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Windows 11 is making the blue screen of death blue again, hooray!

Windows 11's BSOD was initially black

Windows has contributed two iconic images to the public consciousness: the default Windows XP wallpaper; and the blue screen of death. But they cut Bliss decades ago, and Windows 11 put the final nail in the coffin of Windows' pop culture relevancy by turning the blue screen of death into a black screen of death. A tragedy. Thankfully, Microsoft have now seen the cerulean light, and are planning to restore the azure annihilator in a future patch.

The blue/black screen of death is an agent of doom, popping up when something has gone so terribly wrong with your PC that all you can do is reboot, losing whatever was running. Back in the day, Windows was fragile enough that the BSOD was all too familiar and widely reviled. Hell, it earned that name. But with modern systems, I can easily go years without seeing a BSOD on my own PC. When it does pop back up, it's like an estranged family member inviting themself to Christmas dinner: I don't want to see you and I can't believe you've done this but aw, it's been a while, how are you keeping?

Just when it seemed like the dickhead brother would be leaving forever, Ars Technica noticed a line in the notes for a future Windows patch:

  • We changed the screen color to blue when a device stops working or a stop error occurs as in previous versions of Windows.

Fixing loads of other, less-important issues too, the patch is now out to beta and preview channels. See the Windows 11 Build 22000.346 patch notes for more.

I suppose even if Windows 11 did stick with a black BSOD, we'd still see ol' bluey around on displays in train stations, McDonalds, digital billboards, cinemas, cash registers, and every other embedded system. The sun will burn out before some of those old Windows installations are replaced.

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About the Author
Alice O'Connor avatar

Alice O'Connor

Associate Editor

Alice has been playing video games since SkiFree and writing about them since 2009, with nine years at RPS. She enjoys immersive sims, roguelikelikes, chunky revolvers, weird little spooky indies, mods, walking simulators, and finding joy in details. Alice lives, swims, and cycles in Scotland.

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