IRQL not less or equal in Windows – How to Fix

Computer errors can be a source of frustration and confusion for many users. One such error that Windows users might encounter is the “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error.

This error is related to the system’s memory and can cause your computer to crash and display a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

Understanding what this error means and how to fix it can save you from a lot of stress and can help keep your computer running smoothly.

Understanding the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL Error

The “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error is a stop code that Windows computers display when there’s a memory-related error.

This error usually happens when a system process or a driver attempts to access a memory address without proper access rights.

This could lead to system crashes and the infamous Blue Screen of Death, making it critical to resolve.

The error can be caused by various issues including bad drivers, issues with hardware, or corrupted system files.

What Causes the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL Error?

There are several reasons why the “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error might appear on your Windows computer.

One of the most common causes is a faulty driver. Drivers are software components that allow your operating system to communicate with hardware devices.

If a driver is outdated, corrupted, or incompatible with your system, it could cause this error to occur.

Another possible cause of this error is a hardware issue. This could be related to your computer’s memory (RAM), motherboard, or even your CPU. Sometimes, simply reseating the RAM modules or checking for faulty hardware components can resolve the issue.

In some cases, the error could be caused by corrupted system files or a faulty Windows installation. This might require more advanced troubleshooting steps, such as repairing or reinstalling Windows.

How to Fix the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL Error

Resolving the “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error requires identifying and addressing the underlying issue that’s causing it. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot and fix the error:

Update Your Drivers

Keeping your drivers up to date is crucial for the stability and performance of your system.

You can update your drivers manually by going to the manufacturer’s website and searching for the most recent driver software for your hardware. Alternatively, you can use a driver update tool to automate the process.

Check for Hardware Issues

If updating your drivers doesn’t resolve the issue, you should check your computer’s hardware.

Start by reseating your RAM modules and checking for any other faulty hardware components.

If you have recently added new hardware to your computer, try removing it to see if that resolves the issue.

Run a Memory Test

Windows has a built-in tool for testing your computer’s RAM. To run a memory test, open the Start menu, type “Windows Memory Diagnostic,” and choose the “Restart now and check for problems” option.

Your computer will restart and the memory test will run. If any issues are found, you’ll need to replace the faulty RAM module.

Check for Corrupted System Files

Corrupted system files can cause various issues, including the “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error.

To check for and repair corrupted system files, you can use the System File Checker tool.

Open the Command Prompt as an administrator, type “sfc /scannow,” and press Enter. The tool will scan your system files and repair any corrupted files it finds.

Perform a Clean Boot

A clean boot can help you identify if the error is being caused by a third-party application or service.

To perform a clean boot, open the System Configuration tool, disable all startup items and non-Microsoft services, and restart your computer.

If the error doesn’t occur during a clean boot, you can enable items and services one by one to pinpoint the cause of the issue.

Preventing the IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL Error

Preventing the “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error requires maintaining your system and keeping everything up to date. Here are some tips to help prevent this error from occurring:

Keep Your System Updated

Make sure that your operating system and all your drivers are up to date. Windows Update can automatically download and install updates for your system. Keeping your drivers up to date is also crucial for system stability.

Regularly Check Your Hardware

Regularly checking your computer’s hardware for issues can help prevent the “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error.

Make sure all hardware components are properly seated and functioning correctly. If you notice any issues, address them as soon as possible.

Use Reliable Software

Using reliable software and avoiding the installation of unknown or untrusted applications can help maintain system stability and prevent errors like “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL.”

Regular System Maintenance

Performing regular system maintenance, including checking for updates, running antivirus scans, and cleaning up unnecessary files, can help keep your system running smoothly and prevent various issues.


The “IRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL” error can be a source of frustration, but understanding what causes it and how to fix it can help you resolve the issue and prevent future occurrences.

By keeping your system up to date, checking for hardware issues, and performing regular system maintenance, you can maintain a stable and error-free computer.

Remember, if you’re ever unsure about how to proceed with troubleshooting or resolving an issue, it might be best to seek help from a professional or contact the manufacturer’s support team for guidance.

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Edward brings years of experience in a variety of different fields including online marketing & No-code app development, and he's been investing in stocks and cryptocurrency since 2016. Outside of work you'll usually find him watching movies at the local cinema or playing games in the Apple Arcade.

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