Computers can cause various types of errors that prevent users from indulging in their routine work. One such error is the Kernel Security Check Failure BSOD. Since last year, several users have reported this error while running a particular program/application. It has been more frequent on Windows 10.

The Kernel Security check failure causes the computer to shut down. A message saying that the PC ran into a problem is displayed on the screen, post which the PC restarts. Then, again you have to go through the startup system. This error delays and impedes your important work.

The error occurs when you have two graphics cards installed on the PC. Another reason for this is outdated drivers or faulty versions of GPU. The Kernel security error could even popup when there is a compatibility or integrity check failure. However, the most common cause is an excess load on the GPU due to heavy programs or weak drivers.

Some users face this while using Adobe photoshop, while some face it out of the blue. There isn’t a certain cause of the kernel security check error. Similarly, there is no single solution for this. Internet is littered with solutions to resolve this failure. You will find a solution on one website and then a new one on another.


To make it easy for you, here are the most feasible methods to resolve the Kernel security check failure. Following the steps provided herein will relieve you from this irking issue. Do read every method for the best results.

How To Fix: Kernel Security Check Failure BSOD In Windows 10?

Given below are 4 effective methods to fix this kernel security check failure. In case, one method doesn’t work for you, try the other methods. These methods will surely resolve your issue.

Method 1: Change The Default Gaphics Processor 

When there are two graphic cards in a PC, the heavier programs might be running on the weaker graphic card. Suppose, you run a heavy program, and it is using integrated graphics card. Since that graphics driver is weaker than Nvidia GPU, the computer closes the program and shows this error.

This situation calls for a change in the default graphics processor of such programs. By making some tweaks, you can stop this error from bothering you. Check out the steps below to know how to change the default graphics card for an application.

Step 1: Right-click anywhere on the desktop and select Nvidia control panel.

Step 2 :Once the panel opens up, look for 3d settings option in the left pane.

Step 3: Further, click on manage 3d settings.

Step 4: In the right pane, select the Program settings tab.

Step 5: From the 1st drop down list, choose the program that is giving you the error.

Step 6: Now, from the next drop-down list titled: select the preferred graphics processor, choose High performance Nvidia processor.

Step 7: Then, save the changes.

Step 8: Finally restart your PC.

Step 9: Start the application/program and now it should work properly. Otherwise, move onto the next methods.

Method 2: Update Your Nvidia GPU’s Driver Software

In case you haven’t updated your Nvidia graphics driver for a long time, maybe it is time to do so. Outdated version is a common issue that affects the performance of your graphics card. There may even be a bug in the version of Nvidia card you are currently running. This leads to your PC showing the error – Kernel security check failure BSOD.

There are so many versions of Nvidia GPU that it is difficult to say which ones have bugs. So, the most feasible option is to update to the latest one. Perform the following steps to update the driver:

Step 1: In your PC’s browser, head to the official Nvidia Geforce website.

Step 2: Then, go to the drivers section.

Step 3: Further, look for the Manual driver search option. Fill in the kind and series of your Nvidia GPU, the model number of your Nvidia driver, computer OS, Language and click search.

Step 4: From the list of compatible drivers, choose the latest one.

Step 5: Download the driver and the installer as well

Step 6: After this, open the installer and follow the instructions shown.

Step 7: The setup will automatically delete the previous driver and install the latest one on your PC.

Step 8: Once the installation is complete, the application should run without errors now.

The company rolls out new versions frequently to eliminate the bugs. Make sure you keep a constant check for updates to avoid any issues in the future.

Method 3: Roll Back Older Version Of Your Nvidia GPU’s Driver Software

If updating the driver didn’t solve the issue, perhaps downgrading might. When the issue is with the version, rolling back to an older version (of course after trying out the newer) will help. Older versions are more stable and less prone to failures. Although they would have fewer features, they could solve this error.

So, if there were no updates for your GPU in step 2, or the latest version didn’t resolve the issue, follow these steps.

Note: If the roll back driver option is greyed out, you won’t be able to perform this method. It means that you can’t lower the version of your driver. This is usually the case with integrated graphics card such as Intel HD. So, if you are using Nvidia, you should be fine.

Step 1: Open the run-dialog box by hitting Windows key + R.

Step 2: Now, type in devmgmt.msc and hit Enter.

Step 3: After that, click the arrow beside Display adapters to reveal its contents.

Step 4: On the Nvidia graphics card, right-click and select Properties.

Step 5: Open the Drivers tab in the properties window.

Step 6: Click roll back driver.

Step 7: Then, click yes and follow the next instructions shown on the screen.

After the downgrading is complete, play the application and check the status of the error.

Method 4: Delete The Sniffer.exe File

This method is particularly for users facing the Kernel security error while launching photoshop. Such people have been able to solve this issue by deleting sniffer.exe file (sniffer_gpu.exe). Deleting this file from the directory won’t corrupt Photoshop, but will resolve the error. To try out this method, do the following

Step 1: Open file explorer by double-clicking on My computer icon. Or press Windows key + E.

Step 2: Now, in the search bar, type the following directory path: C:\Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Photoshop CC 2015 (or whatever the build year of your version is)

Step 3: Then, find sniffer.exe or sniffer_gpu.exe amongst various files in the folder.

Step 4: Further, cut and paste this file on the desktop

Step 5: Restart the PC.

Step 6: Launch Photoshop. You won’t get the error, and it will work perfectly. You can even delete the sniffer file now.

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To prevent this error in future, you need to take care of a few things. Always keep your PC and drivers updated. New updates fix any issue that the older version has. So, it keeps your system in a healthy state. Check for updates after a few days or weeks and install them.

Also, try to delete the unwanted files and programs. They clog your PC unnecessarily and put a load on your CPU and GPU. So, perform a disk cleanup once in a while. Or delete the applications no longer needed.

Failures like Kernel security check usually occur when malware corrupts the system files. Thus, having a decent antivirus is another way to avoid such errors. Anti-virus software monitors the PC in real-time and protects it from viruses.