How to solve critical process died in windows 10 error? If you’re here because a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) with the error Critical_Process_Died message popped up on your screen, interrupting your task and causing your computer to reboot, then you can let out a sigh of relief: we have some resolutions for you.
BSoDs, also known as STOP issues or STOP codes, are part of the Windows operating system since Windows NT 3.1, which was released in 1993. Considered by many users as the most annoying part of the operating system, these particular error messages are displayed when a fatal system error happens. Their goal is to inform the user about the potential cause and prevent damage to the system.
Typical elements of BSoDs include software bugs, bad drivers, defective memory, power supply issues, overheating, and overclocking, to name a few. In addition, there are over 500 known BSOD error codes, including 0x000000EF, which refers to the Windows 10 error Critical_Process_Died.
What Causes the Critical Process Died Error?
The Windows operating system ensures that only authorized applications can access specific data and parts of the system. When a critical component of Windows detects an unauthorized modification to its data, it instantly steps in, causing the Critical Process Died error.
In most instances, the culprit is a buggy driver. For example, sound card drivers are notoriously full of bugs, and the same applies to specific printers and wireless expansion cards. But sometimes, the cause of the error isn’t immediately apparent. For instance, there are reports of the Critical_Process_Died error happening to owners of brand-new laptops, and it’s not unheard of for the error to spontaneously begin happening on a computer that has been running flawlessly for years.
That’s why it’s paramount to take a broader strategy and address multiple potential causes at once. You may start with any manner described in this article or try them one by one—it’s entirely up to you. However, we highly suggest performing throughout testing after every step you take, so you know which solution was the right one.
How to Solve Critical Process Died Error in Windows 10?
The following solutions address all of these issues, from poorly written device drivers to damaged system files to viruses to faulty storage devices. You don’t have to be a computer expert to implement them, either—follow our instructions and move at your own pace.
Safe Mode and Clean Boot
Depending on how deep the query causing the Critical_Process_Died error goes, you may not be capable to boot your PC. This often occurs when a corrupted driver is initialized as soon as Windows loads up. So if you can’t log in, how can you solve anything? The answer is easy: get into Safe Mode or perform Clean Boot.
How to perform Clean Boot in Windows 10:
- Open the start menu and type “msconfig.”
- Hit enter to open the System Configuration application.
- Enter to the Services tab and check the Hide all Microsoft services option.
- Enter to the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager.
- Disable all services you see.
- Restart your computer.
Both Safe Mode and Clean Boot should temporarily solve the Critical_Process_Died error, allowing you to apply the solutions described below.
Revert to the Previous Working State
Assuming your operating system had been working just fine until you’ve installed an update or a new driver, the simplest solution to get rid of the Critical_Process_Died error is to revert to the previous working state.
You can either manually uninstall the problematic piece of software or use System Restore to go back in time and use automatically generated backups that Windows 10 kindly creates for you before every significant update or system change.
How to use system restore in Windows 10:
- Open the Start menu.
- Type “system restore.”
- Click on the Create a restore point option.
- Under System Protection, click on System Restore.
- A dialog window will look and show you all restore points available.
- Choose any restore point you want and confirm your selection.
- Wait until Windows finishes making changes.
While the restore feature won’t delete your documents and files, it may delete some applications and settings. Windows 10 provides you to scan for programs and drivers that will be deleted when you revert to a previous version. Note all them down and reinstall them with utmost caution.
Aging system drivers can wreak havoc on any system. Some hardware manufacturers offer handy software benefits that take care of driver updates for you, but most leave this critical procedure up to users.
When you purchase a new device, go straight to the manufacturer’s official website and download the latest drivers of the support page. Avoid beta drivers as well as unsigned drivers from hardware manufacturers with a dark reputation.
Microsoft’s Driver Verifier can support you monitor Windows kernel-mode drivers and graphics drivers to detect illegal function calls or actions that might corrupt the system. This handy utility is part of Windows 10, and you can launch it by typing the verifier into a Command Prompt window.
Perform Hardware Tests
Whenever you built or purchase a new PC, it’s a good idea to test how stable it is. To start, we recommend you put your system under heavy load using a free stress test tool like the fittingly-named HeavyLoad utility. Of course, you need your laptop to stay stable indefinitely under any load, and if it fails to do so, it’s time to test individual components.
MemTest86 is the most famous memory test software, with the origin going back to 1994. CrystalDiskInfo can help you take benefit of the S.M.A.R.T. monitoring system included in all modern system hard disk drives and solid-state drives. With it, you can see disk error codes, identify a possible imminent drive failure, and more. In addition, a solid temperature monitoring program, such as Open Hardware Monitor, provides insight into how hot or cold your computer is running.
Use the System File Checker (SFC) Tool
System File Checker, commonly known as SFC, is a utility in Windows that allows users to scan for corruption in Windows system files and restore corrupted files. The utility scans for files that fall under Windows Resource Protection (WRP), which prevents the replacement of essential system files, folders, and registry keys installed as part of the operating system, as described by Microsoft.
How to utilize the SFC tool to repair system files:
- Open the Start menu.
- Type “cmd.”
- Right-hit on the first result (Command Prompt) and select Run as administrator.
- Type “sfc /scannow” and hit enter.
- Wait for the process to finish and restart your system.
Scan for Malware
With around 200,000 new malware samples released each day, no computer connected to the internet is genuinely safe. While modern anti-malware solutions offer a satisfactory level of protection against the latest cyber threats, your operating system can yet become infected, and you may not even know about it.
We suggest an on-demand malware scanner such as Malwarebytes Anti-Malware, AdwCleaner, HitmanPro, or SUPERAntiSpyware. These advanced security solutions can run alongside your current virus scanner, increasing your chances of catching even the nastiest cyber-bugs before they can cause any damage.
Keep in mind that you should ever address the root cause of the infection—not just put a Band-Aid on it. For example, consider disabling Flash in your web browser, install an ad-blocker, and avoid visiting malicious sites full of intrusive ads.