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

Madalina Dinita
by Madalina Dinita
Former Managing Editor
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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 error, 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, that come sin the form of a text document that you could open with Notepad.

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.

Where is the BSOD log file and how can I read it?

Once a BSOD error takes place, a log file is stored somewhere on your PC, but it cannot be accessed by simple means. That is why you need to use one of the two following solutions to find and read them.

1. Use the Event Viewer

In very simple terms, 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.

In our case, you can use it to find and read the BSOD dump files:

  1. Press Windows + X
    • This will 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

2. Use a third-party Blue Screen of Death 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 much fewer steps.

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

Closing thoughts

Now that you’ve read up on 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.


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