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Don't Be Blue About a Blue Screen of Death! Here's How to Fix It...

published 2/1/2020

A Windows 10 blue screen of death (BSOD) is a common issue that most computers have.

BSODs happen for a variety of reasons and they can scare anyone that's never experienced one. It's a type of error that crashes the computer and stops it from working.

When you don't fix a BSOD, your computer can suffer from long-term damage because this type of crash interrupts the entire system. Fortunately, you can find out what's causing a blue screen and can take several measures to fix it.

Keep on reading to learn how to fix a blue screen of death.

What Causes a Windows 10 Blue Screen of Death

Blue screens are caused whenever your computer's hardware or the drivers have a problem. When this happens, everything will stop and a blue screen will be displayed on your monitor. This screen will have information relating to the error.

Although blue screens are generally caused by larger problems, they can sometimes happen when low-level software in the Windows kernel suffers an error.

It's uncommon to see regular apps cause a blue screen, such as Google Chrome or Microsoft Office. Whenever these apps crash, they'll usually do so without affecting the operating system.

The cause of a blue screen is when Windows encounters a "STOP Error." This stops Windows from working and all that's left to do is restart the computer. Whenever this happens, you can lose data because any programs that were running won't have time to save anything.

Windows has a built-in safety feature to protect itself from blue screens. It will create a file that will store information relating to the crash and save it to your storage device. You'll be able to see the information about the crash after you've restarted your computer.

In the past, blue screens looked like something out of a 90s computer. They were dark blue and the text font looked like a terminal.

In Windows 10, the blue screen is simple. On a light blue background, it tells you that your PC has run into a problem and will need to be restarted.

Automatic Restarts and Viewing Information

A default setting in Windows 10 makes your computer restart whenever it gets a blue screen. However, you can disable that by going into the startup settings. You'll see a box that you can check relating to automatic restarts.

You'll also be able to see information about the dump file in which the info about the crash is. You can choose to overwrite any existing file whenever you get another blue screen.

Disabling the automatic restart allows you to confirm that your PC went through a blue screen. In many cases, your PC will restart due to automatic updates that were running in the background.

Whenever you disable the restart, you can view more details about the crash from the blue screen rather than waiting until it restarts.

Most of the information relating to the crash can be viewed in the Windows Event Viewer. From there, you can see logs of any application crash and other system messages.

How to Fix a Blue Screen on Windows 10

In most cases, you can fix a blue screen by simply restarting your computer. However, some blue screens will reoccur depending on what the problem is with the PC.

When this happens, there are a variety of things you can do to fix a blue screen of death:

System Restore

A system restore essentially resets your PC back in time. When this happens, your PC will go through and delete things that weren't on your computer before a certain date. So if you selected January 2, 2019, anything that was done/installed after that would be removed.

Scan for Malware

Malware can be a cause of blue screens because some viruses will overload applications, causing them to crash. When you scan for malware, your PC will detect anything unusual and let you know. From there, you can remove viruses and spyware.

Some of the things that you download will give you a message saying there could be a virus, so you'll have to use your judgment when downloading.

Update Drivers

Drivers that weren't installed properly can cause crashes, so update all of them. You can find drivers for a part by visiting the manufacturer's website. 

Boot Into Safe Mode

Safe mode is a feature that allows you to start your computer and load only the necessary drivers instead of everything. This allows you to work on fixing the blue screen without running the risk of getting a crash while in the middle of something.

Check for Hardware Issues

You should check that all of your hardware is placed correctly and isn't overheating. The two main parts that could overheat are the graphics card and the processor. If they are overheating, you can try improving the cooling within your PC or you'll have to buy new parts because they can get damaged.

Now You Know What to Do for BSODs

Anyone can fix a Windows 10 blue screen of death, you'll just need to go through the listed options until you can pinpoint what the problem is. Understanding how to fix one will let you get the most out of your computer as you'll greatly increase the longevity of it.

If you ever run into a BSOD, we recommend you start by going into safe mode. From there, look into the details of the crash and find out whether it's a hardware or software issue.

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