Adding Actions to Events in the Windows Event Viewer

Mike Halsey MVP
Mar 15, 2011
Updated • Dec 27, 2012

I've written about hundreds of Windows 7 troubleshooting tips in my book Troubleshooting Windows 7 Inside Out but one of the most useful tips, at least for business customers, is how you can add actions to events in Windows.

Why would you want to do this?  You can commonly find that drivers, services or software in Windows can crash without you even being aware of it.  The only time you find out is later on when you want to perform an action such as print a document, attach to a corporate network or run a piece of bespoke software.  These events can very often be triggered by something the user is doing at the time, perhaps running another piece of software or performing a specific action.

This is where attaching an action to an event becomes useful.  In the Event Viewer in Windows you can launch a program, send an email (if the user has a desktop email client installed) or alert the user to the fact that something has occurred.

It's very easy to do this to.  Once you're in the Event Viewer (either through the Computer Management console, the Control Panel or by typing Event into the Start Menu search box) keep double clicking on the event type and the error itself until you get to the screen you see here.

In the right hand panel (highlighted) is an option to attach a task to the event.  It's here that we'll find all of our options.  This will pop up a window in which we can define the task.  We can specify whether we want to run a program (more on this in a bit), send an email (for which we'll need email software installed on the PC) or display a pop-up alert.

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When you're finished you will see an option to display further properties for this task.  You can tick this box for even more control and options.

windows event viewer
It's here that we can specify additional tasks to run and in what order we want things to happen.
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I talked a little while ago about running a program.  There are a couple of very useful Command Line and PowerShell utilities that can come in very handy here.  I won't go into detail on them in this article but they are both well documented on the Microsoft website.

You can run the program CMD.EXE with either the /c switch to carry out a command string and then stop, or the /k switch to continue afterwards (see here for more details on command line switches).  It's here you can use the WEVTUTIL command to automatically poll the event viewer for data and perform an action such as saving it to the user's desktop.  This can then immediately be sent to a support person for review.  You can get full information on WEVTUTIL here.

You can also run POWERSHELL.EXE or involve the PowerShell command from the Command Line to automatically generate a System Health Report.  The command you would use here is Get-RmsSystemHealthReport -Path <drive>:\Report [-StartTime <start_time>] [-EndTime <end_time>] -ReportType <report_type>.  Full details of this command can be found here.

Any tasks you add can be viewed and edited in the Windows Task Scheduler and all in all, being able to add actions to events can be a real time-saver when it comes to diagnosing problems in Windows... especially those annoying intermittent ones.


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  1. Dan Donx said on January 15, 2023 at 10:29 am

    What mental age of reader are you targeting with the first sentence? 10?

    Why not write an article on how to *avoid* upgrading from W10 to W11. Analogous to those like me who avoided upgrading from 7 to 10 for as long as possible.

    If your paymaster Microsoft permits it, of course.

  2. Dexter said on January 15, 2023 at 11:14 am

    5. Rufus
    6. Ventoy

    PS. I hate reading these “SEO optimized” articles.

    1. cdr said on January 15, 2023 at 3:32 pm

      I used Rufus to create an installer for a 6th gen intel i5 that had MBR. It upgraded using Setup. No issues except for Win 11 always prompting me to replace my local account. Still using Win 10 Pro on all my other PCs to avoid the bullying.

  3. sv said on January 15, 2023 at 6:40 pm

    bit pointless to upgrade for the sake of upgrading as you never know when you’ll get locked out because ms might suddenly not provide updates to unsupported systems.

    ps…. time travelling?
    written. Jan 15, 2023
    Updated • Jan 13, 2023

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on January 16, 2023 at 5:49 am

      This happens when you schedule a post in WordPress and update it before setting the publication date.

  4. Anonymous said on January 16, 2023 at 8:24 am

    Anyone willing to downgrade to this awful OS must like inflicting themselves with harm.

  5. basingstoke said on January 16, 2023 at 11:18 am

    I have become convinced now that anybody who has no qualms with using Windows 11/10 must fit into one of the following brackets:

    1) Too young to remember a time before W10 and W11 (doesn’t know better)

    2) Wants to play the latest games on their PC above anything else (or deeply needs some software which already dropped W7 support)

    3) Doesn’t know too much about how computers work, worried that they’d be absolutely lost and in trouble without the “”latest security””

    4) Microsoft apologist that tries to justify that the latest “features” and “changes” are actually a good thing, that improve Windows

    5) Uses their computer to do a bare minimum of like 3 different things, browse web, check emails, etc, so really doesn’t fuss

    Obviously that doesn’t cover everyone, there’s also the category that:

    6) Actually liked W7 more than 10, and held out as long as possible before switching, begrudgingly uses 10 now

    Have I missed any group off this list?

    1. Heinz Strunk said on September 19, 2023 at 3:57 pm

      You have missed in this group just about any professional user that uses business software like CAD programs or ERP Programs which are 99% of all professional users from this list.

      Linux doesn’t help anyone who is not a linux kid and apple is just a fancy facebook machine.

  6. ilev said on August 24, 2023 at 7:34 pm

    Microsoft has removed KB5029351 update

    1. EP said on August 24, 2023 at 9:21 pm

      only from windows update though
      KB5029351 is still available from the ms update catalog site

  7. Anonymous said on August 24, 2023 at 11:05 pm

    1. This update is labaled as PREVIEW if it causes issues to unintelligent people, then they shouldn’t have allowed Preview updates ot install.

    2. I have installed it in a 11 years old computer, and no problems at all.

    3. Making a big drama over a bluescreen for an updated labeled as preview is ridiculous.

    This is probably another BS internet drama where people ran programs and scripts that modified the registry until they broke Windows, just for removing stuff that they weren’t even using just for the sake of it.
    Maybe people should stop playing geeks and actually either use Windows 10 or Windows 11, but don’t try to modify things just for the sake of it.

    Sometimes removing or stopping things (like defender is a perfect example) only need intelligence, not scripts or 3rd party programs that might mess with windows.

  8. john said on August 24, 2023 at 11:17 pm

    Windows 11 was a pointless release, it was just created because some of the Windows team wanted to boost sales with some sort of new and improved Windows 10. Instead, Microsoft cannot support one version well let alone two.

    1. John G. said on August 25, 2023 at 12:08 pm

      Windows 11 is the worst ugly shame by Microsoft ever. They should release with every new W11 version a complete free version of Starallback inside just to make this sh** OS functionally again.

  9. EP said on August 25, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released a statement regarding the “unsupported processor” blue screen error for their boards using Intel 600/700 series chipsets & to avoid the KB5029351 Win11 update:–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–Error-Message-of-Windows-11-Update-KB5029351-Preview-142215

  10. EP said on August 29, 2023 at 7:32 pm

    check out the following recent articles:

    Neowin – Microsoft puts little blame on its Windows update after UNSUPPORTED PROCESSOR BSOD bug:

    BleepingComputer – Microsoft blames ‘unsupported processor’ blue screens on OEM vendors:

  11. Leonard Britvolli said on August 30, 2023 at 10:33 pm

    While there may be changes or updates to the Windows 10 Store for Business and Education in the future, it is premature to conclude that it will be discontinued based solely on rumors.

  12. sembrador said on September 5, 2023 at 9:32 pm

    My advice, I left win 15 years ago. Now I’m a happy linux user (linuxmint) but there is Centos, Fedora, Ubuntu depending on your needs.

  13. EP said on September 6, 2023 at 11:55 am

    motherboard maker MSI has recently released new BIOS/firmware updates for their Intel 600 & 700 series motherboards to fix the “UNSUPPORTED_PROCESSOR” problem (Sept. 6):–UNSUPPORTED-PROCESSOR–caused-BSOD-on-MSI-s-Intel-700-and-600-Series-Motherboards-142277

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