Software & Apps Windows How to Disable Windows Automatic Restart on System Failure Stop the Auto Restart After a BSOD in Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, and XP By Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated November 12, 2019 Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email When Windows encounters a serious error, such as a Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), the default action is to automatically restart your PC, presumably to get you back up and running quickly. The problem with this default behavior is that it gives you less than a second to read the error message on the screen. It's nearly possible to see what caused the error in that amount of time. The automatic restart on system failure can be disabled, which gives you time to read and write down the error so you can begin troubleshooting. kelvinjay / Getty Images After you disable automatic restart on system failure, Windows will hang on the error screen indefinitely, meaning that you'll need to restart your computer manually to escape the message. How to Stop Automatic Restart on Windows System Failure You can disable the automatic restart on system failure option in the Startup and Recovery area of System Properties, accessible via Control Panel. The steps involved in disabling the automatic restart on system failure option differ somewhat depending on which Windows operating system you use. These minor differences are called out below. Open Control Panel. In newer versions of Windows, the quickest way is to search for control from the Start menu or Run dialog box. If you're using an older version of Windows like Windows 7 or before, go to Start > Control Panel. In Windows 10, 8, and 7, select System and Security. In Windows Vista, choose System and Maintenance. In Windows XP, select Performance and Maintenance. If you don't see this option, it's because you're viewing Control Panel applets by their icon and not category. Just open System instead, and then skip down to Step 4. Choose the System link. Select Advanced system settings from the panel on the left of the screen. Windows XP only: Open the Advanced tab of System Properties. In the Startup and Recovery section near the bottom of the new window, choose Settings. Select the box next to Automatically restart to remove its check mark. Select OK to save the changes, and then OK again on the System Properties window. If you are unable to boot into Windows 7 following a BSOD, you can restart from outside the system via the Advanced Boot Options menu. The same technique is possible in Windows Vista.