Where is the BSOD log file located and how to read it?

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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  • Did you know that Windows 10 stores BSoD log files? 
  • Knowing a BSOD log file location and how to read it can tell why your device crashed.
  • For that, you can use a system built-in tool or a BSoD file viewer.
  • Consequently, you will be able to take the appropriate measures easier and quicker.
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The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) is one of the most well-known and feared errors that you can encounter. It usually occurs due to a wide variety of reasons, including hardware and software issues.

Because there are so many factors that can contribute to this type of errors, knowing exactly what the cause is can make it easier to troubleshoot the problem.

Thankfully enough, Windows 10 comes with a neat way of storing all kinds of information, including the BSOD log file.

The only problem is that this type of log file isn’t like the ones you are used to. more specifically, it doesn’t come as a text document that you could open with Notepad.

So accessing the BSOD log file is a bit trickier, but it can be done, either using some of Windows 10’s own tools or with third-party software.

How do I check the BSoD log?

1. Use the Event Viewer

  1. Press Windows + X to open the Quick Links menu
  2. Click on Event Viewer
  3. Look over the Actions pane
  4. Click the Create Custom View linkev
  5. Select a time range
    • This is where you should input the time range of when the BSOD happened
  6. Check the Error checkbox in the Event Level section
  7. Select the Event Logs menu
  8. Check the Windows Logs checkbox
  9. Click OK
  10. Give the custom view a name, and then press OK. (The Event Viewer will now show the information base don the filters you applied.)
  11. Sort the information by date using the Date and Time header
  12. Look at the error events at the time of your last BSOD
  13. For more details regarding the error, click on the Details tab

You’ll see that the Windows Event Viewer shows a log of application and system messages.

This includes errors, information messages, and warnings, and it is a useful tool for troubleshooting all kinds of different Windows problems.

2. Use a third-party BSoD viewer

third party bsod viewer

If all of the steps mentioned above seem too complicated, then you could make use of a third-party event viewer. These apps will usually do the exact same thing as the Windows Event Viewer, but with fewer steps.

For a more details on how you can use a third-party BSOD viewer, check out this in-depth guide.

For this particular situation, we recommend using NirSoft’s BlueScreenView.

The tools scans your systems for the BSoD crash file and returns the information in one single table, so you can easily analyze it. This way, you’ll easily see the cause of the event and the location.

As a result, you’ll be able to go for the exact troubleshooting method.

Download BlueScreenView

Now that you’re all aware of what exactly caused your last BSOD error, you can go ahead and take the right measures to solve your problem.

While preventing the problem altogether may seem like a better option, BSODs have always been a number’s game, as they can happen pretty much any time to almost anyone.

Did you ever encounter a Blue screen of Death error while using Windows? Tell us about your experience in the comment section below.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published in December 2019 and was revamped and updated in January 2021 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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