A Blue Screen of Death or BSoD is shown when Windows 10 encounters a problem that forces it to shut down. The shut down is not normal and is the equivalent of the system crashing however, before it crashes, the screen will generally show you an error message and a QR code that you can scan to learn more about the problem your system experienced.
The System Thread Exception Not Handled error doesn’t explain much and if it’s a one-time BSoD, you can probably ignore it. That said, if you keep getting this error, you will have to fix it.
System Thread Exception Not Handled
The System Thread Exception Not Handled is generally caused by two things; old/outdated/incompatible drivers, or a corrupt system file. This error also generates a log file which can be instrumental in helping to solve it.
As for what the error message itself means, it’s a bit complicated but any operation on a system is run in the form of threads or processes. These processes or threads do run into problems from time to time. The OS is supposed to be able to handle them; it may restart a problematic process, it may skip the process that’s generating an error and move on to the next one, or it may try and resolve it. When these exceptions cannot be resolved by the OS, you get the System Thread Exception Not Handled error. The OS wasn’t able to work around it and it failed.
Analyze dump files
Windows 10 should be set up, by default, to generate a dump file when an error occurs however, if it isn’t and you keep getting this error, enable the dump.
Enable system dump files
- Open File Explorer.
- Paste the following in the location bar, and tap enter.
Control Panel\System and Security\System
- In the column on the left, select Advanced system settings.
- In the new window that opens, go to the Advanced tab.
- Click ‘Settings’ under the ‘Startup and Recovery’ option.
- In the new window that opens, enable the ‘Write an event to the system log’ option.
- Open the Write debugging information dropdown, and select Automatic memory dump.
Dump file location
To access the dump files, you must know where they are saved. Assuming you never changed the default location of the dump file, you can access it by following these steps.
- Open File Explorer.
- Paste the following in the location bar, and tap Enter.
- Locate ‘MEMORY.DMP’, and copy it somewhere that’s easy to access.
Note: If you’re unable to access the desktop because of this error, you can copy the dump files to a USB drive and examine them on a different system. Access the location of the dump files via Command Prompt from the Troubleshoot menu, and copy them.
Reading a dump file
A dump file has the .DMP extension. To open it, follow these steps.
- Download the Windows Debugger tool from the Microsoft Store.
- Run the app. Use the Ctrl+O keyboard shortcut to open the select file box.
- Select ‘All files’ from the file type dropdown.
- Select the DMP file.
- Go over the errors that are detected, and check which process or app caused them.
2. Update/roll back display drivers
Drivers are often why users see the System Thread Exception Not Handled and among drivers, the display drivers are usually at fault. If you’re running beta drivers (e.g., Nvidia’s beta drivers for gaming laptops), they may not be compatible with Windows 10. likewise, if you’re running an older display driver, you may have to update it to stabilize the system.
- Open Device Manager.
- Expand Display Adapters.
- Right-click your on-board graphics cards and select ‘Update driver’.
- Allow Windows 10 to check for updates and install any new drivers that it finds.
- If no driver updates are available, right-click the on-board graphics card, and select Properties.
- Click the ‘Roll back driver’ button to go back to an older driver.
- Restart the system after installing a driver or rolling one back.
Use safe mode
If you’re having trouble uninstalling the driver due to system instability, boot to safe mode, and then remove/update/roll them back. To boot to safe mode,
- Turn on Windows 10 but press and hold the power button immediately after seeing the boot screen (the Windows logo and the spinner) to abort the boot. Repeat this 3-4 times.
- When you boot for the fifth time, Windows 10 will boot to the troubleshoot menu because it was unable to boot.
- Go to Troubleshoot>Advanced Options>Advanced Startup options>Startup settings>Restart>Enable Safe mode.
3. Fix system files
The System Thread Exception Not Handled can also be caused by a problem with system files. You can repair them from Command Prompt.
- Open Command Prompt with admin rights on the desktop, or select it from the Troubleshoot menu if Windows 10 fails to start (see Safe mode section).
- Run the following command and allow it to repair system files.
- Restart your system and check if the error occurs again.
4. Rename a driver file
Updating or rolling back divers is simple but if you’re unable to boot to the desktop at all, you will not be able to remove drivers. In that case, you’re going to have to rename the driver file that’s causing the problem. Doing so will force Windows 10 to look for the driver and download it when it can’t find the driver.
You will have to consult the dump file(s) to learn which driver caused the problem or the BSoD error message may display it as well.
- Access Command Prompt.
- Run the following command to go access the root of the C drive and tap Enter.
- Run this command to go to the folder where driver files are stored.
- At this point, you must know the name of the driver file you want to rename.
ren NameOfDriver.sys NameOfDriver.old
5. Reset Windows 10
If all else fails, there is always the option to reset Windows 10. You can keep your files and apps during the reset or opt for a clean install. Either one will fix the problem. When setting up your system, be careful about which drivers, particularly display drivers, you install.
Resolving the System Thread Exception Not Handled error can be simple if you’re able to access the desktop and complicated if the system crashes before you can apply a fix. That said, it essentially comes down to display drivers and system files. It’s fixable.