How to Configure Blue Screen Crash (BSOD) Dump Files in Windows 10

The Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) in Windows 10 is no fun for anyone. Oftentimes accompanied by a loud, repeating noise, it throws up a single error code, spins the loading circle, and has you on your way. The only problem is that when they keep happening, many users don’t know where to find their BSOD dump file. You can Google the error code furiously, but without information specific to your system, it can be hard to find the root cause.

Windows BSOD QR Code

Thankfully, you can configure Windows 10 to create a blue screen dump files at the location of your choice for easy diagnosis and access. We’re going to show exactly how to set up those crash dumps today, but first, a little about what a dump file is.

What is a BSOD dump file?

A dump file, memory dump, or crash dump is a copy of your PC’s memory at the time it crashed. Knowing exactly what was in your computer’s memory before it departed to the blue realm is naturally useful to discover what caused it.

By default, dump files in Windows 10 are set to ‘Automatic memory dump’, which is the same as a kernel memory dump but lets Microsoft do some automatic pagefile management. Kernel dumps contain less information than a ‘complete memory dump’, but more than a ‘small memory dump’, which holds only basic information like loaded drivers, kernel info, and processes. An Active memory dump is also available, being smaller than complete and containing active memory in kernel and user mode.

In general, a kernel dump is the best medium, with complete dumps in most cases containing much more than is needed. Either way, they’re not something the average user will find easy to understand – they’re best sent to support or a developer for troubleshooting. Minidumps are also created in Windows 10 on all settings other than “none”, and these are very useful to see the driver files involved in a crash.

Bear in mind that if you want to configure a complete Windows 10 memory dump, you’ll need a pagefile at least as big as your amount of available memory. You can see how to optimize your pagefile here.

How to Configure  Dump Files in Windows 10 via Control Panel

This is the simplest method, but not necessarily the fastest.

  1. Open Control Panel


    Press the Start button and type “Control Panel”. Click the first result.

    Windows 10 - Open Control Panel

  2. Click “System & Security”


    Windows 10 - Control Panel - Open System And Security

  3. Click “System”


    Windows 10 - Control Panel - System And Security - Open System

  4. Open “Advanced system settings”


    Windows 10 - Control Panel - System And Security - System - Open Adavanced System Settings

  5. Open “Startup and Recovery  – Settings”


    Open the “Advanced” tab, find the “Startup and Recovery” heading, and click “Settings…”.

    Windows 10 - Control Panel - System And Security - System - Adavanced System Settings - System Properties - Startup And Recovery - Open Settings

  6. Choose the desired Windows 10 BSOD dump file type


    In the ‘Startup and Recovery’ window, tick “Write an event to the system log” and “Automatically restart” under the ‘System failure’ heading. Then change the drop-down under “Write debugging information” to BSOD dump file type of your choice. We recommend the automatic setting. Click “OK”.

    Windows 10 - Control Panel - System And Security - System - Advanced System Settings - Startup and Recovery

  7. Choose your dump file location for Windows 10


    You’ll be asked to choose a BSOD dump location. The default is %SystemRoot%/MEMORY.DMP, but the dump file location varies for small memory dump:

    Dump Type Dump File Location
    (none) %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP (Greyed out)
    Small memory dump %SystemRoot%\Minidump
    Kernel memory dump %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP
    Complete memory dump %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP
    Automatic memory dump %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP
    Active memory dump %SystemRoot%\MEMORY.DMP



    Windows 10 - Control Panel - System And Security - Change Dump File folder

How Configure Windows 10 BSOD Dump Files with Command Prompt

Admins value the Command Prompt because it’s often faster, and that’s the case here, too.

  1. Open Command Prompt


    Press the Start button and type “Command Prompt”, selecting “Run as administrator”.

    Windows 10 - Open Elevated Command Prompt

  2. Change your Windows 10 BSOD dump type


    In the command prompt, type wmic RECOVEROS set DebugInfoType = x, with x replaced with one of the following numbers:

    Dump Type Number
    (none) 0
    Complete memory dump 1
    Kernel memory dump 2
    Small memory dump 3
    Automatic memory dump 7


    On success, you’ll see the text “Property(s) update successful”.

    Windows 10 - Elevated Command Prompt - Active Memory Dumps

  3. Check your memory dump file type


    You can verify the change or just check your Windows 10 blue screen dump type with the following command:

    wmic RECOVEROS get DebugInfoType

    It will return a number. Use the table in the step above to cross-reference.

    Windows 10 - Elevated Command Prompt - View the Current Memory Dump Type Setting