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Please Send Us Error Reports

Please Send Us Error Reports

  • Comments 32

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. 


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


  • 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.


  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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?


  • 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!

  • Dear sir,

    how to find out error report in MS program

    please tell me urgently

  • 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

  • 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?

  • 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?

  • 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.

  • why can i read my mail,my inbox?

  • 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

  • does sending the error report fix the problem?

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

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