Critical Process Died Error on Windows 11: How to Fix It

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Key Takeaways

  • To fix the “Critical Process Died” error in Windows 11, start troubleshooting by unplugging unnecessary devices, using Startup Repair, updating device drivers, and running virus scans.
  • Additionally, you can use the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter and the System File Checker (SFC) utility to diagnose and resolve issues with your PC.

If you’ve run into a “Critical Process Died” BSOD error on your Windows 11 PC, and it just won’t turn on, some frustration is understandable. There are many reasons this error occurs, and in most cases, it’s easy to fix the issue and get your PC to turn on normally.

Why Windows 11 Displays a Critical Process Died Error?

Windows 11 displays a “Critical Process Died” error for a plethora of reasons. A connected hardware device or peripheral like a printer or keyboard might be faulty, or your device drivers might be outdated.

The above error also appears if your PC is infected with a virus or malware. Such a threat might be interfering with your system’s core files, causing the machine not to turn on. This is usually the case after you’ve run a malicious file on your PC.

How to Fix a Critical Process Died Error on Windows 11

Since your “Critical Process Died” error appears for various reasons, and the exact cause is unknown, you’ll have to try and fix nearly all the items that can possibly cause this problem. Once you’ve done that, your issue should be resolved.

Here are a few troubleshooting tips you can use to rid your PC of the above error.

Unplug Unnecessary Devices From Your PC

One reason you get the above error is that you’ve connected a faulty or incompatible device to your computer. This device may be interfering with your system’s working, causing it to display an error.

In this case, unplug all devices from your PC you don’t absolutely need and see if that resolves your problem. Anything that isn’t a keyboard or mouse you could consider an extraneous device. This can include an external webcam, printer, scanner, and so on.

After removing the device, restart your PC and see if you can access the login screen.

Use Startup Repair

When your machine fails to turn on, and you get a BSOD error, you can use Windows’ built-in Startup Repair feature to fix issues with your computer’s boot process. This helps you resolve your boot issues and turn on your machine normally.

Windows automatically triggers the Startup Repair feature when your computer fails to turn on normally after a few attempts. If that doesn’t happen in your case, boot your PC from a bootable Windows 11 media drive, select Next > Repair Your Computer, and choose Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Repair.


Wait while the feature finds and fixes the issues with your PC’s startup. When that’s done, reboot your PC, and it will turn on normally.

If you continue to get the same BSOD error, boot your PC in Windows’ safe mode by choosing Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings > Enable Safe Mode with Networking. Then, follow the fixes given below.

Update Your Device Drivers

One of the reasons you get a “Critical Process Died” error is that your PC has outdated device drivers. You may not have updated your devices’ drivers in a long time, and those old drivers may be causing issues with your system.

In this case, update all your existing device drivers, and your issue will be resolved.

To do that, right-click your Start Menu and select “Device Manager.” Expand each device category, right-click a device, and choose “Update Driver.”


Select “Search Automatically for Drivers.”


Allow the tool to find and install the latest drivers for your devices. Make sure to update the drivers for all the devices you use with your machine. Then, restart your PC, and your issue should be fixed.

Use Hardware and Devices Troubleshooter

If your computer still isn’t running well, use the built-in Hardware and Devices troubleshooter to find and fix issues with your devices. This helps you detect and resolve problems with your external devices, fixing your BSOD error.

To launch the tool, open the Run dialog box on your PC by pressing Windows+R. Type the following in the box and press Enter:

msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic

On the “Hardware and Devices” troubleshooter screen, select “Next” and follow the on-screen instructions.


When your issues are resolved, turn off and back on your PC.

Check Your PC for Viruses and Malware

If a virus or malware has infected your PC, that may be why you’re getting a “Critical Process Died” error. In this case, run a full virus scan on your PC and remove any threats to resolve your problem.

To do that, launch the Windows Security app. In the app, navigate to Virus & Threat Protection > Scan Options. Here, enable the “Full Scan” option and choose “Scan Now.”


Wait for the antivirus to scan for and remove viruses and malware from your PC. When that’s done, reboot your PC.

Fix Windows’ Corrupted System Files

If your Windows 11 system’s core files are corrupted, that can cause your PC to display a BSOD error. Such corruption can cause many other issues as well on your computer.

To fix your system’s faulty files, you have a built-in utility on your machine. It’s called SFC (System File Checker), and you can use this utility to find all the broken files on your system and fix those files.

To use that tool, open your PC’s Start Menu, find “Command Prompt”, and select “Run as Administrator.” In the “User Account Control” prompt, select “Yes.”

On the CMD window, type the following command and press Enter:

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

Next up, run the following command to find and fix your system’s faulty files:

sfc /scannow

Run the Windows SFC command.

When you’ve fixed the corrupted files, restart your machine.

Remove Recently Installed Apps

If your “Critical Process Died” error appeared after you installed a specific app on your PC, that app might be the culprit. Malicious apps often cause many issues with your system, and yours may be one of those apps.

To remove that app from your Windows 11 PC, first, launch Settings by pressing Windows+i. In Settings, select Apps > Installed Apps.

On the app list, find your app, select the three dots next to the app, choose “Uninstall,” and select “Uninstall” in the prompt.


When your app is removed, reboot your PC, and your BSOD error should be gone.

And that’s how you get around a daunting BSOD error on your Windows 11-enabled computer. Enjoy using your PC!

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