For Windows 10, Microsoft may give its infamous Blue Screen of Death a QR code that users could scan with their smartphones to get more information about the crash.

Dawn Kawamoto, Associate Editor, Dark Reading

April 12, 2016

2 Min Read
<p align="left">(Image: <a href=""target="_blank">javelinnl</a> via</p>

Windows 10: Why These 10 New Features Matter

Windows 10: Why These 10 New Features Matter

Windows 10: Why These 10 New Features Matter (Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Microsoft is changing up its dreaded Blue Screen of Death by adding a QR code that users can turn to when their operating system dies and potentially cannot be revived. 

The QR code was spotted in Windows 10 Insider Build 14316, which Reddit user javelinnl shared in a post last week.

The error message reads: "Your PC ran into a problem and needs to restart. We're just collecting some error info, and then we'll restart for you."

It also points users to a QR code and notes next to the image that users can get more information about the BSOD and possible fixes by visiting a support link or calling their IT support and providing them with the stop code information.

The QR code, noted The Verge, is one of the most significant changes to the dreaded BSOD since the Redmond giant introduced a frowny face to the blue screen and stripped out most of the crash details.

Another variation to the BSOD was trotted out in 2007, when Microsoft rolled its Purple Screen of Death in Windows Vista's Desktop Window Manager.

Although the QR code is in the latest version of the Windows 10 preview, users will not be able to make use of it until Windows 10 is distributed over the summer as an anniversary update, according to The Verge. Then again, users are likely happy if they never have a need for the QR code.

[Read Microsoft Publishes Windows 10 Roadmap, Targets Business PCs.]

If users find themselves in such a position, they could scan the QR code with their smartphone. And as javelinnl noted on Reddit: "The first thing the new build did in my VM was crash, but instead of just the usual smiley I was greeted by a QR code as well."

With Microsoft's Windows so pervasive in the tech world and QR codes becoming ubiquitous, used on tattoos to Dutch coins, it would not be surprising to see other tech companies rely on these two-dimensional bar code images for their error pages, as well.

About the Author(s)

Dawn Kawamoto

Associate Editor, Dark Reading

Dawn Kawamoto is an Associate Editor for Dark Reading, where she covers cybersecurity news and trends. She is an award-winning journalist who has written and edited technology, management, leadership, career, finance, and innovation stories for such publications as CNET's,, AOL's DailyFinance, and The Motley Fool. More recently, she served as associate editor for technology careers site

Never Miss a Beat: Get a snapshot of the issues affecting the IT industry straight to your inbox.

You May Also Like

More Insights