How Can You Fix “EXCEPTION ILLEGAL INSTRUCTION” Error in Windows 10 and 11

Fix & Repair Solved issue

Question asked by:

Meike M.

Issue:

Getting an error called Exception Illegal Instruction error

Stumbled upon an 'exception Illegal Instruction' error and not sure what to do. Can you help me guys?
Appreciate it!
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EXCEPTION ILLEGAL INSTRUCTION error is a type of error on Windows 11 or Windows 10 that happens when an application tries to execute an instruction that the processor does not support. This can cause the application to crash or the system to show a blue screen of death (BSOD)1. Needless to say it can greatly affect your work or entertainment. We’ve also written a guide explaining what BSOD is & how to fix it here.

But in this guide, we’re going to explore how we can fix this particular “EXCEPTION_ILLEGAL_INSTRUCTION” error.

This problem typically indicates that the PC lacks some essential parts required to run specific programs, which may include the error 0xC000001D. This issue happens more frequently while launching games, especially on Steam (note: steam DLL errors are also common).
Further, this device driver error can happen with different applications, such as games, editing software, and web browsers. It does not matter what kind of application you are using. This error can happen at any time and disrupt your activities.

In this guide, we’ll be focusing on 7 advanced solutions on how you can fix the error yourself.

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Fix EXCEPTION ILLEGAL INSTRUCTION Error

Main Reasons for This Error

As mentioned there are many possible reasons why this error can happen. Some of them are:

  • The PC needs some essential components that are needed to run the application.
  • An outdated or corrupted file that needs to be updated or reinstalled.
  • The operating system or drivers2 are incompatible with the application and must be updated.
  • Computer hardware is faulty or damaged and needs to be repaired or replaced.

A crash report is usually generated when this error occurs, and this report has essential details about the crash, such as the application that caused it and the system components that may be faulty. Examining this report, you can find the main reason for the error.

NOTE: Sometimes this error goes together with Exception Access Violation error.

Now let’s see all the possible solutions on how you can fix the mentioned error.

7 Solutions to Fix “Exception Illegal Instructions” System Error

Our technicians and developers test each of these solutions at WindowsGuided. We recommend you apply them carefully and take any prior backup before implementing these steps. Once that’s done, proceed with the first step.

TOP quick solution for those who want to save time and money: Fix your Exception_Illegal_Instructions and other issues automatically with iolo System Mechanic (download here & run a PC-scan).

Solution 1: Try Updating or Re-install the GPU Driver

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  • Press the ‘Windows key + R’ to open “Run”.
  • Type “devmgmt.msc” and hit ‘Enter’.
devmgmt.msc
  • Then, double-click the “Display adapters” entry.
  • Right-click on the graphics adapter in use.
  • Choose “Update driver” and then click on “Search automatically for drivers”.
Update graphics adapter
  • Wait for Windows to install the best available version stored locally.

If updating drivers does not fix the illegal instruction error on Windows, we recommend uninstalling and reinstalling the driver:

  • Repeat the same steps to expand the “Display adapters” entry.
  • Right-click the graphics adapter.
  • Now click on “Uninstall device”.
Radeon Uninstall Driver
  • Tick the checkbox for “Attempt to remove the driver for this device”.
  • Click “Uninstall”.
  • Restart the computer.
  • Wait a while and let Windows automatically download a fresh copy. We hope this fixes the exception of illegal instruction errors in Windows.

Solution 2: Run the Faulty App in Compatibility Mode for Older Windows Version

  • Navigate to any program in your “file explorer”
  • Then, right-click the program’s launcher.
  • Select “Properties” and then navigate to the “Compatibility” tab.
Compatibility tab
  • Click on the check box that says “Run this program in compatibility mode for:”.
  • Select an older OS from the menu; we recommend Windows 7.
Run this program in compatibility mode for
  • Finally, click “Apply and “OK” to save the changes.

Solution 3: Auto-Repair C++ Redistributable Packages via Appwiz.cpl

  • Press ‘Windows + S’, type “appwiz.cpl” in the text field, and click “OK”.
appwiz.cpl
  • Select the “Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable package”.
  • Click the Change” button.
  • Click on “Repair”.
Repair Redistributable Packages
  • Click “Yes” in the UAC prompt.
  • Wait to complete the process. 
  • Once done, restart your PC to see if the problem has been resolved. If not, then proceed with the following solution to install redistributable packages.

Solution 4: Newly Install the Latest C++ Redist. Packages

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  • First, you need to visit Microsoft’s official website.
  • After that, download the latest “Visual C++ Redistributables”. It is always recommended to download all versions.
  • Once downloaded, you may Run the “setup”.
Install Redistributable Packages
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the download process.

Solution 5. Try Clean Booting Your PC

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  • Press ‘Windows + S‘, type in “configuration” or “system configuration”, and press ‘Enter’.
Hide all Microsoft services Disable all
  • In the “Services” tab, click the “Hide All Microsoft Services” box.
  • Click on the “Disable All” button.
Hide all Microsoft services Disable all
  • Now, navigate to the “Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager”.
  • Select a third-party program and click on “Disable” at the top.
Open Startup and Click Open Task Manager
  • Repeat this process for all programs until they get disabled.
  • Try restarting your computer so it goes to a clean boot state and see whether the problem persists. If the problem is resolved on a clean boot, an unauthorized application is likely the core of the problem.
  • Inspect and uninstall each recently installed application or program one by one.

Solution 6. Try Removing and Installing the Issue-associated Application

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  • Press the ‘Windows key + I’ to open the “Settings” app.
  • Navigate to the apps menu from the left pane.
  • Then click on “Installed apps”.
Uninstall Installed apps
  • Find the affected program and then click the ‘ellipsis’ next to it.
  • Select “Uninstall” and click “Uninstall” in the confirmation prompt.
Uninstall Installed apps
  • Once done, restart the computer.
  • Re-download the app from an official source.

Solution 7: Check For Faulty RAM

According to the error report file, failure of RAM3 is frequently the primary reason. Replace the plugs after taking the modules out and providing them with a quick cleaning.

Test the RAM extensively using the Windows Memory Diagnostic program. Try using its Extended Mode as well. Press F1 to enter the Extended Mode once the tool has started.

Memory Diagnostic Tool

Last Piece of Advice

EXCEPTION ILLEGAL INSTRUCTION is a core error and must be fixed ASAP. If you don’t fix it, it may lead to abnormal PC functionality. Hopefully, the steps provided above solved your issue.
However, if you’re still experiencing issues, we recommend downloading and running a Windows fix software offered below that authorized technicians and thousands of other users like you use.

In the end, look for other helpful materials too. If you want to do it yourself or are looking for something helpful in the end, don’t worry. Just ask us about your problem; we are here to fix this for you ASAP.  

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If your EXCEPTION ILLEGAL INSTRUCTION errors are still not fixed — feel free to reach out to us via email and share your problem.

  1. What is a Blue Screen of Death? – via Wikipedia.com []
  2. What is a PC driver? — Webopedia []
  3. Definition: What is RAM — Techtarget []
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About the author
Ross Zilbert - Expert Author

Ross is an avid author on WindowsGuided.com. He’s been working in the field of software and networks as a technician for more than 6 years.

Now he’s sharing his expertise and awesome guides with the broad public.