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How to fix Critical Process Died error?

BSoD (Blue Screen of Death) is one of the worst things that can happen to a Windows user. Their frequency on Windows 10 is far less as compared to the older versions but it still happens at times.

Out of the over 500 BSoD error codes, one that perhaps gets the most attention is the Critical Process Died error code. 

Also read: How to fix Windows 10 install error 0x80300001?


What is the Critical Process Died error?

If you’re getting the error code 0x000000EF on your BSoD, you’ve fallen victim to this error. In layman terms, the error is caused by a background process that Windows uses or relies on, going corrupt. There are chances that the process might’ve just stopped or has been incorrectly modified instead of being corrupt. 

It’s quite hard to determine the exact issue as anything from drivers to hardware issues in your memory can cause this error. It can also be triggered by specific actions. For example, this can happen only when you’re gaming or using a particular app. 

Also read: How to remove the ‘Activate Windows’ Watermark?


How to fix the Critical Process Died error?

Here are eight ways you can fix error code 0x000000EF.

Run a full system scan

The first thing you should do is to run a full system scan using whatever anti-virus you use to make sure you don’t have any viruses or malware in your system. 


Run the System File Checker

Try running the system file to find and fix any corrupt system files on your Windows installation. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + X to open the Quick Access menu and click on Command Prompt (Admin)

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Step 2: Type sfc /scannow and hit enter

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Once the scan is finished, you’ll see all problems with your installation and the steps to resolve them. Restart your PC and try again.

Also read: How to Record Macros in Windows 10?


Run the Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management Tool

You can also try out running the Deployment Imaging and Servicing Management Tool, otherwise known as DISM. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + X to open the Quick Access menu and click on Command Prompt (Admin).

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Step 2: Type this command and press enter.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Now restart your PC and try again. 


Update your drivers

Bad drivers are often causes of this stop code. Here’s how you can update them.

Step 1: Press Windows key + X to open the Quick Access menu and click on Device Manager. 

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Step 2: Scan through the list of devices and if you see a yellow exclamation point alongside any, right-click the device and click on Update driver. 

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Also read: How to fix the ‘Network Discovery is Turned Off’ error in Windows 10?


Uninstall recently installed updates

At times, a faulty Windows update can also cause this stop code. 

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open Chrome settings and click Update & Security.

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Step 2: Click on View installed update history.

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Step 3: Click on the Uninstall updates link.

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Step 4: Uninstall any recently installed updates.

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Now restart your PC and try again. The stop code shouldn’t appear this time. 


Perform a clean boot

To isolate the problem, perform a clean boot and then start the missing processes one at a time to find your culprit. 

Step 1: Press the Windows key and search for System Configuration. 

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Step 2: Head over to the Services tab. 

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Step 3: Uncheck the Hide all Microsoft Services checkbox. Now click the Disable All button. 

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Step 4: Now head over to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Step 5: Click the Startup tab again, select all the services and click the Disable button. 

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Now restart your computer and try to isolate the issue. 

Also read: What does Lock the Taskbar mean on Windows 10?


Restore your system

If nothing else works, restoring your system is the only option if you don’t want to reinstall Windows from scratch. Restoring your system basically restores it to a point in time in the past where everything was working fine on your machine. 

Step 1: Press Windows Key + I to open Windows Settings and click Update & Security. 

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Step 2: Head over to the Recovery tab and click on Get Started under Reset this PC. You’ll have an option to keep your personal files or remove them later in the process. 

How to fix Critical Process Died error?

Perform a fresh installation on Windows

The absolute last resort for you is to install Windows from scratch. Yes, you’ll lose all your data unless you have a backup, but it’s the best way to resolve just about any issue with Windows. 

Also read: How to automatically delete files from recycle bin in Windows 10?

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