The ntoskrnl.exe file is directly associated with Microsoft Windows NT. In abbreviated fashion, the file name represents “Windows NT operating system kernel”. It can also be defined as a kernel image. This file is primarily responsible for providing layers for the kernel space in Windows NT. Additionally, this file assists with system services like virtualizing hardware and processing and managing memory.
Application: Windows NT
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Possible causes of Ntoskrnl.exe errorsThese errors are frequently caused by conflicts with the file or installation profile, misuse of the file or respective directories, or a malicious attack on the system.
- When conflicts arise on the profile or with the file, the application may be unable to transmit data between the necessary files.
- When a file or directory is misused or damaged, the application as a whole may be unable to load.
- Malicious attacks or infections on the system may render the entire system frozen or unable to perform any necessary computing functions.
Is Ntoskrnl.exe a dangerous file (virus, malware, spyware)?In most cases, the file is considered to be safe. However, files do become corrupt at times and some malicious files are disguised to represent known, secure system files. When that happens, they can be very difficult to detect and remove, but using a comprehensive system scan usually detects them and allows you to safely remove them.
Known Ntoskrnl.exe error messages
- File not found: Ntoskrnl.exe
- Cannot find file: Ntoskrnl.exe
- Device not recognized missing Ntoskrnl.exe file
Should I stop the Ntoskrnl.exe task or process within the Task Manager?Unless you have experience managing the processes and tasks on your machine, it is best to allow a system scanner or registry scanner to handle those tasks. Many of the tasks are required for performing specific operations on your machine and removing them may cause your program or entire computer to malfunction or reboot.
Should I download a new copy of the Ntoskrnl.exe file?The only time you should ever download a new version of a system file is when it comes through an application update or from the publisher directly. Be very cautious when downloading system files from third-party websites as they may contain additional software that you would install without knowing. This could cause an even larger issue than the error you are getting from this file!
Best way to fix Ntoskrnl.exe errorsWhen these errors occur, verify if any new hardware or software has been added. If so, simply removing the new hardware or software may resolve the issue. If not, follow the steps below.
- Scan for any driver updates for new equipment. If new equipment or programs have been loaded, they may require updated drivers. Download new, secure drivers and perform a clean system restart.
- Download and install updates for the operating system. Regardless of the operating system version you are using, it is always considered good practice to install the latest security updates.
- Use anti-virus and anti-malware applications. Most virus scanners will protect your machine from basic threats. To increase your protection, use a malware scanner as well.