Out of all the Blue Screen errors, the Critical Process Died error stands out to be most critical; literally!
You need to get a fix for Critical Process Died error on Windows 10 as soon as possible. It can render your PC useless and stop you from using it at all.
You can learn how to fix Critical Process Died error on Windows 10 by trying out some simple methods listed below.
1. Undo Your Last Activity
The easiest way to fix the error is undoing your recent changes. In the majority of instances, the Critical Process Died error triggers when you try to run a program or change some settings.
For your case, if the Critical Process Died error shows up after you’ve launched a game or reconfigured something else, you can try undoing it. Critical Process Died error could be linked to your recent activity on Windows 10.
That’s why you can revert and take a step back to fix the issue.
2. Check for Driver/Adapter Updates
The second-best approach to fix Critical Process Died error on Windows 10 is checking for the driver update. The high disk usage caused by your system adapters can definitely trigger Critical Process Died error.
An outdated adapter/driver could trigger this issue and make it worse if you don’t run updates. If you haven’t updated Windows 10 for a while, it’s time you do it manually.
Install the driver updates for your Windows 10 computer and see if it fixes the Critical Process Died error.
- Go to the Start menu
- Type ‘device manager’ in the search box
- Launch the Device Manager program from the search results
- Click and expand the list for all Adapters one by one
- Double-click on each adapter/driver
- Go to the Driver tab
- Click on ‘Update Driver’
- A new window pops up
- Here, select the Search automatically for updated driver software option
- Let your Windows automatically check for all available updates and install them
- After the installation is complete, click on Close
- Close all your windows and restart your computer
If you follow this for all drivers and get them updated, you may lower the risk of encountering the Critical Process Died error on your Windows 10 computer.
Checking for updates is a good routine to avoid Critical Process Died error on Windows altogether.
Uninstall Recent Windows Updates
Vice versa, you can also remove certain updates to fix the Critical Process Died error. You may try this only if the error triggers after recently installing updates on Windows 10.
In cases where the Critical Process Died error shows up after you’ve updated your Windows system, you can choose to uninstall the recent updates to fix the issue.
Well, here’s how to undo Windows 10 update
- In the Start menu, click on the gear icon to open the Settings menu
- Open the Update & Security section
- Go to ‘Windows Update’
- Click on Check for Updates
- Browse to the Update history link
- The Update history displays the successfully-installed updates as well as the failed installations with the corresponding timestamp
- It helps you identify all failed updates that could’ve potentially triggered the Critical Process Died error
- Click on the Uninstall Updates link and select the specific updates
- Click Yes to confirm the removal
- Later, click on Restart Now to reboot your computer and complete the task
Based on the particular update, this removal process may take a few minutes. However, you’ll notice that the selected update gets successfully un-installed after you restart your Windows 10 computer.
Now, check if you’re still facing the Critical Process Died error on your Windows 10 computer
3. Use System File Checker (SFC) Tool
Sometimes, system files can go corrupt and terminate a critical process. You can’t be dead sure if a corrupted file has caused the Critical Process Died error or not. But, in Windows 10, you can always scan your PC to find out.
Thanks to Microsoft’s core component tools like the System File Checker (SFC), scanning system files and repairing the corrupted ones is quite easy.
To run an SFC scan,
- Type ‘cmd’ in the Start menu search box
- Go to Command Prompt program from the search results
- Right-click and select ‘Run as administrator’
- Type the command ‘sfc /scannow’ in the Command Prompt window
- Press the Enter key to execute it
- Wait for the scan to finish
- You’ll see information on corrupted files detected and repaired during the scan
- Restart your PC
If the SFC scan detects corrupted file(s), it replaces or repairs it. After the scan is complete, find out if the Critical Process Died error still persists or not
4. Run a DISM Scan
There could be a case where an SFC scan detected corrupted files but failed to repair them. So, when your SFC tool didn’t work, you can try troubleshooting through Deployment Image Service Management (DISM).
It is a troubleshooter that can repair broken system image files.
To fix the Critical Process Died error, you can run DISM scan and deploy repair work for fragmented system image processes.
Here’s how you do it –
- Type “cmd” in the Search dialog box and press the Enter key
- Click on Command Prompt program from the search results and open it
- In the Command Prompt window, you need to type the following commands one by one and press the Enter key after each line
DISM /online /Cleanup-Image / ScanHealth DISM /online /Cleanup-Image / CheckHealth DISM /online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Wait for the procedure to end, and close the Command Prompt window after 10 minutes. Restart your PC and see if you’re still facing any dwm.exe issues.
Scan Your PC for Viruses
If you’ve recently installed or restored Windows on your system, the use of SFC or DISM tool may turn out to be useless. They won’t be able to detect corrupt files.
In such case, you can remove a malware or virus causing the Critical Process Died error freeware or third-party antivirus software.
Download an antivirus or antimalware software and scan your system files. Allow the scan to thoroughly check for virus on your Windows 10 or Win7 computer
5. Run the Troubleshooter
There’s one more troubleshooter fix for the Critical Process Died error on Windows 10. You can run the device and hardware troubleshooting tools on Windows to fix the Critical Process Died error.
In this fix, the troubleshooter tool runs hardware diagnosis on your system. It detects any malfunctions and reports back the findings.
To run the hardware and device troubleshooter,
- Go to the Start menu and open Settings app (click on the gear icon)
- Now, go to Update and Security section
- Scroll down to find Troubleshoot link and click on it
- Here, select Hardware and Devices
- Now, click on ‘Run the Troubleshooter’ tab
6. Perform a Clean Boot
Are you still facing the Critical Process Died error on Windows? If the above methods couldn’t get rid of the Critical Process Died error, you can go for clean-booting your PC.
You may want to try and put the OS in a clean boot state to identify which application is causing the Critical Process Died error.
To clean-boot your PC,
- Hold Windows key + press R.
- In the Run dialog box, type “msconfig”
- Click on OK
- The System Configuration window appears
- In the General tab, select the Selective startup items and uncheck Load startup items
- Next, go to the Services tab, and check the option for Hide all Microsoft services
- Click on the Disable all
- Click on OK to set these changes and restart your PC
Make sure to change the settings back to the originals after you finish troubleshooting.
Now, check if the Critical Process Died error is still showing up.
You can avoid a clean-boot and instead, roll-back your system. Performing a system restore can set all configurations to default. As a result, all critical processes on Windows 10 run routinely.
To restore your system,
- Go to Settings app
- Click on Update and Security
- Go to Recovery option
- Click on Reset this PC
- Now, go to Get Started and select ‘Keep Files’ option
- Follow the on-screen instructions to restore your system
- Restart your system later
With a system restore, there’s absolutely no chance of facing the Critical Process Died error on Windows 10, Win7 computers.
Was this helpful? Or have you tried to fix Critical Process Died error in any other way? Please do let us know in the comments below.
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