Fix the Driver irql_less_or_not_equal Error on Windows 10

Find out how other fixed the BSOD error

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about technology ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. He's a PC enthusiast and he... read more
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  • The Driver IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows is a BSOD error that crashes the OS on each occurrence.
  • It usually arises due to issues with the drivers, but in some cases, the problematic memory triggered it.
  • To fix things, update Windows and the installed drivers, or switch to Ethernet, amongst other solutions.
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Blue Screen of Death is one of the most intricate errors you may come across in Windows. Amongst these, one that takes slightly longer to fix is the Driver IRQL_LESS_OR_NOT_EQUAL BSOD error in Windows 10.

You might encounter the error for various reasons, each having a specific solution. So, let’s find out all about it and the solutions that would work in this case.

What is driver irql_less_or_not_equal Windows 10?

The Driver IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 10 is usually a memory-related problem that triggers if a system process or a device driver seeks access to a memory address for which it lacks valid access rights.

Here are some of the reasons you might encounter the BSOD error:

  • Outdated or incompatible drivers – In case you have installed an incompatible one or have outdated drivers, it might trigger the BSOD error when running several applications.
  • Issues with the RAM – Oftentimes, it’s problems with the memory that lead to the BSOD.
  • Overclocking – Overclocking is meant to increase the computer’s performance but can also conflict with its effective functioning, thus resulting in error.

Also, several users reported the following issues, and our solutions would work in these cases as well:

  • Driver irql less or not equal Windows 10 blue screen – This is a Blue Screen of Death error. And it will crash your PC as soon as it appears.
  • Driver irql less or not equal ql2300.sys, epfwwfp.sys, e1c62x64.sys, rdbss.sys, rdyboost.sys, rtkhdaud.sys, rtwlane.sys, tcpip.sys, tap0901.sys, tdx.sys, usbport.sys, usbhub.sys, igdkmd64.sys, netio.sys – With a bit of research, you can find the problematic application or device and fix the problem.
  • Driver irql less or not equal on startup – Since this is a BSOD error, it will crash the OS as soon as Windows boots. And you will be caught in a restart loop.
  • Driver irql less or not equal Windows 10 on overclock – If you’re getting this error, simply remove the overclock settings, and the problem should be resolved.
  • Driver irql less or not equal McAfee, AVG, Avira, Kaspersky – Many users reported that their antivirus caused this error. So be sure to disable or uninstall the program to fix the problem.
  • Driver irql_less_or_not_equal Windows 7/8/10/11 install, Ccboot – The solutions below are applicable for all OS iterations.
  • Driver irql_less_or_not_equal Windows 10 Dell, HP, Lenovo, AMD – No matter which laptop brand you’re using, make sure to update the drivers to get things running.

How do I fix driver IRQL not less or equal error?

Here are a few quick tricks you might try before heading to the solutions below:

  • Restart the computer and check if it now runs effectively. In some cases, it was a one-off issue that didn’t reappear.
  • Remove any overclocking that you may have configured. If you used software for the job, uninstall the application.
  • Check for Windows updates, and if any are available, download them.
  • If you are connecting the USB devices using a hub, remove it, and plug them in directly. Also, remove all the non-critical devices and verify if that does the trick.
  • Verify that the memory modules are correctly seated. Or, remove them and put them back in firmly.

If none of these work, the solutions underneath will.

1. Update your wireless adapter driver

According to users, you can fix this error simply by updating the wireless adapter’s driver. The process is a few steps long and requires an Ethernet cable to connect to the Internet.

To download the latest wireless adapter driver, you need to disable the wireless adapter first. After disabling the wireless adapter, connect the Ethernet cable to your PC and download the driver.

1.1 Disable your wireless adapter

  1. Press Windows + X to open Power User menu and select Device Manager from the list.
    Driver_irql_not_less_or_equal ql2300.sys
  2. Expand, Network adapters, locate your wireless adapter, right-click it and choose Disable from the menu.
    disable device to fix driver irql_less_or_not_equal windows 10
  3. Click Yes in the confirmation prompt.

1.2. Download the latest driver

  1. Open Device Manager, expand Network adapters, right-click your wireless adapter and choose Update Driver Software option.
    update driver to fix driver irql_less_or_not_equal windows 10
  2. Select Search automatically for drivers option and wait until Windows installed the best driver.
    search automatically for drivers

Even though this is the simplest way to update your drivers, it might not be the best since Device Manager doesn’t always download the latest drivers. For that, visit your wireless adapter manufacturer’s website and download the latest drivers.

After installing the latest drivers, go back to Device Manager, and enable your wireless adapter. Also, similarly, update the graphics driver as well as the one for the Ethernet adapter, in case you have a wired Internet connection.

1.3 Update the drivers automatically

Suppose the method above didn’t work, or you do not have the necessary computer skills to update/fix the drivers manually. In that case, we strongly suggest using a professional tool specializing in driver updates.

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2. Switch to Ethernet

A user pointed out that speed limitations could lead to the Driver IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 10. So, switch to a wired connection if you have a dongle or router that doesn’t support the speed delivered on the plan you are subscribed to.

All you have to do is get the best Ethernet cable, plug it into the modem and the computer, and things will be good to go!

3. Test the memory

Issues with the RAM are another likely reason behind the Driver IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 10. So first, run the built-in Windows Memory Diagnostic, a tool that will scan for issues with the RAM and eliminate them.

Since the former doesn’t carry out extensive testing, you can also go with MemTest86+, an open-source tool that looks for issues with individual memory modules and fixes them for good. Again, though, remember the device will take a few hours to run.

4. Reinstall the problematic application

  1. Press Windows + R to open Run, type appwiz.cpl, and then hit Enter.appwiz.cpl
  2. Locate the application that triggers the error, select it, and then click Uninstall.uninstall app to fix driver irql_less_or_not_equal windows 10
  3. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the uninstall process, and then restart the computer for the changes to effect.
  4. Once done, download and install the app from the official website or the Microsoft Store.

If the OS crashes with the BSOD error only for a specific application, reinstalling it should do the trick.

5. Disable on-board graphics

If nothing else has worked, check if your computer has both onboard graphics and a PCI-E video card.

If that’s the case, disable the onboard graphics, and the problem should be resolved. Again, though, it should be used only as a last resort to fix the Driver IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error in Windows 10.

And before you leave, find out the best BSOD fixing software to eliminate the problem in no time.

If you fixed the problem using another solution, drop it in the comments section below to help fellow Windows users.

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