Are you facing the dreaded “Critical Process Died” error on your Windows 11 PC? Don’t worry; you’re not alone. This vexing Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) error can be a frustrating roadblock, but fear not—we’ve got you covered. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through the steps to diagnose and resolve the Critical Process Died error on your Windows 11 computer.
Why Windows 11 Displays a Critical Process Died Error
Before diving into the solutions, it’s essential to understand why your Windows 11 PC might be showing the “Critical Process Died” error message. This error can manifest for various reasons, and pinpointing the exact cause is crucial to finding the right solution.
One common culprit is malfunctioning hardware devices or peripherals, such as printers or keyboards. Outdated device drivers can also trigger this error. Moreover, malware or viruses can wreak havoc on your system’s core files, leading to the Critical Process Died error.
How to Fix a Critical Process Died Error on Windows 11
Since the “Critical Process Died” error can stem from several potential issues, a systematic approach to troubleshooting is essential. Let’s explore the steps you can take to resolve this error and get your Windows 11 PC back to normal.
Unplug Unnecessary Devices From Your PC
Start by disconnecting any unnecessary external devices from your computer, especially those that aren’t essential for basic functionality, such as external webcams, printers, or scanners. These devices can sometimes interfere with your system’s normal operation and trigger the error.
After unplugging these devices, restart your PC and check if you can access the login screen without encountering the error.
Use Startup Repair
If your PC fails to boot and displays the Critical Process Died error, Windows 11’s built-in Startup Repair feature can come to the rescue. This tool can fix issues with your computer’s boot process and help you regain access to your system.
Windows usually triggers the Startup Repair feature automatically after a few unsuccessful boot attempts. However, if it doesn’t, you can initiate it manually by booting your PC from a bootable Windows 11 media drive. Select “Next,” then “Repair Your Computer,” and choose “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” > “Startup Repair.”
Wait for the tool to detect and fix any problems with your PC’s startup process. Afterward, reboot your computer, and it should start normally.
If you continue to encounter the Critical Process Died error, try booting your PC in Windows’ Safe Mode with Networking by selecting “Troubleshoot” > “Advanced Options” > “Startup Settings” > “Enable Safe Mode with Networking.” Then, proceed with the following steps.
Update Your Device Drivers
Outdated or incompatible device drivers can be a common trigger for the “Critical Process Died” error. To ensure your system is running smoothly, it’s essential to update all your device drivers.
- Right-click the Start Menu and select “Device Manager.”
- Expand each device category and right-click on individual devices.
- Choose “Update Driver” and then select “Search Automatically for Drivers.”
Allow the tool to find and install the latest drivers for your devices. Be sure to update the drivers for all devices connected to your PC. After updating, restart your computer, and the error should be resolved.
Use Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter
If your PC still exhibits issues after updating drivers, the built-in Hardware and Devices troubleshooter can help detect and resolve problems with external devices. This can be especially useful if your error persists.
To launch the troubleshooter, open the Run dialog by pressing Windows+R, type the following command, and press Enter:
msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic
Follow the on-screen instructions provided by the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter. Once the issues are resolved, turn off and then back on your PC.
Check Your PC for Viruses and Malware
A virus or malware infection can wreak havoc on your system’s core files, leading to the “Critical Process Died” error. To rule out this possibility, it’s crucial to run a comprehensive virus scan and remove any threats.
- Launch the Windows Security app.
- Navigate to “Virus & Threat Protection” > “Scan Options.”
- Enable the “Full Scan” option and select “Scan Now.”
Wait for the antivirus software to scan for and remove any viruses or malware from your PC. After completing the scan, reboot your computer to ensure the error is resolved.
Fix Windows’ Corrupted System Files
Corrupted system files can also be a culprit behind the Critical Process Died error. Luckily, Windows 11 includes a built-in utility called System File Checker (SFC) that can detect and repair these files.
- Open your PC’s Start Menu, locate “Command Prompt,” and select “Run as Administrator.”
- In the “User Account Control” prompt, select “Yes.”
In the Command Prompt window, enter the following commands one by one and press Enter after each:
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth sfc /scannow
Wait for the commands to complete, and once the corrupted files are fixed, restart your computer.
Remove Recently Installed Apps
If you started encountering the “Critical Process Died” error after installing a specific application on your Windows 11 PC, it’s possible that the app is the culprit. Malicious or incompatible apps can cause various system issues, including BSOD errors.
To remove the problematic app:
- Launch the Settings app by pressing Windows+i.
- In Settings, select “Apps” > “Installed Apps.”
- Find the app causing the issue, select the three dots next to it, choose “Uninstall,” and confirm the uninstallation.
After removing the app, restart your PC to ensure the error is resolved.
The “Critical Process Died” error on Windows 11 can be frustrating, but with the right troubleshooting steps, you can overcome it and regain control of your PC. By following the methods outlined in this guide, you’ll be well on your way to resolving this error and enjoying a stable and error-free Windows 11 experience. Don’t let the BSOD stop you—take charge of your PC and get back to productive computing!