Full Fix: UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE_TRAP error in Windows 10

Ivan Jenic
by Ivan Jenic
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  • If a bug or a serious error occurs, it might cause Windows to crash and the dreaded Blue Screen of Death to show on the screen. Usually other messages appear to help you identify the cause of the error.
  • An UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE_TRAP is one issue that shows on the BSoD and it's mainly caused by a bad or outdated driver of one of your devices. Updating it should make the problem disappear.
  • Unfortunately, Blue Screen of Death appearances are not that uncommon. That's why our BSoD fix hub can be very useful when you encounter one of them.
  • No more BSoD? Great. If other types of errors occur, then we got your covered with this extensive Windows 10 errors hub filled with useful articles.
what to do if Windows 10 can't find Wi-Fi network

Although many users have switched to Windows 10, it doesn’t mean that these users aren’t experiencing issues on Windows 10. One of the issues that users are experiencing on Windows 10 is UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP error so let’s see if we can fix this issue.

UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP is a Blue Screen of Death error that is caused by hardware failure or by the incompatible driver. If you didn’t have any of these issues on previous versions of Windows then the issue isn’t caused by hardware, it’s the probably incompatible driver.

In some cases, this error can be caused if your component connectors are covered in dust, so you’ll need to remove them and clean them properly before connecting them again.

If your computer is under warranty or you don’t know how to do it, it’s best to hire an expert to do it for you. But if this issue started appearing after you’ve switched to Windows 10, it’s most likely a driver issue, so let’s see how to fix it.

UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP can be an annoying error, and users reported the following issues as well:

  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap wdf01000.sys, win32kfull.sys, usbxhci.sys, nvlddmkm.sys, ntfs.sys, ndu.sys, netio.sys – In most cases, this error comes followed by the name of the file that is causing it. The most common cause is a certain driver or third-party software.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap overclock – This error can also appear when overclocking your PC. To fix it, it’s advised to remove all overclock settings.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap ESET Smart Security, AVG, Avast, McAfee – According to users, this error can be caused by your security software. Many users reported this issue while using AVG, Avast, and McAfee.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap RAM – Hardware issues can also cause this problem to appear. In most cases, the cause for this error is your RAM.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap after Windows update – In several cases, users reported this problem after a Windows update. To fix this problem, you’ll need to uninstall the problematic update.
  • Virtualbox Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap – This issue can appear on your PC, but it can also appear while using virtualization software. Users reported this issue on both Virtualbox and VMWare.
  • Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap BSOD – This error is always followed by a Blue Screen of Death and a restart. Even though this is an annoying problem, you should be able to fix it with our solutions.

How to Fix UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP Error in Windows 10

Table of contents:

  1. Remove the problematic driver
  2. Run the BSOD Troubleshooter
  3. Run the SFC scan
  4. Run DISM
  5. Disable uninstall your security software
  6. Install the latest updates
  7. Use chkdsk command
  8. Remove your graphics card driver
  9. Check if your cables are properly connected
  10. Check your RAM
  11. Reset Windows 10

Solution 1 – Remove the problematic driver

This issue can be caused by all sorts of drivers, but some users claim to uninstall your Bluetooth, Wireless, & Intel RST(Intel Rapid Storage Technology). We have to warn you that this issue can be caused by another driver, it doesn’t have to be related to Bluetooth or Wireless drivers, but they are often the main causes of this issue.

  1. Enter the Advanced Startup. The easiest way to do this is to go to the Start Menu and click the restart button while holding Shift on your keyboard, but if you can’t get to Windows 10 you should eventually see an option to enter Advanced Startup after a few restarts.
  2. In Advanced Startup choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.
  3. You should see an option to enter Safe Mode.
  4. When you enter Safe Mode, go to Device Manager.
  5. In Device Manager locate the problematic driver, right click and choose Uninstall.
    uninstall device driver manager

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

The next thing we’re going to try is running Windows 10‘s own troubleshooting tool. This tool can be used for dealing with various system problems, including BSOD issues. So, it might help with the UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP issue, as well.

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.bsod troubleshooter
  4. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the troubleshooter.

Solution 3 – Run the SFC scan

The SFC scan is another troubleshooter we’re going to try here. This is a command-line tool that scans your system for potentially broken files and repairs them (if possible). Repairing corrupt system files can resolve BSOD issues like the UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP error. So, running the SFC scan is definitely worth trying.

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

  1. Right-click the Start Menu button, and open Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. Enter the following line and press Enter: sfc/scannowsfc
  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

Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) is a tool that re-deploys the system image all over again. This can resolve various issues, including BSOD errors.

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 /RestoreHealthsfc
  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 – Disable uninstall your security software

According to users, sometimes third-party antivirus software can cause this problem to appear. Your antivirus or firewall can interfere with your Windows installation, and in order to fix the problem, you need to disable your antivirus.

If disabling the antivirus or firewall doesn’t fix the issue, you might have to uninstall it. To completely remove your antivirus, it’s recommended to download a dedicated removal tool for it from the developer’s website. After removing the antivirus, check if the problem is resolved.

If removing the antivirus fixes the issue, you can reinstall your antivirus or switch to a different antivirus solution. You can also use Windows Defender instead of a third-party antivirus. Several users reported that Avast was the problem on their PC, but keep in mind that almost any antivirus software can cause this problem to appear.

Solution 6 – Install the latest updates

If you’re getting UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP error on your PC, you might be able to fix it by installing the latest updates. To do that, you need to do the following:

  1. Open the Settings app. You can do that quickly by using Windows Key + I shortcut.
  2. When Settings app opens, navigate to the Update & security section.
    Unexpected Kernel Mode Trap ESET Smart Security
  3. Now click on Check for updates button.
    check for updates

Windows will now check for available updates. If updates are available, Windows will download them in the background and install them. Several users reported that their issue was resolved after updating Windows, so be sure to try that.

Solution 7 – Use chkdsk command

According to users, you might be able to fix UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP error on your PC simply by running a chkdsk scan. This error can occur due to corrupted files on your hard drive, but you should be able to fix it by doing the following:

  1. Open Command Prompt as administrator. To do that, press Windows Key + X to open the Win + X menu and choose Command Prompt (Admin). If Command Prompt isn’t available, you can use PowerShell (Admin) instead.
    cmd admin
  2. When Command Prompt opens, enter chkdsk /r c: and press Enter to run it.
  3. You’ll be asked to schedule disk checking the next time you restart your PC. Enter Y and press Enter.
  4. Restart your PC and your computer will automatically perform chkdsk scan.

If you can’t access Windows due to this error, you can also run Command Prompt and chkdsk scan from Advanced Boot Menu. Keep in mind that you might have to scan other drives on your PC besides C in order to fix this problem.

Solution 8 – Remove your graphics card driver

According to users, your graphics card driver can be the cause for UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP error. Several users reported this issue with the latest Nvidia drivers, and according to them, the solution is to revert to the older drivers.

To do that, simply remove Nvidia driver from Device Manager. If you want to remove all files associated with your graphics card, we wrote a small tutorial on how to use Display Driver Uninstaller, so be sure to check it out.

After removing the driver, Windows will install the default driver once you restart your PC. Now check if the issue reappears with the default driver. Keep in mind that Windows 10 can sometimes update your driver automatically in the background causing the error to reappear. However, you can easily prevent Windows from automatically updating certain drivers.

Solution 9 – Check if your cables are properly connected

pc cable

In a few cases, users reported that UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP error was caused by their hardware. According to them, their connectors weren’t firmly in place, but after properly connecting loose cables, the issue was resolved.

In addition to cables, be sure to check if your RAM is firmly locked in its slot. Few users reported that RAM can be the problem so double check it to see if it’s properly seated.

Solution 10 – Check your RAM


Faulty RAM is a common cause for Blue Screen errors such as UNEXPECTED KERNEL MODE TRAP. However, you can test your RAM to determine if it’s faulty. The simplest way to do that is to remove all but one module from your PC and check if the issue reappears. Now you need to repeat this until you test all modules.

However, if you want to perform a detailed scan, you’ll need to use a tool such as Memtest86+ to test your RAM. Keep in mind that you need to test each module individually. To perform a detailed scan, you need to keep the test running for an hour or so for each module.

Solution 11 – Reset Windows 10

If the problem still appears, you might have to reset your PC. This process will delete all files from your system drive, so be sure to back them up. In addition, you might need a Windows 10 installation media to complete this process, so create it with Media Creation Tool.

To perform the reset, you need to do the following:

  1. Start Advanced Startup. We briefly mentioned how to do that in Solution 1, so check it for detailed instructions.
  2. Choose Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything.
  3. You might be asked to insert your installation media to proceed to the next step, so be sure to have it ready.
  4. Choose your version of Windows and select Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files.
  5. Now you’ll see the list of changes that reset will perform. Once you’re ready to start, click on Reset.
  6. Follow the instructions on the screen to complete the reset.

After finishing the reset, you’ll have a fresh installation of Windows 10 and your problem should be resolved.

If you’re trying to upgrade to Windows 10, you can delete these drivers on your current operating system, and then upgrade to Windows 10 in order to avoid these issues. I hope we cleared the situation for you with this article, if you have any comments, or questions, just reach for the comment section below.

FAQ: Learn more about unexpected mode trap

  • What causes unexpected kernel mode trap?

This error is caused by an outdated driver in most cases. Performing an update should fix the issue. If your case is different, take a look at this article for other possibilities.

  • How do I find out why my computer blue screens?
    • Hit the Start button and type Control Panel. Click on the result with the same name.
    • Go to System & Security -> Administrative tools.
    • Double click on Event Viewer.
    • Select the Windows Logs and search for Error type of messages.
    • Click on each one to see more information at the bottom.
  • How do I stop blue screen?

Finding the reason it appears is crucial. If it’s a malware, clean your computer with a good antivirus. If it’s a bad driver, update that device’s driver. Check your RAM modules if they are physically connected properly on the motherboard or if they are in good shape using a tool. Or simply use an all-around software to perform a general computer check.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in November 2015 and has been since completely revamped and updated in April 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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