KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED is one of the trickier BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) errors in Windows. Lately, many users have been facing this error while upgrading to Windows 11 or just after.
Since BSOD is not new and has hassled users from time to time in Windows 10, it is well documented and possible causes for this error are known. Typically, faulty drivers or a misconfigured BIOS is the case for this error. Other possible causes include interference from third-party party antivirus software, corrupt system files, or damaged physical RAM.
Fortunately, it is easy to fix using the methods mentioned below. However, you might have to try more than one fix to completely resolve the issue.
1. Uninstall and Reinstall Graphics Card Driver
Many have found uninstalling and reinstalling the graphics card on their computer has fixed the issue for them.
To do so, first, head to the Start Menu and type Device Manager. Then, from the search result, click on the ‘Device Manager’ tile.
After that, double-click on the ‘Display adapters’ section to expand it. Then, right-click on the listing under it and click on the ‘Uninstall device’ option. This will open a new window on your screen.
Now, click on the checkbox preceding ‘Attempt to remove the driver for the device’ and click on the ‘Uninstall’ button.
If you have more than one graphics card, repeat the process for it as well.
Once done, restart your PC. After restarting, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile to proceed.
After that, from the left sidebar, click on the ‘Windows Update’ tab to proceed.
Then, from the right section of the window, locate and click on the ‘Advanced options’ tile present under the ‘More options’ section to continue.
Next, locate the ‘Additional options’ section and click on the ‘Optional updates’ tile present under it to proceed.
On the next screen, click on the ‘Drivers update’ tile to expand the section. Then, locate the listing for your display/graphic driver under the section and click on the checkbox preceding the option to select it. After that, click on the ‘Download & install’ button to initiate the download of the driver.
2. Disable Fast Startup
The Fast Startup feature on Windows is a hybrid power mode that combines the shutdown properties with the Hibernation mode. It saves some PC system files to a hibernation file when you shut down your PC. But it is also known to cause the BSOD error.
You can easily disable the feature from the ‘Power Options’ section in the Control Panel.
First, head to the Start Menu and type Control to perform a search for it. Then, from the search results, click on the ‘Control Panel’ tile to proceed.
After that, click on the ‘Power Options’ tile to continue.
Next, click on the ‘Choose what closing the lid does’ option from the left sidebar.
After that, click on the ‘Change settings that are currently unavailable’ option. This will require administrator privileges.
Next, uncheck the checkbox preceding the ‘Turn on fast startup’ option. Then, click on the ‘Save changes’ button to confirm. And check if it resolved the issue.
3. Disable Third-Party Anti-Virus Software
If you have third-party anti-virus software on your system, temporarily disable it. Third-party anti-virus software can often cause this error and they might be the ones causing all the mayhem.
Since the process to disable the anti-virus software is different for each program, it’s impossible to show you the steps.
After disabling the antivirus, check if the error was resolved. Otherwise, enable the software and move on to the next method.
4. Run Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
Windows Memory Diagnostic tool helps you diagnose and find issues with the RAM module installed on your computer. If the issue is hardware-based, this will significantly help you pinpoint the issue.
Head to the Start Menu and type Memory Diagnostic to perform a search. After that, click on the ‘Windows Memory Diagnostic’ tile to proceed.
Then, either click on the ‘Restart now and check for problems’ option to restart the PC immediately or click on the ‘Check for problems the next time I start my computer’ option, based on when you are comfortable with performing these checks.
If the tool finds an error, you’ll need to replace the memory to fix the issue.
5. Free Up Space Using Cleanup Recommendations
If you are running very low on disk space, it could also cause issues on your computer as the system does not have the much-needed breathing room to perform as intended.
First, head to the Start Menu and click on the ‘Settings’ tile present under the ‘Pinned apps’ section to continue.
Now, 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 on the ‘Storage’ tile to proceed.
After that, from the ‘Storage’ settings page, scroll down to locate and click on the ‘Cleanup recommendations’ tile under the ‘Storage management’ section.
Now, click on the ‘Temporary files’ tile to expand the section. Then, select the categories of files by clicking on the checkbox preceding each listing. In case you wish to select more categories of temporary files, click on the ‘See advanced options’ button. Once you have selected your preferred categories, click on the ‘Clean up’ button present at the end of the section to clean up selected files and free up memory on your Windows 11 device.
Similarly, click on the ‘Large & unused files’ tile to expand the section. All your unused and very large files will be listed in the section. Review each folder and select it by clicking on the checkbox preceding each list item.
If you wish to expand the list of files that you can remove to free up the space on your computer, click on the ‘See more files’ option. Once you have selected the required files, click on the ‘Clean up’ button to delete those files permanently from your system.
After that, click on the ‘Unused apps’ tile to expand the section. Next, if there are any apps present in the list select them by clicking on the checkbox preceding each item and then click on the ‘Clean up’ button to remove those apps and their data from your system.
Then check if you’re still facing the error.
6. Run SFC and DISM Scan
System File Checker and Deployment Image Servicing and Management scans will check and repair the existing operating system files installed on your device along with other system files.
First, head to the Start Menu and type Terminal to search for it. Then right-click on the ‘Terminal’ tile and choose the ‘Run as administrator’ option to proceed.
Next, if you are not logged in with an admin account, enter the credentials for one. Otherwise, click on the ‘Yes’ button to proceed.
Then, type or copy+paste the below-mentioned command and hit Enter on your keyboard. This will restore your currently installed operating system image on your device.
Once completed, type or copy+paste the following command to check and repair the system files on your PC.
If after the scan, you get the message that the scan was successful, see if you’re still getting the error. If it finds corrupted files in the scan, remove those files and the error should be resolved by now.
7. Update your BIOS
An out-of-date BIOS version is one of the major culprits for this issue. In the earlier versions of Windows 11, one of the base driver queues crashes in kernel mode which can cause mayhem. Fortunately, most motherboard manufacturers are aware of this problem and have released a fix for it.
But it requires you to update the BIOS version from your manufacturer’s website.
Note: BIOS entry methods, BIOS interfaces, and BIOS settings vary greatly from one motherboard manufacturer to another. So, it is impossible to provide you with detailed steps.
Enter safe mode on your Windows 11 PC. Then follow the steps to update the BIOS from your manufacturer’s website. After that, check if the issue was resolved.
8. Perform a Clean Boot
Many times a third-party software/service might interfere with the system and generate this error. Hence, starting the system in the clean boot can help you determine if the actual culprit behind the issue is a third-party software/service.
First, press the Windows+R keys together on your keyboard to bring up the Run utility. Then, type msconfig and press Enter on the keyboard to continue.
From the General tab, click on the radio button preceding the ‘Selective startup’ option and then click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Load system services’ option to proceed.
Then, head to the ‘Services’ tab and click on the checkbox preceding the ‘Hide all Microsoft services’ option. Then, click on the ‘Disable all’ button. Finally, click the ‘Apply’ button and then click on the ‘OK’ button to close the window.
Now, restart the PC from the Start Menu. Once the PC is restarted in the clean boot environment, you can check if you are still facing the issue. If not, you can enable processes one by one and check which one is causing the issue.
9. Reset your PC
In case no method has been able to fix the issue on your PC, the last resort is to reset your PC. Thankfully, you will not lose your personal files and folders. However, resetting your PC will remove all the programs that you have installed and also bring all the settings to their default configurations.
To reset your PC, head to the Start Menu, and click on the ‘Settings’ icon.
After that, from the Settings window, make sure you have selected the ‘System’ tab present on the left sidebar.
After that, from the right section of the window, scroll down to locate and click on the ‘Recovery’ tile to proceed.
Then, on the ‘Recover’ settings screen, locate the ‘Reset the PC’ tile and click on the ‘Reset PC’ button present on the far right edge of the tile. 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 Cloud download to locate the install by clicking on the toggle switch present under the ‘Download Windows?’ option to change the install method. 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 not be 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’ button to commence the resetting process.
There you go, folks. Using the above-mentioned methods, you can easily resolve the issue of KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED on your Windows 11 PC.