In computing, a fatal exception error or fatal error is an error that causes a program to abort and may therefore return the user to the operating system. When this happens, data that the program was processing may be lost. A fatal error is usually distinguished from a fatal system error[1][2] (colloquially referred to in the MS Windows operating systems by the error message it produces as a "blue screen of death"). A fatal error occurs typically in any of the following cases:

In some systems, such as macOS and Microsoft Windows, a fatal error causes the operating system to create a log entry or to save an image (core dump) of the process.


  1. ^ "Fatal error". Webopedia. September 1996.
  2. ^ "Stop error". Webopedia. 31 July 2003.