On Windows 10, when you're having driver issues, you can enable the "Boot Log" option to create a special ntbtlog.txt file that includes a detailed list of the loaded and unloaded drivers during boot.

The option won't fix any problems your device may be experiencing, but you can analyze this information to understand what might be preventing Windows 10 from loading correctly to find an appropriate fix.

In this Windows 10 guide, we walk you through the steps to enable "Boot Log" to collect information about the loaded and not loaded drivers during startup using System Configuration and Command Prompt.

How to enable 'Boot log' using System Configuration

To log driver information during boot using System Configuration, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for System Configuration and click the top result to open the experience.

    (Quick Tip: You can also use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command, enter the msconfig command, and click OK to open System Information.)

  3. Click on the Boot tab.
  4. Check the Boot log option.

  5. Click the Apply button.
  6. Click the OK button.
  7. Click the Restart button.

Once you complete these steps, a special log file will be created with the drivers that were loaded, including those that were omitted.

Viewing the ntbtlog text file

To find and view the ntbtlog.txt file, use these steps:

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type the following file path:

    c:\Windows\ntbtlog.txt

  3. Click the OK button.

In the text file, you can see a list of loaded and unloaded drivers during boot, which you can now use in your troubleshooting process to fix a related issue.

If you no longer need the "Boot Log," you can disable the feature using the same instructions mentioned above, but on step No. 4, make sure to clear the option.

How to enable 'Boot log' using Command Prompt

To log driver information during boot using Command Prompt, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.
  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.
  3. Type the following command and press Enter:

    bcdedit

  4. Under the "Windows Boot Loader" section, note the "identifier" and "bootlog" information. For example:

    • identifier — {current}.
    • bootlog — No.

  5. Type the following command to enable logs during boot and press Enter:

    bcdedit /set {current} bootlog Yes

    In the command, make sure to replace {current} with the information in your identifier.

After completing the steps, a log file will be created in the Windows folder with the drivers that were loaded, including those that were not loaded.

Viewing the ntbtlog text file

To find and view the "Boot Log" file, use these steps:

  1. Use the Windows key + R keyboard shortcut to open the Run command.
  2. Type the following file path:

    c:\Windows\ntbtlog.txt

  3. Click the OK button.

In the text file, you can see information about drivers that Windows 10 loaded and didn't load during the boot process, which you can now use in your troubleshooting process to resolve a related problem.

You can always revert the changes using the same instructions outlined above, but on step No. 5, make sure to use this command: bcdedit /set {current} bootlog No.

Although this guide is focused on Windows 10, the "Boot Log" option has been available for years, and you can also use the same instructions on Windows 8.1 and Windows 7.

More Windows 10 resources

For more helpful articles, coverage, and answers to common questions about Windows 10, visit the following resources: