When it comes to hidden gems in Windows, nothing beats the Reliability monitor tool, hidden behind a link inside of another tool that you don't use either. Why Microsoft doesn't shine more light on this really useful troubleshooting tool, we'll never know.
Reliability Monitor tracks the history of your computer — any time an application crashes, hangs, or Windows gives you a blue screen of death. It also tracks other important events, like when software is installed, or Windows Updates loads a new patch.
It's an extremely useful tool. And yes, it's in Windows 7 and 8… and even 8.1. It might be in Vista, but who uses that anymore?
So How Does This Work?
Imagine your computer has started flaking out and locking up for the last week, and you aren't quite sure why. All you have to do is open up Reliability Monitor and check what happened to start the crashes in the first place. You can click on each day that has a crash, then go back in the list to before all the crashes started and figure out what was installed to make things break… and remove it from y0ur PC.
So how do you open this tool, you ask? Well, Microsoft buried it behind a lot of clicks, so we're not even going to give you all those steps. If you open up the Action Center, you can use the "View reliability history" link to get there, but we'd recommend opening the start menu or start screen and searching for "reliability", which is probably faster.
Read more: How-to geek