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How to Increase VRAM in Windows 10

Just like your CPU , your GPU needs RAM to feed it data at high speed. Without it, your GPU would have to read data directly from your hard drive, which is many times slower than RAM . 

If you don’t have enough VRAM (Video RAM) the same thing happens. Your GPU is forced to swap data from RAM to the hard drive, bringing your GPU performance crashing down. The good news is that in some cases it’s possible to increase VRAM on your Windows 10 system, although it might not achieve exactly what you’d expect.

Integrated vs. Dedicated GPUs

Broadly-speaking, there are two types of GPU (graphics processing unit) to be found in a modern computer.

Integrated GPUs are built into the same package as the CPU. They can’t be changed for a better model without also replacing the entire CPU. These GPUs are common in laptops and lower end desktop computers. You’ll find them in most mainstream CPUs and on desktop systems. Their monitor connection is on the motherboard itself.

One key attribute of integrated GPUs is that they don’t have their own dedicated VRAM. Instead, a portion of system RAM is allocated to the GPU. This is the key fact that makes it possible to increase the amount of VRAM at your disposal.

Dedicated GPUs are like complete self-contained computers. They have their own chip package, their own cooling system and their own RAM modules. These memory modules are of a special type called GDDR – Graphics Double Data Rate memory.

Thanks to their nature, dedicated GPUs are generally much better performing than integrated ones. The tradeoff being that dedicated GPUs take up more space and need more power.

With dedicated cards it’s also not possible to increase their VRAM, since this is a fixed hardware feature on the graphics card itself.

What Increasing VRAM Will or Won’t Do

VRAM isn’t directly tied to GPU performance. The GPU’s performance only ever suffers as a result of VRAM when you run out of it. In other words, if the graphics workload does not require more VRAM than the available amount, it will have zero impact on GPU performance.

What pushes up the VRAM requirement? There are a few factors that can increase the memory footprint of your graphics:

  • Higher resolutions
  • Complex 3D geometry and effects
  • Large GPU-accelerated datasets
  • GPU-accelerated high resolution video and photo editing

As you may have realized, you sometimes have the option of decreasing the workload rather than trying to increase the VRAM allocation, but ultimately the VRAM requirement is tied to the amount of data the GPU needs to process.

How to Increase VRAM in the BIOS

The BIOS is the basic firmware of your computer, letting all the hardware initialize and communicate so that it can hand over control to your operating system. So it makes sense that the settings which control the VRAM allocation of a dedicated GPU would be found here.

In modern systems you don’t get to specify a fixed amount of VRAM for your integrated GPU. Instead, you get to choose the maximum amount of RAM it may grab as it needs it. This is because your integrated GPU is now in competition with your CPU for memory resources and you don’t want the GPU hogging memory it doesn’t need right that minute!

As for the actual steps to change the value, every BIOS is different. First you’ll need to reboot your computer and then repeatedly press the BIOS shortcut button until it appears. That button also varies from one BIOS to the next, so look for an on-screen prompt or consult your motherboard manual.

Once you’re in the BIOS, you want to look for a page that contains settings for “integrated peripherals”, “VGA share” or something similar. The setting should be called something like “integrated graphics memory allocation” and show a value in MB or GB. 

All you have to do is change that value to a higher one. Then save and exit from the BIOS. However, your particular BIOS may not have this option at all, leaving it completely automatic and out of your hands.

Increasing VRAM by Adding More RAM

While dedicated GPUs don’t allow you to upgrade their VRAM, most desktop and laptop computers do let you upgrade the amount of system RAM. Since integrated GPUs use system RAM as VRAM, you can increase the amount of VRAM available by upgrading system RAM. Not only will this let you allocate more memory to the integrated GPU, it means the CPU will have more memory as well. So it’s good news all around. 

The one caveat here is that your integrated GPU might be hard limited to a certain shared maximum VRAM size, which could still be less than you need. You’ll need to confirm the maximum size in your motherboard manual or in the BIOS settings.

A Dedicated GPU Is the Best Solution

Integrated GPUs are getting much better. For example, the latest Intel Iris Pro and Iris Plus GPUs can stand toe to toe with dedicated entry-level GPUs. This is great news for ultrabooks and other small, thin and light devices.

However, if you need a moderate or better level of GPU muscle then a dedicated GPU is the way to go. In a desktop system that’s a pretty easy thing to do. As long as you have space in your chassis, the right power supply and an open PCIe slot, you can pop any GPU you like into the system.

For laptops, things get more complicated. Laptops that have Thunderbolt 3 may also support external GPUs . This allows you to access a powerful dedicated GPU when your laptop is docked.

Some rare laptop models use a dedicated GPU system known as MXM modules. You can purchase replacement GPUs and swap them out with the current one in your machine. This technology is usually only found in high-end gaming and workstation laptops.

A Cloud Alternative?

If your GPU doesn’t have enough VRAM (or enough GPU power) to do the job you need it to, you may be able to get some help from the cloud. For gamers, there are now multiple streaming solutions for high-end gaming. If you have a fast enough internet connection, then Google Stadia, GeForce Now and other similar products could be your ticket to affordable high-end gaming.

If you need your GPU to do more serious work then it’s possible to rent powerful virtual machines and use your computer as a remote terminal for them. In the case of certain professional tasks such as CAD or engineering simulations, you can subscribe to cloud applications which do all the heavy lifting for you. In the short term that may turn out to be the most cost-effective way to access better GPU performance.

All Your Options

That was quite a lot of information! So let’s summarize the different options we’ve outlined above if you need more VRAM:

  • Increase the VRAM allocation in your BIOS.
  • Increase the amount of system RAM shared with your integrated GPU.
  • Use a dedicated GPU instead.
  • Look for cloud-based solutions for your GPU workloads.

If none of these solutions are possible, then the last resort, sadly, is buying an entirely new computer and making sure that it has the GPU specifications you need to get the job done.

How to Fix Windows 10 File Explorer Not Responding

File Explorer is the default file management tool on Windows devices. Like every other system processes on Windows, File Explorer also has its occasional moments of failure. If you find Windows Explorer not responding during usage, there are a few things you can try.

We’ve written a comprehensive guide covering tips to follow when Windows Explorer keeps crashing . In this article, we’ll rump through nine fixes to try when you launch the File Explorer and it keeps loading or fails to open files and folders.

1. Modify Your PC’s Display Layout

This is a rather bizarre but effective solution to Windows Explorer not responding. Apparently, using an unrecommended screen layout and resolution could cause the File Explorer to malfunction.

Check your PC’s display settings and make sure you’re using the recommended scale/layout. Go to Settings > System > Display and ensure the size of text, apps, and other items is set to 100% or whatever option Windows recommends.

If your PC’s display scaling is already set to 100%, try changing it to 125% and back to 100% again.

2. Kill and Restart the File Explorer

If Windows Explorer is still not responding after changing your PC’s resolution, terminate the Windows Explorer process and start it again. There are several ways to restart Windows Explorer:

Using Task Manager

Launch the Windows Task Manager (press Ctrl + Shift + Esc), right-click on Windows Explorer in the Apps section, and click End Task to terminate File Explorer.

Restart the Windows Explorer by clicking the folder icon in the taskbar. Alternatively, use the Task Manager: click on File on the menu bar and select Run new task.

Type explorer.exe in the dialog box and click OK.

That will start Windows Explorer immediately. Now proceed to check if you can access your files and folders in File Explorer without any lag.

Using Command Prompt

You can also use the Command Prompt utility to terminate and reinitiate the Windows Explorer. Right-click on the Windows icon and select Command Prompt (Admin) from the Quick Access menu. Input taskkill /f /im explorer.exe in the console and press Enter.

Your PC’s taskbar and desktop icons will disappear when you terminate the Windows Explorer. That’s normal and only temporary. To restart the File Explorer, input start explorer.exe in the Command Prompt window and press Enter to proceed.

Restart File Explorer Using A BAT File

BAT files let you easily automate tasks and actions. If File Explorer fails to respond quite often and restarting the process usually resolves the problem, you should create a BAT file dedicated to restarting the File Explorer at the click of a button.

  1. Right-click on an empty space on the desktop. Click New and then select Text Document.
  1. Name the document Restart Explorer and press Enter.
  1. Double-click on the newly-created file to open with Notepad.
  2. Paste the command below in the document:

taskkill /f /IM explorer.exe
start explorer.exe

  1. Click on File in the menu bar and select Save As.
  1. In the FIle name dialog box, rename the file Restart Explorer.bat and make sure the Save as type option is set to All Files.
  1. Click Save to proceed.

To use the newly created BAT file to restart the Windows Explorer, return to the Desktop, right-click on the file, and select Run as administrator.

Windows will run the command in the BAT file through Command Prompt and restart the Windows Explorer.

3. Check for Corrupt System Files

When some system files get damaged, missing, or corrupt, some core Windows functionalities (like the File Explorer) may begin to malfunction. Thankfully, this is easy to fix. The System File Checker will scan your PC for corrupt or missing system files and fix or replace them accordingly.

Follow the steps below to run the System File Checker on your Windows 10 computer.

1. Right-click on the Start menu icon and select Command Prompt (Admin).

2. Type or paste the command below in the Command Prompt console and press Enter.

sfc /scannow

If the Windows File Explorer is still not responding when Command Prompt is done executing the command, restart your computer and try again.

4. Clear File Explorer History

The Windows File Explorer keeps a log of all previous actions and activities—recently accessed files and folders, searches, address bar entries, etc. The Windows File Explorer may respond slowly or crash when the utility’s history accumulates to a certain point. Try clearing the File Explorer history and check if that fixes the problem.

1. Type file explorer options in the Windows search bar and click File Explorer Options in the results.

2. In the General tab, click the Clear button to the right of the option that reads Clear File Explorer History. You’ll find that in the Privacy section.

3. Click Apply and then OK to save the changes.

File Explorer should now be stable and functional when you relaunch it. Otherwise, proceed to the next solution.

5. Update Your PC’s Video Driver

According to Microsoft Support , the Windows Explorer could stop working if your PC’s video driver is corrupt or outdated. If you still can’t navigate your files and folders because the Windows File Explorer is not responding, try downloading and installing the latest video driver update for your PC. Connect your computer to the internet and follow the steps below.

Right-click the Start or Windows icon and select Device Manager.

Expand the Display adapters category, right-click on your PC’s video/graphic adapter, and select Update driver.

Choose Search automatically for updated driver software.

That will prompt Windows to search the internet and your computer for the latest video driver for your PC.

6. Update Your PC’s Operating System

File Explorer may crash and fail to respond if your Windows 10 version is out-of-date. Download and install any available updates and check if that resolves the issue.

Windows updates often ship with security patches, driver updates, bug fixes, and solutions to other functional issues affecting Windows applications and processes. If the Device Manager doesn’t find an update for the video driver, consider updating your PC’s operating system.

Go to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and click on the Check for updates.

7. Scan Your PC for Viruses and Malware

If you have an antivirus or antimalware software installed on your PC, run a thorough scan for hidden viruses and malware. Refer to this guide to learn how to completely remove stubborn malware from your PC using trusted software like Malwarebytes.

You can also use Windows built-in antivirus tool, Windows Defender, to nuke malware and viruses .

8. Check for Memory Problems

Several applications may malfunction on your PC if there’s a problem with the Random Access Memory. Run the Windows Memory Diagnostics tool to check your computer for memory problems . Make sure you save your work and close any open applications before you proceed.

1. Type memory in the Windows search bar and select Windows Memory Diagnostic in the result.

2. The two will present you with two options. Select the option that reads “Restart now and check for problems (recommended).”

The Windows Memory Diagnostics will scan your PC and fix any memory-related issues that it finds.

9. Perform a System Restore

Did the File Explorer start after installing an app, a driver, software update, or after changing certain system configurations? Try rolling your PC back to a previous configuration (or restore point).

Note that reverting to a previous restore point will change some system settings. Recently-installed programs and drivers will also be deleted from your PC. Follow the steps below to roll back to a restore point.

1. Type control panel in the Windows search bar and click Control Panel on the results.

2. Click on Recovery.

3. Select Open System Restore.

4. In the System Restore window, click Next to proceed.

5. The latest/newest system restore point will appear on the list. Select it and click Next to proceed.

Check the ‘Show more restore points’ option to reveal other (older) restore points.

6. Click Finish to commence the system restoration.

If you don’t find a restore point, that’s probably because the System Restore feature isn’t active on your computer. Learn how to enable or disable System Restore on Windows devices.

Get the File Explorer Working Again

We’re pretty confident that at least one of the troubleshooting methods listed above should resolve issues with Windows Explorer not responding. If the problem persists, restarting your PC in Safe Mode or performing a clean boot should help.

How to Fix System Interrupts High CPU Usage in Windows 10

No matter how powerful CPUs get, there’s always going to be something that uses up all the resources. Perhaps the most frustrating issue to fix is high CPU usage because of system interrupts. Hint: it’s almost always caused by hardware or device drivers.

The following are the steps to troubleshooting this issue. We’ll go into greater detail below. They’re listed from the easiest to the most complicated:

  1. Restart the computer
  2. Update driver, check for windows updates
  3. Disable Fast Startup
  4. Disable Magic Packet
  5. Disable hardware devices one by one
  6. Check for hardware failures
  7. Update BIOS

After each of these steps, use Task Manager to see if CPU usage for System Interrupts has dropped.

What Is a System Interrupt?

Believe it or not, computers can only do one thing at a time. They just do it really fast, so it seems like they’re multitasking. 

The hardware in your computer has to ask to get their tasks done. Sometimes they have to interrupt other tasks. It’s like kids interrupting parents. Kids’ needs are essential too, but getting an adult’s attention can go well or be disruptive. The same goes for hardware system interrupts.

How Much CPU Should System Interrupts Use?

Maybe you’re looking at it and thinking 5% is too high. It can vary from computer to computer, but if it’s higher than 10%, there’s an issue. It’s time to do something.

Restart the Computer

Have you tried turning it off and then on again? Yes, that old chestnut again. Why? Because it often works. 

There are a billion things that go into starting Windows and sometimes things don’t go right. Try it again and it might go right. It’s the simplest, easiest, fastest thing to do, and it works more often than not.

Update the Drivers 

Since the high CPU system interrupt issue is almost always hardware related, try updating the drivers. It’s a simple and easy approach that often works. Plus, it’s good to always keep drivers updated .

  1. Select the Start button.
  2. Start typing device and select Device Manager.
  1. Expand each element until you get down to specific devices. Right-click and select Update driver.
  1. Select Search automatically for updated driver software. You could choose to Browse my computer for driver software if you’ve already downloaded the driver and know where it is.
  1. If it finds a driver, install it. You can also try selecting Search for updated drivers on Windows Update.
  1. In Windows Update, select Check for updates even if it says You’re up to date. It might surprise you.

Disable Fast Startup

Fast Startup’s job is to put your computer into a deep sleep that it seems like it’s off. So when you start it again, it’s more like waking it up. This deep sleep state can sometimes cause problems for hardware. 

The reasons behind that are complex and beyond this article. To do this, you’ll need Administrator privileges on the computer.

  1. Select the Start button and start typing control.
  2. Select Control Panel.
  1. In the Control Panel, search for power.
  2. Select Change what the power buttons do.
  1. Select Change settings that are currently unavailable. If you see the blue and yellow shield, that means you need to have Administrator rights on this computer.
  1. Uncheck the Turn on fast startup box.
  2. Select the Save changes.

Disable Magic Packet

That can’t really be a thing, can it? Yes, Magic Packet is real. It allows for your computer to awaken from standby or sleeping mode when it receives the Magic Packet from the local network. You may have heard this called Wake On LAN (WOL).

  1. Select the Start button and start typing device manager to find the utility.
  2. Select Device Manager.
  1. Navigate to Network Adapters and right-click on your Ethernet adapter. Select Properties.
  1. Select the Advanced tab in the Properties window.
  2. In the Property pane, scroll down to Magic Packet and select it with a single click.
  3. In the Value: select box, change it to Disabled, and select the OK button to commit the change. It may take a few seconds. 

Disable Hardware Devices One by One

Some hardware can’t be unplugged. Here’s how to disable them, one by one. When you find the one that drops the System Interrupt CPU usage, that’s the hardware to fix.

  1. Select the Start button and start typing device manager to find the utility.
  2. Select Device Manager.
  1. Navigate through the tree to find hardware that isn’t critical for the computer. If you’re not sure what’s critical or not, move on to the next method. Right-click on the hardware that’s not critical, and select Disable device.
  1. It will warn you. If you’re confident it is safe to disable the device, select Yes.
  1. Check System Interrupts CPU usage in Task Manager to see if it’s gone down. If not, find another piece of hardware in Device Manager and disable it. Do this one by one until you solve the problem or you run out of hardware to disable.

Remove External Hardware One by One

Chances are you already disabled external hardware in the previous method. But maybe you missed something.

  1. Have Task Manager open and focus on System Interrupts
  2. Unplug one device at a time from your computer and wait a few moments. See if the System Interrupts CPU usage drops. If not, move on to the next device.
  3. If you find the device this way, update its drivers and try it again. Also, check the hardware maker’s support page.

Check for Failing Hardware

It’s possible that a piece of hardware may be close to failure and intermittently causes the System Interrupts high CPU issue. Use our How to Diagnose, Check, and Test for Bad Memory as a guide to check your RAM. 

We also share 15 Windows Diagnostics Tools to Improve Your PC’s Health . Especially useful is HWiNFO and CrystalDiskInfo . Both are available as portable apps to run from a USB stick, so they don’t require a full installation.

Update BIOS

This is the last thing you should do. BIOS can go bad and make your computer useless, possibly requiring a new motherboard or replacing the computer. So first, check if a BIOS update is needed . 

The article the link goes to also tells you how to do the update. If you’re not comfortable doing this, then take your computer to a respected computer shop. They can also check the hardware for you.

The System Interrupts CPU Usage is Still Too High

You have two choices. Take the computer to a certified, competent computer technician or upgrade the computer. Don’t feel bad, you’ve done your best. Remember, the average computer’s maximum life span is 5 years. Each year is like 14 years to your computer’s health. Be kind to it.

How to Fix AirDrop Not Working From iPhone to Mac

Does your Mac have trouble receiving images or documents sent over AirDrop from an iPhone ? Several reasons, such as connectivity issues associated with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, can prevent AirDrop from functioning correctly.

Work your way through the following list of troubleshooting methods and you should be able to fix problems with AirDrop not working from iPhone to Mac.

Check for Mac Compatibility

An iPhone can only AirDrop to a Mac introduced in 2012 or later (the 2012 Mac Pro is an exception). Additionally, your Mac should run at least OS X 10.10 Yosemite. 

Open the Apple menu and select About This Mac to check your Mac’s model and operating system version.

Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi (Mac and iPhone)

You must enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on both the Mac and the iPhone for AirDrop to run without issues. You don’t have to connect the devices to a Wi-Fi network, however.

Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on Mac

Open the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi status menus via the Mac’s menu bar or Control Center. Then, turn on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Enable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi on iPhone

Open the iPhone’s Control Center by swiping down from the top-right of the screen. If you use an iPhone with Touch ID, swipe up from the bottom of the screen instead. Then, turn on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Bring Mac and iPhone Closer

Both the Mac and the iPhone should be at least 30 feet close to each other. If not, files can fail during transfer, even if the iPhone detects your Mac.

Disable Personal Hotspot on iPhone

If the iPhone has an active Personal Hotspot, try disabling it. Open the Control Center on your iPhone, long-press the Cellular icon, and set Personal Hotspot to Not Discoverable.

Open Finder Window on Mac

Sometimes, AirDrop will fail to kick into gear on your Mac unless you open an AirDrop window. To do that, simply bring up Finder and select AirDrop on the sidebar. Then, resend the files from the iPhone.

Disable Do Not Disturb on Mac

Do you have Do Not Disturb turned on in your Mac? Not only does that block AirDrop notifications from working, but it can also cause issues with discoverability.

Open the Mac’s Control Center and disable Do Not Disturb. If you use macOS Catalina or earlier, you must open the Notification Center instead to switch it off.

Set AirDrop to Everyone on Mac

By default, the receiving permission in AirDrop is set to Contacts Only. If you’re trying to send a file to your Mac from an iPhone that you own, that should not cause issues. 

However, if you want to receive a file from someone else’s iPhone, it’s best to change that to Everyone even if you have the person listed within the Contacts app. To do that, open an AirDrop window. Then, set Allow me to be discovered by: to Everyone.

If that worked, remember to set it back to Contacts Only to avoid being bombarded by AirDrop requests later on.

Turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Off/On (Mac and iPhone)

Try disabling and re-enabling Bluetooth on both the Mac and iPhone. That often takes care of minor technical glitches that prevent AirDrop from sending or receiving files.

Disable and Enable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth on Mac

Open the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi status menus on the Mac’s menu bar or Control Center. Then, disable both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Wait for a few seconds and re-enable both options.

Disable and Enable Wi-Fi/Bluetooth on iPhone

Open the Settings app on the iPhone. Then, select Wi-Fi and turn off the switch next to Wi-Fi. Go back to the previous screen, select Bluetooth, and turn off the switch next to Bluetooth. Wait for a few seconds and re-enable Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Restart Mac and iPhone

If you still keep running into issues with AirDrop not working from iPhone to Mac, try restarting both devices. That’s another way to get rid of any software-related snags that cause problems with AirDrop.

Reset Network Settings on iPhone

If possible, perform a network settings reset on the iPhone. That should resolve any issues caused by corrupt Bluetooth or Wi-Fi settings preventing the device from sending files to your Mac.

1. Open the Settings app.

2. Select General.

3. Select Reset.

4. Select Reset Network Settings.

5. Select Reset Network Settings again to confirm.

Delete Bluetooth/Wi-Fi PLIST Files and Mac

You can also attempt the equivalent of a network settings reset on the Mac by deleting the Property List (PLIST) files related to Bluetooth and Wi-Fi. Your Mac should automatically recreate the files after you restart it.

Delete Bluetooth PLIST Files

1. Open Finder. Then, select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Type the following path and select Go:


3. Control-click the following file and select Move to Trash.


Delete Wi-Fi PLIST Files

1. Open Finder. Then, select Go > Go to Folder.

2. Type the following path and select Go:


3. Control-click the following files and select Move to Trash.

  • NetworkInterfaces.plist
  • preferences.plist

Allow All Incoming Connections (Mac)

If you have the Mac’s firewall turned on, it may end up blocking all incoming connections. Make sure that isn’t the case.

1. Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences.

2. Select Security & Privacy.

3. Select the Firewall tab.

4. Select Click the lock to make changes and enter your administrator password.

5. Select Firewall Options.

6. Uncheck the box next to Block All Incoming Connections and select OK.

Update Mac/iPhone

You may also want to update your Mac and iPhone. The latest updates typically come with fixes for known bugs and issues, so install them if you haven’t in a while.

Update Mac

Open the Apple menu and select System Preferences. Then, choose Software Update. If you see any pending updates, select Update Now.

Update iPhone

Open the Settings app, and then go to General > Software Update. If you see any pending updates, tap Download and Install to apply them.

Reset NVRAM (Mac)

Resetting the NVRAM (non-volatile random-access memory) on your Mac is another way to fix persistent connectivity-related issues. 

Start by turning off your Mac. Then, turn it back on and immediately press Option+Command+P+R until you hear the startup chime for the second time. If you use a Mac with a T2 Security Chip, you must hold them down until the Apple logo shows up and disappears twice.

After booting into your Mac, you must re-configure settings such as the time zone, volume sound, and keyboard preferences. For a complete walkthrough, here’s how to reset the NVRAM on a Mac .

Success: Sent and Received From iPhone to Mac

Troubleshooting issues with AirDrop not working on the Mac and iPhone can be rather tricky since you usually can’t isolate the problem to a single device. Despite that, something as simple as opening an AirDrop window, turning off/on Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, or changing AirDrop permissions to Everyone should almost always get things working again.

How to Fix a Windows 10 Restart Loop

If you’re trying to use your Windows computer and find that it’s stuck in an infinite reboot loop, it can be frustrating to deal with especially if you don’t know the cause.

The Windows 10 restart loop happens when there’s a failure to boot up the operating system correctly.

Previous Windows versions would need a full reinstall to resolve the restart loop. However, with Windows 10, you can quickly troubleshoot and fix an endless reboot loop plus any other problems you may be experiencing.

This guide looks at the causes of the Windows 10 restart loop and how you can fix it.

What Causes a Windows 10 Restart Loop?

There are several reasons why your computer is stuck in a restart loop, which is characterized by failure of Windows to load up correctly once you power on your PC.

Instead of booting normally, the PC will fail to reach the logon screen before it resets to the boot screen and tries to load Windows. From here on, the operating system is caught in an endless loop of booting and crashing, rendering your PC impossible to use.

Some of the causes of the Windows 10 restart loop include:

  • New Windows driver or recent driver update
  • A Windows Update
  • Problems with the Windows system registry
  • New software installation

How to Fix Windows 10 Stuck in Restart Loop

1. Unplug Peripherals and Hard Reset Your PC

A piece of hardware that’s connected to your computer such as your printer , digital camera or video recorder , USB storage device or media card reader may interfere with the normal Windows booting process.

Unplugging all such peripherals from your PC and performing a hard reset may help resolve the infinite reboot loop. You can leave only your keyboard, mouse and monitor and then unplug your PC from the power outlet. 

If your computer comes with a removable battery, remove it and then hold the power button down for about 15 seconds until it goes off. Put the battery back in, plug the wall power back into your PC and try to restart it.

2. Bypass the Restart Screen

If Windows 10 is still stuck in a restart loop after unplugging peripherals and performing a hard reset , you can try to bypass the restart screen using the Function (FN) key.

Hold the FN key down as you power on your PC, and while still holding the key, tap the Windows key to bypass the restart. If this works, you should see the login screen and you can continue using your PC normally.

3. Use Windows 10 Automatic Repair

Automatic Repair is a recovery feature in Windows 10 that kicks in when the operating system is unable to boot or startup and tries to diagnose and fix the problem. The feature scans system files , configuration and registry settings among other things and then tries to fix the issues that prevent your PC from working normally.

Automatic Repair usually sets in without you prompting it, but typically, it happens after several restarts. If you find Windows 10 stuck in restart loops and within 15 minutes you don’t see the Automatic Repair option, it’s probably not going to happen.

Note: You won’t lose any data if you perform an Automatic Repair.

You can also perform an Automatic Repair with your Windows 10 installation USB or disc.

  1. To get started, wait for the PC to start and display the manufacturer logo, and then check the boot menu option (F12). If you don’t see it, refer to your device user manual.
  2. Next, reboot your PC and when you see the manufacturer’s logo, press the Boot menu option severally to enter the boot menu. Select CD/DVD ROM or USB.
  1. Once your PC starts up using the System Repair disc or Windows DVD, you’ll see a black screen with a message saying “Press any key to boot from CD or DVD”.
  1. Press any key and then select the keyboard type and correct time.
  2. Next, select Repair your computer at the bottom left side of your screen.
  1. Select Troubleshooting > Advanced Option.
  1. Finally select Startup Repair.

If using the Automatic Repair feature doesn’t help fix the Windows 10 restart loop or startup files, try using Safe Mode.

Using Safe Mode to Fix Windows 10 Stuck in Restart Loop

In Safe Mode, you can access Windows 10 and uninstall the Windows Update , drivers or software that may be causing the Windows 10 restart loop issue. Once in Safe Mode, you can perform a System Restore and then reinstall Windows 10 if all else fails and you don’t mind losing any data.

If your computer has multiple Windows versions, wait for the operating system selection screen and then choose Change defaults or choose other options instead of selecting Windows 10.

The next step will be to access Safe Mode, which will depend on how the boot loop is presenting and whether it’s triggered when specific hardware is connected or when you launch a specific app.

How to Manually Boot into Safe Mode

Before the restart, you can reboot in Safe Mode using three different options:

  • Hold down the Shift key and then select Start > Restart to boot into the Advanced startup options. This is probably the fastest option to access Safe Mode.
  • Press Win+I to open Settings and then select Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Startup > Restart now.
  • Alternatively, open Command Prompt (Run as administrator) and then enter shutdown /r /o to restart in the Advanced Boot options.

How to Access Safe Mode Using Installation Media

You can also use installation media to access Safe Mode if you have a recovery partition on your PC’s hard drive. If not, you can download the Windows 10 installation media on a different computer and save it in a USB or DVD.

Once you have the installation media, insert it into your PC and follow the steps in Automatic Repair to fix the restart loop problem.

Alternatively, tap Del or F1 when the system boots to access the UEFI/BIOS and then find Boot Manager. Select the recovery partition as the primary device and reboot your PC.

How to Fix Windows 10 Restart Loop Caused by Windows Update in Safe Mode

If your PC is in Safe Mode, you can prevent further restart loops by uninstalling Windows Updates or drivers in the Command Prompt.

  1. To resolve a reboot loop caused by a Windows Update, open Command Prompt (admin) and enter this command: net stop wuauserv.
  1. Follow the command with net stop bits
  2. Once you get a response, browse C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution, erase all the directory contents and restart Windows 10. It should boot normally going forward.

When Restart Loop Is Caused by Safe Mode App Installations

If you had just installed an app before the Windows restart loop issue began, you can uninstall the software while in Safe Mode and Windows will start normally again.

To do this, right-click the application in the Start menu and select Uninstall.

When Restart Loop Is Caused by Hardware Drivers in Safe Mode

Hardware drivers may also cause the Windows restart loop especially if they’re outdated.

  1. To resolve this while in Safe Mode, right-click Start > Device Manager and look for the suspect device.
  1. Right-click the device, select Properties.
  1. Next, select Drivers and then select Roll Back Driver.
  1. If this fails, right-click the device, select Disable Device. Select Uninstall Driver and then reboot your PC.

How Resetting Windows 10 Helps

If you can’t access Safe Mode or the rest of the fixes aren’t working, try a reset to get your PC back to factory settings.

A Windows 10 reset reinstalls system files without damaging your data. If the restart fails after the third attempt, Windows 10 will boot automatically into the WinRE (Windows Recovery Environment).  

From here, you can follow the steps in our guide on how to reset Windows 10 . If you’re not the administrator of the PC you’re using, turn to our guide on how to reset Windows 10 without an admin password .

Get Your PC Running Normally Again

We hope you were able to fix the Windows reboot loop using any of the solutions listed here and your PC is running normally again. If so, check out our how to set up an automatic backup system for Windows guide and free system cloning apps you can use to backup your entire Windows system in case the restart loop occurs again.

You can also automatically backup important Windows folders with OneDrive and keep your information safely copied into the cloud.

How to Fix a WHEA Uncorrectable Error BSOD

There are as many BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) errors than we can count, yet some of them will show up with more frequency and vengeance than others.

The WHEA ( Windows Hardware Error Architecture ) uncorrectable error is one of those unwelcome visitors and can be incredibly frustrating to solve, but with some systematic sleuthing you can track down the source of the problem and troubleshoot your PC sooner rather than later.

What Is WHEA?

As mentioned above, WHEA is short for Windows Hardware Error Architecture. It’s a software system built into Windows that lets the operating system communicate with hardware and interpret errors from that hardware when things go wrong.

WHEA lets the computer log and organize errors from your hardware, with standardized report formatting and content and plenty of technical detail. Of course, none of this is helpful to the average user. 

The most important bit of information you need to take from all of this is that a WHEA error happens when the physical hardware of your computer reports an error, which is then detected by WHEA.

In the case of the uncorrectable BSOD, the error is so serious that the computer has to stop in order to protect your data and hardware. Now that we have a clear idea of what this BSOD is and why it happens, let’s look at some steps you can take to try and fix it.

Update or Roll Back Drivers Using Safe Mode

If you’re lucky, the “hardware” error is actually the result of faulty drivers. So you can try booting into Safe Mode, which loads basic safe drivers and then roll back the last drivers that were installed for your major hardware components. 

Check out How to Restart Windows in Safe Mode in case you don’t know how and also How To Roll Back A Driver In Windows 10 for the sequence of steps you need for this fix.

Turn Back the Clock on Windows Updates

One of the worst things about Windows 10 is that every major update feels like a roll of the dice. It’s not that uncommon to go to bed with a working computer, but wake up to a broken one thanks to an overnight update.

While there’s no guarantee that your latest update is related to your new hardware error, you can uninstall Windows updates to see if that makes the issue go away. If it does, then you should wait for a fix from Microsoft before updating again.

Test Your RAM

One common reason for this BSOD is the presence of one or more faulty RAM modules. This is particularly likely if the error is seemingly random and intermittent. That’s because the specific memory module that’s failed won’t be asked to store data every time you use your computer or repeatedly under the same workload.

The good news is that you can test your RAM in a systematic way that’s guaranteed to uncover any memory chips that have gone bad. 

Read How to Diagnose, Check, and Test for Bad Memory for the exact info you need to detect bad memory.

Undo Overclocking and Other Mods

If you have a computer that’s been modified or is running out of spec in terms of its settings, your first step should be to undo that. The exact method will vary from one computer to the next, but generally you’ll enter the BIOS by pressing a keyboard shortcut at boot. The specific keyboard shortcut will be detailed in your motherboard’s manual.

Once in the BIOS, simply select the option to reset the BIOS to default and then reboot. Sometimes an issue with your hardware may prevent you from booting into the BIOS to reset the settings. You may be forced to manually reset your BIOS. Some motherboards have a physical button or switch that you can use to reset BIOS settings. 

As a last resort, you might consider removing the CMOS battery (a circular battery cell on the board) with the computer unplugged. This will make the BIOS lose its settings and you can then replace the battery after a minute or two and attempt another boot.

Disable Performance Enhancing Features

While this is not a final fix, it seems that the built-in turbo modes in modern CPUs can cause this error, most likely because they push it past a point where other hardware should have still supported that performance level. 

If turning off your processor’s automatic turbo mode in the BIOS makes the error go away, that’s a clue that another component isn’t taking the strain of those higher performance levels.

Check Your Computer for Cooling Issues or Damaged Components

With a WHEA uncorrectable error it’s worth cracking open your computer and giving it a good inspection. Check that every connector is properly inserted. Make sure that there’s no obvious damage on cabling or components. Look out for swollen capacitors or anything else that looks out of place. 

While most physical hardware damage is invisible to the naked eye, sometimes it’s something you can see as plainly. If a component looks damaged, you’ll need to get it checked out by a professional.

Start your computer up with the cover off and check that every fan is spinning properly. Are any heatsinks loose? Fans that are not spinning need to be checked to see if their power connection is good. If a fan has failed, it needs to be replaced.

Make Sure Your CPU, GPU and RAM are Connected Properly

In some cases, a bad connection between major components is to blame for hardware errors. The simplest way to check for this, is to remove and reseat these components. That means taking your GPU, CPU and RAM out of their sockets and then putting them back properly. 

This is simple enough when it comes to your graphics card or RAM, but it’s trickier with your CPU. To remove the CPU and reseat it, you need to remove the heatsink. Whenever you remove your CPU heatsink, you need to clean off both the top of the CPU and the bottom of the heatsink. Then apply new thermal paste before putting it all back together. 

Look for an instructional video showing the process for your particular CPU or get an experienced technician to do it for you. Since you can damage the CPU during this process, we don’t recommend trying it without help.

Beating the BSODs

Being blindsided by a BSOD is never fun, especially when it suggests that one of your precious hardware components has gone bad. While the tips above are likely to help resolve a WHEA uncorrectable error, no one can ever provide an exhaustive list of fixes that will work for everyone.

If you’ve tried the most likely solutions in this article and still can’t get to the bottom of the issue, it’s time for more detective work. A good place to start is our Blue Screen of Death Troubleshooting Guide for Windows 10 , which will equip you with the sleuthing abilities you need to handle any type of BSOD.

How to Fix a Video TDR Failure BSOD Error in Windows 10

When you’re working on an important task or you’re in the middle of a game or movie with friends, the last thing you want to get is an error on your computer. Worse still is if the error is followed by the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD).

BSOD errors are one of the biggest pet peeves for Windows 10 users, and they come in different forms like the clock watchdog timeout BSOD , stop code memory management BSOD , or the video_TDR_failure.

This guide explains how to fix a video tdr failure error in Windows 10.

What is a Video TDR Failure?

Most BSOD errors (stop errors) can happen when there’s a problem that causes your computer to shut down or restart unexpectedly. Some BSODs are as a result of issues with your computer’s memory , hard drive, drivers or system file corruption.

The video_TDR_failure BSOD error manifests in similar ways as other BSOD errors. TDR, which stands for Timeout, Detection and Recovery is a Windows component, so when you get the video_TDR_failure BSOD, your graphics or video card will stop responding and Windows will also stop to resolve the error.

If you try to play a video, and then it crashes, you may see a blue screen with a message saying that your device ran into a problem and requires a restart.

Depending on your graphics card, you may get a different name for the error. For an NVIDIA card, you’ll see nvlddmkm.sys, Intel card shows up as igdkmd64.sys, and atkimpag.sys for AMD or ATI cards.

Causes of Video_TDR_Failure BSOD Error in Windows 10

The video_TDR_failure BSOD error is caused by similar triggers as the video scheduler internal error BSOD in Windows 10 . Specifically, it appears after you update your drivers, upgrade your operating system, or even after an automatic update.

Some of the main triggers of the video_TDR_failure BSOD error include:

  • Incompatible, faulty, outdated or corrupt graphics card driver
  • Technical issues with your computer’s graphics card
  • Multiple apps running in the background simultaneously
  • Overheated computer components / system overheating

No matter the cause of the error, we’ll walk you through some troubleshooting steps to resolve the issue and get back to your tasks.

How to Fix Video_TDR_Failure in Windows 10

An outdated or incompatible driver is one of the most common reasons why you’re getting the video_TDR_failure error on your computer.

Update Video Driver

To resolve this, update your graphics card driver using these steps.

  1. Right-click Start > Device Manager.
  1. Next, expand the Display Drivers section, right-click the specific graphics card and select Update Driver.

Your system will search for the most appropriate video driver and install it automatically. Once updated and installed, reboot your computer and see whether the BSOD error persists.

Roll Back Old Video Driver or Update

If you got the error after updating your graphics card driver, you can roll back the update and reinstall the previous version of the driver.

  1. To roll back the driver, right-click Start > Run, and enter devmgmt.msc.
  1. Next, find and right-click on the driver, select Properties.
  1. Select the Driver tab.
  1. Select Roll back driver and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

To return to an older version of the video card driver take these steps:

  1. Open Device Manager, right-click your video card and select Update driver.
  1. Next, select Browse My Computer for Driver Software.
  1. Select the Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer option.
  1. Choose the older version of the graphics card driver and then select Next to see the previous version of the drivers.

Uninstall and Reinstall the Driver

If you tried to update the video card driver and failed, try to uninstall and reinstall it and see if it automatically updates itself. If not, you may have to reinstall the drivers in Safe Mode.

Safe Mode is a feature in Windows 10 that allows you to start your computer with the minimum system requirements so you can troubleshoot and resolve any issues you’re facing.

  1. To boot in Safe Mode, right-click Start > Run and enter msconfig in the Run box.
  1. In the System Configuration window, go to the Boot tab and select Safe Boot > OK.
  1. Select Restart.
  1. Reboot your computer and it’ll start up in Safe Mode. Press Windows+X to open Device Manager, right-click your video card and select Uninstall device to remove the current driver.
  1. Go to your video card manufacturer’s site and download the latest and most suitable version of the driver for your computer’s system and then boot normally.

Use System Files Utility Checker to Fix System Files

Corrupted system files can also trigger the video_TDR_failure error on your computer.

The best way to resolve this is to scan and fix these files using the System Files Utility Checker built into Windows 10 computers. This tool checks for system files essential to your PC and replaces the damaged ones with working files automatically.

  1. To scan and fix damaged system files, type CMD in the search box and select Run as administrator from the Command Prompt search result.
  1. Next, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.

The SFC scan will check for and replace any damaged files in your computer’s system. Once done, reboot your PC and check if the problem persists or disappears.

Perform a Startup Repair

If the video_TDR_failure error persists, there’s a likelihood that a startup program isn’t loading fully. Performing a startup repair will get to the root of the problem and fix it.

  1. To perform a startup repair in Windows 10, select Start > Settings and then select Update & Security.
  1. Select Recovery.
  1. Next, select Restart Now under the Advanced Startup tab.
  1. Select Troubleshoot and then tap Advanced Options.
  1. Select Startup Repair and your system will begin to detect and fix all corrupt startup programs.

Disable Graphics Driver

Sometimes conflict with a third-party graphics card could trigger the error. To resolve this, disable one of the cards and have a primary driver for your computer. For example, if you prefer to use NVIDIA as the primary driver on an Intel PC, disable the native Intel graphics driver to eliminate the internal conflict.

To disable the driver, right-click Start > Device Manager > Display adapters, right-click on the driver and select Disable Device.

Other Things to Try

  • Clean your computer components. See our guide on how to clean your computer properly inside and out .
  • Change your video card’s graphics settings.
  • If you’re getting the atikmpag.sys video_TDR_failure error with your ATI or AMD graphics card, rename the atikmpag.sys or atikmdag.sys file.
  • Adjust your computer’s power management settings.

Get Rid of The Video_TDR_Failure BSOD Error

We hope you were able to resolve the video_TDR_failure BSOD error on your computer using this guide. For more on other BSOD errors, turn to our guide on how to fix a bad system config info BSOD error and how to fix a stop code critical process died BSOD .

Let us know by leaving a comment below.

How to Fix a Thread Stuck in Device Driver BSOD in Windows 10

The “Thread stuck in device driver” BSOD ( Blue Screen of Death ) error in Windows 10 is caused whenever a specific driver gets stuck in an endless loop waiting for its hardware to go into an idle state.

This is usually related to the driver hardware itself. Why would driver software start doing this? There can be multiple reasons. A few common ones include a driver bug that was fixed in a recent update that you don’t have yet. It could be a Windows bug that, again, was fixed in an update you don’t have. 

Blue BSOD Error At Computer. Malware Attack

In a few cases, it could also be caused by a corrupt system file that’s causing issues with the device driver. 

The following troubleshooting tips will walk you through the most common fixes for the “thread stuck in device driver” BSOD error, and will end with the least common ones. 

How to “Fix Thread Stuck in Device Driver” BSOD Error

The best way to work through this guide is from top to bottom. The more common fixes that come first should resolve the issue earlier. Hopefully, you never have to make it to the end of this article!

Update Your Device Driver

The easiest way to update your specific device driver is by using Device Manager. If the error provided the device that’s having the issue, make a note of this before opening Device Manager. If not, you should be able to find the error inside the Device Manager itself.

  1. To open Device Manager, select the Start menu, type “device” and select Device Manager.
  1. If you know the device that’s having the issue, scroll down to that device. Otherwise scroll down the list and look for any devices with an exclamation mark icon, which indicates a device error. Once you find the device, right-click and select Update Driver Software.
  1. To get the latest driver, select Search automatically for updated driver software. This will make Device Manager look for the latest device driver via the internet. It will identify the latest version and compare it to the version you currently have installed.
  1. If the driver you have is already updated, you’ll see a status displaying this.
  1. If it doesn’t, it’ll automatically update your driver to the latest version. You’ll see a status that the driver has been updated when it’s finished.
  1. Restart your computer and confirm that the “Thread stuck in device driver” error is resolved.

Keep in mind that even if the Device Driver doesn’t find the latest version for your driver, there may still be a newer version out there. If you know which device is having the issue, visit the manufacturer website and check the latest version. Compare this to your current driver version.

To see the version of your device driver, open Device Manager, right click on the device and select Properties. Select the Driver tab to see what your current Driver Version is.

If the manufacturer has a later version than what you have installed, download and install the new device driver.

Note: If you recently updated your driver right before the error started, you may want to consider rolling back the driver to see if it resolves your issue.

Upgrade Standard System Drivers

If you didn’t see any drivers with an error, or updating the device you’re having an issue with didn’t resolve the problem, make sure your graphics or audio drivers are updated.

This is because most applications need to interface with both the graphics and audio cards in your PC. If those drivers are out of date, it could lead to device driver errors.

To update your graphics driver, open Device Driver again and expand Display adapters

Select Update driver and go through the same process as above to update the graphics driver.

Do the same thing for your audio drivers. Expand the Audio inputs and outputs section in Device Manager.

Right click the audio devices you use and select Update driver for each of them. 

Once you’ve updated your graphics and audio drivers, restart your computer and confirm that this has resolved the “Thread stuck in Device Driver” error.

Run a System File Checker (SFC) Scan

If you’ve gotten to this point and nothing fixed the error, start with some deeper troubleshooting.

The first thing to check is whether there are any corrupt system files that could be causing conflicts with the device driver. 

To do this:

  1. Select the Start menu, type “command prompt”, right click the Command Prompt app, and select Run as administrator.
  1. Type the command sfc /scannow and press Enter.

The scanning process can take some time. It’ll update the process as a percentage on the screen. 

If the SFC process finds any corrupt or missing system files, it’ll automatically repair the file by replacing it with the correct system file (from backup). 

Once the scan is finished, restart your computer to check if the error is gone.

Restore a Previous Version of Windows

If nothing has fixed the error at this point, the last resort may be to restore Windows 10 to a previous restore point.

You can restore individual files, or restore your entire system to a previous restore point .

If you haven’t made any previous restore points for Windows, then unfortunately you’ll have no choice to restore Windows 10 to its original factory settings .

While this isn’t the idea solution, hopefully you haven’t had to get this far in this article. If you did, then remember that you can always back up your important folders and files before restoring Windows. This way you don’t have to put any of your important information and data at risk.

How to Fix a Kmode Exception Not Handled BSOD

The “ blue screen of death ” (or BSOD)isn’t as common today as it used to be, but it’s a well-known issue in Windows. When something goes wrong with the operating system, it can sometimes crash to a blue screen from which the only solution is a reboot. 

The “Kmode Exception Not Handled” error can cause your computer to crash. Most of the time, it isn’t serious, but if your computer runs into difficulty there are ways to fix it. 

What Is the Kmode Exception Not Handled Error?

The Kmode Exception Not Handled error occurs when two or more applications conflict with each other. This results in the software shutting down, or in some instances, a full system crash. 

The good news is that the error can usually be corrected with just a few steps. If you run into this error message over and over again, try a few of the tricks below to straighten out the problem.

Disable Fast Startup

When Windows shuts down, it clears the RAM, and in doing so it corrects many of the issues that arise during standard operation. However, Fast Startup allows you to boot your system quickly out of Hibernation and Sleep modes. This means the system never fully closes all the way. 

As a result, Fast Startup can cause a number of errors. Any problems that were present when you closed the system down will still be present when you boot it back up. Here’s how you can disable the feature. 

Open Control Panel > System and Security > Power Options. On the left-side of the screen, select Choose what power buttons do. There will be a series of options at the bottom of the screen you cannot select.

Click Change settings that are currently unavailable. This allows you to change those greyed-out settings. Under the Shutdown settings header, un-check Turn on fast startup. Then click Save changes.

Next time you boot your PC, it might take longer than you’re used to–but it should reduce the chances that a Kmode Exception Not Handled error might occur. 

Update Drivers

The Kmode Exception Not Handled error is often caused by a problem with a driver . Either the driver is out of date, or it’s incompatible with another driver on your system. If the error is thrown, look for a name in brackets just after Kmode Exception Not Handled. This is typically the cause of the problem. 

The process for updating the exact driver will differ depending on what that driver is, but an easy way to find any driver is to find it within the Device Manager. Open Control Panel > Device Manager and then look for the relevant device. Once you find it (or the category it belongs to), right-click the device and choose Update driver from the menu.

If you don’t see the driver within Device Manager, or it can’t automatically perform the update, go to the manufacturer’s website for that device. You can often find manual updates of drivers from the manufacturer’s website. 

Remove Your Antivirus Software

Another potential fix for the Kmode Exception Not Handled error is to remove your antivirus software . Many users reported this as the cause of the problem, particularly McAfee Antivirus. You can remove the program by opening Control Panel > Uninstall a Program, but it’s often better to use the built-in uninstaller.

This tool ensures that all related files are also deleted from your system. Remember, though–if the antivirus isn’t the cause of the problem, you’ll want to reinstall it to ensure your system is protected. 

Check Your RAM

Another potential source for the problem comes from your RAM . The reasons why are incredibly technical, but the way to fix it–or at least identify the problem–is easy. In fact, Windows 10 has a built-in tool called Windows Memory Diagnostic that makes it easy to check the status of your RAM.

Open Start > Windows Administrative Tools > Windows Memory Diagnostic and start the application. You can choose to run the program immediately, which will prompt a restart of your system, or you can choose to run it the next time you start your computer. 

This tool performs a test on your memory and diagnoses any major issues with RAM. 

Perform a System Scan

Windows has a lot of different tools that allow it to make substantial repairs to its own code. If you’ve tried everything else and you’re still receiving the error, try a system scan to try and identify exactly where the problem lies. 

Press CMD + R to open the Run menu, and then type in cmd to open the Command Prompt. Type in sfc /scannow and then press Enter. This will start the scan, and your system will look for and correct issues it finds.

Take note that this can take a little bit of time to work. Once the scan has finished, restart your PC. If you don’t receive the error again, you’ll know the scan worked. 

These tools can help you resolve the Kmode Exception Not Handled error. While it might not pose much of a problem for many users, it can certainly be annoying when it does occur. After all, no one wants to use their computer when it might crash at any moment. 

How to Fix a DPC Watchdog Violation BSOD

No one enjoys facing the BSOD, or the blue screen of death, but it’s a part of life for Windows users. It happens when the system faces a glitch it doesn’t know how to handle, and the system shuts down. The “DPC watchdog violation” BSOD is a good example of this.

The good news is that it can be fixed, and without too much difficulty or technical know-how required.

Modern blue screen of death (BSOD) error. Installation new software and hardware problem, virus, emulation, virtual machine, video, register. System Crash Report Background. Vector Illustration

What is a DPC Watchdog Violation? 

DPC is short for Deferred Procedure Call. The “Watchdog” part of the error refers to the part of the program that watches for bugs. The problem originates from a solid state drive that was incompatible with Windows. It can crop up from time to time, most often due to hardware issues.

The violation takes place when Windows doesn’t receive a response from hardware or some computer component fast enough. Updating a driver and checking connections can help straighten out these problems.

Remove All External Devices

The DPC Watchdog Violation can be caused by an incompatible drive or device. Remove any external devices (minus the mouse and keyboard). If you have hooked up a new external hard drive , a printer, or another accessory, disconnect it from your computer and then restart.

If the problem doesn’t happen again, then you can deduce the problem lies with one of the devices. Connect them one at a time until you can pinpoint which device is causing the error. 

Check Cable Connections

One step in correcting a DPC Watchdog Violation is to make sure your power cables and data cables are securely connected within your PC. This isn’t difficult to do, even for total beginners. Open the side of your PC case and look for cables that are hanging loose. 

Apply slight pressure at connection points to ensure a solid connection has been made. If cables are loose and you aren’t sure where they should connect, check your PC’s manual. 

For more detailed information, refer to our ultimate guide on building a custom PC . If a cable is loose and the system cannot receive a response to a query, it’ll throw the violation.

Check Device Drivers

An outdated or faulty driver can make it impossible for the system to receive the response it needs. If you have experienced the DPC Watchdog Violation on a regular basis, make sure all of your device drivers are up to date . 

Open Control Panel > Device Manager and go through the list of devices. Right-click any device in the list and choose Update driver from the menu options that appear. You should check all of your devices, but pay particular attention to external hard drives. These are a common source for this error.

Replace the iastor.sys Driver

Under the driver menu, expand the IDE ATA/ATAPI controllers and select the item with SATA in its name. Choose Properties from the menu, and then select the Drivers tab. Choose Update driver > Browse my computer for drivers > Let me pick from a list of available drivers on my computer.

You can choose from a list of software, or you can select the recommended option. In most cases, the recommended driver is the correct choice. Select Next and wait for it to finish installing. You will need to restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Windows recommends replacing this particular driver, as it is a known culprit of the DPC Watchdog Violation error. 

Perform a Disk Check

If the cable and driver updates did not correct the problem, your next step should be to perform a disk check on your entire system. Do this by opening the Command Prompt . Press Windows + R to open the Run menu, and then type cmd to open the Command Prompt. Once open, enter the following:

chkdsk C:/f

If your hard drive partition is something other than C:, just replace the C: with the correct drive name. 

This will perform a check on your system that looks for and repairs any issues within the logic of your drive. In many cases, this simple command can solve the DPC Watchdog Violation.

Update Your OS

The DPC Watchdog Violation is often caused by outdated and faulty drivers, so ensuring your operating system is up to date–and that you have access to the latest software offered for your devices–can help eliminate the frequency with which you encounter the error. 

Open Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update and then click Check for updates. If there is a Windows update available, go ahead and download it. Despite the huge amount of bad press Windows updates tend to generate, they are necessary for the security of your computer. 

Run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter

One of the primary causes for the DPC Watchdog Violation is incompatibility between programs and hardware . Thankfully, Windows has a built-in tool that will help you ensure all of the various components work with one another. 

Open Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot > Additional troubleshooters > Program Compatibility Troubleshooter. Click the troubleshooter and then click Run the troubleshooter.

You can choose the program that’s causing trouble from the list. If you don’t see it, select Not listed and browse through your file folders until you locate it. The tool will then attempt to diagnose any incompatibility issues between the program and the hardware. 

If you run into the DPC Watchdog Violation and it crashes your PC, it can affect your productivity, especially if you’re working from home like so many are. Try these different methods to resolve the issue and once more make your PC experience seamless.