How to Fix Ntoskrnl.exe BSOD on Windows 11

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Seeing an ntoskrnl.exe BSOD error appear on your Windows 11 PC? Don’t panic, because you should be able to fix it using the steps in this helpful guide.

A Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) error is a sign that there’s something wrong with your Windows PC. It’s a critical error—your PC is forced to reboot when it appears.

This isn’t as catastrophic as it sounds, because BSODs are used to try and protect your system files (and PC generally) from further damage or corruption. You should try and investigate a BSOD by keeping track of the error message it displays. One such BSOD you might see is a ntoskrnl.exe BSOD on Windows 11.

The error suggests that there’s a problem with the Windows operating system kernel executable (ntoskrnl.exe). Without this file, Windows can’t run. If you’re getting this error, the following steps will help you to fix a ntoskrnl.exe BSOD on Windows 11.

Check Your RAM for Errors

One of the first things you should do is check is your system’s RAM integrity for possible errors. You can do this using the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool or another third-party utility.

To run a diagnostic test of your RAM, do the following:

  1. Click Start or hit the Windows key to launch the Start menu.
  2. Type memory and click the Windows Memory Diagnostic app from the top result.memory diagnostic fix ntoskrnl.exe bsod windows 11
  3. When the memory diagnostic tool launches, click the Restart now and check for problems (recommended) option at the top.fix ntoskrnl.exe bsod windows 11
  4. Your PC will restart and boot into the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool and check for 11 keeps crashing

If the scan detects errors, try reseating and swapping RAM sticks in a desktop or reseat memory in a laptop if it’s accessible. If you continue to get errors, you’ll want to check with your PC’s manufacturer — hopefully, it’s still under warranty.

You might want to get a second opinion, so use memetest86+ and compare the test results. Memtest86+ is a popular utility for testing your RAM as it is free and open-source.

Run SFC and DISM Scans

In addition to the built-in memory diagnostics tool, you can run an SFC and DISM scan to check Windows for corrupt files. Corrupt files could be the cause of the ntoskrnl.exe BSOD error. SFC and DISM scans will search for corrupt system files and replace them with working ones.

You can run SFC and DISM scans on Windows 11 by doing the following:

  1. Right-click the Start button and select Windows Terminal (Admin) from the menu.Windows Terminal Admin fix ntoskrnl.exe bsod windows 11
  2. Type the following command in the terminal and hit Enter.
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

    DISM Scan Windows 11

  3. Now, after the DISM scan completes, do a system file check by running the following command:
    sfc /scannow

    terminal SFC-scannow

Ruch a Chkdsk Scan

It’s also worth checking your hard drive for errors, as a faulty hard drive could stop Windows from working properly. For example, you can use the built-in chkdsk utility to identify issues with your system drive.

To check your system drive for errors using chkdsk:

  1. Open the Start menu and type powershell.
  2. When Windows PowerShell appears, click the Run as Administrator terminal admin
  3. When the terminal opens, enter the following command and hit Enter.
    chkdsk /r /f
  4. The utility will prompt you to scan the next time you restart Windows 11 – type Y and hit Enter.checkdisk

Check for Malware

If a virus or other shoddy malware resides on your system, it could be interfering with system functions. The Windows 11 security app scans for malware in real-time, but it might not catch everything.

You can scan for viruses and other malware using the following steps:

  1. Open the Start menu, type windows security, and select the top result.Windows Security app Start
  2. Select Virus & threat protection on the left and click the Quick scan button.virus and threat detection quick scan
  3. If the quick scan option doesn’t find anything, run a deeper scan. Select the Scan options link and choose Full scan or Microsoft Defender Offline scan.full scan windows 11 keeps crashing

Note that deeper scans take longer to complete but are worth it if stubborn malware is causing the BSOD error. Also, if Windows Security finds nothing, try a virus scan with a free and trusted security utility such as Avast or AVG AntiVirus.

Check Your Device Drivers

Device drivers integrate tightly within Windows, allowing it to interface properly with your PC’s components. If a driver is corrupt, it can cause the ntoskrnl.exe BSOD error. Updating or reinstalling drivers can fix the issue. However, there are a lot of drivers, and it’s hard to know where to start.

If you recently updated a device driver and are getting the error, start with that device first. For example, if you update the GPU driver and get the error, start with it.

You can manage drivers through Device Manager by doing the following:

  1. Open Start, type device manager, and select the top result.device manager windows 11 start
  2. When Device Manager opens, right-click the device you recently updated. From here, you can update, uninstall, or disable the driver.fix ntoskrnl.exe bsod windows 11

Try a Clean Boot or Safe Mode

If you’re struggling to diagnose this issue, you may want to clean boot into Windows 11. A clean boot will use minimal startup apps and drivers to load the operating system.

A clean boot gives you more control over which services and apps run during startup than Safe Mode. However, the process can be tedious as you’ll want to boot your PC and enable apps and services one at a time.

clean boot windows 11

If you’re still having issues or Windows crashes before getting to the sign-in screen, boot Windows 11 into Safe Mode. Once you’re in the Safe Mode environment, select Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt and attempt to fix the issue using the steps above.

Safe Mode Startup fix ntoskrnl.exe bsod windows 11

Keeping Your Data Safe

If you get a ntoskrnl.exe BSOD error, don’t panic. One of the steps above should get your PC up and running again. Keep in mind, though, even if you fix ntoskrnl.exe BSOD on Windows 11, your data needs to be safe before a crash event occurs.

Windows 11 includes tools to help keep your data safe. You can create a restore point to roll back your system to a working state. It includes OneDrive for backing up data and syncing settings. You can also perform a complete system backup to protect your system from data loss.



  1. ken

    April 11, 2024 at 2:02 am

    How does one do any of the solutions when the computer won’t boot in the first place. I can’t run sfc or do anything when it won’t boot up.

    • Jeff Butts

      April 11, 2024 at 10:46 am

      Hi Ken,

      If you’re at a point where the computer won’t boot at all, your only option is to try reinstalling Windows from the install media or recovery partition on your computer. Since every manufacturer handles this differently, you’d need to check their support pages for instructions on this.

      Best of luck,

      Jeff Butts

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