How to Fix Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) on Windows 10

Introduction

Blue Screens can be anything from major hardware or software errors to a simple one time hiccup that never happens again.

Blue screens are often random, so usually the best approach is to try a number of things and then await the results. This guide will walk you through diagnosing and correcting this problem.

Windows 10 BSOD

? When did you experience the Blue Screen?

  1. After an update
  2. While using my PC

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Blue Screens can be anything from major hardware or software errors to a simple one time hiccup that never happens again.

Blue screens are often random, so usually the best approach is to try a number of things and then await the results. This guide will walk you through diagnosing and correcting this problem.

Windows 10 BSOD

Does the Blue Screen error allow you to get to the desktop?
  1. Select the Start menu.
    Windows 10 Start button
  2. Select the Settings button.
    Windows setting button
  3. Select Update and Security.
    Windows Settings with Update and Security highlighted.
  4. Select Windows Update, then select View Update History.
    Windows Update settings with view update history highlighted
  5. Select Uninstall Updates.
    Windows 10 View installed updates with uninstall updates highlighted
  6. Click Installed On to sort the list by the latest update.
    Windows 10 installed updates list sorted by date
  7. Select the most recent Update and select Uninstall.
    Windows 10 uninstall an update
  1. In the search bar, type "Control Panel" and select it.
    Windows 10 Search with control panel selected
  2. Select Hardware and Sound.
    Control Panel with Hardware and Sound selected. Screenshot.
  3. Select Power Options.
    Power Options. Screenshot.
  4. Select Choose What the Power Buttons Do.
    Choose what the power buttons do.
  5. If prompted, click "Change settings that are currently unavailable", then under Shutdown settings, find Turn on fast startup (recommended). If this setting is turned off, select the check box. If it’s turned on, clear the check box.
    Power button properties with Turn on fast startup selected.

If you installed a piece of software recently you should remove it to see if it is causing your blue screen issue. The following steps show you how to easily remove an app.

  1. Click Start then Settings.
    Windows start menu with the start button and settings highlighted.
  2. Next, Select Apps.
    Windows Settings with Apps highlighted.
  3. Scroll down and locate the app you wish to remove, and click on Uninstall.
    Apps screen with the uninstall option for an app highlighted.
  4. Carefully read any prompts in case there are special instructions. Proceed until the application is removed.
  5. Some applications may require that you reboot.
Unplug unnecessary external hardware (printers, webcams, additional monitors, etc.).

Turning the system off while System Restore is running can cause corruption. If your device is battery-operated, connect it to a power outlet first. System Restore may take time and should not be interrupted.

Restoring your PC to an earlier point will remove updates and drivers installed after the restore point was made. It won't affect your personal files.

  1. If you can't get to the desktop and your PC has restarted several times, it will begin automatic repair.
  2. On the choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
    Windows 10 advanced boot options with Troubleshoot selected
  3. Select Advanced Options.
    Windows 10 troubleshoot options
  4. Select System Restore. This option reverts your PC to an earlier point, called a system restore point. Restore points are created when you install a new app, driver, update, or when you create a system restore point manually.
    Windows 10 advanced options showing system restore selected
  5. System Restore will open. Click Next.
    Windows 10 system restore
  6. Select a date before the issue started, you may see more than 1 restore point. Click Next afterwards.
    Windows 10 system restore
  7. Confirm your restore point by clicking Finish. Click Back if you wish to change the restore point.
    Windows 10 system restore
  8. The process will take some time to finish. The system will also reboot shortly.
  1. Select the Start menu.
    Windows 10 Start button
  2. Select the Settings button.
    Windows setting button
  3. Select Update and Security.
    Windows Settings with Update and Security highlighted.
  4. Select Windows Update, then select View Update History.
    Windows Update settings with view update history highlighted
  5. Select Uninstall Updates.
    Windows 10 View installed updates with uninstall updates highlighted
  6. Click Installed On to sort the list by the latest update.
    Windows 10 installed updates list sorted by date
  7. Select the most recent Update and select Uninstall.
    Windows 10 uninstall an update
  1. From the Log In screen select the Power icon.
    Log In Screen Power icon
  2. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, and keep it held down.
    picture of a keyboard with shift highlighted
  3. With the Shift key still held down, click on Restart.
    Log In screen restart icon
  4. Release the shift key on your keyboard.
  5. Choose Troubleshoot.
    screenshot of boot options with troubleshoot highlighted
  6. Choose Advanced options.
    screenshot showing advanced options highlighted
  7. Choose Startup Settings.
    screenshot showing startup settings highlighted
  8. Choose Restart.
    screenshot showing restart highlighted
  9. After your computer reboots, on the startup settings menu, push the F5 key on your keyboard for Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    picture of keyboard with F5 key highlighted
    screenshot showing choice 5 enable safe mode with networking highlighted

Safe mode is a special diagnostic mode for Windows, designed to startup with very few items, to make sure nothing else can interfere with the task you're trying to perform.

Windows may look different than you are used to, for example, the desktop background may be missing, the screen may look stretched or squished, and you should see the words Safe Mode in every corner. This is to let you know you are in safe mode.


Normal Mode Example Safe Mode Example
Screenshot of normal windows desktop screenshot of windows safe mode desktop
  1. Select the Start menu.
    Windows 10 Start button
  2. Select the Settings button.
    Windows setting button
  3. Select Update and Security.
    Windows Settings with Update and Security highlighted.
  4. Select Windows Update, then select View Update History.
    Windows Update settings with view update history highlighted
  5. Select Uninstall Updates.
    Windows 10 View installed updates with uninstall updates highlighted
  6. Click Installed On to sort the list by the latest update.
    Windows 10 installed updates list sorted by date
  7. Select the most recent Update and select Uninstall.
    Windows 10 uninstall an update
  1. In the search bar, type "Control Panel" and select it.
    Windows 10 Search with control panel selected
  2. Select Hardware and Sound.
    Control Panel with Hardware and Sound selected. Screenshot.
  3. Select Power Options.
    Power Options. Screenshot.
  4. Select Choose What the Power Buttons Do.
    Choose what the power buttons do.
  5. If prompted, click "Change settings that are currently unavailable", then under Shutdown settings, find Turn on fast startup (recommended). If this setting is turned off, select the check box. If it’s turned on, clear the check box.
    Power button properties with Turn on fast startup selected.

If you installed a piece of software recently you should remove it to see if it is causing your blue screen issue. The following steps show you how to easily remove an app.

  1. Click Start then Settings.
    Windows start menu with the start button and settings highlighted.
  2. Next, Select Apps.
    Windows Settings with Apps highlighted.
  3. Scroll down and locate the app you wish to remove, and click on Uninstall.
    Apps screen with the uninstall option for an app highlighted.
  4. Carefully read any prompts in case there are special instructions. Proceed until the application is removed.
  5. Some applications may require that you reboot.
Unplug unnecessary external hardware (printers, webcams, additional monitors, etc.).
Does the Blue Screen error allow you to get to the desktop?
  1. In the search bar, type "Control Panel" and select it.
    Windows 10 Search with control panel selected
  2. Select Hardware and Sound.
    Control Panel with Hardware and Sound selected. Screenshot.
  3. Select Power Options.
    Power Options. Screenshot.
  4. Select Choose What the Power Buttons Do.
    Choose what the power buttons do.
  5. If prompted, click "Change settings that are currently unavailable", then under Shutdown settings, find Turn on fast startup (recommended). If this setting is turned off, select the check box. If it’s turned on, clear the check box.
    Power button properties with Turn on fast startup selected.

If you installed a piece of software recently you should remove it to see if it is causing your blue screen issue. The following steps show you how to easily remove an app.

  1. Click Start then Settings.
    Windows start menu with the start button and settings highlighted.
  2. Next, Select Apps.
    Windows Settings with Apps highlighted.
  3. Scroll down and locate the app you wish to remove, and click on Uninstall.
    Apps screen with the uninstall option for an app highlighted.
  4. Carefully read any prompts in case there are special instructions. Proceed until the application is removed.
  5. Some applications may require that you reboot.
Unplug unnecessary external hardware (printers, webcams, additional monitors, etc.).
Windows 10 is configured to automatically check for updates regularly for your computer.
If you are using a laptop or tablet, make sure you plug it in to charge while updates run.
  1. Open the Start menu, and select Settings.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Settings
  2. Select Update & Security.
    Updates and Security Settings
  3. Select Windows Update on the left, then Check for updates on the right.
    Update and Security settings with Windows Update and Check for updates highlighted.
  4. Once the system has finished checking for updates, it will automatically download and install the latest applicable updates.
    Some Windows Updates can't be made with the system running. Instead, Windows will ask to reboot to complete these updates.
    If prompted simply select Reboot to complete the update process.

You may need to remove an app because you need the space or simply don't need it anymore. The following steps show you how to easily remove an app.

  1. Open the Start menu and select Settings.
    Windows 10 Start Menu
    Windows 10 Settings
  2. Select Apps.
    Apps Settings
  3. Select Apps & features on the left.
    Apps Settings with Apps and features highlighted.
  4. Select an app you want to uninstall, then select Uninstall.
    Apps and features with app and Uninstall highlighted.
    Carefully read any prompts in case there are special instructions. Proceed until the application is removed.
    Some applications may require that you reboot.
  1. From the Log In screen select the Power icon.
    Log In Screen Power icon
  2. Hold down the Shift key on your keyboard, and keep it held down.
    picture of a keyboard with shift highlighted
  3. With the Shift key still held down, click on Restart.
    Log In screen restart icon
  4. Release the shift key on your keyboard.
  5. Choose Troubleshoot.
    screenshot of boot options with troubleshoot highlighted
  6. Choose Advanced options.
    screenshot showing advanced options highlighted
  7. Choose Startup Settings.
    screenshot showing startup settings highlighted
  8. Choose Restart.
    screenshot showing restart highlighted
  9. After your computer reboots, on the startup settings menu, push the F5 key on your keyboard for Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
    picture of keyboard with F5 key highlighted
    screenshot showing choice 5 enable safe mode with networking highlighted

Safe mode is a special diagnostic mode for Windows, designed to startup with very few items, to make sure nothing else can interfere with the task you're trying to perform.

Windows may look different than you are used to, for example, the desktop background may be missing, the screen may look stretched or squished, and you should see the words Safe Mode in every corner. This is to let you know you are in safe mode.


Normal Mode Example Safe Mode Example
Screenshot of normal windows desktop screenshot of windows safe mode desktop

Turning the system off while System Restore is running can cause corruption. If your device is battery-operated, connect it to a power outlet first. System Restore may take time and should not be interrupted.

Restoring your PC to an earlier point will remove updates and drivers installed after the restore point was made. It won't affect your personal files.

  1. If you can't get to the desktop and your PC has restarted several times, it will begin automatic repair.
  2. On the choose an option screen, select Troubleshoot.
    Windows 10 advanced boot options with Troubleshoot selected
  3. Select Advanced Options.
    Windows 10 troubleshoot options
  4. Select System Restore. This option reverts your PC to an earlier point, called a system restore point. Restore points are created when you install a new app, driver, update, or when you create a system restore point manually.
    Windows 10 advanced options showing system restore selected
  5. System Restore will open. Click Next.
    Windows 10 system restore
  6. Select a date before the issue started, you may see more than 1 restore point. Click Next afterwards.
    Windows 10 system restore
  7. Confirm your restore point by clicking Finish. Click Back if you wish to change the restore point.
    Windows 10 system restore
  8. The process will take some time to finish. The system will also reboot shortly.
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