupt Request Level (IRQL) than it is allowed to and is logged to BSoD logs. Interrupt Request Levels are used by the operating system to prioritize tasks. You can think of the IRQL as different levels of priority. When a program tries to do something at a higher priority level than it should, it causes a system crash, resulting in the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. This is usually due to misbehaving drivers or programs not playing by the rules.
In this tutorial, I will show different methods to troubleshoot and fix the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. Whether it’s caused by faulty drivers, incompatible software, or hardware issues, follow the steps provided below and the issues will be resolved.
Fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL BSoD Error
Follow the below methods to troubleshoot and solve the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error.
- Uninstall newly installed hardware
- Uninstall newly installed software
- Run the DISM Cleanup command
- Check drivers for errors
- Rollback driver updates
- Update/reinstalled graphics driver
Let’s see each method in detail:
1. Uninstall newly installed hardware
If you recently installed new hardware before encountering the error, it can cause the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. For example, in my case, the newly installed WiFi adapter is the issue. Unplugging it from the system fixed the error for me. Don’t forget to fully power down the system and disconnect it from the power outlet or battery before disconnecting the newly installed hardware.
Once you’ve disconnected the hardware, restart the computer and check if you still get the error. If you don’t then the hardware is the reason. If you still get the error, follow the below steps.
2. Uninstall newly installed software
Sometimes, newly installed software can conflict with existing drivers or system files which in turn causes the error. So, if you recently installed any new software, it is better to uninstall it. Here’s how.
Step 1: Open the Settings window by searching for it in the Start menu.
Step 2: Go to the Apps > Installed Apps page in the Settings window.
Step 3: Locate the newly installed app, click on the menu icon, and select “Uninstall“.
Step 4: Follow the on-screen wizard to uninstall the software.
3. Run the DISM Cleanup command
System file corruption is also a leading causing the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL BSoD error. To check and restore any corrupted or damaged system files, you can run the DISM command (Deployment Image Service and Management Tool). Here’s how.
Step 1: Search for Command Prompt in the Start menu.
Step 2: Right-click on the Command Prompt and select Run as Administrator.
Step 3: Run the below commands one after another.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Step 4: After running the commands as instructed, restart the computer.
If there are any damaged or corrupted system files, the above command will restore them. Once that is done, you will no longer encounter the BSoD error.
4. Check drivers for errors
Sometimes, new, beta, or buggy drivers are a major concert for a lot of BSoD errors and IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is nothing different. The good thing is, Windows has a built-in driver verifier tool that checks and alerts you on any driver error. Here’s how to run it.
Step 1: Open the Run window with Win + R shortcut.
Step 2: Input “verifier” in the run window and click Ok.
Step 3: Click Yes in the UAC prompt.
Step 4: Select “Create standard settings” and click Next.
Step 5: Select “Select driver names from a list” and click Next.
Step 6: Select the checkboxes next to all the drivers and click Finish.
Windows will now check for driver errors. If it found any, it will list them. You should then reinstall the driver to fix the error. After reinstalling, run the Driver Verifier again and see if the error is fixed. If you don’t see the error, you are good to go and the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL problem is fixed.
5. Rollback driver updates
If you recently updated a driver and started experiencing the error, the new driver version might be causing the problem. You can roll back to the previous driver version as follows:
Step 1: Right-click on the Start icon and select Device Manager to open Device Manager.
Step 2: Scan for hardware changes and locate the device with the problematic driver.
Step 3: Right-click on the device, choose “Properties,” go to the “Driver” tab, and click “Roll Back Driver” if the option is available.
Step 4: Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the rollback process.
Step 5: Afterward, restart your computer and see if the error is resolved.
6. Update/reinstalled graphics driver
Graphics drivers play a crucial role in system stability, and outdated or corrupted graphics drivers can trigger BSoD errors. Sometimes, automatic graphics driver updates can also cause the problem. As such, it is essential that you ensure the graphics driver is up-to-date. Here’s how.
Step 1: Visit the website of your graphics card manufacturer (e.g., NVIDIA, AMD, Intel) and download the latest driver for your specific graphics card model.
Step 2: Run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to update or reinstall the graphics driver.
Step 3: After the installation, restart your computer and check if the error is fixed.
If you want, you can also restart the graphics driver and roll back your graphics driver to a previous version.
Resolving the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error may seem tricky, but the methods mentioned above can make it easy for you. In case you need further help, you can always drop me an email and I’ll be happy to help you out in every possible way.