How to fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 0x0000000a errors in Windows

Posted by Jamie on October 12, 2016

The IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 0x0000000a error results in a Blue Screen of Death. It is one of the more annoying Windows errors as it tells you next to nothing about what’s going on. That’s where I come in. If you’re seeing IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 0x0000000a errors in Windows, this tutorial is for you.

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL errors are interrupt requests made by drivers, apps or peripherals. An interrupt is like a call for attention for resources such as memory. If a certain app needs to use more memory or access a portion of it to complete a task, it submits an IRQ request to Windows. It then queues it and processes it at the first opportunity. Errors may occur if an app requests invalid memory, the data isn’t in memory or the RAM is erroring or clocked incorrectly.

The stop code 0x0000000a is assigned to errors trying to access memory where the requested IRQL is too high. There are three main reasons to see IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL errors in Windows.

  1. Overclocking
  2. Driver or software issue
  3. Hardware fault

One great tool for troubleshooting BSOD errors is Blue Screen View, a freeware app that decodes stop errors. It’s well worth getting if you suffer frequent BSODs.


Fix IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 0x0000000a errors in Windows

The first thing to check with any type of Windows error is any changes you performed just before the error began occurring. Did you change hardware? Add RAM? Make changes to Windows? Add any software? Overclock your PC? If you answered yes to any of those questions, undo that change and retest for the error. If that doesn’t work, try these steps:

Chances are you will have to boot into Safe Mode to perform any of these fixes. So once there, first let Windows Update do its thing and then we will update all drivers.

  1. Navigate to Settings, Update & Security and Windows Update.
  2. Click Advanced options and then ‘Give me updates for other Microsoft products’.
  3. Return to Update & Security and click Check for updates and download all updates. Let them install but wait to reboot if prompted.
  4. Right click the Windows Start button and select Device Manager.
  5. Right click your graphics, audio and network cards and select Update Driver Software. Install the latest versions of each if Windows Update didn’t do it for you.
  6. Visit your motherboard manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers for your model of motherboard.
  7. Reboot your computer into normal mode and retest.


This should clear up the error in the majority of cases. If you’re still seeing IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 0x0000000a errors, let’s verify the integrity of Windows files.

  1. Boot back into Safe Mode.
  2. Open a CMD window as an administrator.
  3. Type ‘sfc /scannow’ and let the process complete. Allow the System File Checker time to make any repairs or changes that it needs to.
  4. Reboot and retest.

If none of that cures the issues, you will need to run a memory test to check your physical RAM.

Download MEMTEST86+ from here. There is a free version halfway down the page. Choose whatever version you need with the hardware you have. USB is easiest if you have a spare USB key.

Reboot your computer from the MEMTEST86+ media. The program will run automatically so you don’t need to do anything. It will take a couple to several hours depending on how much RAM you have.

If MEMTEST86+ highlights errors, change the memory slots or the memory itself. If it finds no errors, you will need to perform Startup Repair and then a System Restore to cure the IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL 0x0000000a error.

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