IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL (STOP: 0x0000000A) Windows 10 (12 Solutions)

This error typically indicates an issue with a driver or hardware component conflicting with the system's memory. Here is how to fix it!


Encountering IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL (STOP: 0x0000000A) error after a recent Windows 10 update, software install, or add new hardware? This is a common Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) error occurs due to both hardware and software problems. Here the term, IRQL stands for “Interruption Request Line.” It’s a mechanism that Windows uses to signal events requiring urgent attention. NOT LESS OR EQUAL part of the message indicates that a driver or system process attempted to access a memory address that is invalid or not accessible from the current IRQL level. The most probable cause for irql_not_less_or_equal Windows 10 is a device driver that has a bug and attempted to access invalid memory. Again the pagefile has been corrupted or there is a memory problem. Whatever the reason here are practical solutions help others fix it.


The IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is a type of stop error (or BSOD error) that occurs when a kernel-mode process or driver attempts to access a memory address at an invalid IRQL (Interrupt Request Level). This often happens due to incompatible or outdated drivers, faulty hardware, or software conflicts.

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  1. Issues with Hardware components such as RAM, hard drives, or graphics cards may be malfunctioning, can lead to this error.
  2. Outdated, incompatible, or corrupted device drivers can trigger this error when they attempt to access memory addresses at incorrect IRQL levels.
  3. Certain software installations or system updates can introduce conflicts that result in this error.
  4. Overclocking the CPU or RAM beyond their stable limits can lead to instability and trigger BSoD errors like this.

Disconnect External Devices and Restart Your Computer

External devices like USB drives, printers, or external hard drives can sometimes introduce conflicts that lead to the “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error. Whenever you experience blue screen error the first thing you need to Disconnect all non-essential peripherals and restart your computer. This simple step can often resolve temporary system glitches caused by external devices.

After disconnecting, restart your computer to see if the issue is resolved. If successful, reconnect devices one by one to identify the problematic ones.

Start Windows in Safe Mode

Safe Mode starts Windows with a limited set of drivers and software, making it easier to diagnose and troubleshoot issues. If due to this BSOD Windows 10 frequently restarts at startup we recommend boot into safe mode to apply the solutions below.

To start your compute safe mode, open settings -> Select Update & Security  > Recovery. Under Advanced Startup, select Restart Now.

Advanced startup restart now

After your PC restarts to the Choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings > Restart.

safe mode

After your PC restarts, you’ll see a list of options. Press F4 to start your PC in Safe Mode. Or if you’ll need to use the internet, press F5 for Safe Mode with Networking.

safe mode Windows 10

Once in Safe Mode, you can perform troubleshooting steps without interference from third-party software. Well If the error persists in Safe Mode, it indicates a potential hardware or core system problem.

Well if due to this blue screen you are unable to access normal desktop, then use installation media to access the advanced option then safe mode.

Disable Fast Startup Feature

Windows 10 includes a Fast Startup feature designed to reduce startup times by hibernating the kernel session instead of fully shutting down the system. However, this feature can sometimes lead to conflicts during startup, resulting in errors like “irql_not_less_or_equal windows 10.” Disabling Fast Startup can ensure a more thorough initialization process, potentially resolving startup-related issues and preventing BSoD errors.

  • To disable Fast Startup, go to Control Panel > Power Options > Choose what the power buttons do.
  • Click on change settings that are currently unavailable then uncheck “Turn on fast startup (recommended).”

Fast Startup

Update Device Drivers

Device drivers act as intermediaries between your hardware and the operating system, and outdated or incompatible drivers can lead to various system errors, including the “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” BSoD. You need to ensure all device drivers, particularly those for critical components like the GPU, network adapter, and chipset, are updated to their latest versions to maintain system stability and compatibility.

You can update drivers manually through Device Manager or use third-party driver update software for convenience.

  • Press the Windows key + X and select “Device Manager.”
  • In Device Manager, right-click on the device you want to update and select “Update driver.”
  • Choose “Search automatically for updated driver software” and follow the prompts to complete the update process.
  • Repeat this process for all critical devices like the GPU, network adapter, and chipset.
  • Note: Also you can prefer the Device manufacturer website to download and install the latest driver software for your Laptop/PC.

Update network driver

Regularly updating drivers can improve system stability and prevent compatibility issues.

Rollback Driver Updates

If the error occurred shortly after installing a driver update, it’s possible that the new driver is incompatible with your system or other hardware components. In such cases, rolling back to the previous driver version can help resolve the issue.

To rollback a driver update:

  • Press the Windows key + X and open Device Manager,
  • locate the device with the updated driver, right-click it, select “Properties,”
  • Go to the “Driver” tab, and choose “Roll Back Driver” if available.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the rollback process.

Rollback network driver

Note: You will only find the Roll Back Driver option If you update the driver from the old version to new one.

Check for Hardware Issues

Hardware issues, particularly with components like RAM or hard drives, can trigger the “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL” error. Windows includes a built-in tool called Windows Memory Diagnostic to test your system’s memory for errors. To run this tool, type “Windows Memory Diagnostic” in the Start menu search bar, and select the tool. Select the first option Restart now and check for problems. If the tool detects any issues, consider replacing the faulty hardware to resolve the error.

Memory Diagnostic Tool 

Also sometimes your PC can develop errors on the hard disk drive due to repeated, unintended misuse. Improper shutdowns, “hard closing” programs, corrupt or incomplete installation of software and more. As a result, you may experience blue screen errors associated with irql not less or equal.

You can use chkdsk utility to scan and fix disk errors and bad sectors.

  • Open the command prompt as administrator and run the command chkdsk c: /f /r to scan and repair hard disk corruption.
  • Type Y to schedule the scan on the next boot and restart your computer.

check disk for errors windows 10

Virtual Memory Page Issue

Virtual memory, also known as the paging file, is a space on your hard drive used by Windows to supplement physical RAM. If your system experiences frequent “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL” errors, adjusting the virtual memory settings may help.

  • Press the Windows key and type “Advanced system settings.”
  • Select “View advanced system settings” from the search results.
  • Under the “Advanced” tab, click “Settings” in the “Performance” section.
  • Navigate to the “Advanced” tab in the new window and click “Change” under Virtual Memory.
  • Here, you can adjust the size of the paging file manually or let Windows manage it automatically.

virtual memory windows 10

Keep your Windows 10 up to date

BSOD errors are often caused by incompatibility issues, and in order to avoid potential issues, we strongly advise you to update Windows 10 frequently. Most incompatibility issues and security flaws are fixed through Windows Update, so in order to avoid irql_not_less_or_equal Windows 10 BSOD error, make sure that your Windows 10 is up to date.

  • Press the Windows key, type “Windows Update,” and select “Check for updates.”
  • Install any available updates and restart your computer if prompted.

Windows 10 update Download

Repair Damaged Or corrupted system files

Again Corrupted system files can lead to various system errors, including this blue screen error. Windows includes built-in tools like System File Checker (SFC) and Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) that help scan and repair corrupted system files. This tool can be very helpful when the exception is caused by a bad system file.

  • To run this, open Command Prompt as administrator
  • Type the command sfc /scannow and press enter key
  • This will scan your system for all its important system files, and replace where necessary.
  • After sfc completes, type “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” and press Enter to run the DISM command.

system file checker utility Windows 10

Scan for Malware infection

Malware infections can compromise system integrity and stability, potentially leading to various errors, including BSoD issues like “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL.” Perform a full system scan using Windows security or reputable antivirus software helps detect and remove malicious software that may be causing or exacerbating the problem.
  • Open Windows security or your antivirus or antimalware software.
  • Initiate a full system scan and follow the software’s instructions to remove any detected threats.
  • Ensure your antivirus definitions are up to date before scanning.

Windows security full scan

Undo Overclocking

Overclocking your CPU, RAM, or GPU beyond their stable limits can lead to system instability and BSoD errors like “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL.” If you’ve overclocked any hardware components, revert them to their default settings in the BIOS or UEFI firmware. This ensures that your hardware operates within its manufacturer-specified parameters, reducing the likelihood of errors.

  • Restart your computer and access the BIOS or UEFI firmware settings (usually by pressing a key like F2 or Del during startup).
  • Locate the settings related to CPU, RAM, or GPU overclocking and reset them to default values.

Perform System Restore

System Restore allows you to revert your system to a previous state, effectively undoing changes that may have introduced the “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL” on Windows 10. If the problem started after a recent change, Restoring your system to a point before the error started can help eliminate recent software installations, updates, or configuration changes as potential causes.

To use System Restore:

  • Type “System Restore” in the Start menu search bar and select “Create a restore point.”
  • In the System Properties window, click “System Restore” and follow the on-screen instructions to choose a restore point before the error occurs.

Perform system restore

Video Tutorial to fix driver irql_not_less_or_equal Windows 10

Did these solutions help to fix driver irql_not_less_or_equal on Windows 10? Let us know on the comments below.

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Steve Ballmer
Steve Ballmer
With over 7 years of experience in the IT industry, I have experience in IT support, helpdesk, sysadmin, network admin, and cloud computing. Certified in Microsoft Technologies (MCTS and MCSA) and also Cisco Certified Professional in Routing and Switching.

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