How To Disable Error Reporting in Windows

Disable Error Reporting to Microsoft in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, & XP

Screenshot of the Problem Reporting settings in Windows 8
Problem Reporting Settings (Windows 8).

The error reporting feature is what produces those alerts after certain program or operating system errors, prompting you to send the information about the problem to Microsoft.

You might want to disable error reporting to avoid sending private information about your computer to Microsoft, because you're not connected to the internet all the time, or just to stop being prompted by the annoying alerts.

Error reporting in enabled by default in all versions of Windows but is easy to turn off from the Control Panel in Windows.

Important: Before you disable error reporting, please keep in mind that not only is it beneficial for Microsoft, but it's also ultimately a good thing for you, the Windows owner.

These error reports send vital information to Microsoft about a problem that the operating system or a program is having and helps them develop future patches and service packs, making Windows more stable.

The specific steps involved in disabling error reporting depends significantly on which operating system you're using. See What Version of Windows Do I Have? if you're not sure which set of instructions to follow:

Disable Error Reporting in Windows 10

  1. Open Services from the Run dialog box.

    You can open the Run dialog box with the Windows Key + R keyboard combination.
     
  2. Enter services.msc to open Services.
     
  1. Find Windows Error Reporting Service and then right-click or tap-and-hold on that entry from the list.
     
  2. Choose the Properties option from the context menu.
     
  3. Next to Startup type, select Disabled from the drop down menu.
     
  4. Click or tap OK or Apply to save the changes.
     
  5. You can now close out of the Services window.

    Another way to disable error reporting is through Registry Editor. Navigate to the registry key you see below, and then find the value called Disabled. If it doesn't exist, make a new DWORD value with that exact name.

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\Windows Error Reporting

    Note: You can make a new DWORD value from the Edit > New menu in Registry Editor.

    Double-click or double-tap the Disabled value to change it from a 0 to a 1, and then save it by hitting the OK button.

    Disable Error Reporting in Windows 8 or Windows 7

    1. Open Control Panel.

    2. Click or tap on the System and Security link.

      Note: If you're viewing the Large icons or Small icons view of Control Panel, click or tap on Action Center and skip to Step 4.

    3. Click or tap on the Action Center link.

    4. In the Action Center window, click/tap the Change Action Center settings link on the left.

    5. In the Related settings section at the bottom of the Change Action Center settings window, click or tap on the Problem reporting settings link.

    6. There are four Problem Reporting Settings options:

      • Automatically check for solutions (the default option)
      • Automatically check for solutions and send additional report data, if needed
      • Each time a problem occurs, ask me before checking for solutions
      • Never check for solutions

      The third and fourth option disable error reporting to varying degrees in Windows.

    1. Choosing Each time a problem occurs, ask me before checking for solutions will keep error reporting enabled but will prevent Windows from automatically notifying Microsoft about the issue. If your concern about error reporting is only privacy related, this is the best option for you.

      Choosing Never check for solutions will fully disable error reporting in Windows.

      There is also a Select programs to exclude from reporting option here that you're welcome to explore if you'd rather customize instead of completely disable error reporting in Windows.

      Note: If you can't change these settings because they're greyed out, choose the link at the bottom of the Problem Reporting Settings window that says Change report settings for all users.

    1. Click or tap the OK button at the bottom of the window.

    2. Click or tap the OK button at the bottom of the Change Action Center settings window (the one with the Turn messages on or off heading).

    3. You can now close the Action Center window.

    Disable Error Reporting in Windows Vista

    1. Open Control Panel by clicking or tapping on the Start button and then Control Panel.

    2. Click/tap on the System and Maintenance link.

      Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, double-click or double-tap on the Problem Reports and Solutions icon and skip to Step 4.

    3. Click or tap on the Problem Reports and Solutions link.

    4. In the Problem Reports and Solutions window, click or tap on the Change settings link on the left.

    5. Here you have two options: Check for solutions automatically (the default option) and Ask me to check if a problem occurs.

      Choosing Ask me to check if a problem occurs will keep error reporting enabled but will prevent Windows Vista from automatically notifying Microsoft about the issue.

      Note: If your only concern is sending information to Microsoft, you can stop here. If you'd like to fully disable error reporting, you can skip this step and continue on with the remaining instructions.

    6. Click or tap on the Advanced settings link.

    7. In the Advanced settings for problem reporting window, under the For my programs, problem reporting is: heading, choose Off.

      Note: There are several advanced options here that you're welcome to explore if you'd rather not completely disable error reporting in Windows Vista, but for the purposes of this tutorial we're going to completely disable the feature.

    8. Click or tap the OK button at the bottom of the window.

    9. Click or tap OK on the window with the Choose how to check for solutions to computer problems heading.

      Note: You might notice that the Check for solutions automatically and Ask me to check if a problem occurs options are now grayed out. This is because Windows Vista error reporting is completely disabled and these options are no longer applicable.

    10. Click or tap Close on the Windows problem reporting is turned off message that appears.

    11. You can now close the Problem Reports and Solutions and Control Panel windows.

    Disable Error Reporting in Windows XP

    1. Open Control Panel - click or tap on Start and then Control Panel.

    2. Click or tap on the Performance and Maintenance link.

      Note: If you're viewing the Classic View of Control Panel, double-click or double-tap on the System icon and skip to Step 4.

    3. Under the or pick a Control Panel icon section, choose the System link.

    4. In the System Properties window, click or tap on the Advanced tab.

    5. Near the bottom of the window, click/tap on the Error Reporting button.

    6. In the Error Reporting window that appears, choose the Disable error reporting radio button and click the OK button.

      Note: I would recommend leaving the But notify me when critical errors occur checkbox checked. You probably still want Windows XP to notify you about the error, just not Microsoft.

    7. Click or tap the OK button on the System Properties window

    8. You can now close the Control Panel or Performance and Maintenance window.