When a program or the operating system hangs or crashes, Windows 7 sends an error report to Microsoft by default. It will also spend time looking for a solution. (In my experience, it never seems to find one.) If you find the error messages and the delay in closing down a hung application annoying or have concerns about privacy, you can turn off error reporting. Do be aware, however, that the error reporting function creates a local log file that sometimes can be useful for analyzing the causes of problems and this service will be lost.
The procedure for disabling error reporting is quite simple. Here’s how:
- Open the Action Center. Either use the icon in the taskbar notification area or enter “action” (without quotes) in the Start search bar. See this previous tip for more details about the Action Center.
- Select “Change Action Center Settings” in the left panel of the Action Center dialog box.
- In the new dialog that opens, click “Problem Reporting Settings”.
- The window shown in the figure below will open. The four error reporting options are shown in the figure. If you want the setting to apply to all users, click “Change report settings for all users”. Otherwise, the setting will apply to the current user only.
- To disable error reporting, choose “Never check for solutions”. Microsoft labels this "not recommended" but the choice is up to you. It is the setting I use.
- Click “OK” and “OK” again. Then close the Action Center.
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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.