FIX: INVALID KERNEL HANDLE error in Windows 10/11

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
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  • INVALID_KERNEL HANDLE in Windows 10 is a BSoD error that can be caused by corrupted files.
  • Start by updating your drivers or running a general BSoD troubleshooter.
  • INVALID_KERNEL HANDLE (error code 0x00000093) should not be confused with INVALID_KERNEL_STACK_ADDRESS (0x000001CE).
  • Although, performing a clean boot or a Windows 10 resent are generally applicable fixes.

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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 an INVALID_KERNEL_HANDLE BSoD error?

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If a certain driver is out of date or not compatible with Windows 10, your system won’t be able to recognize and use that hardware, and that will cause an INVALID_KERNEL_HANDLE BSoD error to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

Manually updating drivers can be time-consuming at times, but we have a trustworthy ally who can help.

In fact, using automated driver update software will not only do the dirty work for you, but will also check, find, and replace your updated driver in just a few clicks. At this point, you will only have to accept the suggestion and the game is done.

1.2 Update drivers automatically

Various errors are the result of a malfunctioning driver. When this is the case, you may need to update or reinstall completely this specific component.

As the process is not straightforward to complete, we recommend using an automated tool for the job.

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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 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.

Regarding the problematic antivirus software, several security utilities were reported to cause the issue. Some users also mentioned problems with adware and spyware.

It is very likely that your antivirus is causing this issue, so we suggest switching to another antivirus software that won’t cause this to happen again.

You can find many stable and fully secure antivirus tools that won’t cause any error and provide 100% protection. Many good antivirus software come with free trials, so if you are not sure which one to get, you can try out a few and see how you like them.

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

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

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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 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 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 successfully used any other method to get over this issue.

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