Windows

Disable Windows XP's Error Reporting notification

If you always click the Don't Send button on Error Reporting in order to get back to work more quickly, you can avoid having to perform that step by disabling Error Reporting entirely.

When Windows XP encounters a severe error that has the potential to crash the operating system, it immediately halts the offending program and displays an error message that says the application has encountered a problem and needs to close. Then, the operating system prompts you to send an error report to Microsoft. You can avoid having to click the Don’t Send button by disabling Error Reporting. Here's how:

1. Press [Windows][Break] to display the System Properties dialog box.

2. Select the Advanced tab and click the Error Reporting button.

3. When you see the Error Reporting dialog box, select the Disable Error Reporting option. (If you don't want to see any type of error message, clear the But Notify Me When Critical Errors Occur check box.)

4. Click OK twice -- once to close the Error Reporting dialog box and once to close the System Properties dialog box.

Note: This tip is for both Windows XP Home and Professional.

Miss a tip?

Check out the Windows XP archive, and get more hands-on Windows XP tips.

Stay on top of the latest XP tips and tricks with our free Windows XP newsletter, delivered each Thursday. Automatically sign up today!

About

Greg Shultz is a freelance Technical Writer. Previously, he has worked as Documentation Specialist in the software industry, a Technical Support Specialist in educational industry, and a Technical Journalist in the computer publishing industry.

67 comments
pkbajaj
pkbajaj

THANKS A TON ... YOU MADE MY LIFE

lachandler2000
lachandler2000

Sometimes error reporting can be beneficial. Sometimes MS doesn't have a clue and blames something in your hardware. They fail to realize their "Hot Fixes" may break things. I had a MS game that I played on a computer I built in 2001 with the same hardware and XP. Now they say my video card causes the program to crash. Gee, it must be a delayed bad driver!

TokyoPete
TokyoPete

Lovely idea. Just follow the instructions.

Chester Nimitz
Chester Nimitz

I never knew that this was there makes windows somewhat less annoying.

masm007sa
masm007sa

Thank you for this usefull tip. I really don't see any benifit of this error reporting message because the error keeps happening over and over.

masm007sa
masm007sa

Thank you for this usefull tip. I really don't see any benifit of this error reporting message because the error keeps happening over and over.

spacedock01
spacedock01

TWO Great tips for me...Using the shortcut keys [Windows][Break] to bring up the box AND eliminating the Error Reporting crap.

thancao
thancao

This is a great tip!

Keith Hailey
Keith Hailey

I think that all error reports should be sent in. How else can MS spot trends and know that someting is broken if they don't hear about it. And if you are consistant with it, you get the occasional "Thank You" email from them, which shows me that some one is watching it.

opengates
opengates

Good call, never tried that route. I've always disabled Error Reporting via Services, along with about 30 other resource-wasters whenever I build a new XP system.

ppborceb
ppborceb

Hello: I'm new to xp and I don't know what is a 'windows break key' that you are referencing???

maxi
maxi

Oh WOW! such an easy tip, but one of those things I don't know because I live in far north Queensland, Australia and until I found have I tech republic I had to discover it all for myself. I am also pleased to get the other tip of bringing up the properties box by hitting [windows] and [break]. As we say in Australia; "bloody good idea, mate". Thanks Max

BALTHOR
BALTHOR

It ain't so bad to send an error report to Microsoft.However,I do not see Microsoft doing anything about these errors.(It could even be that the FCC is to see these reports.)These error reports pop up for me just before I loose the browser and all of the pages that I have on my desktop.When I send the report I loose all pages on my display.

Andrew T. Fry
Andrew T. Fry

I did not realize how many, supposedly technically-minded, people knew nothing of the Break key. Thanks you Greg for your informative blog. Thank you Bill for finding the associated Policy configuration key.

andymerr46
andymerr46

Good clear instructions, thanks a lot

kwmir
kwmir

Great tip. Very basic but helpful.

sargotsinger
sargotsinger

Great tip save me one more key stroke at times

radavid
radavid

Easy way to do this. Right click MY COMPUTER,click properties. In the lower right corner click error reporting. Now you can dissable it. Some guy's just like to make things difficult for the average none tech. computer user.

shallouh
shallouh

...I do not know what is being referred to on item #1:Press [Windows][Break] to display the System Properties dialog box...where do I find this? At the start up menu? === NEVER MIND...FOUND IT.

swabbie22
swabbie22

Never could find Error Reporting notification

cyber2steve
cyber2steve

Article is a waste of time, how would the average person using a computer know how to follow that instruction. It makes no sense. [window][break].

blueschord
blueschord

I'm sure that there must be others who share my (all too common) experience of getting into a loop whether I chose to send the notification to MS, or not. Many's the time I've had to reboot my computer because the dratted error message wouldn't go away. I recently did a clean re-install and have not had the same problem ... yet, but I've followed the tip, anyway ... Thanks very much.

tom
tom

Microsoft uses these reports to find and attempt to fix what causes them. In a rare occasion (video problem on a laptop, for instance) I actually got a response that it was a driver problem and to update the video driver.

lfloyd
lfloyd

Any way we can set this to not notify via active Directory (Win 2003)?

rpost
rpost

As in this scenario, you can accomplish the same outcome using several approaches. However, we are creatures of habit and tend to do and talk (write) about that method which we use and not necessarily the "best" method (assuming there is one).

dswartwd
dswartwd

This average person took a short cut. Go to Control Panel, Open up the System Icon. Click on the Advanced tab. At the bottom of the dialoge box is a button maked "Error Reporting". Click on it and you are there! Hope that helps!

#1 Kenster
#1 Kenster

Perhaps "Windows breaks" ... or from Merriam-Webster - "e : to render inoperable". That can happen with the Any key also.

jon_e_hutcherson
jon_e_hutcherson

Um, I AM an "average person" and I just did it with no problems. Give us a little credit, will ya'?

tom
tom

Saying the article is a waste of time is a bit critical. Unless you have an unusual keyboard, the Break key should be marked. Besides, this article is on TechRepublic, most people reading this should understand how to get into the system properties (by any one of the many ways to get there). Besides, maybe the average person shouldn't disable the error reporting anyway.

Sereniti
Sereniti

...as an idiot? While I feel that the writer should have described where to find the [Break] button, and I've never used that button before, it took me about 2 seconds (literally) to find it on my computer. On my keyboard, it's in the upper-right-hand corner, above the numeric keypad. If you visually scan your keyboard, it's easy to find unless you can't read - and anyone who uses a computer for any reason can probably read.

JustLJ
JustLJ

look at your keyboard... generally the "break" key is with the "pause" and next to or near the print scrn and scroll lock and sometimes next to the num lock key. the "Windows" key looks like the MS flag and is generally next to the Ctrl key. To get to this in the manner written about, hold the Windows key and the Break key at the same time... OR, go the the Control Panel, look for the System folder and it is the same place -- he was just trying to give us all a short cut...

bill
bill

I think you want. Computer Configuration/Administrative Templates/System/Error Reporting/Display Error Notification

staceyw
staceyw

To ask this same question. Dealing with 11,000 user's I get tired of reminding our techs to tell these people not to click send error report. Possibly have to try and implement this using GPEdit or something...

bemyoel
bemyoel

Hey maybe we can declare a "Send Error Report" day where we geet as many people as we can to send their error report to MS all at once. Or not.

gil_gosseyn
gil_gosseyn

The MS Error Reporting does absolutely NOTHING for the individual user. Unless you work at a major company with an MS support contract, your "error reporting" goes into a Black Hole, never to be heard from again. Non-corporate users never get any feedback about the problem, so reporting the error just wastes more time. Don't believe everything Microsoft tells you, Tom. Lying is second nature to them.

amtrader
amtrader

After many years of trying to instruct many of our high schools finest graduates, along with no small a group of first and second year university students, I have come to the conclusion that most of them are indeed mentally challenged! The vast preponderance of them could not read, comprehend what they read, do simple arthmetic (fractions and the like) so I would question the ability of many "average users" to find the buttons described in the article. If you have any doubt as to the quality of todays high school graduate just watch the YouTube video of Miss South Carolina trying to answer a veryy simple, and well articulated question at the Miss Teen America competition...that might just give you an idea of where we are going as a nation.

jptess676
jptess676

..look at all the posts on this very simple process. I thought people at this site were 'experts'....you're too kind in your explanation JustLJ....just tell them to buy the book....'BREAK KEY For Dummies'

cbsimkins
cbsimkins

For those of us with old, but great, keyboards, there is no Windows key. Any ideas? Mine is a OmiKey/Ultra keyboard and I am used to the Ctrl-Break routine from the old DOS days, but no Windows key. CBS

donfredi
donfredi

to access the System Properties dialog box is to simply press the windows button then right click on 'my computer' the choose properties from list.

john3347
john3347

I would like an explanation of exactly what happens when you select "report". If someone, somewhere eventually tallies reports and someone, somewhere eventually makes an attempt to write operating systems and applications (or hardware) to prevent these errors, we should by all means report every one. If only someone compiles statistics that shows how flawed our most popular operating system is, it would be beneficial to report every instance. If these reports fall into a "recycle bin" somewhere and nobody ever even compiles statistics from them, then they should be removed from the OS, making the OS one small step smaller and less complicated.

bemyoel
bemyoel

I seriously hate it when people misuse apostrophe's.

jon_e_hutcherson
jon_e_hutcherson

Is that all you have to offer... to critique someone's spelling?

petercharak
petercharak

to insert an unnecessary (and incorrect) apostrophe? Many of us need to learn the difference between plurals and posessives.

ulrich
ulrich

Same problem here. I tried pushing a registry entry via my login scripts to disable error reporting. Unfortunately, users have to have Admin rights for the entry to take place, unless you send Administror credententials along with the push, which is not a good idea in case someone captures the login script!

amtrader
amtrader

I must admit you have grasp the reality of her performance. Thank you for reminding me of the requirements of those offices. :)

amtrader
amtrader

Hello Khair, yes, I will PM you soon Lynn

khair.ismail
khair.ismail

Hello Lynn, Have you changed your email address?

swb76148
swb76148

When I saw Miss South Carolina and heard her reply, I thought I saw a future politician in the making...

cbsimkins
cbsimkins

Thanks, I forgot all about that. Actually I disabled the reporting feature long ago, or so it seems as it is disabled, but totally forgot how I did it. But that is typical for Windows as it has so many little nooks and crannies where you have to go to do things. CBS

gil_gosseyn
gil_gosseyn

You can open the System Properties window by right-clicking My Computer (on the Desktop using Classic Start Menu, or in the Start Menu with XP Start Menu), and select Properties from the drop-down menu. Or, you can double-click the System icon in Control Panel. The Windows key is not necessary, it just makes some people feel "cool" to use a keyboard shortcut instead of the mouse. ; / ) This works with Windows 2000 Pro, too.

Editor's Picks