How to Make Custom Windows Error Messages

Written by victoria gorski
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How to Make Custom Windows Error Messages
Advanced users can also customise error message icons, design or colour scheme. (Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

By using the Notepad program and a simple Visual Basic Script, you can create your own custom Windows error messages as a prank. Creating your own Windows error messages will not harm to computer in any way and can easily be removed or modified. You can also program the error message to run at start-up, but you cannot alter internal error messages already set by Windows using Notepad and a Visual Basics Script; for example, you cannot modify the File Cannot Be Found error message using this method.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Click "Start" and select "Run" in the right-hand corner of the Start menu. Type "Notepad.exe" into the text box, and click "OK."

  2. 2

    Type "x=MsgBox("Error Message", 0+16, "Box Title Name")" into Notepad without the external quotation marks and include your custom error message in the "Error Message" section (in quotation marks) and a title for the error message in "Box Title Name" (in quotation marks). An example of an error message may be x=MsgBox("You clicked the wrong key!", 0+16, "Wrong Key!"), as exactly written.

  3. 3

    Click "File" and select "Save As" in Notepad. Save your error message as "Error.vbs" to your computer, preferably on the desktop.

  4. 4

    Click "Start" and select "Run" as in Step 1. Select "Browse." When the Explorer window appears, select "All Files" from the drop-down box in the right-hand corner. Locate the error message saved in the previous step; for example, if your file was saved on the desktop, you could navigate to "Desktop" and select "Error.vbs."

  5. 5

    Click "OK" in the "Run" window. Your error message should now appear. If the error message does not appear as expected, ensure you have followed the method correctly or try creating a new error message.

  6. 6

    Right-click on your saved error file, and select "Copy". Select "Start," click "All Programs," right-click on "Startup" and click "Open." Right-click in the "Startup" window and click "Paste." Your custom error message will now appear when Windows starts.

Tips and warnings

  • To create an error message that pops up again when the user clicks "OK" or exit, paste the string of text again on a new line. The number of code lines used will determine the number of error messages that appear. For example, "x=MsgBox("You clicked the wrong key!", 0+16, "Wrong Key!")" and "x=MsgBox("You clicked the wrong key, again!", 0+16, "Wrong Key!")" will show a second error message once the user tries to exit the first. You can create as many code lines as you wish.

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