[Solved] “Critical Process Died” Error in Windows 10

If you are a Windows 10 user, you might experience the “Critical Process Died” error. This is one of those almost all-pervasive Windows blue screen of death errors that, in most cases, can be fixed by users themselves.

And that is a key point to bear in mind when you can across this specific error and, indeed, any of the many other blue screen of death errors. Most people’s first instinct (and, trust me, I know because I have been there many times) is to panic.

But I am telling you that there is no need to panic when you get this error. And that is because it, like many other similar errors, can be fixed by most users for the most part.

I am well aware that finding out what is wrong and then the correct method to fix it can take a lot of work. But, do not worry, that is exactly where we come in. Here at Error Codes Pro, we do all the research on our behalf, so you don’t have to.

And this error is no exception.

So, here’s what you can expect from this tutorial. First, I’ll explain what this error is. This is important because before you attempt to fix it you will have to both make sure that you understand the basics of this error and be also sure that you are indeed confronting this error and not a different one.

Next, I’ll go over all the different methods for fixing the error. Each and every one of the methods for fixing this error relates to one possible cause.

What Is The “Critical Process Died” Error?

So, before I go over the different methods for fixing this error, it is extremely important that you make sure that this is indeed the specific error that you are facing.

When you experience this error in a Windows 10 computer, your computer screen will go blue and the following message will display:

“Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We’re just collecting some error info, and then we’ll restart for you (0% complete). If you’d like to know more, you can search online later for this error: CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED”.


The error code for this problem is the following: 0x000000EF.

But there is no single cause for this error. In fact, there are potentially a few different causes for it. Each of the solutions that I will go over in this tutorial addresses one of the potential causes.

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There are a few different ways in which you can approach this tutorial. I would strongly recommend that you skim read all the different methods to make sure that you understand them and what is involved in each and every one of them. You should then attempt each one of them in the other in which they are presented here.

Having said that, once you have quickly skim read all of the possible methods, if you have a strong enough suspicion of what could be causing this error for you, you could just go ahead and start by attempting the method that addresses that cause first.

Some people may also choose to try out the different methods in a random order, which is fine as long as they bear in mind that they are presented in a specific order for a reason.

In any case, it is very unlikely that you will need to try each one of the methods. Most readers should stumble upon the right method for them early on.

And now, without much further ado, here are all the different methods for fixing this error.

Possible Fix Number 1: 

It is hardly surprising that one of the main possible causes for this error is a virus.

Malware or spyware are very often what is behind this error. Even the smallest, least harmful of viruses could trigger your Windows 10 to display this error message.

So, the first thing that you should do before attempting any other method to fix this error would be something as simple as to run your antivirus program or application.

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Of course, if your antivirus program should pick up that one of several files or programs have been infected by a nasty spyware or malware, you should definitely remove and uninstall anything that has been infected.

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As a rule of thumb, you should run your antivirus regularly instead of waiting for something to go wrong first. And although this might seem time-consuming, trust me, in the long wrong it will save you time and effort, let alone giving you all-important peace of mind.

If your antivirus program does not pick up any problems, then you should move on to the next method.

Possible Fix Number 2:

Once you have ruled out any spyware or malware, you should check out your drivers for any potential problems.

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This would involve making sure that all your drivers are up-to-date. Again, as with scanning for viruses, this is something that you should really do regularly instead of waiting for something to go wrong.

Checking each and every one of your drivers can be incredibly time-consuming and require a certain amount of effort.

But, luckily, there is a much easier and quicker method of ensuring that all your drivers are up to date.

If use a Driver updater, you could sit back while it scans all your drivers and highlight which ones are not up to date. This is not only the quickest but also the safest way of tackling this otherwise potentially exhausting task.

If you do not have a third-party driver updater, do not worry. Most of them do actually have a free version or a trial period in which new users can test it out at no cost.

Finding one of these updating programs could not be easier. Simply, go to Google (or any other Internet search engines) and look for one that fits your needs.

Once you have found one that you like (you might want to get online reviews of different the different options available), all you will need to do is download it and install it on your Windows 10 computer.

Then, launch the app and get it to scan your drivers automatically. Once it has identified all the drivers that have become out-of-date, you will be given the option to update them individually (so you can choose which one or ones to update) or update them all with just one click. I would strongly suggest that you get the app to update all the outdated drivers (if there are more than one) at the same time.

I know that doing this sounds like it could take some time and it will. But, trust me, this still takes a lot less time than checking each and every one of your drivers manually.

Again, even if this critical error is not caused by an outdated driver you should do this as it would prevent other potential blue screen of death errors further down the line.

Possible Fix Number 3: 

If checking for viruses or updating your drivers has not gotten rid of this specific error, then take some time to think about any recent changes.

“We had the Wondows app store in Windows 8, but one of the big changes in the design of Windows 10 is to make sure that the app store is front and center where our usage is, which is the desktop”. – Satya Nadella

Ask yourself if you had installed anything new (this could be a new program, for example), soon before the error message was displayed.

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If you remember doing that, then you would need to make a decision whether you would prefer to remove that program or component altogether or update them. But, whatever you decide, take some action.

Possible Fix Number 4:

The final possible reason why you have encountered this error could be that your RAM (rapid access memory) or your hard drive have become corrupted.


All you would need to do is to run two different checks. If you do not know how to do this, here are the steps you will need to follow:

  1. Grab your Windows 10 computer.
  2. Hit the Windows logo key and type “cmd” (no quotation marks) to get access to the Command Prompt.
  3. Then right-click on the Command Prompt.
  4. Next, click on the Run as administrator.
  5. Type in the following text: “sfs /scannow” (no quotation marks).
  6. Hit Enter.

Wait until the process has been completed and restart your computer.

Once your computer has restarted, you should proceed to the second check, following these steps:

  1. Hit the Windows logo key and typ “cmd” (no quotation marks) to get access to the Command Prompt.
  2. Then right-click on the Command Prompt.
  3. Next, click on the Run as administrator.
  4. Type the following command: “Dism /Oline /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth” (no quotation marks) and press Enter.
  5. Type the following command: “Dism /Oline /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth” (no quotation marks) and press Enter.
  6. Type the following command: “Dism /Oline /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” (no quotation marks) and press Enter.

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Wait until the process has been completed and restart your computer.

This has been Fixed “Critical Process Died” Error in Windows 10. If you have any feedback on this tutorial or would like to share your experience dealing with it and would like to share it with other readers, please leave us a message in the comments section below.

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