Windows 11/10 too has the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) or Stop Error screen that appears when you are in the middle of something, upgrading the operating system when booting or simply working on your PC. While some are facing the Black Screen problem, a few are facing BSOD problems. We take each scenario and explain what to do in each case.
Blue Screens in Windows 11/10 are simple and do not display Stop Error information. You may have to force Windows to display Stop Error details.
What is the first step to take to resolve a Blue Screen of Death error
The BSODs or Stop Errors in Windows 11/10 appear to be better more user-friendly, and easier on the eyes. But they don’t give many details. You have to force your OS to display Stop Error information in Windows.
How to fix Blue Screen of Death error in Windows 11/10
The common troubleshooting steps to fix Blue Screen errors in Windows 11/10 to be followed are:
- See if a System Restore can resolve this issue.
- Run Blue Screen Troubleshooter
- Run your anti-virus and anti-spyware and your PC Junk/Registry Cleaner.
- Run the Windows Check Disk Utility.
- Check if you’ve made any software or hardware changes or modifications.
- In most cases, the software is the victim and not the cause of BSODs. So, don’t rule out hardware problems. It could be damaged hard disks, defective physical RAM, overheated CPU chips or anything else!
- Check if you can see a driver’s name in the error details. If you can, then simply disabling, removing, or rolling back that driver to an earlier version can help solve that problem. Network interface cards, disk controllers, and Video Adapters are the culprits, most often.
- Check your memory. Use the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool. Go to Control Panel and type “memory” in the Search box. Under Administrative Tools, click Diagnose Your Computer’s Memory Problems. In the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool, shown here, select one of the options.
- Check your system BIOS carefully. Is an update available from the manufacturer of the system or motherboard? Check the BIOS documentation carefully; resetting all BIOS options to their defaults can sometimes resolve an issue caused by over-tweaking.
- Check if you are low on system resources. Sometimes, a critical shortage of Disk Space or RAM can cause BSODs.
- Check if a system file has been damaged.
- Work in Safe Mode, as only the core drivers and services are activated. If your system starts in Safe Mode but not normally, you very likely have a problem driver. Try running Device Manager in Safe Mode and uninstalling the most likely suspect. Or run System Restore in Safe Mode.
These are some basic tips to help you fix Blue Screen of Death in Windows under different scenarios. This guide will help you understand, analyze and troubleshoot Windows Blue Screen of Death, Stop Errors, Error Codes, Bug Check errors, system crash errors, system faults, and kernel error crashes in Windows 11/10/8/7.
NOTE: If you can log in normally, good; otherwise you will have to boot into Safe Mode, enter the Advanced Startup options screen, or use the Installation Media to boot to be able to carry out these instructions.
Blue Screen of Death when upgrading to Windows 11/10
When upgrading to Windows 10 from Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, or to Windows 11 from Windows 10, you may face BSOD. Normally, this would happen due to BIOS settings. In some cases, the error could be due to a corrupted download of the installer.
If you get the Blue Screen Of Death when upgrading, the installer will take you back to the original operating system. From there, you have to run the upgrade installer again. You will not be stuck with a half-installed Windows 11/10. But installation files will be there on your C: Drive that you’d need to clean before running the upgrade again. You will have to delete all files in the Software Distribution folder under the Windows folder. You will also have to remove the Windows~BT folder from C Drive.
After deleting these files, go to the BIOS (press DEL while booting up) and enable UEFI Boot before trying to upgrade again. It would be better if you use the installation media provided by Microsoft to upgrade. The in-place upgrade takes too much time and might again cause a problem. Just go to your original operating system. Then run Setup.exe from the installation media you created. It should help you get around BSOD while upgrading to Windows 11/10.
Blue Screen of Death while Booting Windows 11/10
There are two scenarios when booting Windows 10. In the first scenario, you can access the desktop while in the second, the Blue Screen of Death won’t even let you reach the desktop, and you are stuck in a loop of computer restarts.
The main reasons why BSOD appears are:
- Some Windows driver cause conflict or
- Some Windows Updates have gone wrong. If the latter is the reason, you have to remove and block the update that caused the Blue Screen of Update.
If you can access the desktop, go to Settings and then Windows Updates. Click on Advanced and then on View Installed Updates. See the date of the updates and remove the ones installed on the date after which, the BSOD is appearing. If removing the updates fixes the problem, block the update from reinstalling itself.
If the problem is a driver update, you need to see if any drivers were installed lately. The process is the same as above. You will see driver updates in Installed Updates. But after removing the update, I suggest you block automatic driver updates from Microsoft. Using a third-party tool that allows you to select the driver version is better. That way you will be playing it safer.
Read: How to find which Driver is causing the Blue Screen on Windows?
BSOD reboot loop prevents access to Desktop
If you are stuck in a Blue Screen of Death reboot loop, Windows 11/10 will automatically go into the Repair mode after a while. From there, use the System Restore facility to fix the issue. Click on System Restore and select a date/point before you started getting BSOD. System Restore will restore your computer to a prior time, removing any changes made to your computer by Windows Update. It will not affect your files.
Blue Screen of Death while working on Windows 11/10
The causes can again be a Windows Update, a device driver update, or recently installed hardware. To make sure the updates are the reason, use the method explained above to isolate the problem update and then block it.
If you installed any hardware recently, shut down your computer and remove the hardware. Then boot and go to Device Manager (WinKey+Break). If the hardware is still listed there, uninstall it. Reboot to see if the issue is fixed.
Fix: Blue Screen when playing games on Windows PC
Is Blue Screen of Death harmful?
A BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) or stop code is a result of hardware or software failure. When a problem causes your system to shut down or restart unexpectedly, a BSOD occurs. If you repeatedly see the stop errors on your system, it may be an indication of some hardware damage. Ignoring the BSOD errors can damage your system. Hence, a Blue Screen of Death is harmful.
Can a PC blue screen for no reason?
A Blue Screen does not occur until there are hardware or software issues. Most commonly, a BSOD occurs due to faulty hardware or a faulty hardware component. In addition to this, corrupted device drivers and other software issues may also cause stop errors. In some cases, a Blue Screen occurs due to problematic software.
Useful resource: List of Windows Bug Check or Stop Error Codes.