How to Disable Automatic Restart on System Failure in Windows 7

Screenshot of the 'automatically restart' option disabled in the Windows 7 Startup and Recovery screen

 Tim Fisher

Windows 7 is configured by default to restart immediately after a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) or other major system problem. This reboot usually happens too fast to see the error message on the screen.

Follow these simple steps to disable the automatic restart feature for system failures in Windows 7. It's an easy process that takes less than 10 minutes.

Note: Unable to boot completely into Windows 7 due to the BSOD? Check out the second tip at the bottom of this page for help.

How to Disable the Automatic Restart on System Failure

  1. Click on the Start button and then on Control Panel.

    In a hurry? Type system in the search box after clicking Start. Choose System under the Control Panel heading in the list of results and then skip to Step 4.

  2. Click on the System and Security link.

    If you're viewing the Small icons or Large icons view of Control Panel, you won't see this link. Simply double-click on the System icon and proceed to Step 4.

  3. Click on the System link.

  4. In the task pane on the left, click the Advanced system settings link.

  5. Locate the Startup and Recovery section near the bottom of the window and click on the Settings... button.

  6. In the Startup and Recovery window, locate and uncheck the checkbox next to Automatically restart.

  7. Click OK in the Startup and Recovery window.

  8. Click OK in the System Properties window.

  9. You can now close the System window.

From now on, when a problem causes a BSOD or another major error that halts the system, Windows 7 will not force a reboot. You'll have to reboot manually when an error appears.

Useful Tips and Tricks

  1. Not a Windows 7 user? See how to disable automatic restart on system failure in Windows for specific instructions for your version of Windows.

  2. If you're unable to successfully start Windows 7 due to a Blue Screen of Death, you won't be able to disable the automatic restart on system failure option as described above. Fortunately, you can also disable this option from outside of Windows: Here's how to disable automatic restart on system failure from the advanced boot options menu.