Ntoskrnl.exe Windows’s Ntoskrnl.exe process (Windows NT operating system kernel executable) is a Windows file that is responsible for multiple system services, such as hardware abstraction, process and memory management. It is also a kernel image that contains a cache manager, the executive, the security reference manager and scheduler.
This makes ntoskrnl.exe a fundamental file that plays a significant role in the smooth running of the Windows OS. When the file is damaged, or corrupted, it can make operating a computer next to impossible. It can also cause blue screen of death situations.
What Causes the Ntoskrnl.exe Error?
A ntoskrnl.exe error is devastating to a computer because of how important the file is. Such an error can happen for several reasons. Let us look at some of them:
When your RAM is damaged, it makes the normal running of Windows OS a very difficult task.
Outdated device drivers
Device drivers enable communication between the hardware and software components of a computer. When they are out of date, or corrupted, it often leads to performance issues.
If the CPU on your computer is unable to process effectively due to physical damage, malware, or for some other reason, it can cause the ntoskrnl.exe error. A CPU related error often has the following message: “Fix NTOSKRNL.exe high CPU”.
How to Fix the Ntoskrnl.exe Error
There are number of fixes for the ntoskrnl.exe error. Here is a list of the most effective:
1. Update the Drivers on Your Device
Drivers make the smooth running of the Windows OS possible because they are responsible for making the hardware components communicate effectively with the software. When they are corrupted or out of date, they cause all manner of problems, including ntoskrnl.exe-related errors.
You can update the drivers on your PC by taking the following steps:
- Open Start.
- Search for ‘device manager’.
- On the Device Manager app, right-click on the device whose drivers you want to update. Choose Update driver.
- Do this for every device.
There is an easier way to update the drivers on your PC. Here is how:
- Open Settings.
- Click on Update & Security.
- Click Windows Update.
- Click Check for updates.
This method will automatically update all the Windows files for you.
If updating the drivers on your computer does not help resolve the ntoskrnl.exe error, you can try the following other method.
2. Use the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
The Windows memory diagnostic tool will help tell if there is anything wrong with the RAM. Here is how to use the Windows Memory Diagnostic tool on Windows 10:
- On the Start menu, type “Windows memory diagnostic” and hit Enter.
- The app will give you two alternatives: to restart the computer or perform the test later. Choose to restart.
Once the test is complete, Windows will reboot and provide the tests results. If your RAM is damaged, it could be responsible for ntoskrnl.exe BSOD-related errors. You either need to replace it, or have it repaired. If, on the other hand, the RAM is okay, try solving the ntoskrnl.exe error in another way.
3. Check Your Disk for Errors
Just as happens with the RAM, disk errors can also make the computer behave in unexpected ways. Here is how to check your disk for errors on Windows 10:
- Into the search bar, type “cmd” to go to the Command Prompt.
- Run Command Prompt as an administrator and type “chkdsk D:/f”. Replace the letter with that of the disk you want to check for issues. If you want to check for physical issues on your disk, replace the ‘f’ parameter with ‘r’.
If your disk has any issues, you will be notified. They will also be repaired where possible. If this doesn’t help resolve the ntoskrnl.exe error, you can try the other method below.
4. Repair Broken Registry Entries with a PC Repair Tool
Registry errors can cause your computer to experience all manner of issues, including the ntoskrnl.exe error. This is because Windows Registry is a repository for configurations and settings information for all installed software, including Windows.
Repairing corrupted, or missing registry entries with a PC repair tool can thus help solve many problems on your computer. Apart from cleaning up your registry entries, the repair tool will also delete junk files, optimize your RAM and tell you which processes are taking too much computing power.
5. Reset Overclocking Settings
It could be that your computer is experiencing ntoskrnl.exe BSOD-related errors because it is working too hard. If this is the case, you can reset the GPU settings so that the computer is able to run more smoothly. You should, however, know that playing around with GPU settings is not something that is recommended. It is best to pursue this method if you are sure that someone had changed overclocking settings on your computer sometime back.
You can manually change the GPU settings on your computer but it is best to use any free overclocking software. That way, fewer mistakes can be made as most overclocking tools have extensive guides.
Hopefully, this article has helped you resolve ntoskrnl.exe-related issues. If you have any comments, suggestions or questions to ask, feel free to use the comment section below.
A Computer Engineer by degree and a writer by profession, Cathy Trimidal writes for Software Tested and Outbyte. For years now, she has contributed articles focusing on the trends in IT, VPN, web apps, SEO, and digital marketing. Although she spends most of her days living in a virtual realm, she still finds time to satisfy her infinite list of interests.