Error codes are numbers (or letter and number combinations) that are associated with error messages and are used to identify specific problems in Windows and other programs.

Picture of an error code
Windows Update error code

If the error message does not provide all of the information that you need, use the following resources to learn more:

  • Search for the error code online, starting with Windows Online Assistance. If you can't find it there, go online and search Windows newsgroups, communities, and other websites.

  • Search for the error code online in the Events and Errors Message Center.

  • Search your computer event logs for information. Here's how:

    To view error event logs

    You must be logged on as an administrator to perform these steps.

    1. Open Event Viewer by clicking the Start button Picture of the Start button, clicking Control Panel, clicking System and Maintenance, clicking Administrative Tools, and then double-clicking Event Viewer. Administrator permission required If you are prompted for an administrator password or confirmation, type the password or provide confirmation.

    2. In the left pane, double-click Applications and Services Logs, navigate to the specific program that had an error, and then review any error events for that program.

    3. Double-click an event to view a description and to find links to more information.