How to Enable or Disable Boot Log in Windows 11/10 - Windows Basics


Monday, June 27, 2022

How to Enable or Disable Boot Log in Windows 11/10

When troubleshooting Windows computers, it is helpful to have as much system information as possible. There are several ways to get information about what's going on underneath the computer case. And if you are having boot problems, one of the most useful things to check is the boot log.

Here's how to enable the Boot Log feature and find the boot log on a Windows computer.

What is Windows Boot Log?

The Boot Log or System Initialization Log is a text file that can be created during the computer's boot sequence. It contains a list of all the drivers that are loaded during startup, as well as any expected drivers that are not loaded.

The Boot Log feature is disabled by default. There are two ways to enable or disable Boot Log, both of which are detailed below. Since you're making changes to a critical part of Windows, both methods require you to log in as admin. If you do not have admin rights, you will not be allowed to enable Boot Log.

Text files created after you enable Boot Log can be opened and read in a text editor such as Notepad. Each driver is listed separately and labeled as LOADED or NOT_LOADED. The directory path to each driver is also displayed.

How to Enable the Boot Log With MSConfig

Using the MSConfig tool, also known as the System Configuration tool, is probably the easiest of the two methods for enabling the boot log.

1. Press Windows Keys + R together on the keyboard and type msconfig in the Run box. Press Enter.

2. As soon as you click the button, the system configuration tool will be opened. In this window, go to the Boot tab, select the Boot log checkbox and click on the Ok button.

3. The above action will save the change and shows a prompt asking if you want to restart the system. Click on the Restart button.

4. After rebooting the system, you can find the boot log in the below location. To make things easier, copy the path, paste it in the Run dialog box and press Enter. The boot log will be opened in your default text editor.

Once you are done with the boot log, you can disable it by following the same steps but unchecking the “Boot log” checkbox in step 2.

How to Enable the Boot Log With Command Prompt

If you can't access MSConfig for some reason, you can enable Boot Log using Command Prompt with admin rights. This method requires a bit more work but is still simple to do if you follow the steps here.

1. In the Start menu, type Command Prompt in the search bar. Right click on Command Prompt option and Run as administrator. Type bcdedit in the command prompt and click Enter.

2. You might see multiple Windows Boot Loader listings. Find the boot loader section with the description Windows 11/10. You can find the identifier right next to Identifier. In my case, the identifier is {current}. For the most part, your’s will be {current} too.

3. To enable the boot log, type the following command with the operating system identifier.

bcdedit /set {identifier} bootlog Yes

Make sure that you substitute your operating system identifier in the field {identifier } above

In this case we replace {identifier} with actual operating system identifier as {current} shown below

bcdedit /set {current} bootlog Yes

4. Now, restart the system to log the boot events. You can find the boot log at the below location.


To disable boot logging, execute the below command. As you can see from the command, all we did is replace yes with no.

bcdedit /set {current} bootlog no

How to modify boot settings with BitLocker enabled

Enabling Boot Log is considered by Windows as editing boot settings. This will be a problem if you have BitLocker Encryption enabled for the drive where the operating system is installed. Enabling Boot Log and then rebooting will enable BitLocker protections.

If BitLocker is enabled, you will see a message when you apply the startup setting changes in MSConfig. The message will remind that if you reboot after making changes to the boot settings, your computer will enter recovery mode. You will be asked to enter your BitLocker Recovery Key or Recovery Password to continue booting.

If you see a message and don't have a BitLocker recovery key or password, don't make changes to the boot options.

Troubleshoot booting with Windows boot logs

Enabling the boot log in Windows allows you to see a textual list of every driver loaded and unloaded during startup. This can be very helpful to fix startup problems as well as problems with apps and services not working properly after startup.

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