Consider a scenario where you’re diligently working on an important project and suddenly, your computer screen turns blue, displaying the intimidating message, “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL”. It’s a moment many Windows users have experienced, often leading to lost work and a great deal of frustration. 

This blue screen error, known formally as a stop error, can be quite disconcerting. However, there’s no need to panic. With some knowledge and the correct guidance, you can address this problem swiftly and effectively. 

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the process of diagnosing and fixing the “IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL” blue screen error on your Windows system. With easy-to-follow steps and clear explanations, you’ll be back to a stress-free computing experience in no time. 

What Is an IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Blue Screen Error?

The IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL blue screen error (also known as a “stop code”) is one of the most common issues you can encounter on Windows machines. It is typically triggered by a driver conflict, which occurs when two different drivers attempt to access the same hardware component. This can cause your computer to crash and display a blue screen with an error message.

What Causes IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Blue Screen Errors?

As stated above, driver conflicts are one of the most common causes of IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL blue screen errors. This can happen if you’ve recently installed or updated a driver on your machine, or if two drivers are trying to access the same hardware at the same time. It can also occur when one driver is outdated and incompatible with other drivers installed on your machine.

How to Fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL Blue Screen Error?

If you’re getting an IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL blue screen error, there are a few steps you can take to troubleshoot the issue and hopefully get your machine up and running again: 

1: Check for Driver Conflicts: The first step is to check your machine for any driver conflicts. 

To do this, open the Device Manager: 

Start > Device Manager 

and look for any devices with an exclamation point or question mark next to them. 

If you see one of these symbols, that indicates a possible conflict. 

2: Update Your Drivers: If you find any outdated or incompatible drivers, make sure to update them as soon as possible. You can do this manually by searching for the driver on the manufacturer’s website and downloading it to your machine, or you can use a third-party program like Driver Booster to automatically update your drivers. 

3: Perform Clean Boot: If updating your drivers doesn’t help, you can try performing a clean boot. This is a process that starts Windows with only essential services and programs running in the background to ensure they won’t interfere with other processes and cause errors. 

To do this, open the Run dialog (Windows key + R) and type “msconfig”. 

In the System Configuration window, click the “Selective startup” option and uncheck the box next to “Load startup items”. 

Click OK and restart your machine. 

4: Run a Memory Test: If a clean boot doesn’t do the trick, you may need to check for any memory errors that could be causing the issue. 

To do this, open the Run dialog again and type “mdsched.exe”. 

This will open the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool which you can use to check for any errors with your machine’s memory. 

5: Perform a System Restore: If all else fails, you may need to perform a system restore to get things back on track. 

To do this, open Start menu and type “Recovery”. 

Open it and then click on the “Open System Restore” button. 

Follow the prompts to restore your system to an earlier state when it was functioning correctly.

These are some simple steps you can take to fix the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL blue screen error on Windows. By following these steps, you can contribute to the optimal functioning of your system, minimizing errors and issues. Nevertheless, if the problem persists despite these efforts, it’s advisable to seek professional assistance to address the issue effectively. 


The IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error on Windows can be fixed by Checking Driver Conflicts, Updating Your Drivers, Performing a System Restore, and so on. By performing a clean boot, running a memory test, and performing a system restore, you should be able to get your Windows system functioning optimally again. 

Correcting this error will help keep your system running smoothly and without any additional issues. Taking these steps will ensure that you can enjoy a worry-free computing experience.