Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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DRIVER RETURNED HOLDING CANCEL LOCK and other Blue Screen of Death errors can cause many problems on your PC because they will restart your computer every time they appear in order to prevent damage. As you can see, these errors can be serious, therefore it’s important to know how to fix them on Windows 10.


Table of contents:

  1. Install the latest Windows 10 updates
  2. Make sure that your drivers are up to date
  3. Run the BSOD Troubleshooter
  4. Run the SFC scan
  5. Run DISM
  6. Check the hard drive
  7. Temporarily remove your antivirus
  8. Remove the problematic software
  9. Perform Windows 10 reset
  10. Check for faulty hardware


Solution 1 – Install the latest Windows 10 updates

Blue Screen of Death errors such as DRIVER RETURNED HOLDING CANCEL LOCK can be caused by hardware or software issues. Many operating systems have a few bugs with certain hardware or software, and sometimes these bugs can lead to system instability and Blue Screen of Death errors.

To fix these types of errors, it’s important that you download the latest patches for Windows 10. New updates are released frequently, and they offer various bug fixes along with security improvements and new features. To ensure that your PC is safe and error-free, we strongly suggest that you download the latest patches by using Windows Update.

Solution 2 – Make sure that your drivers are up to date

In order for your hardware to work with Windows 10, you need to have the appropriate drivers. If your system doesn’t have the suitable drivers, or if your drivers contain bugs, Windows 10 won’t be able to use your hardware, and you’ll most likely encounter a Blue Screen of Death error such as DRIVER RETURNED HOLDING CANCEL LOCK. To fix this and all other Blue Screen of Death errors it’s important that you update your drivers.

These types of errors usually tell you which file caused the crash, and with little research you can find which driver you need to update. If you can’t find the problematic driver, it’s always a good idea to update all your drivers. Updating your drivers is fairly simple and you can do it by visiting your hardware manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest drivers for your device.

Update drivers automatically

Searching for drivers on your own can be time-consuming. So, we advise you to use a tool that will do this for you automatically. Using an automatic driver updater will certainly save you from the hassle of searching for drivers manually, and it will always keep your system up to date with the latest drivers.

Tweakbit’s Driver Updater (approved by Microsoft and Norton Antivirus) will help you update drivers automatically and prevent PC damage caused by installing the wrong driver versions. After several tests, our team concluded that this is the best-automatized solution.

Here is a quick guide on how to use it:

  1. Download and install TweakBit Driver Updaterdriver updater starting window
  2. Once installed, the program will start scanning your PC for outdated drivers automatically. Driver Updater will check your installed driver versions against its cloud database of the latest versions and recommend proper updates. All you need to do is wait for the scan to complete.
    scanning proccess of Tweakbit driver updater
  3. Upon scan completion, you get a report on all problem drivers found on your PC. Review the list and see if you want to update each driver individually or all at once. To update one driver at a time, click the ‘Update driver’ link next to the driver name. Or simply click the ‘Update all’ button at the bottom to automatically install all recommended updates.
    Automatically Update complete
    Note: Some drivers need to be installed in multiple steps so you will have to hit the ‘Update’ button several times until all of its components are installed.

Solution 3 – Run the BSOD Troubleshooter 

If updating your drivers didn’t get the job done, let’s try Windows 10’s troubleshooting tool. This is a universal tool that basically deals with all sorts of issues within Windows 10. And it might also be helpful with the BSOD issues.

Here’s how to run Windows 10’s troubleshooting tool:

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Update & Security section.
  2. Select Troubleshoot from the menu on the left.
  3. Select BSOD from the right pane and click Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

Solution 4 – Run the SFC scan

The SFC scan is a command line tool that scans your system for potential issues, and resolves them on the way (if the solutions is possible, of course). So, it might be helpful when dealing with the DRIVER RETURNED HOLDING CANCEL LOCK error, as well.

Here’s how to run the SFC scan in Windows 10:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button, and open Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Enter the following line and press Enter: sfc/scannow
  3. Wait until the process is done (it may take a while).
  4. If the solution is found, it will automatically be applied.
  5. Now, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Solution 5 – Run DISM

And the third tool we’re going to use is DISM. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a tool that, as its name says, deploys the system image all over again. And that process could resolve potential BSOD issues.

We’ll walk you through both standard and the procedure that utilizes the installation media below:

  • Standard way
  1. Right-click Start and open Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Paste the following command and press Enter:
      • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  3. Wait until the scan is finished.
  4. Restart your computer and try updating again.
  • With the Windows installation media
  1. Insert your Windows installation media.
  2. Right-click the Start menu and, from the menu, choose the Command Prompt (Admin).
  3. In the command line, type the following commands and press Enter after each:
    • dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth
    • dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  4. Now, type the following command and press Enter:
    • DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /source:WIM:X:SourcesInstall.wim:1 /LimitAccess
  5. Make sure to change an X value with the letter of the mounted drive with Windows 10 installation.
  6. After the procedure is finished, restart your computer.

Solution 6 – Check the hard drive

In case your hard disk drive is damaged, BSOD issues will likely occur. To see if that’s indeed the case, go and run the chkdsk command. This command will scan your partition for potential issues, and resolve the problems, if possible.

Here’s how to run the chkdsk command in Windows 10:

  1. Enter the Advanced Startup (Restart your computer while holding the Shift key).
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options.
  3. Select Command Prompt from the list of options.
  4. When Command Prompt appears, enter the following lines and press Enter after each line in order to run it:
    • bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd
    • bootrec.exe /fixmbr
    • bootrec.exe /fixboot
  5. Some users are also suggesting that you need to run additional chkdsk commands as well. To perform these commands, you need to know drive letters for all your hard drive partitions. In Command Prompt you should enter the following (but remember to use the letters that match your hard drive partitions on your PC):
    • chkdsk /r c:
    • chkdsk /r d:

    This is just our example, so keep in mind that you have to perform chkdsk command for every hard drive partition that you have.

  6. Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

Solution 7 – Temporarily remove your antivirus

Antivirus software is important for your security online, but sometimes antivirus software can cause DRIVER RETURNED HOLDING CANCEL LOCK and other BSoD errors to appear. To fix this and other errors, it’s important that you temporarily remove your currently installed antivirus. Users reported that McAfee was the potential cause for this error, but bear in mind that almost any third-party antivirus program can cause this error to appear.

Uninstalling your antivirus program might not fix the error since antivirus programs tend to leave certain files and registry entries once you remove them. To completely remove certain antivirus software from your PC, we strongly advise to use dedicated removal tool. Most antivirus companies offer these tools for download, so be sure to download and use one for your antivirus program. If removing the antivirus software fixes the problem, you can reinstall it, or you can switch to a different antivirus solution entirely.

Solution 8 – Remove the problematic software

Third-party applications can regularly cause DRIVER RETURNED HOLDING CANCEL LOCK and many other BSoD errors to appear, therefore it’s important that you find and remove the problematic application. According to users, applications such as KeyMaestro, Windows Virtual PC and Teredo Tunneling Adaptor can cause these types of errors to appear, therefore it’s recommended to remove or update the aforementioned software. Few users reported issues with AOL software, and some even reported that Google Chrome is causing this error, but you can easily fix this problem by removing that software.

Solution 9 – Perform Windows 10 reset

If the DRIVER RETURNED HOLDING CANCEL LOCK error is caused by certain software, you can try to fix it by performing Windows 10 reset. Resetting your Windows 10 will delete all files and folders from your C partition, so we strongly advise to back them up. Bear in mind that you might also need a bootable USB flash drive with Windows 10 on it, so be sure to create one. To reset Windows 10 do the following:

  1. Restart your computer few times during the boot sequence until you start Automatic Repair.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything. You might be asked to insert Windows 10 installation media to proceed to the next step, so be ready to do that.
  3. Select Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files and click the Reset button to start.
  4. Follow the instructions in order to complete the reset process.

After reset process is completed, you’ll have a clean installation of Windows 10 without any third-party applications. If the BSoD error appears again, it means that the problem is most likely caused by your hardware.

Solution 10 – Check for faulty hardware

If the problem isn’t fixed by Windows 10 reset, be sure to check your hardware. Sometimes newly installed components aren’t compatible with your PC, so you might have to remove them or replace them. If the issue isn’t new hardware, we advise you to perform a detailed inspection of your hardware for any faulty components.

DRIVER RETURNED HOLDING CANCEL LOCK error can be problematic, but since this error is usually caused by certain software, you can easily fix it by using one of our solutions.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2016 and has been since completely revamped and updated for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.


Editor's Note: This article was originally published in July 2016 and was revamped and updated in December 2019 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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