As you can see from the words, a blue screen means your screen turns into blue color. Users are likely to suffer from Windows 11 blue screen (blue screen of death) when a problem occurs on their computers. This page shows you what causes this problem and more importantly how to fix the problem to get rid of the blue screen.
Part 1: What Is Windows 11 Blue Screen
What does the term Windows 11 blue screen mean? To be specific, it means the screen of your device is turning blue suddenly, while you’re working with your documents, editing an image, watching a movie, or doing anything else. In most cases, you can see a stop code or error message which describes what is happening and you can search for the exact stop codes or errors to find effective solutions to them.
This page will show you the main causes of Windows 11 blue screen of death and some useful methods for fixing Windows 11 BSOD. Besides, it will provide a wonderful way to help users restore files from Windows 11 PC whether it can boot normally or not after you tried to fix the problem.
Need to trigger a BSoD screen on your computer? Here is how to force a Blue Screen of Death on Windows 11/10 using 3 different ways.
Blue Screen of Death
Blue Screen of Death (also known as a stop screen, or stop error) is one of the most unwanted issues on Windows 11; it is abbreviated as BSOD. Users will see a blue screen suddenly when using Windows 11 if the system encounters a fatal error (a system failure at the Windows kernel level) it can’t recover from.
Though fatal system error could occur on your computer anytime without giving you a sign in advance, you can fix it in several ways.
The possible causes of the Windows 11 blue screen are low-level software (or drivers) crashing and faulty hardware. In some cases, the exact stop error and the description will be displayed on the blue screen when your Windows crashes and stops working, leaving some programs, documents, and apps opening & unsaved.
What happens when a blue screen appears?
A memory dump file named “minidump” will be created by Windows automatically to store the information relevant to the system crash to help users & professionals identify the exact cause of the blue screen. Where is this file saved? It will be saved to your disk directly
- In old Windows systems like Windows 7, the blue screen is full of hardware information, but it is useless to most ordinary users. There’s a brief explanation of the problem. Windows says it is collecting some error info and the real-time progress percentage is shown to you.
- In newer Windows systems starting with Windows 8 in 2012, a large sad face is included in the blue screen. It shows you that your computer runs into a problem and needs to be restarted.
- Besides, a QR code is added to the screen in 2016 so that people can look up the detailed information (the cause) of the blue screen by scanning it with a smartphone. There’s also a lookup URL for stop codes.
Blue screen errors were adopted by Microsoft since the beta version of Windows 1.0. A blue screen will appear, saying “Incorrect DOS version” when Windows found a newer DOS version than it expected. It's not a crash screen. In contrast, Windows 1.0 either locks up or exits to DOS when the system is crashing. BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) was introduced in Windows 3.0; it aims at offering a way for IT professionals and support teams to analyze the issue and diagnose hardware & soft faults.
Part 2: Windows 11 Blue Screen and Black Screen
What Does Windows 11 Black Screen Mean
Many users find Microsoft's blue screen of death is changing to black in Windows 11 in the middle of 2021. Why is Microsoft changing its famous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) to black in Windows 11? One of the main reasons is to cater for its new black logon and shutdown screens. Except for the color, there’s no difference between the new black screen and the previous BSOD. Windows 11 black screen is a big visual change to the BSOD since the adding of a sad face.
- The sad face remains.
- The stop code and crash dump are also kept.
Windows 11's Black Screen of Death Is Changing Back to Blue
However, you’ll be disappointed if you want the Microsoft Windows 11 blue screen of death to become black: the black screen of death is changed back to its original blue color. Microsoft confirmed this in its patch notes: “We changed the screen color to blue when a device stops working or a stop error occurs as in previous versions of Windows”.
Till now, it's still not clear why Microsoft changed the black screen back to blue in Windows 11 (IT support calls may be the reason).
Part 3: How to Troubleshoot Windows 11 Blue Screen of Death
Microsoft has confirmed the blue screen of death and other problems in Windows 11 (the new operating system) at the end of 2021.
- The BSOD is caused by compatibility issues with the Intel driver.
- The Microsoft Installer (MSI) failure will affect users’ app updates or repairs.
The first thing users will think of when running into Windows 11 blue screen of death is to restart the computer (to try to fix the problem). The automatic troubleshooting and repair process will be initialized while restarting Windows 11. That’s why the Windows 11 computer will go back to normal after a simple restart when encountering problems like a blue screen.
You may find your Windows 10 stuck on restarting for a very long time. Can you fix the problem to restart Windows 10 successfully?
Whenever a BSOD shows up on the Windows 11 computer, please write down the error code and reboot the computer to let Windows fix the problem automatically. However, restarting doesn’t always work; many users said the problem persists after rebooting Windows 11. Under such circumstances, they should try these quick fixes:
- Press Windows + Ctrl + Shift + B to check whether Windows 11 is responsive or not.
- Check the connectivity with your monitor.
- Disconnect unnecessary peripheral devices.
- Rollback the new driver, app, or system updates.
- Uninstall recently installed software.
- Scan the computer for viruses or malware.
Tips: Stop Automatic Reboot after Blue Screen Errors
You can stop your Windows 11 computer from rebooting automatically if you need. Here’s what to do:
- Click on the search icon on the taskbar or press Windows + S directly to open Windows search.
- Type Control Panel into the search box.
- Click on Control Panel from the search results or press Enter if it's under Best match.
- Choose System and Security and then click System.
- Select Advanced system settings.
- Click on the Settings button in the Startup and Recovery section.
- Locate the System failure section and uncheck Automatically restart.
- Click OK to save changes.
#1. Reboot Windows 11 in Safe Mode
If the BSOD stops you from accessing Windows 11 desktop, you should boot it into Safe Mode first.
- Press the Power button and hold it for at least 10 seconds to turn off your computer.
- Press the Power button again to turn it back on. Repeat this process several times if your Windows 11 didn’t boot.
- Hold the F11 key (it’s F8 or another key on some machines) while pressing Power. Windows will fully restart to enter the Windows Recovery Environment.
- The Choose an option screen will appear.
- Please select Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Startup Settings -> Restart.
- When Windows 11 restarts, you’ll see a list of options.
- Press F4 to Enable Safe Mode or press F5 to Enable Safe Mode with Networking.
How to exit Safe Mode: press Windows + R -> type msconfig -> click OK -> select Boot -> uncheck Safe boot under the Boot options.
#2. Perform a Clean Boot
Software incompatibility or software glitch is a popular cause of the Windows 11 blue screen. You can do a clean boot to start Windows with only the essential components to rule out the possibilities.
#3. Run the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool
- Press Windows + S to open search.
- Type Windows Memory Diagnostic.
- Click this tool from the search results or press Enter to open it directly.
- Select Restart now and check for problems (recommended).
- Wait for the test to complete.
You can then open Event Viewer -> select Windows Logs -> click System to view the most recent MemoryDiagnostic file.
#4. Uninstall Third-party Software
- Click Start and select Settings.
- Go to System -> Apps & features.
- Browse the software installed on your computer.
- Select the recently added third-party software or the software you suspect might be causing the issue.
- Click Uninstall and wait.
- Restart your computer.
#5. Update/Rollback/Disable/Uninstall Drivers
- Press Windows + X.
- Select Device Manager.
- Expand a device category that you suspect has problematic drivers.
- Right click on the target driver and select Properties.
- Shift to the Driver tab.
- Click Update Driver, Roll Back Driver, Disable Device, or Uninstall Device.
- Follow the instructions to continue.
#6. Uninstall Recent Update
This method is very useful if the Windows 11 BSOD occurs after a Windows 11 update was installed.
- Open Settings.
- Select Windows Update.
- Click Update history.
- Click Uninstall updates under Related settings.
- Select the most recent updates and click on Uninstall.
- Just wait.
If uninstalling recent system updates didn’t work, you can also try to perform a System Restore, get the latest system updates, or even perform a clean install of Windows 11 (your data will be lost of course).
The System Restore may fail on Windows. You must want to know how to fix it when the System Restore didn’t complete successfully.
#7. Scan Hard Drive for Errors
Use Error checking:
- Press Windows + E.
- Select This PC.
- Browse your disk and right click on Local Disk (C:).
- Select Properties and go to Tools.
- Click on the Check button under the Error checking section.
- Follow the on-screen instructions.
Do you want to remove your folders from This PC Windows 11? If yes, there are a few ways available for you to choose from.
Perform SFC scan:
- Run Command Prompt as administrator.
- Type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
- Wait for the command to end.
#8. Scan Your Computer for Virus or Malware
- Press Windows + S.
- Type Windows Security and press Enter.
- Select Virus & threat protection.
- Choose a scan type to start scanning your Windows 11 PC.
- Follow the instructions to remove the virus or malware found by the tool.
#9. Rebuild MBR
There’s a possibility that your Windows 11 blue screen or black screen of death is caused by the corrupted MBR. Luckily, there are 2 ways to fix corrupted MBR.
Use Command Prompt tool:
- You can open the Choose an option screen and select Troubleshoot -> Advanced options -> Command Prompt when Windows 11 can’t start.
- Then, type bootrec /Fixmbr and press Enter.
- Type bootrec /FixBoot and press Enter.
- Type bootrec /ScanOs and press Enter.
- Type bootrec /RebuildBcd and press Enter.
- Restart the PC when the process finishes.
Use MiniTool Partition Wizard:
- Get MiniTool Partition Wizard.
- Use the Bootable Media Builder to create a bootable disk.
- Remove the disk and connect it to the unbootable Windows 11 computer.
- Enter BIOS and change the boot order to start your PC from the bootable disk.
- Select MiniTool Partition Wizard to run the software.
- Select your system disk in the right pane.
- Find and click Rebuild MBR in the left pane.
- Click Apply at the bottom left and choose Yes.
#10. Increase Virtual Memory of Windows 11
- Press Windows + S.
- Type View advanced system settings and press Enter.
- Click Settings under the Performance section.
- Shift to the Advanced tab in the Performance Options window.
- Click Change under the Virtual memory section.
- Uncheck Automatically manage paging file size for all drives.
- Select Custom size.
- Type a value for Initial size and Maximum size. The virtual memory should be 1.5 times (Initial size) to 3 times (Maximum size) the size of your physical memory.
- Click Set and OK.
- Restart your computer.
Part 4: How to Recover Data after Windows 11 BSOD
You must want to get your data back when running into Windows 11 blue screen of death, right?
Recover Data from Windows 11 after Rebooting
Situation 1: if your computer can boot successfully after you have tried the fixes mentioned in part 3, please follow this guide to recover lost data on Windows 11.
- Download and install MiniTool Power Data Recovery properly.
- Run it and wait for a while.
- Select the drive that contains your lost data.
- Click on the Scan button and wait for the scan.
- Browse the scan results and check the files (folders) you need.
- Click on the Save button and choose a storage path for them.
- Click OK and wait until all the items are recovered completely.
Recover Data from a Non-bootable Windows 11
Situation 2: please don’t worry if your Windows 11 PC won’t boot. You can still recover data from it.
Step 1: create a bootable disk using MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
- Get the software and install it properly on another computer.
- Click on the optical disc icon at the top right to open MiniTool Media Builder.
- Follow the on-screen instructions to create a bootable disk (USB/CD/DVD).
- Remove the bootable disk and connect it to the unbootable Windows 11 PC.
- Change the boot order of the PC to boot from this disk.
- Select MiniTool Power Data Recovery to enter its main interface.
- Follow the steps mentioned in situation 1 to complete the recovery process.
Part 5: Verdict
This page introduces Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) and shows you what do Windows 11 blue screen and Windows 11 black screen mean. Then, it provides several useful fixes for Windows 11 BSOD. What’s more, there are bonus tips for recovering data from a Windows 11 computer after a blue screen appeared.