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9 Fixes for Stop Code IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on Windows 11/10

Wondershare Recoverit Authors

Jan 15, 2024 • Filed to: Windows Computer Solutions • Proven solutions

The stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error is another blue screen of death errors that abruptly shuts down your computer. The fact that it starts an endless loop of the restart creates inconvenience to anyone facing the issue. Although it mostly happens during boot time, sometimes it also occurs in the middle with you busy with some important work. If it does, you may not get a chance to save the changes, and all the progress would be lost.

Even though it looks like an unsolvable issue, it can be solved if you know its root cause. The article features possible reasons for stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error and nine effective methods to fix the issue. Moreover, if you happen to lose any unsaved data due to the error, you can recover it back using an efficient third party application.

The Reason for Stop Code IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on Windows 11/10

When it comes to solving the issue, no one reason gives rise to stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error. From malfunctioned hardware to faulty hardware, numerous factors contribute to the situation. To find a perfect solution to the error, you need to understand all aspects of the issue. Here are some of the frequent factors that lead to BSOD error.

Incompatible Drivers

If you are installing a new hardware device that is not compatible with the system's current driver, it can lead to a blue screen issue.

Malfunctioned hardware

Often a possible issue with the motherboard or damaged RAM may lead to stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error.

Malware intrusion

System file corruption is a typical outcome of a malware intrusion. So, whenever Windows program files are somewhat corrupted or missing, you get the error.

Registry Issues

If the BSOD is occurring after installing new software, there are chances that it might have corrupted the registry.

Incomplete driver installation

In some cases, an incomplete driver installation could lead to the error. If that's the case, then you must uninstall the drivers and reinstall them again.

As the causes may be different for every possible stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error occurrence, so does the solution. Here are some of the efficient ways to fix the error.

Fix 1. Start Windows 11/10 in Safe Mode

Just like safe mode configurations in older versions of OS, Windows 10 offers a boot mode configuration that uses minimal features and processes. If the issue occurs from a third party application or driver, safe mode will prevent the system from crashing again. And if it does, then the problem might be something else.


You will have to follow the safe mode option to apply the following methods. As otherwise, you won't be able to get past the blue screen.

Follow the steps below to open the system in safe mode.

Step 1: Tap down the 'Shift' button and tap on the on-screen power button.

Step 2: Choose the restart option and hold the shift button simultaneously.

Step 3: Now, select ‘Troubleshoot’ and click on ‘Advanced Options.’

select troubleshoot

Step 4: Click on ‘Startup Settings’ and enter ‘Restart.’

Step 5: Now, wait until Windows 10 updates start, and tap on 'Safe Mode.'

Now, check if the stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error persists or not.

Fix 2. Check Your Disk for Errors

As mentioned earlier, corrupted system files may also trigger the stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error. If that's the case, you can run the disk check using a command prompt. Follow the process below to fix the BSOD issue.

Step 1: Firstly, tap on Windows + R keys to open the jump list.

Step 2: Now, select 'Command Prompt' as admin.

Step 3: Write ‘chkdsk c:/f’ in the prompt and press ‘Enter.’ You can replace ‘c:’ with the letter of your hard drive partition.

run checkdisk command

The above process may take some time to complete, so you must wait for a while. The above command will find and repair any logical issues. You can also repair the logical issues by replacing the ‘/f’ by ‘/r.’

Once the process is completed, restart the computer to see if the problem is solved or not.

Fix 3. Check Your Memory and Hardware

If the stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error is not related to the software, then the hardware glitch might be causing the issue. For such a scenario, you should try to test the RAM of your device. For that, Windows 10 offers a utility tool called memory diagnostics. Here's how you can access the utility tool.

Step 1: In the search box, write ‘Memory Diagnostic’ to open the Windows Diagnostic utility.

Step 2: Click on ‘Restart now and check for problems’ to scan the RAM.

scan memory issues

If the scan results in an error, then you know that the problem resides in the RAM. In that case, you can replace your RAM to ensure that everything works just as before.

Fix 4. Refresh or Restore

If the stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error occurs due to recently altered settings, you can reset or restore your PC to fix the issue. You won't lose any data or personal files while restoring or refreshing the computer. So, follow the process below to refresh or restore Windows 10.

System Restore

Step 1: Press the ‘Windows’ key and write ‘System Restore.’

Step 2: Click on 'Create a restore point' once it opens.

Step 3: A window will open up. Click-on System Protection -> System Restore.

Step 4: Read the instructions and tap-on ‘Next.’

read instructions and click on next

Step 5: Now, check the box ‘Show more restore points,’ select the restore point that you want your system to, and click ‘Next.’

Step 6: Click on ‘Next’ for the coming instructions to complete the system restore process.

Now, restart your computer to see if the issue has been resolved.

System Reset

Step 1: Click on ‘Settings’ and navigate to ‘Update & Security.’

Step 2: Tap on the 'Recovery' option on the left panel.

Step 3: Now, tap on ‘Get Started’ under ‘Reset this PC’ and choose to keep your files.

When the process completes, check if the blue screen error persists or not.

Fix 5. Run Hardware Diagnostic

Often a hardware glitch can also lead to stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error. In such a case, you can run the troubleshooter to check if there's an issue with the hardware.

Step 1: Tap on the ‘Settings’ from the ‘Start’ option.

Step 2: Click on ‘Update & Security’ to continue the process.

Step 3: Tap on ‘Troubleshoot’ and select ‘Hardware and Devices’ on the panel's right side.

select hardware and devices

Step 4: Now, tap on 'Run the troubleshooter' to detect any problems on your computer.

select run the troubleshooter

If it finds any error, you'll get the detail at the end of the process. If you don't get an error, then the problem might be something else.

Fix 6. Disable Memory Caching

Windows 10 uses memory caching to temporarily store data in your computer's main memory (RAM). While the feature is an efficient way to quickly access, it often stops code irql_not_less_or_equal error. You can disable this feature to see if it solves the issue.

Step 1: Restart your computer and click on F2 to open BIOS settings.

Step 2: Locate the ‘Memory Caching’ feature and disable it.

Restart your system & check if it fixes the BSOD issue.

Fix 7. Repair Your Registry to Fix Corrupted Files

File corruption issues are some of the common contributors to stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error in Windows 10. But you can fix it using a system file checker to repair your registry. Follow the steps below to fix the corrupted files.


Make sure you backup your registry for if something goes unexpected and affects the OS.

Step 1: Go to ‘Start’ and write ‘cmd.’

Step 2: Right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ from the list and choose ‘Run as Administrator.’

select run as administrator

Step 3: Now, write the ‘SFC/scannow’ command and press ‘Enter’ to start the corrupted files.

run sfc command

The process might take some time to be completed. Once it is done, restart your computer to see if the trick worked.

Fix 8. Run a full System Scan

A malware attack is one of the most frequent reasons that give rise to stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error. In that case, you could perform a full system scan to detect any malware affecting your system. While you could use a third-party software application, Windows Defender works just fine. Here's how you can solve the BSOD issue.

Step 1: Write 'Defender' in the start menu to open the Windows Defender tool.

Step 2: Choose the shield icon in the left-hand panel.

select the shield icon

Step 3: Select on the 'Scan Options' tab in a new window.

Step 4: Check the full scan option to scan for the malware in the entire system.

Once the scanning is complete, you will get to know the malware detection on your computer.

Fix 9. Perform a Clean Windows Install

Even after implementing all the solutions mentioned in the article, there's a possibility that the stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error won't get solved. In that case, the only thing that you can do is perform a clean Windows install. It means that you'll have to delete everything on your ‘C’ drive to install a new Windows 10.

Note: Windows installation should only be used as a last option when all the above solutions fail to solve it.

Part 2: How to Recover Unsaved Data after The Error occurs?

The fact that stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error occurs so suddenly, the chances are you probably won't stand a chance against it. It means that if you are in the middle of some important work and an error occurs, the computer may shut down even before you save the data. While it's annoying to lose all the unsaved or any data because of the error, numerous ways can be used to retrieve them back.

Recoverit Data Recovery software is among the best in retrieving different types of data files. Whether it's audio, video, or word document, you can recover them all.

Now, to recover the lost data, you must first download the application and launch it on your system. Double-click on the Recoverit logo and follow the steps below.

Step 1: Select a Location

To find the unsaved or lost data, you need to choose the location from where you lost your files on the 'Hard drives and Locations' option interface. Now, click on the 'Start' tab to initiate the process.

If you know the exact location of the lost data, you can 'Select Folder' in the 'Quick Access' tab.

recoverit interface

Step 2: Scan the location

As soon as you click on the 'Start' tab, Recoverit initiates the thorough scan. Now, if you see your lost data files, you can pause or stop the process any time in between.

operations during scanning

Step 3: Preview and Recover

Recoverit allows you to get a preview of all the files that feature the file size, type, date modified, and more. When you are assured of the files you wanted, you can click on the 'Recover' button.

preview recovered photos

Now, tap on ‘Save’ to store it at a different storage location.


Make sure that you save the data files at a different location.

The Bottom Line

Next time you face stop code irql_not_less_or_equal error, you know what to do! It is not that huge a problem and can easily be fixed if you follow all the nine solutions mentioned in the article. Many people have reported a loss of data (or unsaved data) because of the issue. If you find yourself in a similar situation, you can use the Recoverit Data Recovery application to retrieve lost data.

Recoverit author

David Darlington

staff Editor

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