Please Send Us Error Reports

Send Error Report message

Before I came to Microsoft, I always cancelled the "Send error reporting to Microsoft".  I didn't know what was being captured or how it was being used.  Brief feelings of being spied upon would come over me.  So, my choice was always to cancel.

Now that I work for Microsoft, I wanted to pass on the two major points I have learned about error reporting.

First, it's very important information.  Whenever a Microsoft Office application encounters an error, the Watson error reporting application captures what was happening with the PC at the time of the error and what error was encountered.  It will then prompt you to send this information to Microsoft. 

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE send this data to us.  Basically, we capture the program call stack data for debugging purposes and the error description.  The data sent to us allows us to analyze which errors are occurring, how often and why. 

Errors follow the Pareto principle where a small number of issues create most of the errors.  We use the frequency and severity as one of the inputs in deciding what goes into future service packs and product versions.  This data was instrumental in selecting fixes for the Project 2003 service packs.

Secondly, we are not spying on you.  We do not capture personally identifiable information in this process.  So, you won't start getting marketing material as a result of submitting this information. 

I recently watched a user get an error, saw Watson do it's job and then saw the user cancel the send process.  I asked why they cancelled it and basically, they didn't want to take the time to submit the info.  I also asked how often had they seen the issue and they said enough to notice. 

As a result, we both lose as the user will continue to experience the problem and we will continue to not know about it.

Sending in the data is the easiest way to make sure your issue is reported.  In the end, we will all benefit from a better product. 


Comments (32)
  1. Damien Guard says:

    What about when non-Microsoft applications crash and yet this tool wants to tell Microsoft about it…


  2. Damien,

    It’s a good question.  However, I don’t have an answer for you as that data is sent to a different team.  I have no idea what is done with data from non-Microsoft applications.  If I find an answer, I’ll post it here.


  3. Kev McDonnell says:

    We’ve had recent problems with MS Project Pro and asked our MS support contact if we could find out how many of these reports had been sent to MS internally and was told that they couldn’t get any access to them. So I’m sure they’re great for you to look at but sometimes would be nice if you could share that info. Might make people more likely to pass the info on to you.

  4. Ben Howard says:

    Non-Microsoft applications are fed back to the relevant vendors, eg, if a video driver is causing Windows to crash then Microsoft raise this with the relevant hardware manufacturer so that they can fix the issue and roll it out as part of their software release process.

  5. Neena M. says:

    I’ve noticed that I hit "send error report" when some application or other crashes, even when I’m not online I get a response that my error report has been sent.  Because I’m not online, there’s no way my computer can trasmit that data to Microsoft.  Thus, it seems like sending an error report is a hoax, and does nothing at all.  Convince me that I’m wrong, will you?


  6. Alex Sourov says:

    Neena, to answer your question: if the error reporting application cannot establish connection with Microsoft Error Reporting servers, it still writes the error data to a local log (e.g. MSInfo.log)  file. It then fails silently, without reporting an error to prevent interrupting the user’s working experience.

     For everybody who is interested to learn more about the error reportign process, the following link gives a good technical overview of how it all works:  By the way, there’s one more benefit to users who send error data to Microsoft via the error reporting mechanism. If they are reporting a known issue that has already been fixed, they will likely get back information on how to obtain a patch or a service pack that addresses the problem!

  7. rakesh kadam says:

    Dear sir,

    how to find out error report in MS program

    please tell me urgently

  8. rakesh kadam says:

    Dear sir,

    In MS backup how to find out error report, any key had to use for that please tell me about that key’s use.

    I am waiting for your reply & oblige

    thank you,


    Rakesh kadam

  9. TMaster says:

    Ben, as far as I recall from Microsoft’s documentation, the error report is only forwarded… if the binary has been signed (I seem to recall it was called AuthentiCode).

    I’m fairly sure a large number of apps I use aren’t signed – most of which open-source software.

    Sending an error report won’t do anything beneficial to the user, in the case of a non-signed binary, will it? Why does it ask for an error report in these situation in the first place, then? Or am I wrong in my assumptions?

  10. ntinyari miriti says:

    every time i play a game on my Learn to Type computer game the computer wants me to send a error report to Microsoft.What do I do besides send a error report?

  11. Steve Merdith says:

    Why do I keep clicking send report and get nothing back? The reports just go off into the ether and I never find out if there is a fix or not.

  12. sanda ramona says:

    why can i read my mail,my inbox?

  13. jagdeep kapoor says:

    dear sir after i spend like few mins online messase comes error and the it makes me restart the comp its being a pain in the ass for me plz tell me what to do

  14. why says:

    does sending the error report fix the problem?

  15. markovich says:

    Sending an error report won’t do anything beneficial to the user, in the case of a non-signed binary, will it?

  16. jayne roberts says:

    i can not access my e-mail on the p.c. programs are all very slow any ideas?

  17. I need to straighten out an erroe report

  18. JeanBC says:

    Where can I find help for problems like the one described below?

    Thanks for any good help.

    Jack  Access 2007 will not paste data correctly.  When pasting data into a table using Access 2000, all data pastes correctly.  When doing the exact same operation in Access 2007 some data is not pasted and you get no error messages.  When pasting large amounts of data, this is a big problem not knowing if the data is making it into the database.

  19. GTajnafoi says:

    Would you, please, share some details about what makes a particular crash more severe than others? Say, if a particular dll exists in the crashing thread’s stack trace, like crypt32.dll, contributes to this estimate, or the exception address has to be in that (or one of those) particular dll to make that severe? What about the exception code’s contribution mechanism? Is this the right place to ask these questions? Any comments are much appreciated.



  20. Goz says:

    how many of these error reports do you suppose microsoft gets in a day, month, year? hundreds of millions? billions?

  21. Dylan Tomlinson says:

    A lot of companies (including mine) would beg to disagree with this, due to its complete opacity. There’s no way to tell exactly what is actually being sent or where it is actually going. What if a hack/virus causes XP or Office Error Reporting to send compromising information somewhere? We do not allow sending any sort of "bug reporting" or "help us improve…" info to any outside organization.

    BTW Office 2007 error reporting still occurs even if you disable XP error reporting. Plus there’s no way to disable Office 2007 error reporting without creating new registry keys. Completely idiotic.

  22. basha says:

    Dear sir,

       I have only one problem (( sir internet 1 min using before dontsend box and atomatically internet closed. plz answer

  23. BennyS says:

    When I get the MS report error message and click to Report error, my internet connecion is broken.  This happens whether or not I click Send/Report or Cancel.  This is something starte recently and now happens daily.  What is happening here and is there a fix for it.


  24. MartyF says:

    Just installed Microsoft office 2007 ultimate on my pc and activated it but when i open any of the programs i get a message saying ‘microsoft xxxx has not been installed for the current user. please run setup to install the application’  xxxx being whichever program you start.

    I am th only user on the pc so I dont understand why i get this message as there are no other user accounts and my account is setup as system administraor.

    I have tried un-installing and re-installing but still have the same problem.

    Any help much appreciated.

  25. Janna says:

    Working in Project 2010. The calednar is set to "standard" yet activites are showing up on Saturdays? any idea why?



  27. Raul Del Monte says:

    What is it you people do with the error reporting messages sent to you?

    I've been sending these reports for months, and I still have the same problem.  The updates are not taking.  Everyday the system shows that it is "updating" 7 updates.  I take it these are the same updates everyday, because like I said, they are not taking, and the error reports are being sent almost everyday.  What gives?  Do you solve these problems or what?

    Is this just a way to fool the public?

  28. JOSE LI GAVIDIA says:

    I have an error when using custom reports in project 2010, it always reports the gantt

  29. Jose – This is a known issue. The workaround is to create a view that is the same as the report and then print that. If you describe what your custom report looks like, I can help you create the view.

  30. Robert Moore says:

    I have been trying to update .net framework 4 and have 3 files that have error 643. the following will not update. KB 2539636,KB 2468871,and KB 2533523.all say windows server 2008×86. I am running windows vista home premium on my computer

  31. Adam says:


    CrashDump: DT_Crash_v3.52-8-gbc63e50_1320889033_0.dmp

    This program encountered a critical error. An error report has been created to improve the software and avoid getting this messages. Please send this file to

    I sent it to them but I think microsoft should have a way to see errors that come from programs on a  computer.

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