What to Do If You’re Getting a Red Screen of Death in Windows


Since Windows 10 was released, the software coined a reputation of being an unstable platform. Although it’s not true for all versions of Windows, the OS has its problems at times. We all know the infamous Windows error known as the Blue Screen of Death (BSoD). However, there is also a phenomenon called the Red Screen of Death (RSoD). This type of error does not occur as frequently as the blue one but it signifies more trouble than the latter.

All system errors are caused by a computer’s inability to process certain information at a certain time. Some errors happen in critical locations and that’s what should be addressed when trying to fix the Red Screen of Death. If you happen to be getting the dreaded RSoD error, here are some troubleshooting tips that you can try.


Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) is what the BIOS has evolved in to. Some hardware like the GPU, require constant updates in order to function properly. Those updates occasionally require some modifications to the BIOS/UEFI. What this leaves you with is a driver upgraded beyond your BIOS/UEFI’s capability and it can potentially cause problems.

Upgrading BIOS/UEFI means completely wiping the BIOS/UEFI clean and installing a fresh copy of it. So if something goes wrong, you can risk losing your entire system in one fell swoop. Keep in mind the following when upgrading BIOS/UEFI:

  1. If you are on a laptop, make sure it is fully charged or has at least 80% charge.
  2. If you are on a desktop, make sure you can’t lose power during the upgrade.
  3. Download the latest BIOS/UEFI update from the hardware manufacturer’s site (make sure you download the .exe file).
  4. Save every running program and run the downloaded BIOS/UEFI upgrade .exe file you downloaded from the manufacturer’s website.
  5. Do not power the system off during the upgrade.
  6. If in doubt, contact an expert to do this process for you.

OPTION 2: Remove Overclocking

Overclocking is not as simple as flipping a switch and getting an instant speed boost. You have to do it gradually while tweaking a number of things simultaneously and taking all the necessary precautions in-between. This kind of activity usually puts the hardware at risk of overheating and causing a thermal shutdown (when computers get too hot to function, they shut down).

STEP 1: Allow your system to cool down.

STEP 2: Launch whatever tool you used to overclock and then remove the overclock settings.

NOTE: Otherwise, you can go to your BIOS/UEFI and reset all settings to default (most BIOS/UEFI tell you how to access them every time Windows boots) and you should be fine.

STEP 3: If you really want to be sure whether your system is overclocked or not, press [Ctrl] + [Shift] + [Esc] to launch Task Manager.

STEP 4: Go to Performance, then check your CPU speed.

NOTE: If the CPU speed is much more than your processor’s speed range as stated on the box (or website for your processor model), then you are overclocked and need to reset your BIOS/UEFI to default.

OPTION 3: Check for Hardware Malfunctions

Hardware malfunctions are inevitable as systems age. However, in rare situations, some hardware does malfunction even if a system is new. Hardware failure can cause the Red Screen of Death. These failures are rather difficult to diagnose. The easiest solution woud be is to check a crash report from the Even Viewer.

STEP 1: In the Windows search bar, type in “Event Viewer” then select the Event Viewer app from the search results.

STEP 2: Select Custom Views in the left column.

STEP 3: Click on Administrative Events underneath it.

NOTE: Here you will see a list of every crash that has taken place on your PC past, present, and future. This report can help you diagnose which hardware is malfunctioning.

STEP 4: To see a copy of the error message, click on the individual error in the General tab.

STEP 5: To see the name of the device that malfunctioned including its driver version, click on Details, and then look at the PackageFullName.

OPTION 4: Remove the Newly Installed Program/Hardware

If you have installed some new piece of software, or added or updated hardware just before the problem started, then it might be the cause. Try running your system without the said program or try disabling the new hardware (if possible) and running your system.

For hardware:

  • Simply remove it the way you installed it. If someone else installed it for you, ask them to uninstall it.

For software:

If your computer is consistently giving you problems and you are not able to access your Control Panel normally, then you can restart it in Safe mode.

STEP 1: Go to your Shutdown menu, then hold down the [Shift] key.

STEP 2: Select the Restart option.

STEP 3: You will be taken to a Troubleshoot menu, and then from here you can restart in Safe Mode.

STEP 4: Proceed to uninstall the problematic software.

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