Best Solutions to Critical Process Died Error in Windows 10/7/8

By Sophie Luo in Blue Screen Error

It’s a weekday afternoon and you’re composing a monthly report on your Windows 10 computer, then all of a sudden, your computer goes into blue screen. All you can see if the message popping up and saying that “Your PC ran into a problem…”. Then you see the error code: CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED. If this is why you are here, feel free to take a deep breath and relief: we have 4 solutions here for you to fix this problem. 


Well, Critical_Process_Died blue screen of death error, with the error code 0x000000EF, means that a critical system process is your computer died. The process can be so critical that it could damage your hard disk, your memory or, even very rare, your processor. But no worries, we got you covered. Read on and locate the solutions to this problem. 

How do I fix the Critical_Process_Died error? 

If this is the very first time you have this problem, your computer will restart and it’ll be back to normal. But if you’ve seen this error message many times, you need to do something about your PC, since it indicates that a critical system process is at fault. 

Annoying as this blue screen error may seem, it’s not hard to solve. Here are 4 solutions for you to try. You may not need to try them all; just work your way down until you find the one works for you. 

  1. Run a virus scan
  2. Update device drivers
  3. Undo recent changes
  4. Run SFC & DISM
You’ll need to be logged into Windows on the problem computer to try any of these solutions. If you can’t log into Windows, power on and off your PC 3 times to perform a hard reboot and restart it in Safe Mode, then try these solutions. 

1: Run a virus scan

The CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error could be caused by some spyware or malware. Even if they aren’t the dangerous kind, they could still cause the problem.

So before we go any deeper into solving this problem in other ways, you should scan your computer with trusted antivirus program(s). If you find any malware infected programs or files, uninstall and remove them completely.  

2: Update device drivers

In most cases, buggy drivers is the cause to a Critical_Process_Died blue screen of death error. You can try updating all the device drivers to the latest versions to fix it. 

You can update your device drivers by using tool provided by your hardware manufacturer, or you can search for it by yourself. Whichever way you prefer is the best. 

If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update your drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing.

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee):

1) Download and install Driver Easy.  

2) Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers. 

3) Click the Update button next to any flagged driver to automatically download and install the correct version of this driver (you can do this with the FREE version). 

Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All). 

3: Undo recent changes

Another big cause of Critical Process Died is faulty or buggy hardware or software programs installed. If you’ve recently installed some programs or hardware components, try upgrade them to the latest versions available or remove them completely from your PC. 

4: Run SFC & DISM

If your hard drive or RAM is corrupted, a blue screen of death error would pop up and force reboot your computer. This is your computer’s way of protecting itself from further damage. 

You can run two built-in checks to make sure that your disk and RAM are at a good state: 

  • SFC stands for system file checker. It helps you replace corrupted or faulty system files with new good ones. 
1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key, and type in cmd. Right-click Command Prompt and click Run as administrator


2) Type in sfs /scannow and press Enter

Wait for a while for this process to finish. Then restart your computer. 

  • DISM stands for Deployment Image Servicing and Management. If the system file checker can’t help you fix the blue screen of death error, you can run DISM as well. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be necessary. 

1) On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key, and type in cmd. Right-click Command Prompt and click Run as administrator

2) In the Command Prompt window, type in the following command one by one, and press Enter key after each one. 

Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

3) Restart your computer when all the checking are done.  

Last Resort: Refresh or Reset your Windows 10

If you’ve tried all the above methods but still can’t solve your problem, it’s time to refresh or reset your Windows 10. 

If you need more help, go to the posts below for more detailed instructions: 

How to refresh or Reset Windows 10 Easily? 

  • Arquivo IsoNel

    and the case of formatatting of pc?

  • Needhelpasap

    Hello. I recently received the blue screen error “critical process died”. I have tried everything and nothing works. Please help.
    I can only go to the troubleshooting page.
    I’ve tried to use a different previous system and nothing.
    It won’t let me reset.
    Repair does not work.
    I tried the scan and it said no errors but that did not work.
    I tried the 3rd option and it said error 50.

    Anything else I can try?

    • Sophie.Luo


      Sorry for what happened.

      This blue screen of death error could be caused by many different reasons, as mentioned in the post. We were wondering have you tried to update your device drivers. Fault drivers is one of the causes of this blue screen of death error. So we recommend that you update your device drivers now if you haven’t done so.

      You mentioned that you saw error 50 when you tried method 3, we were wondering if you could take a picture of the error message and send it back to us so we could see if we are able to help you with it.

      Also, you mentioned that your system refused to revert to its previous version, could you please tell us did you see any error notification or message?

      We’d appreciate it if you could tell us more detailed information so we are more able to help you.

      Thanks in advance for your reply.

  • Censored Dylan

    Whenever I try the sfs scan, it says it was unable to do it. It said it was unable to do the /Online part of the Dism scan. I think that using a previous restore point would work but when I try selecting the restore point it says that the drive doesn’t have system protection on it. The computer will boot, then display the error screen, then restart itself and display Startup Repair (the troubleshooting options screen). The error is always on startup so I can’t get to the graphical desktop screen, just the troubleshooting options. I’m running windows 10 on a EL1852G Emachines. Safe mode didn’t help at all. Please help

    • Sophie.Luo

      Hi Dylan,

      Regarding the first problem, you might need to go to the safe mode in your computer and try run SFC as administrator again. If SFC still refuses to run, please take a screen shot of the error message and then send it back to us. Thanks in advance.

      As for the restore point issue, we are yet to find out exactly what you mean by saying “the drive doesn’t have system protection on it”. If it’s not too much to ask, would you please also take a screen shot of this error message and then send it back to us? We’d really appreciate it if we have more information from you so as to provide better help.

      Thanks in advance for your reply.

  • Beth

    Hi, I’ve tried all the steps but when I write the third one (restorehealth) it shows error 1… I really don’t know what else to do. Could you help me please?

    • Sophie.Luo

      Hi Beth,

      So sorry about what happened to your PC.

      We’d love to help you out, but we need more information as to how to start. Would you please give us more information about the problem you had?

      You mentioned error 1, but where did you see it and what have you done before this error popped up? We’d highly appreciate it if you could send us a screen shot of the error message.

      Thanks in advance for your reply. Look forward to hearing from you.

  • Dave Cotterman

    all tests come back as passed. memory, cpu and hard drive. all drivers are good. safe mode has the same problem

    • Sophie.Luo

      Hi Dave,

      Have you tried the 3rd option, i.e. undo any changes you recently did to your computer? If not, it’s recommended that you do so. For example, if you recently added a new video card or sound card or have some external media such as DVD or USB flash drive connected to your PC, please remove them as well. Please also make sure that the newly added hardware are compatible with your operating system.

      If there is newer version of Windows Update available, please update as instructed.

      Feel free to ask if you need more assistance.

  • drpepper70

    This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever read.

  • J Reynoso

    how does this help when computer does not even boot up to windows in order to do any of this. that is why we are on here in order to get help and get into system.

    • Sophie Luo
      • Chris Wilson

        That is even more asinine. A clean install is not a legitimate suggestion on how to fix a computer that is not booting. That is what you do after everything else has failed

    • MrTom4

      There’s another way to boot to safemode if your computer is not booting normally is
      to turn on the computer and right when Windows 10 circles start to spin
      hold down the power button until it powers off. Turn it on again and do
      the same thing and power it down when you see the circles. The next
      time, 3rd time, you power it on it should go into Repair mode. Now
      you’ll be able to select some advanced settings if you want to do a
      system restore or boot to safemode and another repair method.