Guide to Fix Red Screen of Death Windows 10/11

Learn how to fix Red Screen of Death via nine efficient fixes and how to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11 using data recovery software in this guide. And there’re some related tips for you.


By Penny / Updated on April 3, 2024

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What does a Red Screen of Death mean?

For PCs, a screen of death is an informal term for a computer OS error message that appears onscreen when the system encounters a fatal system error. These messages have been dubbed screens of death by computer users because they typically cause data loss of unsaved work and frequently indicate severe issues with the system’s hardware or software.


Most death screens have a background color with a message advising you to restart the computer. The most common is the Blue Screen of Death, BSOD error. Similarly, the Red Screen of Death is also called the RSOD error.

How do you trigger the Red Screen of Death?

Several possible reasons could trigger the Red Screen of Death. There’re common factors for your reference.

  • Outdated drivers
  • Failing graphical card
  • BIOS issues
  • Incorrect software configuration
  • Hardware malfunction

Computer red screen issues

Windows red screen startup: During the boot process of your PC, this error message might show up because of incompatible/outdated drivers or incorrect installation files.
Excel red screen error: When you use File Explorer to open Excel XSL or XLSX files, this error may appear as a conflict again with the graphics card or one of its drivers.  
The red screen on laptop: It might be something wrong with your graphics card.
Red screen Windows 10 with a cursor, and audio: It is most likely caused by your graphics card or drivers.   
Loading red screen: Your Windows PCs could get stuck while loading on a red screen.
Blank red screen Windows 10/11: It is most likely caused by overclocking.   
Nvidia red screen: Be sure to remove overclock settings and update your drivers.

How to fix Red Screen of Death Windows 10/11?

As mentioned above, if the computer red screen shows up, which implies there’s something wrong with your system’s hardware or software. Please get an overview of nine solutions before following one of them.

Fix 1. Launch your OS in safe mode

If you want to identify the source of your RSOD error, you can start your Windows 10 in safe mode because Windows only run essential drives and files. If the computer boots into safe mode and runs smoothly, which suggests there’s nothing to do with your basic drives and files.

Apart from that, this method also applies to fix the White Screen of Death. Let’s show how it works.

Step 1. Press the power button to turn off your PC > power on > when you see the manufacturer’s logo, power off again. Repeat this cycle three times, and you can enter the winRE (Windows Recovery Environment).

Step 2. When it comes to Choose an option screen, click Troubleshoot > Advanced options.


Step 3. Under the Startup Settings tab, click “Restart” first. After that, you can press F4/F5/F6 to start your PC in Safe Mode.


The first three steps of the second method introduce another way to enter Safe Mode.

Fix 2. Update your BIOS/UEFI

The software built into the computer’s motherboard is known as BIOS/UEFI. To address BIOS/UEFI problems, you’re prompted to restart your PCs by using advanced options. Then you can visit the website of your motherboard manufacturer. If possible, you can find the accessible update file there.

Step 1. Press “Win + I” to open Windows Settings and click the “Update & Security” button.


Step 2. Click “Recovery” on the left. Under the “Advanced startup” tab, click the “Restart now” button.

Step 3. Your PC will reboot into the winRE. Then click Troubleshoot > Advanced options.


Step 4. Select the “UEFI Firmware Settings” option and hit “Restart” to boot into BIOS.


Step 5. After entering BIOS, choose the BIOS update file from your USB drive. Please wait patiently during the BIOS updates process.

Fix 3. Update your graphics card driver

In some cases, an outdated graphical card driver can also cause the death of the screen. Please update it to the latest via the following steps.

Step 1. Press “Ctrl + Alt + Del” to enter the Secure login screen. Then click Task Manager > File > Run new task > and type “devmgmt.msc” in the window. Please click “OK” or hit “Enter” to open it.


Step 2. Go to Display adapters and right-click on it. Then click the “Update driver” button.


Step 3. Click the “Search automatically for drivers” button.


Fix 4. Check other hardware

If the graphic card is working properly and not causing RSOD in Windows 10/11, you need to check other system hardware because they might fail.

Please clean your computer and disconnect/reconnect all the PC components. Moreover, you’re supposed to ensure the computer fans are running smoothly. If everything is fine, your operating system may be failing.

Fix 5. Uninstall your recently installed software

Sometimes, your newly installed programs could cause a death screen. After installation, if there’s something wrong with your screen, you’ll be asked to remove these programs.

Step 1. Press the “Windows” button and select the “Settings” option. Then go to Apps.  


Step 2. Click Apps & features on the left, then choose the app you want to remove and click the “Uninstall” button.

Fix 6. Uninstall your Windows update

Users frequently change or update the motherboard and cannot reinstall their Windows operating systems. Maybe this is why your computer screen shows up RSOD error.

These steps describe how to delete Windows update files. Let’s show how it works.

Step 1. Press “Win + I” to open Windows Settings. Then click Update & Security > Windows Update > View update history.


Step 2. Click the “Uninstall updates” button.


Step 3. Right-click on your recently installed Windows update version and click the “Uninstall” button.


You can also reinstall your desired Windows update version as you prefer.

Fix 7. Remove CPU/GPU Overclock Settings

Overclocking is changing the hardware clock rate, multiplier, or voltage to get the best performance out of their hardware. Therefore, some users often overclock the CPU/GPU of their systems.


Although it may increase the heat produced by the CPU/GPU, overheating could cause a PC’s CPU/GPU to become unstable or permanently damage system hardware.

If you’re experiencing the Red Screen of Death, you need to remove overclocking settings as soon as possible.

Fix 8. Recover the atikmdag.sys file

Are there other ways to fix the issue of the Red Screen of Death Windows 10/11? You could recover the atikimdag.sys file via these steps.

Step 1. Go to C: WindowsSystem32Drivers and Open the AMD drive folder. Then copy your atikmdag.sys file.

Step 2. Enter “cmd” in the search bar and click “Run as administrator” to open the command prompt window.


Step 3. Type the following two command lines and hit “Enter” respectively.

  • chdir Desktop
  • EXPAND. EXE atikmdag. sy_ atikmdag. sys


Step 4. Rename the atikmdag.sys file to atikmdag.sys.old.

Step 5. After removing the atikmdag.sys file from your desktop to C: WindowsSystem32Drivers, you can restart your PC to see if this issue has been solved or not.

Fix 9. Change the settings .ini file

In some video games like PS2, there’s a similar bug called PS2 Red Screen of Death. To fix this issue, it’s necessary for you to change the settings .ini file.

Step 1. Open Documents > BFBC2 folder and find settings.ini file.

Step 2. Find DxVersion=auto and change it to DxVersion=9.

Step 3. Please save these modifications and try to reboot your PC.

Bonus tips: How to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11 with no effort?

If you’re bothered by how to fix the Red Screen of Death, please refer to the above part.

This part is going to help you recover deleted files in Windows 10/11 if you’ve suffered data loss. For those users with backups, you can restore your files from backups created by Windows features or free backup software.

If not, you’ll be prompted to turn to professional data recovery tools like MyRecover. Please get an overview of its powerful features and friendly design below.   

Recover the deleted/lost Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, photos, videos, audio, folders, and other 200+ types of data from HDD, USB, SD cards, and other portable devices.   
Judge the recovered files based on their original paths, filenames, and format.
During Quick Scan and Deep Scan, enter filenames in the search bar to locate your desired files or wait to find all the deleted and other lost files on your computers.   
Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems.

Download MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows Server computers!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Run MyRecover on your PC, and hover the mouse over the partition that includes your desired files. Then click Scan.


Step 2. Quickly locate your needed files by Name, Date, Type, Size, or Path. You can also wait to view all the deleted and other missing files after Quick Scan and Deep Scan.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Other Missing Files folder, and click “Recover x files” to get your selected files back. After recovery, please save them in a new location.


Wrapping up

What’s the Red Screen of Death? How do you trigger the Red Screen of Death? How to fix the issue of the computer red screen? Are you bothered by these issues? Please find desired answers in the first three parts.

If you need to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11, there’s no better way than using professional data recovery tools like MyRecover to get your desired files back.

Regular backups are the most overlooked data loss prevention tip. If you want to prevent data loss at the source, it’s time for you to back up files, partitions, disks, or the system using free backup software for Windows.

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.