/ Shayne Sherman

The IRQL Not Less or Equal message is a type of blue screen of death error (Stop Error). It causes your computer to randomly enter a “blue screen,” which displays the error message on it. One of the main problems with this type of error is there are usually no signs or warnings as to when it will happen.

Now, there are several causes of this error like corrupted system files, incompatible device drivers, faulty hardware, or incorrect installation of software. Lucky for you, this kind of error is manageable and easy to fix with just a few tweaks.

Method 1: Check for Windows Updates

The first thing that you can do to try to fix the blue screen of death error message on your computer is to check for a Windows update. Your current version of Windows may have an existing bug, which causes this error.

Side note: Sometimes you might want to prevent windows from updating as a new update could be the cause for your Stop Error message.

To check for a Windows update, follow the steps below to guide you through the process.

Step 1. Press on the Windows button located at the lower left corner of your screen to open the Start menu.

Step 2. After that, click on the Gear icon to launch Windows Settings.

Windows Settings

Step 3. Next, click on Update & Security.

Update & Security

Step 4. Lastly, click on the Windows Update tab and it will automatically scan for any update available on the current version of Windows installed on your computer.

Windows Update

If available, follow the on-screen prompts to download and install the update on your computer. Once the update is done, restart your computer to see if the BSOD error message is still an issue.

On the other hand, if you are still having issues with your computer and the BSOD error message still occurs, you can proceed to the next method below to try and fix the issue on Windows.

Method 2: Update Your Drivers

The next thing that you can do to try and fix the IRQL blue screen of death error message is to update your device drivers. Your computer may have a faulty device driver or outdated device driver that’s causing the BSOD message.

To update your device drivers properly, follow the steps below to guide you through the process.

Step 1. On your computer, press on the Windows Key + S and search for Device Manager.

Step 2. After that, click on Open to launch the Device Manager.

Device Manager

Step 3. Now, click on one of your devices to expand it.

Step 4. Lastly, right-click on your device driver and click on Uninstall Device. Follow the on-screen prompts to remove the device from your computer.

Uninstall device

After uninstalling your device driver, restart your computer and Windows will automatically install the proper driver for your device. Once done, repeat the process until you have updated all of your device drivers.

Method 3: Use System File Checker

Now, the BSOD error message on your computer can also indicate that some of your Windows system files have a problem. Luckily, Windows has a built-in tool called System File Checker that scans your operating system for any missing or corrupted system files.

To use the SFC scanner on your computer, follow the steps below.

Step 1. On your computer, press on Windows Key + S and search for Command Prompt.

Step 2. Now, click on Run as Administrator to launch the program with administrative permissions.

Command Prompt

Step 3. Next, inside the Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

Step 4. Lastly, wait for the process to finish.

sfc /scannow

After that, restart your computer and try to use it to see if the BSOD error message is gone.

If your still having the issue after using the system file checker, try doing the next method below to fix the issue.

Method 4: Perform a Clean Boot

For the next method, you can try performing a clean boot on your computer. This way, you can find out the possible cause of the BSOD error on your computer.

Follow the steps below to guide you through the process.

Step 1. On your keyboard, press on Windows Key + R.

Step 2. Next, inside the Run Command Box type in msconfig and hit Enter.


Step 3. After that, click on General tab and click on Selective Startup.

Step 4. Maker sure that Load Startup Items is unchecked, then go to the Services tab.

Load startup items unchecked

Step 5. Now, inside the Services tab, click on Hide All Microsoft Services, then uncheck all the services on the list.

uncheck all list of services

Step 6. Restart your computer and carefully observe if the BSOD error message still occurs. If not, go back to the Services tab and check one of the services, then restart your computer again.

Now, repeat this process until you find the service that causes the error. Once you have identified the service, uninstall the related program to it, or permanently disable it if it’s not needed.

Method 5: Reinstall Windows on Your Computer

For the last resort, if none of the methods above worked, is to reinstall Windows.

It is possible that some of your system files got corrupted so badly that Windows update or SFC scanner was not able to fix the issue.

Reinstall windows

Now, keep in mind that this would wipe all of your data so make sure to make a backup first before doing the process. If you know how to install Windows on your computer, then you can go ahead and install it by yourself.

Just follow our handy guide: How to Reformat a Windows 10 PC (Factory Settings)

However, if you don’t know any idea on how to install Windows, then we recommend that you go to the nearest service center on your location and ask them to install a fresh copy of Windows on your computer.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.