How to copy error message text in Windows

Now there's an easier way to do tech support with friends and family.

We've all been there: helping a relative with a computer problem they can't figure out, and suddenly they run into an error.

Now comes the fun part! You can attempt to have them explain the error box. Sometimes it feels as though you should type a random string of characters into Google and hope it's the right error code--the success rate will probably be similar.

Enter GetWindowText. This handy tool lets anyone select text from any Windows dialog prompt and place it into an area where it can then be copied to the clipboard for using elsewhere. Read on to learn how to use it.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 1: Download GetWindowTextGetWindowText. The program requires no installation, so just extract the program to a convenient location on your computer.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 2: When you have an error or dialog window you need copied, run the program by clicking on the its icon in whatever directory you extracted it to.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 3: Click and hold the button underneath the label GetWindowText.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 4: While still holding the left mouse button, position your pointer so that a black box appears around the text that needs to be copied.

Screenshot by Nicole Cozma

Step 5: Release the left mouse button and the text will be copied to the text box within the program.

From here you just need to highlight the important text and copy it. The copied text can then be put into Google or another search engine to find more information. Say goodbye to help-desk-related headaches and help your friends and family troubleshoot their computer issues with ease.

 

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