A Guide to the CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED Blue Screen of Death Error


You’ve encountered a rare thing — a Windows 8-exclusive Blue Screen of Death. BSoDs are historically very intimidating, but despite the name and appearance, most BSoDs are only temporary. This means that whatever error you’ve encountered can usually be fixed, though the process can be a bit of a pain. Previous versions of Windows flashed you with lines of code around the error message needed to diagnose what happened, but fortunately, Windows 8 put the message dead center and you were kind enough to document.

The Critical Process Died error in Windows 8.

Now? Now you should just relax. You’ve done the hard part.

CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED occurs when a process needed for the operating to run properly, well, dies. Processes are like programs, but multiple processes can be used by a single program- and processes directly interact with your processor, hence their name. The bad thing about this error is that it could be just about anything critical to the operation of your computer: namely, your hard drive, your memory, or, if you’re especially unfortunate, your processor.

When you turn your computer on, enter Safe Mode.

To enter Safe Mode in Windows 8:

  • Restart your PC.
  • Press Shift + F8 before the Windows logo appears.
  • Click See Advanced Repair Options.
  • Click Troubleshoot.
  • Click Advanced Options.
  • Click Windows Startup Settings.
  • Click Restart.
  • You then see a list where you can choose Safe Mode or Safe Mode with Networking (depending on whether you think you’ll need the Internet).

Once you do get into safe mode, be sure to check all of your drivers for issues. To do that, press Windows Key + X and click Device Manager, and from that menu, get Windows to check all of your devices for updates. If driver updates are available, install them. Be sure to remove any programs you installed when this started, and if, even after this, you encounter the CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED error, then it’s time for you to do a full operating system re-install.

Well, not necessarily. You have two options to follow here.

The first option is a clean installation. You will lose all your data, but this is almost completely guaranteed to fix your problem. Press Windows Key + I, click Change PC Settings, click General, and click Remove Everything and Reinstall Windows.

The second option is a System Refresh. You will not lose your data, but your base operating system will still be re-installed. This is less likely to fix your problem, but may still work. To do this, follow the same instructions up until General — and select Refresh Your PC Without Affecting Your Files.

Once you’ve followed either one of those instructions, your problems should cease.

Note: If you use a Crucial M4 Series Solid State Drive, you may need to install new firmware for it. Visit the Crucial website for SSD updates.

If you’ve exhausted the options given in this article, call Microsoft or your manufacturer for further assistance.

  • C.C. Nicholson

    Okay, so my problem is that I had this error out of nowhere and auto repair isn’t doing anything, but I can’t access system restore or refresh because I don’t remember my password. I set it once and forgot it, like an idiot. And everytime my laptop restarts, it just goes back to trying to do automatic repairs. Help?

  • ReviverSoft

    Hi C.C.,
    Your best bet is to boot from a Windows disc or Windows recovery disc and access system restore that way. You can then change your password afterward. Good luck!

  • ReviverSoft


    Pantallas azules a menudo puede ocurrir cuando un equipo sale de la hibernación. Usted puede tratar de hacer copias de seguridad de sus archivos y vuelve a instalar ventanas en este caso.

  • Aiman11

    Follow This Step !
    *Right Click
    *Run This Program In ( Windows XP ) – Service Pack 3
    *Tick Enable this program to work with SkyDrive File
    DONE !

  • Danii

    I am recieving the same error code, I have only had this laptop (Lenovo Yoga Ideapad 11) for 3 days. There is nothing I can think of that I could have done to cause this.
    The problem is I have tried what you first recommended, (going into safe mode) and it had said “Starting up with Bitlock”, and then it had asked me for a recovery key (and it informed me how to access it) when I put it in and pressed continue it seemed to have turned off. Now it does not want to turn back on. I know it is completely charged for I haf not turn it on until it had completely charged, I have no idea what to do. I have Windows 8.1. I hope you may be able to get back to me soon. thanks!

  • Amir

    Thank so mushhhhhhhhhh

  • Vivien Ysabella Loui Singson

    So I followed all the steps until I picked Refresh & still keeping my files instead of completely reinstalling Windows. I used a hard drive to back up the data while they did a recovery but when I restarted my computer, everything was gone–all the files & all the programs. Is there any way to get them back? There’s a file in my hard drive called BACK UP & I’m guessing that’s it but the things inside are all codes & when I tried opening them in the computer, it wouldn’t let me. Is everything gone permanently?

  • luke the lawless

    u have nanely instead of mainly

  • Arsen

    When I Turning on Safe Mode in Windows 8, Showing Blue Screen again

  • Jonathan Isenberg


    I’ve encountered this problem twice. Both times, the BSOD was encountered on a completely fresh Win 8.1 Pro x64 install. Everything installs fine, I boot to desktop, install the first round of drivers. Once everything is updated, I can reboot as many times as I like. Then, once I check for updates again (via the Control Panel), there are 10 new updates. I install those, then go to restart and (like clockwork), Windows 8.1 refuses to boot, stating the aforementioned error.

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated. Thanks to everyone in advance.

  • Brian

    I reload Windows 8 about every 6 days to 2 weeks. It never repairs. System restore never works. Safe mode never works. This happens on fresh install, even if all drivers are updated. Turning sleep off helps sometimes.

  • Rudinei Henrique

    então shift + f8 não ta funfano agr fudel sapohaaa.

  • Fernandez Roneillus

    Mine, NEVER EVER OCCURS, except when I open this certain program, (It’s a game, online game to be exact) The game would check for updates, then patch up, then when the actual game window would start, the program would be stuck in a black screen for 3 seconds, THEN BAM, this BSoD will appear, any way to fix it? It was just my first time going to play the game, and this f***ing thing just f***s everything up. I’ll repeat, IT ONLY OCCURS WHEN I OPEN THE GAME, IT NEVER OCCURS FOR A DIFFERENT REASON. Help me! And, thank you to those you DID help. I’m using a Toshiba Laptop (Satellite P55-A5200).

  • Vue Jackie

    Hello I have a windows 8 Sony laptop. I am trying to download the newest game called “Orcs Must Die Unchained”. I was able to download it but when I enter the login screen I have to update it. At times while it update my laptop ether freezes to the point where I can’t go or click anything but able to move the mouse or I will get the death thing. Please help me!!!

  • Graham Ansell

    I got this error during boot up,, every time I started, but when I plugged in my AC adapter it booted to Windows. Then I realised the battery was almost completely flat. Low battery was the cause of this issue on startup/boot.

  • Daniel

    Das mit Umschalttaste + F8. reagiert nicht.Was muss ich tun

  • Rational74

    Actually when I try to go through safe mode with any option, it goes in a continual boot loop with no safe mode in sight.

  • TonyVH

    Je n’arrive pas à passer en mode sans erreur. L’ASUS de mon frère essaie de diagnostiquer et de réparer ce problème mais rien à faire je l’éteint et le rallume et toujours “critical_process_died”. Du coup à l’allumage (quand ça affiche ASUS) j’essaie de faire maj+F8 mais rien…

  • Carrie Edwards

    I cant get passed blue screen on my HP

  • camille

    Je n arrive pas a mettre mon pc en mode sans échec. .. j ai un hp pavillon wouw windows 8.1 comment puis je faire svp ?????

  • Kathy Tarantino

    This is BULLSHIT advice for real!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • charity

    how to fix windows 10 blue screen of death thou ;/

  • Adam516

    I also need to fix the Windows 10 BSOD for this issue. Any help?

  • Georgie Orman

    Mine did it after finalising settings for my upgrade from windows 10 pro to windows 10 for Education.

  • LiveWire

    Coming up on Win10, as well.
    If you get Task Manager to stop explorer.exe, it will stop DSoDing, but you will have to run your processes manually through the Task Manager.

  • Adel

    What should I do if fresh install doesn’t help?

  • joecool1938

    It happened today and I am using Windows 10. I turned off the computer and restarted and so far everything seems normal. Hopefully, I will not have this problem again.

  • tio bag

    5 anos usando windows 7 otimo perfeito nunca mais nuncaaaaa vi uma tela azul, instalando e desinstalando jogos pesadissimos, usando tudo quanté anti virus, anti tudo , e nada de tela azul no meu pc………agora 60 dias usando windows 10 e essa DISGRAÇA DE TELA AZUL DIRETO. e vai me dizer que nao é erro da porcaria do win 10

  • IVAN

    Чуваки, если у вас возникла такая проблема и ничего не помогает, то просто установите винду на другой хард(если таковой имеется), если нет то форматируйте диск, отрезайте от него том размером в 15 гигабайт, делается это так, заходите в командную строку, вводите DISKPART, далее пишите DISK LIST, запоминаете цифру своего харда, далее пишите SELECT DISK и цифру диска, затем CLEAN, и последний шаг CONVERT MBR(На всякий случай), далее загружаетесь с флешки с виндой, нажимаете установить пропускаете ввод ключа продукта(если у вас его нет), выбираете свой пустой хард, нажимаете удалить, потом тыкаете на пустое пространство и создаёте том размером в 15000 мегабайт и ещё один на всё оставшееся пространство, на 15ти гиговый забиваете х*й, он вам больше не нужен, смиритесь, а на второй ставите винду, вуаля, всё работает.
    Спасибо за внимание.

  • I have this problem at every boot up. And I can’t even get into Safe Mode (F8 / Shift + F8). What the hell is going on ?

  • Collinz Obote

    Mine happened after updating from windows 7 to 10

  • Tony Wilson

    Exactly the same, never ever happened when I had Windows 7? who ever said progress was good, kidded the lot of us?

  • Teresa Gerlach

    I get this on Windows 10 DAILY. 8 never did it.

  • enrique miranda


  • Glenn

    Windows has been utter crap since 8 came out. I have gotten the BSoD twice this weekend! I have been using Windows since 1.0 (windows but no icons) and this “version” is the worst. I will be looking into Linux options,

  • Matthew Beck

    CRITICAL_PROCESS_DIED = A process or thread crucial to system unexpectedly exited or had been terminated.

    If this helps, please reply

  • arjun saini

    same screen while installing win10

  • robocart9(yes i am a gamer)

    have you tried to re-install the game? sometimes the game does not download properly and it messes up the processer when it attempts to open the game and even if you update the game it wont fix that.
    if it still occurs then try to download the game from a different website b/c the website probably is a fisher website.

  • Kamichama Techstarify

    Wtf.. deutsche Übersetzung ist mehr als super schrecklich…

    Also wenn ihr gut englisch könnt, dann tut euch selbst den Gefallen, und lest es auf englisch.

  • cluld be hardware

  • Thomas Maher

    I just got this error. Was running program from dell to check hardware and stuff and it crashed. Using windows 10 pro latest release.


    Hello i hope someone read this. When i’m turning on my laptop after windows logo BSOD always show. It is continue looping. Please help me.

  • Frazor 07

    When I am trying to shut down my laptop, this thing appears.
    However, I want to try the first step ( the F8 thing ) ………. will that delete my data?

  • Frazor 07

    someone fuckin’ reply me plz………..
    Will that Shift+F8 thing delete my data ?

  • manar tailouni

    Did you solve it because i have this problem when i shut down my laptop
    Please answer

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