Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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Blue Screen of Death errors will often crash Windows 10 and restart your PC in order to prevent damage to your system. These errors can create many problems, and today we’re going to show you how to fix WORKER_THREAD_RETURNED_AT_BAD_IRQL error.


Table of contents:

  1. Keep Windows 10 up to date
  2. Remove problematic applications
  3. Update your drivers
  4. Run the Hardware Troubleshooter
  5. Run the SFC scan
  6. Run DISM
  7. Reset Windows 10
  8. Check your PC for faulty hardware


Solution 1 – Keep Windows 10 up to date

BSoD errors are often caused by hardware and software issues, and in order to fix these issues you need to update Windows 10. New patches are released frequently, and you can download the latest patches easily through Windows Update. Microsoft is constantly working on Windows 10, and many of these patches fix both hardware and software issues, therefore if you wish to keep your PC stable and error-free, we strongly advise that you download the latest patches.

Solution 2 – Remove problematic applications

Third-party applications can often cause these types of errors, therefore it’s important that you find and remove any application that might be causing this error. According to the users, applications such as ASUS AI Suite can cause these errors, so if you’re using this or any other similar application, be sure that you remove it.

Another common cause for these types of errors can be your antivirus software or firewall. Antivirus programs are important for your safety, but sometimes antivirus programs can cause BSoD errors to appear, therefore you’ll have to remove all third-party antivirus programs from your PC in order to fix this error. Even if you remove your currently installed antivirus, your computer will still be protected by Windows Defender, so you don’t have to worry about online safety.

We have to mention that uninstalling the antivirus software might not fix the problem since many antivirus programs tend to leave certain files and registry entries behind once you uninstall them. To completely remove all files associated with your antivirus program, we strongly advise to use a dedicated removal tool. Many antivirus companies have these tools for their software, so be sure to download one of these tools for your antivirus program. According to users, McAfee antivirus was the cause for this error, but bear in mind that almost any antivirus program can cause this error to appear.

We have to mention that sometimes drivers can cause these types of errors, therefore you might have to uninstall a certain driver from your PC. Users reported issues with Broadcom CrystalHD Video Decoder driver, and according to them, only way to fix WORKER_THREAD_RETURNED_AT_BAD_IRQL BSoD error was to remove that driver. To remove a certain driver, do the following:

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

After deleting a driver, Windows 10 will install the default driver instead when you restart your PC. If the default driver works well, you can continue using it, or you can try to update it.

Solution 3 – Update your drivers

Rather often Blue Screen of Death errors are caused by outdated or buggy drivers and the only solution is to update the problematic drivers. Sometimes BSoD errors will tell you which file is causing the crash, and with little research you can find out which driver you need to update. If you cannot determine which file is causing the crash, we advise you to update all your drivers. Updating drivers isn’t that hard, and you can do that simply by visiting your hardware manufacturer’s website and downloading the necessary drivers for your device. Bear in mind that you might need to update drivers for all major components in order to fix this error.

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 4  – Run the Hardware Troubleshooter 

Now, we’re going to seek help from Windows 10‘s troubleshooting tools. The first tool we’re going to try is the built-in troubleshooter. This universal tool can help you resolve various issues, including the BSOD problems.

Here’s how to run the Hardware troubleshooter in Windows 10:

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

Solution 5 – Run the SFC scan

The next tool we’re going to use is the SFC scan. This is a command-line tool that will scan your system for potential issues and resolve them on the way, of course if possible. Among the problems the SFC scan is helpful with, it can also resolve the BSOD issues.

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/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. Now, close the Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Solution 6 – Run DISM

And the last troubleshooting tool we’re going to use is DISM. This tool is more powerful than the previous two, as it deploys the system image all over again.

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 /RestoreHealth
  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 7 – Reset Windows 10

If the WORKER_THREAD_RETURNED_AT_BAD_IRQL error is caused by certain software, you might be able to fix it by performing a Windows 10 reset. To perform Windows 10 reset, you’ll need to back up all important files from your C partition and to create a bootable USB flash drive by using Media Creation Tool. After you’re done, you can perform the reset by following these steps:

  1. Restart your computer few times during the boot sequence to start Automatic Repair.
  2. Select Troubleshoot > Reset this PC > Remove everything. You might be asked to insert Windows 10 installation media during this process, so be sure to have it ready.
  3. Select Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files and click the Reset button.
  4. The reset process will now start. Follow instructions on the screen in order to complete it.

Solution 8 – Check your PC for faulty hardware

Blue Screen of Death errors are often caused by your hardware, therefore we urge you to remove any recently installed hardware since it might not be fully compatible with your PC. If the recently installed hardware isn’t the problem, then one of your components is probably faulty and you need to replace it. Common cause for these errors is your RAM, but we also advise you to check all other major hardware components, since any of them can cause this error.

WORKER_THREAD_RETURNED_AT_BAD_IRQL BSoD error can be problematic, but you can easily fix this error if you find and remove an application that is causing it.

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 June 2016 and was revamped and updated in August 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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