KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED is one of the most dangerous BSOD errors on Windows 10 and older versions, because it usually leads to total system failure. On top of that, it might be difficult to determine the root of the problem for troubleshooting.
If you stumble upon this error only once and get it fixed by rebooting your PC, it’s not really an issue. It becomes problematic when you must face KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED every time you launch Windows and try to work or play.
What causes the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED stop code?
The stop code can be caused by various issues at the software level, hardware level, or both. For instance, installed programs could overwrite each other’s memory, resulting in conflicts, corrupt applications, system stability issues, and ultimately a full Windows crash.
If the processor’s kernel mode throws an exception error that can’t be identified by the error handler, this can lead to KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED with 0x0000001E error code.
Sometimes, the stop code is accompanied by a filename, which makes troubleshooting a lot easier since you can look up more information about the file on the Internet.
How to fix KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED
There are multiple ways to repair a Blue Screen or Death message with the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED BSOD error code, depending on its cause: software or hardware.
Since it’s hard to evaluate this, you should start with software solutions and work your way up to hardware fixes. It’s simpler that way.
Some of the following workarounds are suitable for casual users. However, we can’t overlook more elaborate solutions, so we reserved the last part for skilled individuals.
Before getting started, we strongly recommend you create a system restore point. It will spare you from headaches in case you make a wrong move and must undo all changes. Better yet, create a full system backup if you can.
Certain users don’t even get the chance to do something on their computer due to the KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED error that sends their operating system into a restart loop. If you’re one of them, you can boot Windows in safe mode to load only the required drivers.
1. Disable Fast Startup
Fast Startup is a feature introduced in Windows 8 and migrated to Windows 10. It allows the operating system to boot, shut down, and wake up from hibernation faster because it doesn’t entirely turn off all processes, services, and drivers.
If the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED BSOD stop code is caused by faulty drivers, then you should deactivate Fast Startup to prevent it from reloading all drivers while doing its job.
Here’s how to disable Fast Startup on Windows 10:
- Make sure you’re logged in as the administrator
- Press Win key + R, type control panel, and hit Enter
- Find and click Power Options
- Click Choose what the power buttons do on the left side
- Click Change settings that are currently unavailable
- Disable Turn on fast startup (recommended) and click Save changes
- Reboot your computer
In certain cases, switching off Fast Startup is enough to fix the KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED stop code. It should at least give you more time working on other solutions before Windows receives the BSOD message again.
2. Turn off startup programs
Startup programs are the ones that get launched automatically as soon as you boot Windows. You might have noticed that some applications do this as soon as you install them on your PC.
Having too many startup apps results in a slower boot time. If one of those programs overwrites the memory of another, it can lead to KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED.
You can fix this by disabling startup apps:
- Right-click the Windows 10 taskbar and select Task Manager
- Go to the Startup tab
- If you have numerous entries here, click Status to sort the apps (Enabled first)
- Right-click each entry with the Enabled status and select Disabled
- Restart your computer
To conduct more research on startup programs, you can download Microsoft’s Autoruns utility from the official website. It shows the registry entry of each startup process and can check it for malware almost instantly by uploading its hash to VirusTotal.
Find out more information about turning off startup programs on Windows 10.
3. Uninstall recent applications
If you have recently installed software programs and began experiencing the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED error right afterward, they could be the reason behind your troubles.
However, you should be able to fix this problem by removing the applications from your computer. For example, it has been reported that ON/OFF Gigabyte triggers the BSOD error, along with certain VPN services and antivirus tools.
Here’s how to remove recent programs:
- Right-click the Windows 10 Start menu and select Apps and Features
- Set Sort by to Install date to list your apps by date (newest first)
- Pick the first program. If you wish to eliminate any uncertainty, you can run a quick Google search to see if that application has caused troubles to other users, too. Then, click Uninstall and proceed with the removal process
- Restart your computer to see if you still get the KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED error
4. Restore Windows to a previous checkpoint
The easiest way to undo the damage caused by a bad driver or corrupt process is by using System Recovery. It’s not a reliable method, though, because it sometimes doesn’t work at all. But you can still give it a shot.
- Press Win key + R, type control panel, and hit Enter
- Click Recovery
- Click Open System Restore
- Choose a checkpoint from the list, click Next, and follow the on-screen instructions.
5. Run a malware scan
A malware infection can do heavy damage on your operating system, even triggering BSOD errors like KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED by overwriting data. So it’s a good idea to run a malware scan and clear your computer of any pests.
If you’re running Windows 10 and don’t have a third-party antivirus solution installed, then you have to use Windows Defender.
- Click the Windows 10 Start button, type Windows Security, and launch this app
- Select Virus & threat protection
- Click Scan options
- Select Quick scan and press Scan now
- If no malware results show up, run another scan using the Windows Defender Offline scan mode
6. Disable your antivirus software
Your anti-malware application may affect other running programs which are essential for Windows. This could also lead to the KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED error code.
To fix this problem, you just have to deactivate your antivirus program. It’s usually impossible to end its process from Task Manager or exit the application due to security reasons.
However, you should be able to turn off the real-time detection engine. In the worst case scenario that you can’t do that, then simply uninstall the antivirus program.
7. Check your drivers
Obsolete, incompatible, missing, or faulty drivers are usually the cause of the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED stop code. That’s why it’s essential to check if they are running properly. It’s a multi-part process.
Here’s how to reinstall drivers easily:
- Right-click the Windows 10 Start button and pick Device Manager
- Right-click a device from the list and select Uninstall device
- Reboot your PC. The driver will be automatically reinstalled by Windows
The method above is the equivalent of getting Windows to work properly by turning it off and on again. But it doesn’t always do the trick.
It’s possible that your drivers are outdated. You can try updating them by asking Windows to search for updated driver software automatically. Unfortunately, this method often fails.
As an alternative solution, you can look up the drivers on your manufacturer’s website. DriverVerifier is an excellent tool that can help you identify the drivers of your machine. You have to be careful, though, since there’s the risk of accidentally installing an incompatible driver.
A safer solution is to use a driver updating application. It can automatically detect the old drivers on your PC, find newer versions on the Internet, then quickly download and install them on your machine, ensuring driver compatibility.
8. Free up disk space
Numerous computer problems are caused by insufficient disk space. Windows always needs room to carry out tasks, execute commands, and ensure that all programs are functioning correctly.
Have a look at the Properties panel of your partition where your OS is installed (it’s usually C:). If there’s only a small percent of free disk space available, it’s time to get more.
Copy files to another partition or an external storage device, upload them to the cloud, or simply delete the ones you don’t need anymore.
You can also use the Windows Disk Cleanup utility:
- Make sure you’re logged in with elevation rights
- Review your Recycle Bin and Downloads folder to copy any critical files you might need
- Open the Properties panel of the Windows drive (by default, it’s C:)
- Go to the General tab and click the Disk Cleanup button
- Select everything from the list and click Clean up system files
- Windows will run a scan. Once it finishes, select everything again, click OK and then Delete Files
9. Check your RAM
A faulty memory could result in a fatal hardware issue by triggering BSOD errors and driver corruption. However, you can easily fix it using the memory diagnostics program integrated into Windows.
- Save any ongoing projects and close all applications
- Click the Start menu, search for Windows Memory Diagnostic, and launch this app
- Click Restart now and check for problems
The tool will check your operating system for RAM issues during the next reboot and provide you with all the necessary details.
If you’re looking for a more advanced tool, check out MemTest.
10. Run a clean boot
To prevent Windows from running any extra drivers, processes and services at startup that would cause the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED error, you can run a clean boot.
- Click the Start menu, type System Configuration, and open this app
- Pick the Services tab, deselect Hide all Microsoft services, and click Disable all
- Visit the Startup tab and click Open Task Manager
- Terminate all currently active tasks
- Reboot your computer
11. Use Event Viewer
You can launch Event Viewer, the operating system’s own diagnostics utility, to find out more information about the BSOD error, including its triggering processes or services.
- Once your computer gets restarted after receiving the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED stop code, immediately open the Start menu, type event viewer, and hit Enter
- In the Windows Logs folder on the left, select System
- Click the first (newest) Error you spot on the list and use the General tab to obtain more information about it
12. Fix system errors from CMD
You don’t really need to have any special skills in order to work with Command Prompt since you can copy and paste the commands below.
However, make sure to create a system restore point before proceeding. Furthermore, you should save any ongoing projects and close all applications.
Here’s how to run CHKDSK (Check Disk):
- Press Win key + R, type cmd, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with elevation rights
- If your OS resides in Local Drive C:, then type
chkdsk c: /f. Otherwise, replace
c:with the correct letter of your partition
- You will be asked to agree with scheduling the disk checkup at the next system reboot. Type y and press Enter
- Restart your computer and wait until CHKDSK does its job
You can count on the Check Disk utility to fix any corruption at the hard disk level, which should help handle the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED error, too. But, if it doesn’t, proceed to the next step.
Here’s how to run SFC (System File Checker):
- Launch as admin
sfc /scannowand press Enter
- Wait until the scan and repair is complete
- Restart your computer
System File Checker is designed to fix corrupt system files, making it a great solution for troubleshooting BSOD issues. It this tool doesn’t work either, try the next one:
Here’s how to run DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management):
DISM checks for corrupt files in the component store of the Windows image, which CHKDSK and SFC can’t reach. It’s a good way to get rid of the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED problem.
13. Update your BIOS
- Find out your current BIOS version
- Visit the manufacturer website of your BIOS model to download the latest BIOS version
- Unzip the downloaded BIOS file and copy it to a USB flash drive
- Plug the flash drive into your PC, reboot, and enter BIOS by pressing the key or key combination displayed on your screen
- Locate the BIOS update tool and create a backup of your current firmware
- Load the newest BIOS version in the firmware updating utility and proceed with its installation
- Wait until the update is complete, and then you can reboot your PC
14. Remove and reseat all hardware parts
If your hardware components aren’t properly connected to the computer, it could result in fatal system errors like KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED. To solve this, you have to remove and reseat all cards and cables.
Pay special attention to the BIOS, GPU and RAM cards. You should also check hardware compatibility to make sure the pieces work well together as well as with your Windows version.
To sum up, you should be able to fix the KMODE EXCEPTION NOT HANDLED error by turning off the Windows 10 Fast Startup, disabling startup programs, and uninstalling recent applications with compatibility issues.
You could also restore Windows to a previous checkpoint, run a malware scan, disable your antivirus software, check your drivers, and free up disk space.
If that doesn’t work either, make sure to check your RAM, run a clean system boot and use Event Viewer to get more details about the error.
It’s also advisable to fix system corruption issues from the Command Prompt, update your BIOS to the latest version, as well as to remove and reseat all hardware parts.
Did these solutions work for you? Did we miss any important steps? Let us know in the comment section below.