IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on Windows 11 (7 Solutions) 2024

This error occurs when a system process or a device driver needs access to a memory address but it doesn’t have the right to that.


IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on Windows 11 usually occurs due to memory problems or system file corruption. You may experience this error during boot process while playing a Game on your PC or doing Graphics tasks like Video editing, Photoshop etc. IRQL is short for “Interrupt Request Level” ” and the not less or equal component refers to an attempt to access an address that is outside (greater than memory allocation) that boundary value. This error can be frustrating and disruptive, often causing your system to crash and restart unexpectedly. This article explores the reason behind IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL on Windows 11, and solutions to fix this blue screen error.


This error driver irql not less or equal is an indication that a process or driver attempted to access a memory address at a higher Interrupt Request Level (IRQL) than it was permitted. This violation leads to system instability and results in the dreaded blue screen.

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The reason behind this error:

Several factors can trigger the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error, a Problem with a Memory module, a System file corrupted due to a power outage or disk error, an Outdated or incompatible device driver or Faulty or incompatible hardware are common.

Blue screen errors can be caused by both hardware and software issues.

  • Issues with your computer’s memory can cause a wide range of problems, including this error.
  • Drivers that are outdated or incompatible with your system can lead to conflicts and trigger this error.
  • Malicious software can disrupt normal system operations, leading to unexpected errors like IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on Windows 11.
  • Overclocking your hardware beyond recommended limits can result in instability and trigger this error.

Solutions for this error:

Disconnect external Devices and restart your computer help get rid of this blue screen error on Windows 11. In addition, update device drivers with the latest version, Run the Memory Diagnostic tool or check system file corruption using the System file checker fix the driver_irql_not_less_or_equal on Windows 11

Disconnect external devices

External devices, such as USB drives, printers, external hard drives, or other peripherals, can sometimes conflict with system processes and drivers, leading to errors.

  • Let’s first disconnect all external devices connected to your computer and reboot your device.
  • That probably helps get out of this blue screen error if driver incompatibility or a faulty hardware device causes the issue.
  • In addition, when you restart Windows it will alleviate certain software-related issues, including minor glitches and conflicts.

If there is no more IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error triggered it confirms the conflict with an external device causing the issue. o identify the problematic device, reconnect the external devices one by one and observe if the error occurs after reconnecting a specific device.

Start Windows 11 in safe mode

If the Windows 11 system is not starting or frequently restarting due to the stop code IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error booting into Safe Mode can be helpful. Safe Mode loads only essential drivers and services, which can help you identify and resolve software-related problems that might be causing the error.

Hold the Shift key and press Windows 11 from the start menu -> power icon. Or you can use installation media to access the Windows recovery environment

  • Click Troubleshoot then Advanced options,

advanced Troubleshoot option

  • On the advanced options screen click on startup settings then Restart

Advanced options

  • And finally, Press F5 to start Windows 11 in safe mode, and F6 to enable internet access.

safe mode fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Once you’re in Safe Mode, you can perform various troubleshooting tasks to fix the driver_irql_not_less_or_equal on Windows 11.

Note – If your computer boots normally, then booting into safe mode is optional.

Update windows 11

Microsoft regularly drops Windows updates with security improvements and bug fix for previous problems. Let’s check and install if any updates are pending there, and that may have a bug fix for this blue screen error.

Keeping your Windows 11 operating system up to date is crucial for maintaining stability and compatibility.

  • Press the Windows key + X and select settings,
  • Go to Windows Update then hit the check for updates button,
  • If new updates are pending there, allow them to download and install on your device.
  • Once done you need to reboot your PC to apply them and check if the problem is gone.

When you check for updates, your PC will also search for the latest device drivers, which can also help improve your PC’s performance.

Windows updates fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Update drivers

Another common reason for driver_irql_not_less_or_equal error is the older or outdated device driver. To get the best performance from your computer you need to Make sure you have the latest device drivers installed for Windows 11.

Use Driver Verifier to find faulty drivers,

  • Press the Windows key + R, type verifier and click ok.
  • Create standard settings, and then click Next.
  • Check Automatically select unsigned drivers and Click Next. Then it will search for unsigned drivers.

Install optional driver updates:

  • Open Windows 11 settings, navigate to Windows update then select advanced options,
  • Scroll down and choose Optional Updates, here check all the available updates and click Download & Install.
  • Once you have completed these steps, restart your PC and check whether this problem occurs again.

Download optional updates

Update drivers on Device Manager:

  • Press Windows key + X and select device manager,
  • This will display a list of devices and peripherals connected to your computer,
  • Expand all of them and look if any drivers are listed there with a yellow exclamation mark, If yes you need to update or reinstall the driver.

If not found we recommend update the essential drivers that include Chipset, Video, Audio, and Network (Ethernet/Wireless).

Updating your device drivers, including those for graphics, network, and chipset components, ensures that your hardware communicates effectively with the operating system.

update device drivers fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL

Get driver updates from manufacturers:

Also, you can get the latest driver update for the desired device on the manufacturer’s website. Moreover, many third-party tools can help you update drivers on Windows 11. These tools automatically search and install drivers directly from official resources.

Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool

Faulty RAM modules can cause a range of issues, including the blue screen IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. If updating drivers or installing the latest Windows update didn’t fix the problem you need to check memory errors with the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool.

The Windows Memory Diagnostic tool checks your system’s memory for errors, such as incorrect data or faulty addresses.

  • Press Windows key + S and search for Windows Memory Diagnostic, select the first result,
  • Next, click on Restart Now and check for problems (recommended)

Windows memory diagnostic tool fix IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL error

  • Windows will automatically restart, run the test, and reboot back into Windows.
  • The utility tests the Random Access Memory (RAM) on the computer and reports any errors that are found.

If you don’t see the result, you can search in Event Viewer by following this path: Event Viewer (right-click Start Menu) > Windows Log > System > Find (in the right pane)> type MemoryDiagnostic > Find Next.

In addition, the physical RAM can also be the source of a problem that causes the PC to reboot and cause IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error on windows 11. If the problem occurs after replacing the RAM with newer RAM, install the old RAM back in.

Identifying and replacing faulty RAM helps prevent memory-related errors and enhances system stability.

If the computer works fine with the old RAM, the problem may be with the new RAM. The manufacturer usually shows a list of RAMs tested with almost every motherboard. Check to see if your new RAM is on this list. Also, make sure that it is correctly installed.

Repair system files using SFC and DISM

Problems with system files that are corrupted or missing due to power failure, hard disk error, or virus malware infection can also cause Windows 11 to freeze and crash with a blue screen IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. You can run the system file checker and DISM restores health command to check system health and repair system files on Windows 11.

  • Press Windows key + S and type cmd, right-click on the command prompt select run as administrator,
  • First, run the DISM restore health command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /Restorehealth


  • This will check the system image health and try to repair them using Windows Update as the source,
  • Next type sfc /scannow and press enter key to execute the command.
  • This will scan can all protected system files and replace corrupted files with a cached copy that is located in a compressed folder.

SFC scan windows 11

  • Let the scanning process complete 100%, once done reboot your computer to take effect the changes.

Run the Check Disk tool

Disk drive error or bad sectors in the hard disk is another reason why Windows 11 freezes and crashes with driver_irql_not_less_or_equal error. If nothing above helps, you can check your hard drive for errors using chkdsk tool.

  • Press Windows key + S and type cmd, right-click on the command prompt select run as administrator,
  • You can run chkdsk command to scan the disk drive for error but it won’t repair it,
  • For this, you need to add some extra parameters that you can get by running chkdsk /?
  • To scan the disk drive for errors and repair them run the command chkdsk C: /f /r and press the enter key,
  • Type Y and press the enter key to schedule scan and repair disk drive errors on the next start.


When you are ready restart your PC. This tool should eliminate all errors related to the hard disk drive.

Look for virus malware infection

Sometimes viruses or malware infections could be the reason for the Windows 11 blue screen error. If the above methods fail to fix the problem, scan for viruses or malware infections using the latest updated antivirus or antimalware removal tool and that probably helps fix the error.

Also, You can uninstall the antivirus software for a period of time to test if this causes your screen change to blue.

If the solutions above cannot help you with the problem, you can try to restore your system.

To prevent blue screen errors on Windows 11

  • You should always check and be sure that all PC components are correctly installed. This is especially the case with RAM and the hard drive.
  • Try to check for Windows updates as often as possible.
  • Try to update the drivers at least once every six months. The more often, the better.

Did the above solutions help fix IRQL Not Less or Equal on Windows 11? Let us know on the comments below.

Also read:

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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