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Reasons & Solutions of Irql Not Less or Equal Error

Updated on Friday, June 14, 2024

iBoysoft author Sherry Song

Written by

Sherry Song
Professional tech editor

Approved by

Jessica Shee

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Have you encountered a terrible error showing IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on your computer? The IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is a common Blue Screen of Death(BSOD) issue that affects Windows users.

This error will occur when a drive or software attempts to access memory at an improper IRQL. irql not less or equal typically indicates a problem with system drivers, hardware, or memory corruption.

This frustrating error causes your computer to crash and display a blue screen, disrupting your workflow and potentially leading to data loss. In this article from iBoysoft, we will explore the causes and fixes for you.


Causes for irql_not_less_or_equal

Understanding the underlying causes of the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error is crucial for effective troubleshooting. Common causes include:

  • Driver Issues: Outdated, corrupted, or incompatible drivers are the most frequent culprits.
  • Hardware Problems: Faulty RAM, overheating components, or failing hard drives can trigger this error.
  • Software Conflicts: Recently installed software or updates that are incompatible with your system.
  • Malware: Malicious software can corrupt system files and drivers, leading to this error.
  • Overclocking: Overclocked CPUs, GPUs, or RAM can cause system instability and BSOD errors.

But how do I fix irql not less or equal? Let's learn the fixes one by one. If you fix your problem, please share this post on your social platform.


Fixes for irql_not_less_or_equal

Facing the driver irql not less or equal, try these fixes below:

#1 Keep your PC cool

Overheating can cause various hardware components to fail, resulting in the irql_not_less_or_equal error. Ensure your computer is well-ventilated and clean from dust. Consider disconnecting all data lines, using cooling pads for laptops, and additional cooling fans for desktops.

#2 Check and uninstall malware

Malware can corrupt system files and drivers, causing the error. Use a full system scan using Windows Defender and uninstall some wrong apps.

  1. Start > Settings > Apps & features.
  2. Find and select the problematic app then click Uninstall.

#3 Use DISM and SFC tools

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL can be repaired using the Deployment Imaging Serving and Management (DISM) and the System File Checker (SFC) in the Command Prompt.

  1. In the search bar, type cmd then right-click Command Prompt, and choose Run as administrator.
  2. Type dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth or sfc /scannow.
  3. Restart the computer.

#4 Run Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool

Faulty RAM can lead to the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. The Windows Memory Diagnostic tool can help identify memory issues.

  1. Type memory diagnostic in the search box and select Windows Memory Diagnostic
    Run Memory Diagnostic
  2. Choose Restart now and check for problems.

#5 Check for updates

Ensure your system is up to date. Sometimes, Microsoft releases patches that address such issues.

  1. Start > Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update.
  2. Check for updates and install any available ones.

#6 Update BIOS/UEFI

An outdated BIOS/UEFI can cause compatibility issues. Visit your motherboard manufacturer's website to check for and install any available BIOS updates.

#7 Run Hardware Troubleshoot

Windows has a built-in hardware troubleshooter that can help identify and fix hardware-related issues like irql not less or equal.

  1. Start > Settings > Update & Security.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot then click Hardware and Devices on the right.
  3. Click Run the troubleshoot.

#8 Run Driver Verifier

Driver Verifier is a useful tool that helps identify some problems on Windows.

  1. Type cmd in the search box, right-click Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator.
  2. Type verifier and press the Enter key, then choose Create custom settings > Next
    Run Driver Verifier
  3. Select what driver to verify and click Next > Finish.

#9 Reset This PC

If other fixes fail, resetting Windows can help to fix  IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL on Windows. This option reinstalls Windows while keeping your personal files.

  1. Start > Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.
  2. Select Recovery > Get started.
  3. Choose Keep my files or Remove everything to reset the PC. 
    Do System Restore
  4. After careful reading, click Reset.

#10 Try a System Restore

If the error irql_not_less_or_equal started after a recent change, such as a new software installation, use System Restore to revert your system to a previous state.

  1. Type system restore in the search box and click Create a restore point.
  2. Choose the System Restore button > Next > Finish.

Please share these to help more help more users~


By following these detailed solutions, you can effectively troubleshoot and resolve IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error on your Windows. If you lost data during the fixes, download some professional tools like iBoysoft Data Recovery for Windows, which can recover over 1000 types of files~