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Fix: Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11

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  • 5 min read
Photo: Wachiwit / Shutterstock.com

Photo: Wachiwit / Shutterstock.com

Many Windows 11 users have reported seeing the feared blue screen of death along with the error message Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal.

In this article, we’ll delve deeper into this error, explaining the possible reasons behind this error and will also provide fixes.


Possible reasons for Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11

The Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11 indicates a memory-related issue when a system process or device driver attempts to access a memory address without the appropriate permissions.

Here are some common causes of the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11 error on Windows 11:

  • Incompatible, corrupt, or outdated device drivers: Like any Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) error, this issue can be caused by corrupted, outdated, or incompatible drivers. It is crucial to update drivers in Windows 11 to resolve this problem.
  • Corrupted system files: If your files are missing or corrupted due to an incomplete operating system update or system failures, you may encounter the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11.
  • Faulty or malfunctioning hardware: Unfortunately, this type of BSoD error can indicate a problem with one of your hardware components, specifically the RAM modules.
  • Incomplete app installation: Although less common, an error in software installation can potentially trigger this error if the installation is not completed properly or fully.

By identifying and addressing these underlying causes, users can work towards resolving the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11 and ensure stable system performance.

Also read: Fix: Kernel security check failure in Windows 11


How to fix the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11?

Now that we have understood the possible reasons behind the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11, let us quickly dive into the fixes.

Run SFC scan

SFC scan, also known as System File Checker scan, is a built-in Windows utility that is designed to scan and repair corrupted or damaged system files.

Here’s how to perform an SFC scan:

Step 1: Press the Windows key + X and then select Terminal.

Step 2: Type sfc /scannow to scan your system. 

Step 3: If the SFC scan finds any problems, use the following command to resolve them:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Run Windows Memory Diagnostic

You can run Windows Memory Diagnostic to identify and resolve memory-related issues that may be causing errors or system instability.

Search Windows Memory Diagnostic on the taskbar search space and click on the software to open it. You will see two options:

  • Restart now and check for problems: This option lets you immediately run the memory diagnostic tool on your next system startup. Save any unsaved work before selecting this option, as your computer will restart.
  • Check for problems the next time I start my computer: This option lets you schedule the memory diagnostics to run during the next system startup.

After you have done the Windows Memory Diagnostic run, see if it solves the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11.

Also read: Why is there an exclamation mark on C drive in Windows 11?


Run a malware scan

You can download any standard anti-virus on your computer and perform a quick or detailed scan to detect any malicious programs. This will certainly fix the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11.

Windows also provide an in-built virus detection software. Type Windows Security in the taskbar search space and then click on the software. Here, select Virus and threat protection and then run a full scan.


Update the drivers

As we have explained earlier, faulty or outdated drivers can be one of the many causes of the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11. So, you should regularly update the drivers to avoid such errors in the future.

Here’s how to update drivers:

  • Search Device Manager from the taskbar search space and then click on the software to open it.
  • Now, click on Disk drives to expand the option.
  • Right-click on the drive and then select the Update driver option.
  • Next, click on Search automatically for drivers to allow Windows to search for updates.

Note: In the above screenshot, I have shown how to update the Disk drives. You will have to update each driver individually.

Alternatively, head to Settings > Windows Update > Advanced options > Optional updates. Here, select the update that you want to install and then click on Download and Install.

Also read: How to disable Xbox game bar in Windows 11?


Update Windows OS

Sometimes, Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11 can be caused by a bug or a glitch in Windows 11 that has been fixed in a newer version.

Search Windows Update Settings in the search bar and then click on Update. In the screenshot above, you will see Restart Now option. This is because I have already downloaded the updates and after restarting my PC, the updates will install automatically.


Run Check Disk

Check Disk (CHKDSK) is another built-in tool that scans your disk drives and fixes any errors or bad sectors. This can help fix the Irql_Not_Less_Or_Equal error in Windows 11.

Check out our detailed article on how to run Check Disk.

Also read: Fix: DPC watchdog violation in Windows 11

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Kumar Hemant

Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations. You can contact him here: [email protected]

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