Trying to get some work done or playing a couple of games when you suddenly get hit by a blue screen with an error message saying ‘System Thread Exception Not Handled’?
We’re all too familiar with the widely ominous blue screen of death, but why does it happen? Getting a ‘System Thread Exception Not Handled’ error can be an annoying head-scratching experience.
Errors like this can occur anytime, but this is most prevalent during the start-up of Windows. ‘System Thread Exception Not Handled’ is an error that’s usually generated from either a graphics software issue or hardware-related problems on your PC/laptop.
Contrary to popular belief, getting a blue screen isn’t going to destroy your laptop. It’s actually a catcher program that acts as an emergency bug or glitch report to inform you if anything serious has happened to your computer. For this case, we’ve compiled a list of solutions to help fix your blue screen issue.
Let’s get started!
- 1. Launch Recovery Mode And Initiate Startup Repair.
- 2. BSOD Troubleshooter.
- 3. Update Your Graphics Card Drivers.
- 4. Reinstall Graphics Drivers.
- 5. SFC and DISM Scans.
- 6. Make Sure Your Microsoft OS is Updated.
- 7. Perform a Full System Scan.
- 8. Reformat Your Computer.
1. Launch Recovery Mode And Initiate Startup Repair.
This is perhaps the method that confuses most users at first, but if you bear with us, we assure you that it’s easy to understand.
Recovery mode can be hard to access; this is why you need a boot drive. However, you can also access this mode by restarting your computer numerous times.
First off, to save yourself some time, we recommend using this method only if you cannot access your computer at all or if you’ve exhausted all the methods below. If the bluescreen disables you from even turning on your computer normally, then this is the only way you can try to fix your PC.
Let’s start by explaining what a ‘boot drive’ is and why you need it. A boot drive is a USB/Hard drive that contains a fresh installation of Windows 10. Here’s how you can make one (choose respective to your Windows version). Having a boot drive allows you to install a fresh version of Windows on any PC or laptop, as well as have access to boot features.
When booting up your computer with a boot drive plugged in, your laptop should automatically initiate the files inside the USB. This bypasses the blue screen from your default system, giving you a chance to repair it. If you don’t have a boot drive, you can still access ‘Recovery mode’ through a different process.
Hopefully, this has demystified the enigma of the intimidating boot drive. So without further ado, here’s how you can launch startup repair on your PC:
- First, you have two options for starting up ‘Recovery mode’. Do either of the steps provided below before moving on to the next step.
- With your computer turned off, plug in your boot drive and turn on your computer. An Install Windows page should open as your device turns on. Go ahead and click on Repair your computer to proceed to Recovery mode.
- While your computer is on, hold down the power button for around 10 seconds to turn off your device. Power on your device once again and when you see the Windows logo (or another sign that your computer is booting up) go ahead and hold down the power button for 10 seconds again. Repeat this step one more time; this should be the third time your computer is reset. Now, power on your device. Your computer should boot up into Windows Recovery mode. If the instructions are unclear, you can double-check here.
- Now, you should be in the Windows Recovery mode. On the Choose an option windows, go ahead and click on Troubleshoot.
- Finally, select Advanced options and then click Startup Repair.
This method will attempt to repair any problems with your operating system and/or graphics card drivers before launching Windows.
2. BSOD Troubleshooter.
A basic tool that Microsoft included in its OS is the BSOD troubleshooter, which is quite literally coined as the ‘Blue Screen of Death troubleshooter’. This simple tool was built for the sole purpose of fixing and finding solutions for blue screen problems in Windows.
Thankfully Microsoft was thoughtful enough to program this specific tool for this notorious problem, which should ideally help save time for various Windows users. Here’s how you can run the BSOD troubleshooter:
- Let’s start by opening the Start menu by pressing on the Windows key on your keyboard.
- Now, type in ‘Settings’ and open the app that’s returned on your query and click on Update & Security located at the bottom left section.
- Then, navigate to the left pane and click on Troubleshoot with the wrench icon.
- Finally, under Find and fix other problems, go and select Blue screen and run the troubleshooter. Follow the prompts.
This should fix most general blue screen issues with your computer. Try opening a few programs, play some games, or continue whatever you were supposed to do and see if the blue screen continues pop up.
3. Update Your Graphics Card Drivers.
Moving on to easier and simpler fixes. ‘System Thread Exception Not Handled’ errors are often related to outdated graphics card drivers. Arguably, the most important aspect of a computer is its visual interface. This is what your graphics card functions for.
Graphics card drivers are the middleman between your computer’s processing and your monitor’s visual feedback. These drivers ‘write’ instructions that travel back and forth on your computer. With a dysfunctional or outdated driver, the slightest error can immediately cause problems with your hardware and can trigger a blue screen error like this.
Here’s how you can update your graphics card drivers:
- Go ahead and open the Start menu by pressing on your Windows key.
- Now, type in ‘Device Manager’ and click on the control panel from the query.
- Next, expand Display adapters and right-click on any driver and select Update driver.
- Choose Search automatically for updated driver software and follow the prompts. If multiple display drivers are listed, go ahead and update all of them.
After this method, your graphics card drivers should be at its latest version. If the issue persists, go ahead and proceed to the next methods.
4. Reinstall Graphics Drivers.
Having a corrupted or malfunction graphics card can cause issues even if you do update it to its latest version. Usually, software updates are done in small patches that add code to improve already-existing files in your drivers.
This means if you have a corrupted base file, all the added and updated ones might not function as intended. The only way to resolve an issue like this is to reinstall your graphics drivers, deleting all of its files, and downloading them again like new.
Here’s how you can reinstall your graphics drivers:
- First, open the Start menu by pressing on your Windows key.
- Then, type in ‘Device Manager’ and click on the control panel from the query.
- After that, expand Display adapters and right-click on your default driver and select Uninstall device. Your default drivers should be something like ‘Intel’, ‘NVIDIA’, ‘AMD’. If you’re unsure, take a screenshot and save it through MS paint before uninstalling all of them. This will be used later.
- Finally, once all the drivers have been reinstalled, restart your PC.
Use your earlier screenshot to compare your graphics drivers. If you’re missing any, you will have to search for the driver on the manufacturer’s website to download and install the driver.
5. SFC and DISM Scans.
Other than reinstalling your drivers, your PC might have corrupted files or sectors that need maintenance. Luckily, Microsoft programmed a scanning tool to help restore any corrupted Windows files and sectors right into your command terminal.
Functional original files are copied and kept in a compressed cache. Windows compares these files to your possibly corrupted ones. Your system essentially has two copies of its operating system and default settings, one that you use and the other for maintenance like these scans.
Here’s how you can initiate an SFC scan:
- Go ahead and open your Start menu.
- Search for ‘cmd’ and right-click the app that appears in your search query. Select Run as administrator.
- Now, type in ‘sfc /scannow’ and press Enter.
- The scan should take around five minutes, depending on the hardware of your system. After the scan is complete, exit the cmd terminal and restart your PC.
Hopefully, with all the corrupted files in your operating system cleaned and replaced, any operating system issues you’re facing has been fixed.
Alternatively, here’s how you can use the DISM tool to fix your problem:
- First, open your Start menu.
- Search for ‘cmd’ and right-click the app that appears in your search query. Select Run as administrator.
- Then, type in ‘DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth’ and press Enter.
- Finally, wait for the scan to finish. If you notice that the DISM is stuck at a certain percentage, don’t worry as this is perfectly normal. Once the scan is finished, go ahead and restart your computer.
Now that you’ve done both SFC and DISM scans any software malfunction from Windows related to your problem should be resolved. If you feel like DISM has fixed your SFC scan tool as well, feel free to perform another SFC scan after rebooting your computer (The DISM tool can fix your SFC tool if it is corrupted).
6. Make Sure Your Microsoft OS is Updated.
Perhaps your own PC’s OS is what’s causing you all this trouble. If you haven’t updated your operating system recently, here’s how we can start doing that immediately.
Updating your OS is incredibly important as this is the primary software that holds all your operations together. Regular bugs, glitches, fixes, and features are fixed and added on with each update which will only benefit your computer.
Here’s how you can update your Microsoft OS:
- First, open up the Start menu and search for ‘settings’.
- Now, select on the Settings app that first appears on your query.
- A window with ‘Windows Settings’ should open, click on Update & Security below.
- Next, below ‘Windows Update’, click on Check for updates.
- After that, if an update is found, just proceed through the prompts and get your system updated.
- Finally, restart your computer and proceed to use your PC/laptop as usual.
If you had a ‘Windows Update’ available, chances are all your problems should be fixed after the update especially since your graphics drivers are also at their latest versions by now. Test it out by running a few programs to see if the blue screen comes back.
7. Perform a Full System Scan.
Besides being a great habit for your computer’s maintenance, ‘Full System’ scans are a great way to fix errors you weren’t even aware of. There are different kinds of malware that can threaten your computer, some steal your information, but others are completely destructive.
If malware on your computer is deliberately disrupting your software and causing these blue screens, then initiating a full system scan should be your biggest priority. These types of scans clear through your entire computer, including the operating system. This is precisely why it’s recommended that you perform weekly scans on your computer.
This method can take a few minutes to an hour depending on the size of your hard drive and if you’re using an HDD or an SSD.
Here’s how you can initiate a ‘Full System Scan’:
- Go ahead and open the Start menu.
- Now, search for ‘defender’ and click on the Windows Security program.
- Next, click on Virus & threat protection which is indicated by the shield icon.
- Before you initiate a scan, go to Scan options and click on Full scan.
- Scroll down and click Scan now to initiate a full system scan.
- Finally, once your scan is complete, go ahead and see how many threats were found. Restart your computer afterward.
The full system scan should rid your computer of any malware that’s sabotaging your operating system. If the scan could not find any malware, then go ahead and proceed to the last method.
8. Reformat Your Computer.
If you’re completely out of hope, then you can always do this final method.
Reformatting your computer will wipe out all of your settings and apps while keeping your personal files. This will guarantee that your computer starts fresh, with software fresh like a new laptop.
Please note that this method will arguably take the longest time. Windows will essentially reinstall itself into your PC and can take minutes to hours depending on your hardware capabilities.
In Windows 10, reformatting is an easier task and can be done with just the following steps:
- First, open the Start menu and search for ‘update’.
- Once opened, navigate to the left pane and click on Recovery.
- Then, under Reset this PC, click on Get Started.
- A prompt should open regarding your files. Click Keep my files and follow the prompt until your computer is finally reformatted.
- Your computer should perform a reset on its own, go through your necessary preferences, and set up your computer like before.
Now your computer should be completely restored to its factory settings while still storing all your personal files in its storage.
If you are still getting blue screens despite reformatting your computer, then our biggest guess is that this may be a hardware issue. Though that should be unlikely since direct hardware issues will generate a different blue screen error, it’s not entirely possible. Perhaps getting your device checked on by a professional might be in your best interest.
That brings us to the end of this article. We hope that this guide helped provide solutions that helped fix your ‘System Thread Exception Not Handled’ error. If you have other questions related to this article or if you came across another alternative solution, feel free to share it below.
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