FIX: INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • INVALID KERNEL HANDLE is a BSoD error that can cause you a lot of headaches.
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Blue Screen of Death errors, such as INVALID KERNEL HANDLE can be a major problem on Windows 10.

These types of errors will crash your PC and restart it in order to prevent damage, therefore it’s crucial that you know how to fix these types of errors.

How can I fix INVALID KERNEL HANDLE BSoD errors?

Table of contents:

  1. Update your drivers
  2. Run the BSOD Troubleshooter 
  3. Uninstall your antivirus software
  4. Run the SFC scan
  5. Run DISM
  6. Check the hard drive
  7. Update Windows 10
  8. Perform a Clean boot / enter Safe Mode
  9. Perform Windows 10 reset
  10. Check your hardware

1. Update your drivers

1.1 Update your drivers manually

Keeping your drivers up to date is crucial if you want to ensure that your system is stable and safe from errors.

If a certain driver is out of date or not compatible with Windows 10, your system won’t be able to recognize and use that hardware, and that will cause INVALID KERNEL HANDLE BSoD error to appear.

To fix these types of errors, you need to update your drivers, and you can easily do that simply by visiting your hardware manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest drivers for your hardware.

1.2 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.

DriverFix 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.

You don’t know any preliminary training because this awesome software is really easy to download and install. DriverFix won’t wait for any commands because after the installation it will start scanning your PC for drivers.

After a few seconds, after the process ends, you will receive a list of recommended drivers to install.DriverFix automatically update drivers

There is one more step to perform, clicking on the Update All button from the top of the list.

That’s the easiest way, but you can also install the drivers individually by checking their corresponding box from the list and hitting their Update button from the right.



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2. Run the BSoD Troubleshooter 

  1. Open the Settings app and go to Update & Security section.
  2. Select Troubleshoot from the menu on the left.
  3. Select BS0D from the right pane and click Run the troubleshooter.
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

3. Uninstall your antivirus software

In order to keep your PC protected from malicious users, it’s important that you have an antivirus software installed. Even though antivirus software provides protection, sometimes it can also cause all sorts of BSoD errors.

If you’re getting INVALID KERNEL HANDLE BSoD error, it’s important that you uninstall any third-party antivirus programs that you have installed.

Even if you uninstall every antivirus software, your PC won’t be defenseless since Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender as a default antivirus program.

It’s worth mentioning that certain antivirus programs leave files and registry entries behind when you uninstall them, and in order to fix these errors, it’s important to use a dedicated uninstaller tool to completely remove an antivirus program.

Many security companies offer these tools for their software, so be sure to download one.

Regarding the problematic antivirus programs, many users reported that Panda Antivirus was a common cause for INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error, but users also reported issues with Adaware and Super Anti-spyware.

If you’re using any of the aforementioned programs, be sure to remove them in order to fix the BSoD error.

After uninstalling the old antivirus, we recommend you installing a more reliable antivirus like VIPRE Antivirus Plus.

It’s really light on your system and while it offers great protection it doesn’t interfere with your system and causing errors.

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4. Run the SFC scan

  1. Search for cmd and click on Run as administrator to open Command Prompt.
  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. Close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

5. Run DISM

Run a System Scan to discover potential errors

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5.1 Standard way

  1. Open Command Prompt as indicated in the previous solution.
  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.

5.2 Run DISM with the Windows installation media

  1. Insert your Windows installation media.
  2. Open Command Prompt as administrator as shown in the previous solutions.
  3. Type the following commands and press Enter after each: dism /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth dism /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
  4. 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.

6. Check the hard drive

6.1 Use Bootrec commands

  1. Enter the Advanced Startup (Restart your computer while holding the Shift key).
  2. Choose Troubleshoot and select Advanced Options.
  3. Select Command Prompt from the list of options.
  4. Enter the following lines and press Enter after each line in order to run it: bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd bootrec.exe /fixmbr bootrec.exe /fixboot

6.2 Use chkdsk commands

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:

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

Restart your computer and check if the issue is resolved.

7. Update Windows 10

Keeping your drivers up to date is quite important, but it’s also important that you download Windows updates.

By downloading the latest updates via Windows Update, you’ll install the latest security patches and new features.

Additionally, these patches also offer many bug fixes related to hardware and software.

And since BSoD errors, such as INVALID_KERNEL_HANDLE, are often caused by hardware or software issues, installing these patches should fix most of these errors.

8. Perform a Clean boot/ enter Safe Mode

8.1 Perform a Clean boot

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter msconfig. Press Enter or click OK.
  2. Choose Selective startup and uncheck Load startup items.
  3. Navigate to Services tab, check the Hide all Microsoft services, and click Disable all.
  4. Click Apply and OK. If you get asked to restart your PC, choose not to.
  5. Start Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc.
  6. When Task Manager opens, navigate to Startup tab.
  7. Right-click each entry from the list and choose Disable from the menu (be sure to disable all entries on the list).
  8. After you’re done, close Task Manager and restart your PC.

If the error is fixed, you can start enabling services and applications by following the similar steps. Be sure to enable services and applications one by one until you find the one that is causing this problem.

8.2 Enter Safe Mode

  1. Restart your computer a few times while it boots in order to start the Automatic Repair. Alternatively, you can just press and hold the Shift key and click the Restart button.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot, then click on the Advanced options and select Startup Settings. Click the Restart button.
  3. Select Safe Mode with Networking by pressing 5 or F5 on your keyboard.

When Safe Mode starts, test your PC. If the system is stable, it means that the BSoD error is caused by certain software, so be sure to find the problematic software and disable it or uninstall it.

9. Perform a Windows 10 reset

  1. Enter Automatic Repair by restarting your computer during the boot sequence.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot and select Reset this PC.
  3. Select Remove everything, click on Only the drive where Windows is installed and select Just remove my files.
  4. Click the Reset button and follow the instructions in order to complete the reset process.

If the INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error is caused by software, you can fix that by performing Windows 10 reset.

Note: Resetting Windows 10 is similar to clean install, therefore be sure to back up all important files from your C partition.

We also have to mention that you might need Windows 10 installation media to complete this step, so be sure to create a bootable USB flash drive by using the Media Creation Tool.

If the problem still persists, it’s most likely that the BSoD error is caused by a faulty hardware.

10. Check your hardware

The common cause for BSoD errors is RAM, so make sure that your RAM is working properly. You can use tools such as MemTest86+ to perform a detailed test of your RAM.

Bear in mind that almost any other hardware component can cause BSoD error, so make sure that you check all other major hardware components such as your hard drive, motherboard, etc.

INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error can be a big problem, but hopefully, you managed to fix this error by using one of our solutions.

Leave a line in the comments section below if you have any other suggestions.

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Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in June 2016 and was revamped and updated in October 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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