Full Fix: ‘Kernel Mode Exception Not Handled M’ in Windows 10

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Kernel Mode Exception Not Handled M
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Blue Screen of Death errors aren’t that common, but they are without a doubt one of the most serious errors that you can encounter on Windows 10. Since BSoD errors can create so many problems, today we’re going to show you how to fix KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M error.


Table of contents:

  1. Update your Windows and install the latest drivers
  2. Run the BSOD Troubleshooter
  3. Run the SFC scan
  4. Run DISM
  5. Check the hard drive
  6. Remove your antivirus
  7. Remove problematic software
  8. Reset Windows 10 and check for faulty hardware

Fix – Kernel Mode Exception Not Handled M Windows 10 error

Solution 1 – Update your Windows and install the latest drivers

Installing the latest updates is important for your system’s stability and safety, and you can download all the necessary updates by using Windows Update. Windows 10, just like any other operating system, has its share of flaws, and sometimes certain hardware or software issues can cause KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M or any other Blue Screen of Death error to appear.

To fix this and many other problems, it’s highly recommended that you download the latest updates. Many of these updates bring security improvements and various bug fixes related to both hardware and software, so in order to keep your PC safe and error-free, we strongly advise that you download the latest updates regularly.

In addition to Windows 10 updates, it’s just as important to download the latest drivers. Drivers are a major component of your operating system since they allow your operating system to work with your hardware. In case your drivers are outdated, or not compatible with Windows 10, you won’t be able to use your hardware and you’ll mostly likely encounter a Blue Screen of Death error.

To fix this issue it’s important that you update your drivers, and you can do that simply by visiting your hardware manufacturer’s website and downloading the latest drivers for your device. Bear in mind that usually, one driver is causing this issue, so you’ll need to find it and update it. If you cannot find the problematic driver, you’ll need to update all your drivers in order to fix this issue.

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 2 – Run the BSOD Troubleshooter 

In case updating your drivers didn’t get the job done, let’s try Windows 10‘s built-in troubleshooting tool. This tool is designed to deal with various system issues, including the BSOD problems. So, it might be helpful when resolving the IO1_INITIALIZATION_FAILED error, as well.

Here’s how to run Windows 10‘s built-in 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.Kernel Mode Exception Not Handled M Windows 10 error
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

Solution 3 – Run the SFC scan

The next troubleshooting tool we can try is the SFC scan. The System File Checker is a command-line tool that scans your system for potential corrupt system files, So, if a system file is a culprit of the KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M error, this tool will likely deal with it.

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/scannowKernel Mode Exception Not Handled M Windows 10 error
  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 4 – Run DISM

The third troubleshooting tool we’re going to use here is DISM. Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM), as its name says, re-deploys the system image all over again, and resolves potential issues along the way. So, it’s also possible it will resolve the KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M error.

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 /RestoreHealthKernel Mode Exception Not Handled M Windows 10 error
  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 5 – Check the hard drive

  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 /rebuildbcdKernel Mode Exception Not Handled M Windows 10 error
    • 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:Kernel Mode Exception Not Handled M Windows 10 error
    • 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 6 – Remove your antivirus

Antivirus and firewall tools are important, especially if you want to protect your PC from malicious software. Unfortunately, sometimes antivirus programs can cause Blue Screen of Death errors such as KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M to appear. To fix this issue, it’s recommended that you temporarily remove all antivirus programs. Bear in mind that Windows 10 comes with Windows Defender that works as a default antivirus, so even if you remove all third-party antivirus solutions, your computer will still be safe.

We have to mention that uninstalling the antivirus software isn’t enough since many of these tools tend to leave certain files even after you uninstall them. To completely remove all files associated with your antivirus, we strongly suggest that you use a dedicated removal tool. Almost all major antivirus companies have these tools available on their website, so be sure to download one of these tools for your antivirus. According to users, this error was caused by Norton antivirus, and after removing and updating the antivirus software the issue was completely fixed. Even if you don’t use Norton antivirus, we strongly suggest that you remove all third-party antivirus programs and check if that fixes the error.

Solution 7 – Remove problematic software

Sometimes certain software can cause these errors to appear, therefore we suggest that you remove all recently updated or installed applications. We have to mention that certain drivers can also cause this error to appear, therefore you might have to uninstall them. To uninstall a certain driver, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + X on your keyboard to open Power User Menu and select Device Manager from the list.
  2. Once the Device Manager opens, locate the driver you want to uninstall, right click it and choose Uninstall.
  3. If available, check Delete the driver software for this device and click OK.
  4. After you remove the driver, restart your computer.

When your computer restarts, Windows 10 will automatically install the default driver. If the default driver works well and your PC is stable, you can continue using it, or you can try to update it.

Solution 8 – Reset Windows 10 and check for faulty hardware

If KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M error is caused by software, you can easily fix it by performing Windows 10 reset. We have to warn you that this process will delete all files from your C partition, therefore it’s recommended that you back them up. To complete the reset, you might need a bootable USB flash drive, and you can easily create one with Media Creation Tool. To reset Windows 10, do the following:

  1. Restart your computer few times during the boot sequence to start Automatic Repair.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything. During this step you might need to insert Windows 10 installation media, so be sure to have one ready.
  3. Now choose Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files and click the Reset button to start the process.
  4. Follow the instructions to complete the reset.

After you complete the reset, don’t install any new applications, drivers or updates. Instead, just test your PC for a while, and check if the error appears again. If the error appears, it’s probably caused by your hardware, therefore we strongly advise that you check if all of your hardware components are working properly.

KERNEL_MODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED_M error can be problematic, but we hope that you managed to 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 August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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