The Crash Dump files on Windows give you a great insight into why the system crashed. You can analyze these files to get information about the BSOD errors and other kinds of system crashes.
However, the dump files tend to pile up and occupy a large chunk of space in your boot volume. Fortunately, these files aren’t of much importance to regular users and can be deleted when required.
In this article, we will the process to view, analyze and delete the crash dump files in your Windows device.
What is a Crash Dump File on Windows?
Crash Dump files are the error logs that are generated by the system once it encounters a system crash. In the event of a failure, the Windows operating system is configured to write debugging information automatically and save it in the system in case someone wants to evaluate the system crash.
Generally, four types of dump files on Windows-based systems are discussed here in brief.
- Complete Memory Dump: The Complete Memory dump creates a crash report of the complete Windows Physical Memory when the system error occurs. It provides detailed information about the system crash. These memory dumps are located in the directory
- Kernel Memory Dump: It records the process from the kernel memory when the system experiences an unexpected error breakout. These memory dumps are on the larger side, with sizes ranging from 150MB to 2GB. This can also vary according to the architecture of the system.
- Small Memory Dump: These memory dump files have the kernel context and system processes for the system crash. These types of memory dumps take at least 2MB of space on a drive. However, due to limited information available on these dump files, it might not give you a detailed insight into the system error.
- Automatic Memory Dump: Automatic Memory dump is similar to the kernel memory dump. However, its size is smaller than that of the RAM used by the processes during a system crash.
How to View Crash Dump Files on Windows?
You can view the crash dump files from the C: drive or any other drive where the Windows operating system is installed. On Windows 10/11 devices, you can find the dump files in
%systemroot% with the filename
Minidump.dmp. In Windows 7 devices, the dump files are inside a Minidump folder.
The dump files are created only after the system encounters an error. It is most likely created after the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) errors and is a great tool to diagnose the causes of such errors.
Analyse Crash Dump Files on Windows
Follow these steps to read the crash dump files and analyze the reasons for the crash.
- Open the Windbg application.
- Go to the Files tab and click on start debugging.
- Go to Open dump file.
- Browse and Open the .dmp file from the device.
- Once the dump file loads up, go to View > Command. A Command window will now prompt in the Workspace.
- Now, in the command window, type command
!analyze -vand hit enter to execute it.
- The debugger will now take some time to analyze the error and will give you a bugcheck analysis log of the error.
- Once you have identified the cause of the error, you can rectify it accordingly.
How to Delete Crash Dump Files on Windows?
Sometimes the crash dump files give no valuable inputs for resolving the system error. Also, for basic Windows users, these Crash dump files are of no use except for taking up the storage spaces. In such cases, these dump files can be deleted. However, if possible, it is always advised to keep the dump files securely.
You can delete the crash dump files on Windows using the Command prompt or from Windows settings. The processes for it will be discussed here.
From the File Manager
The Crash dump files are placed inside the Windows folder or the
%systemroot% directory of the system drive. You can manually search for the files using the File Manager and delete them.
Follow these steps to delete the Crash dump files.
- Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
%systemroot%and hit enter. This will open up the system file directory where the dump files are placed.
- Now, search for the files named Minidump and Memory.dmp and delete them.
- Finally, give the confirmation to delete the files.
Using Command Prompt
Using the command line in CMD, you can easily delete all the crash dump files on Windows. Here’s how to do it.
- Press the Windows key + X and open the Windows Terminal (Admin).
- Now, execute this command.
del /f /s /q %systemroot%\memory.dmp
- Additionally, use this command to clear the minidump file.
del /f /s /q %systemroot%\Minidump\*.*
Using the Disk Cleanup
The Disk Cleanup utility can be used to delete the temporary files and cache, which are using unnecessary space on your device. This can also be used to delete the crash dump files.
Here’re the steps you need to follow:
- Press Windows Key + R to open Run.
cleanmgrand hit enter
- Under Files to delete, find System error minidump files and System error memory dump files and select them.
- Finally, click on Cleanup System Files and wait for some time for the process to complete.
Using Windows Settings
On Windows 10/11, you can even delete the Crash Dump files from the Storage section of the Settings menu. This is how you can do it.
- Press Windows Key + I to launch the Settings.
- Now, go to System > Storage
- Then go to Temporary files.
- Search for System Error Memory Dump files and select it.
- Click on Remove Files to delete the crash dump files.