Show BSOD details instead of the sad smiley in Windows 11 and 10

Microsoft changed the design of the stop screen (also called the BSOD or Blue Screen Of Death). Instead of showing technical info with white letters on a blue background, Windows 10 shows a sad smiley and just the error code. But if you want to turn on the old style BSOD, need to edit the Registry and change two parameters. The methods works in Windows 11 and Windows 11.


Windows 10 BSODMicrosoft simplified the bug check screen in Windows so it would be less scary to a casual user. However, if you do get a BSOD in Windows 11 or Windows 10, you would want to perform some troubleshooting to fix it. In this scenario, the sad emoticon is not helpful at all. Keeping this in mind, Microsoft made the classic BSOD available in both Windows 11 and 10.

Disable BSOD Smiley and Enable Details

To turn on crash details and hide the sad smiley on the BSOD screen, do the following.

  1. Type regedit in the Start menu and click on Open to launch the Registry editor.Open Regedit From the Start menu
  2. Navigate to the following registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\CrashControl. Tip: See how to open the desired registry key with one click.
  3. Right-click the CrashControl key in the left pane and select New > DWORD 32-bit value.Create New Dword
  4. Name it DisplayParameters, double-click and set its value data to 1 to enable crash details.Enable Bsod Details
  5. Again, right-click the CrashControl key, and create one more DWORD value.
  6. Name the new value DisableEmoticon and set it to 1 to disable the emoticon.Disable Sad Smiley
  7. Restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

That's it. The next time a serious error occurs, you will see the good old detailed stop information instead of the useless sad emotion on the Blue Screen of Death.

To save your time, you can use Winaero Tweaker. It has the appropriate option under the Behavior category:

Winaero Tweaker Options

You can get the app here: Download Winaero Tweaker.

Bonus Tip: You can test how your BSOD looks like using the official tutorial from Microsoft.

How to trigger a test system crash

  1. Press Win + R keys together on the keyboard. The Run dialog will appear. Type the following in the Run box:

    Windows 10 run advacned system propertiesUnder Startup and Recovery, click Settings. Ensure that you have the automatic memory dump enabled under the Write Debugging Information section. Uncheck the Automatic Restart option.

  2. If you are using a PS/2 keyboard, go to the following registry key:

    Create here a value named CrashOnCtrlScroll, and set it to 1 to enable the keyboard-initiated crash.Windows 10 CrashOnCtrlScroll 1

  3. With a USB keyboard which is what most computers have these days, create the CrashOnCtrlScroll value mentioned above at the following registry key:

    Windows 10 CrashOnCtrlScroll 2

  4. Restart Windows for the settings to take effect.
  5. After restart, hold down the right CTRL key, and press the SCROLL LOCK key twice. This will cause a user-initiated BSOD.

That's it! This way you can see the changes you made. Luckily, modern Windows versions are solid rock stable and reliable, so you should not see this screen often. If your device has no hardware defects and the software is verified and stable, you may not see it a once.

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Author: Sergey Tkachenko

Sergey Tkachenko is a software developer who started Winaero back in 2011. On this blog, Sergey is writing about everything connected to Microsoft, Windows and popular software. Follow him on Telegram, Twitter, and YouTube.

19 thoughts on “Show BSOD details instead of the sad smiley in Windows 11 and 10”

  1. Actually, the “sad face” BSOD was introduced in Windows 8, not Windows 10 (which only inherited it). But I also like the old one better.

      1. It still getting the sad face, but in top-left corner it shows 4 parameters of the error. The last error i got: SYSTEM_THREAD_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED (dxgmm2.sys). help me?

  2. I know you just copied and pasted in the Windows 8 version of this page but you should really go weed it out. PS/2 keyboards? Most people don’t even know what those are. This article can really be streamlined.

    1. Most people who have any use for the old blue screens would know what a PS/2 keyboard is, at least. If you are a normal user you have no use for the general information and searching the Internet for the error would help more in that case. Wish I knew this was possible when I was messing with my RAM latency and speed.

  3. Using Winaero Tweaker to enable this doesn’t work on Windows 10 Build 14393 (Anniversary). Still gives the default look.

  4. Hi. Can you try to find another way to enable it? I think it’s been patched. It doesn’t work anymore. I’ve tried with the program and manually editing the registry, but it doesn’t work, I still get the new BSOD (which isn’t as fun as the other, because the old one used to scare me and the new one doesn’t…). If you can find another way, we’d appreciate it! Thanks!

    1. Yes, that’s what I’m now seeing too.
      I guess the “proper” old BSOD display has now been completely removed.
      The documentation on the tweak on Winaero Tweaker should be updated to reflect this.

  5. This tweak actually shows error details on the top of the crash screen since there is no way to restore the old crash screen.

  6. There is no way to remove the smiley in the crash screen. Enabling this tweak will instead show details on the top of the crash screen.

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