Every Windows user will encounter the blue screen of death (BSOD), error at some point in their lives. This is a frustrating problem that can be difficult to fix and can appear out of nowhere.
We will show you how to fix a Windows 10 or 11 blue screen and provide resources for specific blue screen errors.
What is a Blue Screen?
Let’s start by reviewing this Windows term.
The “blue screen” is commonly known in Windows 10 and 11 as the “bluescreen of death”. However, it’s technically called a stop code or fatal error. This happens when the operating system crashes. It means that it encountered an issue that prevented it running safely. Windows displays a blue screen that provides information about the problem, and then it restarts.
There are many reasons blue screens can occur, and we’ll discuss them below. Bad drivers, hardware problems, and operating system issues are all common causes of BSOD.
Windows 10 and 11 are both more stable than older versions so you won’t encounter blue screens as often. A blue screen that appears once in a while is not necessarily an issue. Sometimes Windows will give out and cause a BSOD. After rebooting, it will work normally again.
If you are constantly seeing a blue screen, then you only need to look into the following blue screen error solutions.
1. Note Your Windows Blue Screen Stop Code
There are many types, so it is difficult to discuss how you can fix blue screen errors without understanding the exact error. The best way to fix blue screens is to identify the problem.
A BSOD in Windows 10 and 11 contain a sad emoticon with a message. You’ll find a link to Microsoft blue screen troubleshooting webpage, along with a QR code and a StopCode field. To jump to a Microsoft support site, you can scan the QR code using your phone’s camera.
It is important to remember the stop code on the page. This will help you narrow down your troubleshooting. You can follow our guide for retrieving stop codes in Windows 10 if you forget the code.
2. You can try specific troubleshooting techniques for your blue screen error code
Once you have identified the issue, you can start to make blue screen repairs. Some of these guides have been written by us:
- How to fix The Critical Process Died Stop code
- How to resolve the System Service Exclusion bluescreen
- How to troubleshoot the Memory Management BSOD
- Resolving an Unexpected store Exception Stop error in Windows
- How do you resolve Inaccessible Device Errors
- How do you fix the bad system configuration info error
- How do you fix Windows 10 error code 0xc00000e
These aren’t the only bluescreen errors you might encounter, but they are the most common. If you are unable to identify your error code or the troubleshooting guides did not resolve your issue, please refer to the following blue screen error solutions.
3. Check out the Most Recent Computer Changes
Blue screen errors are common after making changes to your system. These changes can introduce problems into an otherwise stable environment. This can be a helpful clue to help you troubleshoot.
If you have just installed a printer, unplug it from your computer and check if the blue light persists. To view your Windows update history, go to Settings > Security > Windows Update > View History.
To resolve the problem, go to the next page and click Uninstall Updates.
Software is no different. You might notice blue screens when you install a program.
4. Make sure you are up-to-date with Windows and Driver updates
Bad updates can cause problems, but Microsoft and third-party vendors often issue updates to correct them. To apply any pending updates to, visit Settings > Update and Security > Windows Update.
You should also check your drivers as they could be the source of Windows 10 blue screen issues. To open the power user menu, press Win + X or right-click the Start button. To open this utility, choose Device manager.
Check for yellow triangle icons at entries. This indicates a problem with your driver. Double-check all devices with this icon. You may need to reinstall or remove the driver.
To check for updates you can right-click on an entry and select Update driver. However, this is not always reliable.
Instead, visit the manufacturer’s site and download the latest drivers. For help, please refer to our guide for updating Windows drivers.
5. Run a System Restore
Windows’ System Restore feature allows you to restore your system to its previous state. This is a useful tool for troubleshooting. It’s easy to use and allows you to see if the issue is software-related.
Enter recovery in the Start menu to open the Recovery Panel entry. To launch the tool, click Open System Repair. You’ll be presented with a list of restore points that you can access after you click Next. Click on one and then hit Search for affected programs to determine what software is being changed.
Although it won’t impact your files, a System Restore will remove any drivers and software that you have installed since the restore point was created. It will also reinstall any files that were removed after the restore point was made.
Once you confirm your system restore, you can begin the process. It will take some time, and then your system will be restored to its original state. If you don’t see blue screens, it’s likely that your problem is software-related.
6. Malware scanning
Malware can cause a blue screen by causing damage to your Windows system files. To rule out infection, you should run a scan.
To run a scan, we recommend Malwarebytes. This scan will detect all rogue programs and help you remove them. After cleaning, restart the computer to see if any blue screen errors disappear.
7. Test Your Computer Hardware
If you still haven’t found the reason for your blue screen, it’s time to check your computer’s hardware components. A blue screen can be caused by a bad component or a RAM stick that is failing.
We have shown you how to check your computer for hardware failure . You can use these tools to check your system, and replace any that is defective.
8. Run an SFC Scan
Windows has a command-line tool called FFC (System file checker). It checks for corrupt Windows system files and attempts repair them. This could resolve your blue screen problem.
To open the Power User Shortcut Menu, again press Win + X or right-click the Start button. Select Command prompt (Admin), Windows PowerShell or Windows Terminal. Type the following:
You’ll soon see the results if you give it time. Reboot the computer to see if it finds and applies any fixes.
9. Boot Into Safe Mode
You may be able, depending on the severity of the issue, to complete all the troubleshooting steps above while still using Windows. If you are experiencing a serious issue, however, you might not be able to work normally. You will need to reboot into safe mode.
Safe mode allows you load a basic Windows setup with the only essentials it requires to run. Third-party apps cannot interfere with normal operation by using safe mode. You can use safe mode and not hit a blue screen. This is a sign that an app or service installed on your computer is causing the problem.
Safe mode allows you to run a malware scanner, use System Restore and troubleshoot the issues we have discussed.
10. Use advanced blue screen troubleshooting tools
You can use tools to interpret the information Windows dumps when it crashes to a Blue Screen. This is usually only for experienced users.
For help with a few of these tools, please refer to How to Fix Blue Screen Errors With WinDbg or BlueScreenView.
11. Reinstall Windows
If all else fails you can reinstall Windows on your computer. You have now ruled out hardware, malware and software problems. There must be a deeper problem with your computer.
This article will show you how to fix blue screen errors in Windows 10.
Blue screen errors can be frustrating and prevent you from properly troubleshooting. After reading the tips above, you will be able to identify what a bluescreen error is and how it can be fixed.
It’s important to be alert for warning signs that your computer might crash. This will help you prevent problems from ever happening.