The error message IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL appears simultaneously with a blue screen on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC. It usually occurs due to an incompatible driver, third-party software, and hardware failure. You may also see a DRIVER prefix, the DRIVER_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error message. It suggests that a driver in kernel mode tried to access a memory address to which it did not have permission.
What is IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Error?
IRQL means Interrupt Request Level and NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL means the boundary level which is outside the value. Sometimes an incorrect or corrupted driver goes to the wrong place in memory and we encounter IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error. This error message is displayed when the memory location is not resolved, on the PC.
How to Fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Error in Windows 11/10
We will discuss all the possible solutions for the BSOD with the irql_not_less_or_equal error. It might be difficult for beginners, but experienced ones can quickly fix the issue by following the below methods.
Method 1: Enter Safe Mode
You need to enter Safe Mode for any change when updating the driver, uninstalling the software etc. Safe Mode loads the operating system without third-party services.
- Press the restart button on your PC itself many times to provoke an error and bring up a process diagnostic menu.
- Now turn on the PC, and then wait until it boots up to the maximum before the error.
- You need to press and hold the power button on your PC to turn it off completely.
- Repeat the procedure 3-4 times, and you will see a recovery menu.
- Once you access the recovery environment, go to “Troubleshooting”> “Advanced options”> “Boot options”> “Restart” and then press on the keyboard “F4” or number 4.
Method 2: Run Memory Diagnostic Tool
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error also occurs when the kernel-mode driver is making an invalid trial to access a memory address. So it could be related to memory issues that generate BSODs on PC. Hence you should run a memory diagnostic tool.
- Tap on the “Start” button.
- Look for ” Windows Memory Diagnostic ” and click on it.
- A window will open where you have to select the first option “Restart Now and check for Problem” and restart your PC.
- During restart, it will carefully check the RAM and show you errors.
- If you see an error, this suggests that the issue is in your memory and you need to replace it.
Method 3: Update PC and Driver
Sometimes the error (driver_irql_not_less_or_equal) is also caused by Drivers. Some faulty driver file in Windows 11/10 is specified as iaStorA.sys, iaisp64 sys, Netwtw04.sys, nvlddmkm.sys, ndis.sys, wrUrlFlt.sys. So you need to update your PC and Drivers. To do this:
- Go to Settings> Update & Security.
- Head over to the path: Windows Update> Check for Updates to get the latest update.
- Once the download is complete restart your PC.
- Now open Device Manager (Press Win+X and click on Device Manager from the list).
- Click on the View tab and you will see a list of devices in Device Manager.
- Find the device that caused the problem and select “Update Driver”.
- Finally, click on “Search automatically for updated driver” and wait for a while for the update to succeed.
Method 4: Return the PC to its original state
If you have tried almost all the possible solutions to fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and are unable to fix it. So now you need to restore your system to default settings.
- Open “Settings” (Use Win+I shortcut key).
- Click on the “Update and Security” option and then tap on Recovery
- Now on the next window, you have to click on Reset PC.
- You will see two options: Keep my files and Remove everything. So select as per your preference.
- Follow the on-screen steps to reset your PC.