How to Run Diagnostics on Windows

Generate and view system reports for Windows 10 or 11 in a few easy steps

What to Know

  • Go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot (Windows 10) or Start > Settings > System > Troubleshoot (Windows 11).
  • To test your RAM, search for Windows Memory Diagnostic and run the app. Review the results in the Event Viewer.
  • Other tools for troubleshooting include Reliability Monitor and hardware-specific programs like the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool.

This article explains how to run diagnostics on Windows 10 and Windows 11.

Does Windows Have a Diagnostic Tool?

There are a few ways to create system diagnostics reports on Windows 10 and 11. In addition to built-in Windows options, many hardware manufacturers have troubleshooting tools, and there are also third-party apps for diagnosing computer hardware issues.

How Do I Run a Diagnostic Test on My Computer?

If you can't pinpoint what is wrong with your PC, start with the Windows Troubleshooter:

The screenshots below are from Windows 10, but instructions apply to Windows 11 as well.

  1. On Windows 10, go to Settings > Update & Security > Troubleshoot.

    On Windows 11, go to Start > Settings > System > Troubleshoot.

    Windows Troubleshooter in Settings.
  2. Choose a troubleshooter for your problem. Options include Bluetooth, Keyboard, Windows Update, and Internet Connections.

    List of Troubleshooters in WIndows 10

If the troubleshooter finds a problem, it will suggest how you can fix it. You may be able to resolve the issue by automatically repairing Windows.

How to Use the Windows Memory Diagnostic Tool

If your computer programs keep lagging or freezing, there could be a problem with your RAM. Your best bet is to run Windows Memory Diagnostic:

There are also third-party memory test programs that may have more features than the default Windows tool.

  1. Open Windows Search and enter Windows Memory Diagnostic. Select the app to open it.

    Windows Memory Diagnostic app in Windows Search
  2. Select Restart now and check for problems or Check for problems the next time I restart my computer. When your PC restarts, the Windows Memory tool will scan your computer.

    Windows Memory Diagnostic pop-up in Windows 10
  3. After a few minutes, your PC will boot as normal. Review the results in the Event Viewer. If the troubleshooter finds any problems, take action to free up memory.

Windows Reliability and Performance Monitor

Performance Monitor and Reliability Monitor are part of Windows administrative tools. Search for Performance Monitor or View reliability history and open the app to see statistics about how your computer is running. The Reliability Monitor keeps a log of events that may help you identify which programs are acting up.

Windows Reliability Monitor in Windows 10

Other Computer Diagnostic Tools

Other ways to get help in Windows include reaching out to Windows Support with the Get Help app. You can also find plenty of free system information tools like Speccy or PC Wizard, which provide detailed diagnostic reports. There are also third-party apps for troubleshooting specific hardware like your monitor. Do your research carefully and scan anything you download for malware.

Your processor and other hardware might have software for diagnosing problems. For example, the Intel Processor Diagnostic Tool can analyze and optimize Intel CPUs. Dell computers also come with their own set of diagnostic tools. Check your Programs list for other built-in troubleshooting software. 

  • How do I run Windows diagnostics on startup?

    In Windows Search, type msconfig and right-click System Configuration, then select Run as Administrator. In the General tab, select Diagnostic startup. To disable the setting, go back to System Configuration and select Normal startup.

  • How do I open system BIOS on Windows 10?

    To access Windows 10 BIOS, go to Settings > Update & Security > Recovery. Go down to Advanced Startup and select Restart now. Then, select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > UEFI Firmware Settings > Restart to open the UEFI BIOS.

  • How do I run hard drive diagnostics on Windows 10?

    You can scan your hard drive with Windows Error Checking. Go to This PC, right-click the drive and select Properties > Tools > Check > Scan drive. There are also plenty of third-party hard drive testing programs.

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