How to fix the Driver unloaded error in Windows 11

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
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  • The Driver unloaded without canceling pending operations Windows 11 error often arises because of corrupted, incompatible, outdated driver files.
  • You might be able to fix the stop code Driver unloaded without canceling pending operations Windows 11 error by generally updating your PC’s device drivers.
  • Some users have said they’ve fixed the Driver unloaded intcoed.sys Windows 11 error by uninstalling the Smart Sound Technology driver.
  • Users have also confirmed that disabling certain device drivers by editing the registry can resolve the Driver unloaded error.
How to fix the Driver unloaded error in Windows 11 driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
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Users previously reported an IntcOED.sys BSOD error for Windows 10. That’s a blue screen issue with a Driver unloaded without canceling pending operations error message. Now users have posted on forums about that same issue arising in Windows 11. One user’s forum post said this:

After having Windows 10 update to Windows 11 in December 2021, I am facing this issue:

What Failed: ‘IntcOED.sys’
Stop Code: Driver Unloaded without canceling pending operations

Some users have reported that Driver unloaded BSOD errors arise when they start, or shortly after starting, their PCs. Other users have said this blue screen error occurs after their computers come out of sleep mode. Those users have needed to fix recurring Driver unloaded errors.

Do you need to fix a recurring Driver unloaded error in Windows 11 as well? If so, try applying the potential resolutions for the Driver unloaded without canceling pending operations error below.

What is a blue screen error?

Blue screen errors, also known as stop errors, are those with blue backgrounds and stop codes. They are also referred to as fatal system errors because the Windows OS stops operating. Windows restarts after collecting info after blue screen errors arise.

BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) errors can often pertain to device drivers. A Microsoft webpage says the big M estimates that 70 percent of blue screen errors pertain to third-party device drivers. The Driver unloaded error message specifies the IntcOED.sys driver for Intel Smart Sound Technology.

A one-off BSOD issue isn’t an especially big deal. After restarting Windows, the blue screen error might never occur again. However, users need to fix blue screen errors when they recur on their Windows PCs.

How can I fix the driver unloaded without canceling pending operations error in Windows 11?

1. Update Windows 11

  1. Press Windows 11’s Start button, and select the Settings app.
    Settings app driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  2. Click Windows Update on the left of Settings.
    Windows Update tab driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  3. Press the Check for updates button to download and install updates.
    Check for updates button driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  4. Click the Download & install button for any available optional updates.

2. Run a System File Scan

  1. Open the Start menu and type Command Prompt in its search box.
  2. To open Command Prompt with admin permissions, click the Run as administrator option shown directly below.
    Run as administrator option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  3. Input the following command and press Return: DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  4. Then start the SFC scan by inputting this command and pressing Enter: sfc /scannow
  5. Wait for the SFC tool to complete its scanning and display outcome.

3. Run Startup Repair

  1. Bring up the Settings app.
  2. Select Recovery on the System tab.
    The Recovery option tab driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  3. Click Restart now button for the Advanced startup option shown directly below.Restart now button driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  4. Select Troubleshoot in the Windows Recovery Environment.
    Troubleshoot option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  5. Then click Advanced options > Startup RepairStart-Up Repair option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  6. Choose an account, and then input the password for it.
  7. Press the Continue button to start.

4. Update device drivers in Windows 11

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As the Driver unloaded error is often due to faulty or outdated drivers, try updating device drivers. To check the status of your PC’s drivers, run a scan with a third-party driver updater utility, such as DriverFix. That software will provide a full overview of outdated or faulty device drivers on your PC.

DriverFix stop code driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11

After scanning, you can click DriverFix’s Update All button. Doing so will download new drivers for all those listed devices with outdated or faulty ones. If you have the Pro version, you can select to automatically install drivers. Our DriverFix Review provides further details about that software.

There are also other ways you can generally update device drivers in Windows 11. Check out our How to easily update drivers on Windows 11 guide for full guidelines.

5. Uninstall the Smart Sound Technology (SST) driver

  1. Press the Windows + X keys simultaneously, which will open the Power User menu.
  2. Select Device Manager to open the window for that system utility.
    Device Manager option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  3. Then double-click the Sound, video and game controllers category.
    Sound, video and game controllers category driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  4. Click Intel Smart Sound device with your right mouse button and select its Uninstall device context menu option.
    Uninstall device option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  5. Select the checkbox for the Delete the driver for this device option.
  6. Click the Uninstall button to confirm.
    Uninstall option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
Note icon
NOTE
If you see any devices with exclamation marks by them in Device Manager, reinstall the drivers for them. To do so, you’ll need to uninstall drivers as outlined above. Then download the latest driver packages for the devices from their manufacturers’ websites to reinstall them.

6. Disable Intelppm.sys

  1. Press the Windows + R key combo.
  2. Open Registry Editor by inputting this Run command in the Open box and clicking OK: regedit
    The regedit command driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  3. Then input this registry key location in the address bar: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM \CurrentControlSet\Services\Processor
  4. Double-click the Start DWORD for the Processor key.
    The Start DWORD driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  5. Enter 4 within the Value box for the Start DWORD, and click the OK button.
    Edit DWORD window driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  6. Next, navigate to this registry location: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\ Services\Intelppm
  7. Double-click Start in the Intelppm registry key.
    The Start DWORD driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  8. Erase the current value in the text box, and then input 4 to replace it. Click OK to exit the Edit DWORD window.
  9. Bring up the Start menu, click Power, and select Restart.
    Restart option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11

7. Reset Windows 11

  1. Open the Settings app, and click Recovery in the System tab.
  2. Press the Reset PC button to open a Reset this PC window.
    Reset PC driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  3. Select Keep my files in the Reset this PC window.
    Keep my files option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  4. Click the Cloud download or Local Reinstall option.
    Reset this PC window driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  5. Press the Next button, and click Reset to confirm.
    Reset button driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
Note icon
NOTE
Note that you’ll need to reinstall software packages that didn’t come pre-installed with Windows 11 after resetting the platform. Therefore, it’s recommended that you try some of the alternative resolutions before resetting Windows 11.

How can I enter Safe Mode to apply the above fixes?

If you can’t get into Windows 11 to apply the above fixes because of the Driver unloaded error, you’ll need to boot into Safe Mode via the Advanced Startup Options menu. You can also apply some of the above resolutions from the recovery environment. This is how to boot into Safe Mode.

  1. Turn on your desktop or laptop.
  2. Press and hold the PC’s power key for about five seconds when a logo appears during the startup to shut down the PC. Do that three or four consecutive times until an Automatic Repair screen appears.
  3. Select Advanced options on the Automatic Repair screen.
  4. Then select Troubleshoot on the Choose an option menu.
  5. Next, select Advanced options and Startup Settings within the Advanced Startup Options menu.
    Start-up Settings driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  6. Click Restart to do that.
    The Restart option driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  7. After restarting, press the F5 key to select Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    Safe Mode options driver unloaded without cancelling pending operations windows 11
  8. When you’ve booted into Safe Mode, you can apply the potential resolutions above as outlined.

The Driver unloaded error isn’t the most straightforward issue to fix. However, users have confirmed they’ve been able to fix that error in Windows 11 with some of the potential resolutions above. So, maybe one of them will resolve the Driver unloaded error on your PC as well.

For further potential resolutions, Microsoft’s Troubleshoot blue screen error page might be worth a look. That webpage includes a troubleshooter that provides general BSOD fixes. Our How to fix IntcOED errors guide might also include some potential fixes for the Driver unloaded error.

You can chat about the Driver unloaded error in this page’s comments section below. Feel free to enter any pertinent questions about that BSOD error there. Users who’ve found other ways to fix the same issue are especially welcome to share their resolutions below.

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