How to Fix CRITICAL PROCESS DIED on Windows 10


There are many types of blue screen errors on Windows 10. But, This article is all about how to fix CRITICAL PROCESS DIED.

When any of the Windows critical services crash unexpectedly, your PC may run into a problem. In most cases, It ended up showing you the blue screen of death with the stop code: CRITICAL PROCESS DIED. However, If you have been encountering it, you are in the right place. There are some effective methods to solve this problem.

When criticial_process_died appears, you also may see an error code 0x000000EF. But, The problem is the same. Solutions are also similar.

screenshot: Critical Process Died BSOD - Stop Code: 0x000000EF


It is hard to tell what causes this problem. Because, Any driver, hardware, software or a Windows update that goes wrong may create this problem. Usually, When an important system process stops unexpectedly, your system stops working properly. That process was needed to keep Windows active. As a result, Windows shows the critical process died in the blue screen and restart itself automatically.

These processes may crash due to various reasons. But, there are always ways to resolve this problem.


Fortunately, you can apply some common solutions to solve this BSOD. And any of these should work. Here are they-

Woman indicating critical process died on her laptop

1. Run System File Checker Command

Many people consider it as the primary troubleshooting option to fix critical process died blue screen. As the problem may occur due to a system component corruption, running the SFC command can work sometimes. Basically, This command is used to check and repair if any of your Windows system components corrupted or unexpectedly modified. However, To learn how to run this command, follow these steps.

SFC Command
  • At first, Open the start menu, type cmd, right-click on the command prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  • Now, Type the following command and press enter.
  • Now, It will start checking for corrupted components and repair automatically. This may take a while to complete the process. So, Keep patience.
  • However, If it finds a problem and fails to repair, you will see it. In this case, you will have to take additional steps. Follow, the next method for details.

Hopefully, It will help you to repair critical process died error.

2. Run DISM Command

If the SFC command fails to resolve your problem, it means your system components are seriously corrupted which needs to be repaired. In this case, DISM commands can help. It will also solve the BSOD you have been experiencing. However, To run this command follow these steps.

DISM Error 0x800f081f: The Source File Couldn't be Downloaded
  • At first, Open the command prompt as administrator like method 1.
  • Now, Type the following command and hit enter.
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  • It should take a while to finish the process.

You also can read this article: How to repair corrupted system components

3. Check for Hardware Problem

If any of the hardware connected with your PC has unexpected problems, it also may cause this type of blue screen of death. Sometimes, It can be hard to identify the problematic hardware. But, You can do the following things.

  • Disconnect all the external hardware (except keyboard and mouse) to see what happens.
  • Also, Go to Windows 10 Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot.
  • Now, Use the available troubleshooting tools to detect and resolve any hardware issues.

It should fix critical process died stop code.

4. Update Drivers

driver booster outdated drivers

It is possible that any of the drivers of your PC is incompatible/corrupted. As a result, you have been experiencing the critical process died error. It may be any drivers. For example, If you encounter this BSOD while gaming, it may be your graphics card driver. So, It will be good to update all of the drivers. It may resolve all the problems.

To update drivers, you can Driver Booster, Driver Easy or any tools you want. These can update all of the drivers with a single click. In addition, these tools are cable of checking and updating drivers regularly and automatically.

However, If you want to do it manually, follow these steps.

Update Drivers Manually
  • At first, Open the start menu, type devmgmt.msc and press enter. It will open the Windows Device Manager. There, You will see a list of drivers.
  • Now, Right-click on any driver you want and choose “Update Driver.”
  • Then, Follow your preferred method and do it according to the onscreen instructions.
  • After that, Restart your computer.

It may fix the critical process died BSOD.

If you don’t know how to do it, read: How to update drivers on Windows 10

5. Disable Fast Startup

In recent days, some of the users who encountered this BSOD have applied this method. Surprisingly, Disabling fast startup fixed critical_process_died on their Windows 10 system. So, I suggest you try it too. It also may work for you.

If you don’t know the procedure, follow these steps.

Choose What power Button do
  • At first, Open the start menu, type powercfg.cpl and hit enter. It will open the power settings.
  • Now, Click on the Choose what the power button does option on the left sidebar.
Disable fast startup on Windows 10
  • Then, Click on Change settings that are currently unavailable.
  • After that, Uncheck Turn on fast startup (recommended).
  • At last, Save the settings and restart windows.

It may solve this blue screen of death on Windows 10.

6. Scan With Antivirus and Antimalware Software

The problem you are encountering may be a result of virus problem on your PC. So, If the first three methods fail to give you a solution, you can run a virus scan on your PC. In this case, you can use a good antivirus program or antimalware software. This may help you to in many other cases too.

7. Uninstall Latest Updates

Generally, Windows 10 updates come with a lot of bug fixes, improvements. But, Sometimes, It also may cause a problem on your PC. It is possible that you have been encountering the critical process died error due to a bad update. You probably may have noticed it that you are facing the problem right after installing an update. In this case, I suggest you uninstall the problematic update to solve the error. If you don’t know how to remove an update, follow these steps.

  • At first, Open Windows 10 Settings by pressing Win + I on the keyboard.
  • Then, Navigate to Update & Security > View Update History.
  • Now, Click on Uninstall Updates.
  • At this moment, you will see the installed update names along with dates. Just, Uninstall the latest one and restart your PC.

After that, you should no longer encounter this blue screen of death error.

8. Perform Clean Boot

Any of the third-party software or services installed on your PC may create this BSOD. So, To fix critical process died, you need to follow this method. A clean boot can disable all the third-party services and give you a clean environment. It basically stops all services from being starting automatically during startup. So, If any programs that run during startup cause this problem, the clean boot will help to identify it. Later, you can uninstall/update/modify that program. However, Read: How to Perform Clean Boot

9. Repair Disk Errors

Sometimes, a minor or major hard disk error can cause unexpected blue screen error on Windows 10. So, you should take steps to solve this problem. It will also repair critical process died.

However, To repair basic disc errors, You can use chkdsk command. To do it, follow these steps.

Use CHKDSK Command in Windows to Repair Hard Disk Errors
  • At first, Open the Command Prompt as administrator.
  • Now, Type the following command and enter.
chkdsk C: /f /r /x
  • You can replace C: with the drive letter you want to repair. However, after running this command, it will ask your permission. Just, press Y and hit enter.
  • Now, Restart your PC.

During startup, it will check and repair hard disk bad sectors. However, To learn more about Disk repairing, Read: How to Repair Hard Disk Problems

10. Disable Over-Clocking

A significant of gamers may already encountered this BSOD. According to some users, a critical process died may appear due to over-clocking. Because they encountered it only after enabling the over-clocking feature from UEFI/BIOS. So, To get rid of this issue, I suggest you do the same.

11. Update BIOS

How to Update Motherboard BIOS

It actually happens rarely. If the BIOS/UEFI firmware of your motherboard is extremely outdated, it may cause performance issues on your PC. Sometimes, It may end up by showing you repeated blue screen of death as the critical process died. In this case, To resolve this problem, you will have to update the firmware. To know the procedure, read: How to Update BIOS/UEFI

12. System Restore

Still, going through this problem? A system restore may help you. If you don’t know how to do it, read: How to Perform System Restore

13. Analyze Dump File

If the BSOD still persists, you should dig deeper. Identifying the actual reason behind this stop code may help you to troubleshoot in better ways. So, To solve critical process died, Small memory dump files may help you. A dump file contains detailed information about a blue screen of death. It also shows the problematic driver or services that caused the BSOD. So, read this article: How to Analyze Memory Dump File

14. Clean Installation (Optional)

Basically, These above methods are enough to troubleshoot critical process died. But, If you don’t find any methods from here or any other places helpful, you may consider a clean windows 10 installation. It is basically the last option. So, Think wisely before choosing this option.

However, These are the methods that can help you to “fix critical process died” on Windows 10. If you know any other effective ways, you can share it in the comment box.

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Hasibul Kabir is the founder of TechClassy. He is a Tech Blogger, Web Developer & Hobbyist Game Developer. He loves to write on technology, mainly Windows, macOS, iOS, etc.



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