“The instruction at 0x000000000 referenced memory at 0x00000000. The memory could not be read“. This is one of the cryptic errors that Windows 11 and 10 users face suddenly while working peacefully on the system. Cryptic errors are those error that comes without any prior notice along with no explanation of their cause. The “The instruction at referenced memory could not be read” is the short form of what most of the actual users experience written on the error message i.e. “Overview: the instruction at 0x000000000 referenced memory at 0x00000000. The memory could not be read“. If you are also facing this frustrating app crash error message on your Windows 11 or Windows 10 PC then stick around to this fixing guide and I’ll show you different ways that you can try to get rid of it.
What exactly this error means?
The error message ends with the mention, “the memory could not be read” which is quite self-explanatory. This error message is referring to an issue related to the memory of the Windows system i.e. the RAM. This is definitely not related physically to your RAM stick (in most of the cases) but more specifically to what is going on to the software side on your PC. As we all know, RAM is used to store temporary data to load and run the applications. And this data is stored at a specific address for each application and whenever the app accesses that data, it asks for it at that particular address. But sometimes, this process goes wrong, and the address at which the data is stored is found to be invalid for some reason.
Tracking down the cause of this error?
Now, we have a pretty good idea that behind the “The instruction at 0x000000000 referenced memory at 0x00000000. The memory could not be read” message, the invalid RAM address is involved. But is also important to know why the memory address keeps getting invalid.
Here it becomes quite frustrating as there is no solid identification of what exactly is causing this issue. The “The instruction at referenced memory could not be read” error can be associated with the hardware or the software side of the error. But the good news is that it is possible to track down its cause with the help of some logic and deduction as this error doesn’t appear on every PC under the same circumstances. Hence there is what you’ll have to do before heading towards fixing this issue, to track down the possible cause.
First of all, find the answers to the following questions to filter out the circumstances under which you are getting the error.
- Is the error happening after some harware or sftware change?
- Is the error popping up only with a partiucluar application?
- Is the error popping up randomly or after set intervals?
- Is the error happening irrespective of what you are doing on the PC?
Gather the above-mentioned info, and if you have got anything more related to the error, then complete them and based on the conclusion, perform the fixes accordingly/. For example, if you experience the “The instruction at referenced memory could not be read” while opening or working with a particular app, then it is better to perform fixies related to that app. Like this, you can perform the fixies as per your circumstantial conclusion on the error cause mentioned below.
Fixing the “The instruction at referenced memory could not be read” error
Fix 1: Run SFC Scan
- Search for Command Prompt and run it as administrator.
- In the CMD Windows, type and execute the following command:
- This will begin the scanning process. Let it complete. This may ask for a reboot of your PC. Reboot it to complete the system repair.
Once done, restart the PC one more time. Running this scan will repair corrupt system files in your Windows registry.
Fix 2: Clean boot Windows and install .Net framework
- Press Win + R to open the Run dialog box.
- Type-in msconfig and click OK.
- This will bring you on the System Configuration window. Switch to the Services tab and check mark the Hide all Microsoft services option.
- Now, click on Disable all and click on OK.
- Now, restart your PC.
Once the PC is booted successfully, this will be a clean boot of the Windows. The clean boot of Windows means there is no unnecessary third-party process or app running in the background. If you are not getting the error anymore, this implies that there is some background process or application on your PC that is causing the problem.
You can also consider downloading and installing the Microsoft .Net framework on your PC. Head over to the download page, download the framework setup file and install it just like other normal files.
Fix 3: Provide Virtual Momory to the System
- Search and open the View advanced system settings.
- Switch to the Advanced tab and click on Settings under the Performance section.
- Click on Advanced and select Virtual Memory.
- Here, uncheck the Automatically manage paging file size for all drives option.
- Now, select the Custom size and put your current available RAM value in MegaBytes.
- Confirm the changes and restart the PC.
This process will allocate more RAM virtually and if the lack of RAM on your system was causing the error to pop up, then this should fix it.
Fix 4: Check for Windows update
There can be an issue with the current version of your Windows Operating System. In that case, or even anyways, you must check for the pending Windows update. This will not just update the software of your PC but will possibly also repair or download the corrupted background services if there were any in the previous version.
- Open Settings. You can opress Win + I on the keyboard.
- Go to Windows Update.
- Click on Check for updates and Windows will start looking for pending updates.
- If there are pending updates found, download and install them.
- Finally restart the PC.
Fix 5: Revert to previous System Restore Point
You can try restoring the Windows to a previous restore point where you were able to use your PC without the “The instruction at 0x000000000 referenced memory at 0x00000000. The memory could not be read” error. But please note that before proceeding further make sure that you have a previously created System Restore Point. Without a restore point, performing this fix is not possible.
- Search for Create a Restore Point and open it.
- This will open the System Properties Window. Navigate to System Protection tab and click on the System Restore… button.
- On the next window, click on Choose a different restore point option and hit Next. You can also select the Recommended Restore if you want.
- Now select the Restore Point from the list and click on the Scan for affected programs button in order to detect the corrupt files on your system.
- Click on the Next button.
- Finally click on Finish and restart your PC.
Fix 6: Reset the Windows PC
Lastly, if nothing works, you can try resetting your Windows PC. But resetting your data will delete all the system files and folders, hence it is advised to backup your important data. Resetting the PC will make all the system files, applications and settings revert to their system default.
- Open the Widnows Settings. You can press Win + I on the keyboard.
- In the Settings window, navigate to System > Recovery.
- Now, under the Recovery options section, click on the Reset PC button.
- This will open the Reset this PC window. Here select the Keep my files option in order to prevent the data loss.
- Now, follow the on-screen instructins and complete the resetting process.
Here comes the end of this fixing guide and I am hoping that any of the aforementioned fixies would have helped you in terminating the “The instruction at 0x000000000 referenced memory at 0x00000000. The memory could not be read” error. The “The instruction at referenced memory could not be read” error can be quite frustrating as it pops up without any prior notice and the affected application or program will get closed in between while you are working. This issue can be fatal if you are doing something that is extremely important. Hence it is advised to first, analyse when and how often the error is occurring. And based on that, you should proceed further towards the fixes.