How to Fix Kernel Security Check Failure BSOD in Windows 11
Fix the "Kernel security check failure" error in Windows 11 BSOD with these simple instructions.
Microsoft has replaced the blue background in BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) errors with a black background in keeping up with the theme of Windows 11. As expected, this doesn’t seem to have any promising effect on the performance, or frequency of encountering the error, which pretty much remains the same for most users.
One of the BSOD errors that users reported encountering on Windows 11 is the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’. There are various issues that lead to the error and we have discussed them under a separate section below. Unlike the others, BSOD errors appear out of the blue and crash the system, thus leading to the loss of unsaved data.
But, the best part about BSOD errors is that they are easily fixable if you get hold of a bunch of effective fixes. In the following section, we will walk you through these effective fixes to resolve the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error. Before we head to the fixes, let’s first understand the various issues that lead to the error.
What Leads to ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ Error on Windows 11?
An understanding of the issues leading to the error is imperative in the troubleshooting process. Hence we have listed some of the common issues leading to the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error.
- Corrupt system files
- Incompatible or malfunctioning hardware
- Outdated or incompatible drivers
- Running an older version of Windows
- Issues with the memory
With an understanding of the various issues, you are now well equipped to fix the error and it’s time we walk you through the fixes.
1. Update Windows
Running an older version of Windows is a likely cause for the error and it can easily be fixed by updating the Windows. Many a time, it could be due to a bug in the current version that you are encountering the error and it’s highly likely that the bug is fixed in the subsequent updates.
To update Windows 11, right-click on the ‘Start’ icon in the Taskbar or press WINDOWS + X to launch the Quick Access menu, and select ‘Settings’ from the list of options. Alternatively, you can press WINDOWS + I to directly launch the Settings app.
In Settings, select the ‘Windows Update’ tab from the left.
Next, click on ‘Check for updates’ on the right, and Windows will look for any available updates. If there are any, they will automatically be downloaded and installed on your PC.
After updating the Windows, check if the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error is fixed.
2. Run Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
Windows offers a built-in utility that tests your memory and identifies the problems with it. While there are many other third-party software available, the Windows Memory Diagnostics fairs better owing to the simple interface and effective testing.
To run the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, press WINDOWS + S to launch the ‘Search’ menu, enter ‘Windows Memory Diagnostics’ in the text field at the top, and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.
In the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool, you will find two options, either to restart now and check for problems or to run a test the next time you restart the computer. It’s recommended that you select the first option and run a test right away. However, save any open work to avoid loss of data.
After the test is run and the system restarts, check if the error is fixed.
3. Run SFC Scan
The SFC (System File Checker) scan is used to identify corrupt Windows system files and replaces them with a cached copy. It can easily be run through the Command Prompt or PowerShell, and is an effective fix for the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error.
To run the SFC scan, search for ‘Windows Terminal’ in the Search menu, right-click on the relevant search result and select ‘Run as administrator’ from the context menu. Click ‘Yes’ on the UAC prompt that pops up.
If you haven’t yet set Command Prompt as the default profile in Terminal, the Windows PowerShell tab will open by default. To open the Command Prompt tab, click on the downward-facing arrow at the top and select ‘Command Prompt’ from the list of options that appear. Alternatively, you can press CTRL + SHIFT + 2 to directly launch the Command Prompt tab.
In the elevated Command Prompt, type or paste the following command and press ENTER to initiate the scan.
After the command is executed, the scan will initiate and take some time to complete. The progress will be displayed on the screen, and you will be informed if any corrupted system file is found and replaced at the end of the scan.
Once the scan is complete, check if the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error is fixed.
4. Run CheckDisk
Check Disk is another tool that can be used to search for corrupt files. It’s more comprehensive than an SFC scan, since it scans all the files on your drive rather than just the system files and fixes them. Consequently, it takes more time to complete, hence we recommend running it after the SFC scan.
To run the Check Disk tool, launch an elevated Command Prompt in Windows Terminal as discussed earlier, type or paste the following command and press ENTER to execute it.
chkdsk C: /f
You will now be asked to schedule the check the next your system restarts. To do that, press Y and then press ENTER.
Now restart your computer for the check disk tool to run and check if that fixes the error. In case the error persists, move to the next fix.
5. Update Drivers
As mentioned earlier, outdated drivers can also lead to ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’. Although Windows generally takes care of driver updates, you can manually check for updates when you encounter an error. There are three ways you can update the drivers on your PC and we have listed them all.
Note: We have taken the case of the display driver to help you understand the concept. Once you have an understanding, go ahead and update the other drivers as well.
Update Drivers using Device Manager
First, press WINDOWS + S to launch the ‘Search’ menu, type ‘Device Manager’ in the text field at the top, and then click on the relevant search result to launch it.
In the Device Manager, locate the ‘Display adapter’ option, and double-click on it to expand and view the devices under it.
Now, right-click on the graphics adapter and select ‘Update driver’ from the context menu.
In the ‘Update Drivers’ window that appears, you will be presented with two options, either to let Windows search for the best available drivers on the system and install it or locate and install one manually. It’s recommended that you select the first option and let Windows take care of the driver update.
If an update is installed, check if the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error is fixed. In case Device Manager is unable to find a better driver, it’s time we head to the next method for driver update.
Install Driver Updates from Windows Update Menu
While Device Manager only looks for driver updates on the system, Windows Update looks for driver updates available with Microsoft. These are the updates submitted to Microsoft by the device manufacturers and released for users through Windows Update.
To update drivers via Windows Update, launch the ‘Settings’ app as discussed earlier and select ‘Windows Update’ from the tabs listed on the left.
Next, click on ‘Advanced options’ on the left.
Now, locate and click on ‘Optional updates’ under ‘Additional options’.
Note: Next to ‘Optional updates’, you will find the number of updates available, for instance, it’s 1 in the case below. If you find none available, skip the following steps and head to the next method.
Next, click on ‘Driver updates’ to view the various updates available for drivers installed on your computer.
It’s recommended that you download and install these updates. To do that, simply tick the checkboxes for the individual updates and click on ‘Download & install’ under them.
After the updates are installed, restart the computer if prompted. Once the computer restarts, check if the error is fixed.
If you couldn’t find any updates in the Windows Update, it doesn’t necessarily indicate that one is not available. Hence, it’s now time you head to the final method for driver updates.
Download Updated Drivers from Manufacturer’s Website
The last place you have to check for the driver update is the manufacturer’s website. Many manufacturers don’t submit the driver updates to Microsoft, they rather upload them on their official website for users to download, hence you wouldn’t find them in Windows Update.
Before downloading a driver update from the manufacturer’s website, you will need to identify the current driver version in order to ascertain if the one available is an updated version. To find the current driver version, right-click on the device in the Device Manager, and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu.
In the device properties, navigate to the ‘Driver’ tab and make a note of the driver version.
Now, go to Google or any other search engine, and search for the driver update using ‘Device Manucaturer’ and ‘OS’ as the keywords for the search followed by ‘Driver Update’.
Locate the manufacturer’s official website from the search result and check if there’s an update available. In case there’s one, download it. After downloading the driver update, double-click on the downloaded file to run the installer and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation process.
After the installation is complete, restart the computer if prompted for the changes to apply. Now check if the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error is fixed.
6. Roll Back Driver Update
Many a time, a driver update too could lead to errors on Windows. If you started encountering the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error after updating any driver, it’s time you roll back to the previous version. Windows allow a quick option to revert to the previous driver version. Here’s how you can do that.
To roll back a driver update, right-click on the device for which the driver was updated recently, and select ‘Properties’ from the context menu.
In the device properties, navigate to the ‘Driver’ tab from the top and click on ‘Roll Back Driver’.
Note: If you find the ‘Roll Back Driver’ option greyed out, it’s either because the driver hasn’t been updated recently or Windows didn’t store the files for the previous version. In which case, you will have to install the previous version from the manufacturer’s website as discussed earlier.
Next, select a reason for rolling back the driver update and click on ‘Yes’ at the bottom to proceed.
The update will now be rolled back and the previous version would be installed. Check if this fixes the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error.
7. Scan your Computer for Viruses
A system infected with malware or virus is also likely to throw the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error. A full system scan is more than capable of fixing this issue. We recommend using the built-in Windows Security app to run the scan, although you can go with any other effective third-party antivirus as well.
To scan your computer for viruses, press WINDOWS + S to launch the ‘Search’ menu, enter ‘Windows Security in the search box at the top, and click on the relevant search result to launch the app.
In Windows Security, select ‘Virus & threat protection’ from the options listed.
Next, click on ‘Scan options’ to view the various types of scans available.
Now, select the ‘Full scan’ option and click on ‘Scan Now’ at the bottom to start the scan.
The scan will take some time to complete depending upon the system storage and other factors. In the meanwhile, you can continue working on the system and let the scan run in the background. After the scan is complete, you will be informed if any threats were found and eliminated.
8. Reset the Windows
If nothing else works, your last resort is to reset the Windows. This works as a fix in most cases, but owing to the complexities and loss of data involved, it should always be the last approach. When you reset the Windows, you have the option to either completely wipe the system and reinstall Windows or save the files while removing the applications and settings. This would be your decision to make.
To reset Window, launch the ‘Settings’ app as discussed earlier, and select ‘Recovery’ on the right in the ‘System’ tab.
Next, click on the ‘Reset PC’ option next to ‘Reset this PC’ under ‘Recovery options’.
The ‘Reset this PC’ window now pops up. You will now be required to select whether you want to keep the files or remove everything, select the desired option. We selected the second option, i.e., Remove everything.
Next, select ‘Local reinstall’ when asked how you would like to reinstall the Windows.
If you are new to resettings, we recommend clicking on ‘Next’ to proceed. However, if you understand the concept, you may alter the settings as per your liking and desire by clicking on ‘Change settings’.
Note: In case you encounter any other Windows between this and the next one, choose the appropriate response to proceed.
Finally, verify how resetting will affect the PC and click on ‘Reset’ at the bottom to start the process.
It will take a while for the PC to reset, but once it’s done, the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error will be fixed.
After executing the above fixes, your Windows 11 PC wouldn’t throw the ‘Kernel Security Check Failure’ error anymore. So, no more system crashes from now on!