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How to Fix Driver IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL Error

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Written by Kelly Houstan

When Windows 10 runs well, it actually runs exceptionally well. When it doesn’t really run well, you are likely to see the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD) more often than on your desktop. The BSOD doesn’t offer much help to resolve the errors that caused it. In fact, Windows via default will restart your system seconds after showing you the BSOD. You’ll be lucky if you guys can catch the actual error that caused it. Just read this article to know all about  How to Fix Driver IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL Error. Let’s start!

DRIVER IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL is an error that Windows 10 users often see.

It basically triggers the BSOD and Windows 10 tells you in order to Google the solution. This error is complicated and difficult to pin on any one thing actually. Here are a few things you can try to resolve the DRIVER IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL error too.

How to Fix Driver IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL Error

The DRIVER IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL error basically applies to a broad range of problems that a system might encounter. It actually means that your driver is having a hard time communicating along with the hardware. There is no one size fits all solution for it, however, chances are one of the following solutions will resolve it.

Update All Drivers and BIOS

Check and update all drivers. Ideally, you guys should download these drivers directly from the manufacturer’s website. As the drivers downloaded via Windows Update risk being either out of date or incompatible in a few cases. Just download the correct version corresponding to your model. Your hardware’s model number will be listed on the box it shipped in as well. If you guys do not have the box, then you can check the device itself (should be in one of the corners).

If an update for your BIOS (the first screen you guys see when you power up your system) is out. Definitely update that as well. Many time drivers are written in compliance along with an updated BIOS. That can put you at risk of a BSOD.

Event Viewer

If the above solution does not work well, then you need to identify where the problem might be coming from. Windows also has a built-in tool for that called ‘Event Viewer’. You guys can search for it in the Windows Search bar or Cortana.

The Event Viewer will also have a log of all critical errors, warnings, and messages along with their time stamps. It might be a little tedious, however, if you scroll through each and every critical error. You will be able to identify which device caused issues actually. If the issue is recurring along with the same device. Then you will have identified the problem right there.

How to Fix Driver IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL Error


If it is a matter of faulty drivers, then you will have to completely remove the old ones and install them again. First, you have to download the latest driver from the manufacturer’s website. And then remove the driver through the following steps:

  • First of all, open the Control Panel
  • Head to Device Manager
  • Right-click the device that is causing the error
  • Choose ‘Uninstall’ from the context menu

After it is completely removed, just install the downloaded driver and restart your computer.

Reinstall Audio or Network Drivers

If updating the drivers did not work, then you guys might want to consider removing and reinstalling any faulty drivers. Many times Windows installs a generic version of a driver that ends up conflicting along with the hardware. In order to address that, first, you need to download your hardware’s exact driver from its manufacturer’s website (for your exact model). In order to check the exact model, refer to the original box. If you guys do not have the box, unplug the device and examine it physically for a model number.

If you have more than one network device installed, then just do the following for each one.

  • Open the Control Panel app
  • Loko for the Device Manager
  • Right Click on the Network Adapter
  • Click ‘Uninstall’ from the context menu

After that, you need to install your downloaded driver and the error should be gone. Next time you have to update that particular driver, get a new one from the manufacturer’s website. Prevent letting Windows download that driver for you and you should be fine.

If the problem still persists, then see if you can try via an external or a different network device. (i.e. one that you can plugin and delete manually).

Remove Overclocking Tool

Overclocking tools, via design, are meant to boost your hardware’s performance beyond its limits. Delete all overclocking tools and restore your hardware to factory defaults. Then remove the overclocking software too. The problem should be gone now.

If you guys want to overclock again, reinstall a fresh copy of the software and this time do it gradually. So as not to push your hardware to its breaking point again as well. The error might be a result of Windows 10 not working well along with your overclocking tool. It is also possible you might have to select between running Windows 10 smoothly or overclocking your system.

Update or Change VPN software

Technically, this is an error also a network issue since VPN software is supposed to redirect your traffic to a different location around the planet. Many times, outdated VPN software makes requests that the hardware does not know how can you fulfill. Updating your VPN software should help to eliminate problems.

If the problem still persists, then delete the VPN software from Control Panel > Programs and Features > Right tap> Uninstall. If that solution works, then you might have to change the VPN software you use to one that is compatible along with your system.

Anti-Virus/Firewall Tools

Third-party security tools can give decent protection for your system. In few cases, security measures might interfere with the system’s regular performance (akin to taking too much medicine in order to cure a small disease). Removing said protection software should resolve the problem as well. Try to use a different anti-virus to keep your system secure.

In order to completely remove antivirus software, we strongly advise that you guys use one of the dedicated uninstallers. Most antivirus companies have also uninstaller tools available on their websites and use them in order to remove a certain antivirus program from your PC.

After you’ve removed your antivirus software, you can then try to reinstall it. Or you can install any other antivirus software rather.

Reset your Windows 10

Well, if all else fails and you’ve ruled out any physical defects, then perhaps a complete reset is in order. This will remove all of your files and settings from Windows 10, as well as any apps that you’ve installed as well. You will have to take a backup and restore it afterward. Just follow these steps to reset Windows 10.

  • Now on the Settings app and head to the Update & Security group of settings. Go to the Recovery tab and choose Reset this PC.
  • Select Remove Everything and then reset Windows 10

Check your Hardware

If all software solutions have been exhausted, then it may behoove one in order to examine the hardware for physical defects. Many times the cooling system under-performs, overheating your system and sometimes Windows does not generate temperature warnings as well. You guys could open your system to individually unplug, unscrew, remove, examine for physical defects. (Such as burn marks or excessive dust), clean and reinstall each and every part. If you’re not sure what to look for, consider taking your system to a professional as well.


Well, That all from my side. If you want to know more about this article or have any queries. Then feel free to ask me anything in the comments section below.

Have a Good Day!

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Kelly Houstan

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