How to Fix “Kernel-mode Hardware-enforced Stack Protection is Off” Security Issue in Windows 11
Encountering the "Kernel-mode Hardware-enforced Stack Protection is Off" error on your Windows 11 PC? Don't fret! Learn what causes the issue and follow these simple methods to resolve it.
To fix the "Kernel-mode Hardware-enforced Stack Protection is Off" security issue in Windows 11, try modifying the registry, enable virtualization using UEFI settings, uninstall conflicting software such as anti-cheat programs, or reset your PC.
If you have recently encountered the "Kernel-mode Hardware-enforced Stack Protection is Off" issue on your Windows 11 computer, you're not alone. Many users have reported experiencing the same problem, and some have even received a 'Review driver incompatibility' error when trying to enable the option. Rest assured, there are solutions available to tackle this issue, even for those who are new to troubleshooting computer problems.
Before diving into the steps to resolve this issue, it's essential to understand what causes it in the first place. This info will help you to take preventive measures and avoid the problem in the future.
What is the "Kernel-mode Hardware-enforced Stack Protection is Off" error?
Hardware-enforced stack protection is a security feature available in modern operating systems like Windows 11. This feature uses the CPU hardware to protect the code of applications or games, primarily safeguarding the system's memory stack where the code is stored during execution. It is designed to work in conjunction with other security features like Local Security Authority Protection (LSA).
On newer computers, this security feature is hardware-based and may not be compatible with certain outdated applications or drivers, such as some anti-cheat software or keyboard/mouse drivers.
Unfortunately, the Windows Security app is currently not as effective at detecting incompatible drivers, making it difficult for users to troubleshoot the issue. Microsoft is working on improving the detection and flagging of incompatible drivers.
Here are some simple and effective ways to resolve the "Kernel-mode Hardware-enforced Stack Protection is Off" issue on your Windows 11 PC.
1. Modify the Registry
First, head to the Start Menu and type Registry to perform a search. Then, from the search results, click on the 'Registry Editor' tile.
After that, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned address in the address bar and hit Enter to navigate to the directory.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\Memory Management
Now, from the right section double-click on the 'FeatureSettingsOverride' fileto open its properties.
In case no such DWORD file exists, right-click in the empty space and hover over the 'New' option. Then, click on the 'DWORD' option to proceed.
Finally, rename the file to 'FeatureSettingsOverride'. Then, double-click on it.
On the properties window, overwrite the 'Value' to '9' and click on the 'OK' button to save changes.
Once done, restart your PC and check if the issue has been resolved.
2. Enable Virtualization using UEFI Settings
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the 'Settings' app tile. Alternatively, press the Windows+I keys together on your keyboard to open the app.
After that, ensure that you have selected the 'System' tab from the left sidebar.
Then, click on the 'Recovery' option from the right section of the window.
Next, click on the 'Restart now' button to proceed. This will bring a prompt to your screen.
Afterward, click on the 'Restart now' button to immediately restart your PC.
Once the PC restarts, click on the 'Troubleshooter' tile.
After that, click on the 'Advanced options' tile to continue.
Next, click on the 'UEFI Firmware Settings' tile to proceed, Your PC may restart again.
Then, on the BIOS setup menu, use the arrow keys to highlight the 'BIOS Setup' tile and press the 'Spacebar/Enter' to continue.
After that, click on the 'Configuration' tab from the left sidebar. Then, click on the checkbox preceding the 'Virtualization Technology' option.
Finally, click on the 'Save' button or press the 'F10' key on your keyboard to save and exit the screen.
3. Uninstall Conflicting Software
As mentioned previously in this guide, there could be anti-cheat software that could also be the culprit of the issue. All you need to do is uninstall them (sometimes you will also need to uninstall the game they came with), and it will likely fix the issue.
Some of the games that have been known to cause this issue are:
- Destiny 2
- Phantasy Star Online 2
If you have one of these games installed on your computer, we recommend uninstalling them and checking if they indeed cause the issue. If it is, you can wait for the next update and can also let the game developers know using their support email address, or an official forum thread about the issue.
4. Reset your PC
Resetting your PC will remove all the programs that you have installed on your computer. Though no personal files and folders will be deleted. All the settings and preferences of the Windows will also be rolled back to the Factory settings. If no other method seems to work, this is your best bet.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the 'Settings' tile.
After that, from the Settings window, make sure you have selected the 'System' tab present on the left sidebar.
Next, from the right section of the window, scroll down to locate and click ont he 'Recovery' tile to proceed.
Then, on the 'Recovery' settings screen, locate the 'Reset this PC' tile and click on the 'Reset PC' button present on the far right edge of the tile to proceed. This will open a separate window on your screen.
Now, from the separately opened window, click on the 'Keep my files' tile to proceed. In case you wish to remove all your personal files as well when resetting, click on the 'Remove everything' option.
On the next screen, you will need to choose a method for reinstalling the operating system on your machine. Since there could be an issue with the copy already present on your system, it is recommended that you click on the 'Cloud download' option.
Note: 'Cloud download' will require an active internet connection and will consume upwards of 4 GB of data.
After that, Windows will list the settings that you have chosen. In case you wish to change any of it, click on the 'Change settings' option to continue.
If you chose to change the settings, on the next screen, can choose to not restore the apps and settings, by clicking on the toggle switch present under the 'Restore preinstalled apps?' option to bring it to the 'No' position. You can even switch from the Clodu download to the local install by clicking on the toggle switch present under the 'Download Windows?' option. Once adjusted according to your preference, click on the 'Confirm' button to proceed.
After that, from the main window, click on the 'Next' button to continue.
In case your PC was updated recently, you will receive a message on the screen stating that you will be not able to roll back once you reset the PC. To continue, click on the 'Next' button.
After that, Windows will list out all the impacts resetting your PC will have on your system. Read them carefully and click on the 'Reset' to commence the resetting process.
That's it, people. If you have been facing the error on your Windows 11 computer you can use the above-mentioned methods to rectify it.