NovaBACKUP Security Blog

What is PSR.exe (Problem Step Recorder)?

I recently discovered a new Windows tool called PSR.exe (Problem Step Recorder) that makes error reporting so much easier. This tools was first introduced with Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2, but it also works on the latest Windows operating systems. Essentially the tool was designed to capture the steps that led up to the user experiencing a crash, system error or hang scenario, in an effort to better assist technical support with troubleshooting the issue or helping developers to debug an issue.

Everyone experiences computer issues, it’s just a part of life. The sad truth is we have become accustomed to experiencing crashes, whether it’s a program crashing or a complete system crash, we have all been there. But how many of us actually report the bug, rather than just complaining about it under our breath. If you want to be able to report the bug that caused the crash (so it can be fixed), you need to provide more than just a quick email or a screenshot of the error notice. This simple Window built-in tool allows you to record and capture your steps you took in screenshot format to show a step-by-step progression of what let up to the error so that the bug can be replicated and fixed.

Just click on Start and type in PRS.exe in the search box to open the Problem Step Recorder.


When the program launches, simple click Start Record.

When you click the Stop Record button, a dialog box will open, allowing you to save the file as a .ZIP file, which you can then use to report the issue. Before sending the file off, I would recommend unzipping the file and taking a look at the screenshots. Each image will show and describe the steps that led up to the problem, giving you a literal step-by-step representation of your experience.

PSR.exe Steps Explained

Once you are satisfied with the results, send them on to those who can actually fix the issue. I'm still shocked to have just learned about the PSR.exe tool, but I love it and I hope you will to.