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How to Fix Corrupted System Files on Windows 11

Running the System File Checker (SFC) and the Deployment Image Service and Management Tool (DISM) can help in repairing corrupted system files on windows 11/10

Windows 11, the latest operating system from Microsoft, introduces a range of exciting features and improvements. However, like any software, Windows 11 may also encounter issues such as malfunctioning functions, crashes, and errors during boot, which could be caused by missing or corrupted system files. In this article, we will explore effective methods to repair corrupted system files on Windows 11, ensuring a smooth and reliable computing experience.

How to repair Corrupted System Files on Windows 11

System file corruption usually occurs due to factors such as incorrect software installations, faulty updates, hardware issues, malware infections, or sudden power failures. It can lead to instability, Windows 11 responding very slowly or crashes, malfunctioning of Windows functions, application errors, and other system-related problems. And most of the time running the system file checker utility and DISM restore health command restores the stability and functionality of Windows 11.

Utilize the System File Checker Utility:

Windows 11 includes the System File Checker (sfc.exe), a powerful command-line tool that scans and replaces corrupted or missing protected system files with known good versions. Here’s how to run the System File Checker on Windows 11:

  • Press the Windows key + S, and search for “cmd.” Right-click on “Command Prompt” and select “Run as administrator.”
  • In the Command Prompt window, type the command “sfc /scannow” and press Enter.
  • The System File Checker will scan for any corrupt or changed system files and automatically replace them with the correct versions.
  • Wait for the scanning process to complete, and then restart your computer. This should resolve most corruption issues.

Run sfc scan windows 11

Use the DISM Command:

If the System File Checker doesn’t resolve the corruption problem or fails to run properly, you can utilize the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) tool. DISM helps repair and prepare Windows images, fixing issues that may prevent the SFC tool from functioning correctly. Follow these steps to use the DISM command on Windows 11:

  • Open an elevated Command Prompt by searching for “Command Prompt” in the Start Menu, right-clicking on it, and selecting “Run as administrator.”
  • In the Command Prompt, type the command “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” and hit Enter.

Run DISM restore health windows 11

  • DISM will check the Windows component store for corruption and automatically repair any problems it finds.
  • The tool may retrieve missing or corrupt files from Windows Update if necessary.
  • Once the process completes 100%, restart your computer for the changes to take effect.

Note: If the issue persists, you can run the SFC scan again to check for further corruption.

Running SFC in Safe Mode:

Running the System File Checker utility in Safe Mode can help restore corrupted files on Windows 11. Safe Mode allows your computer to start with minimal drivers and services, which can aid in troubleshooting and resolving system file issues. Here’s how to run SFC in Safe Mode on Windows 11:

  • Open the Start Menu, click on the Power button, and hold the Shift key while selecting Restart.
  • In the Boot options menu, choose Troubleshoot, then Advanced options, and finally Startup Settings.

Windows Advanced Options

  • Click Restart and select a version of Safe Mode by pressing the appropriate function key.

windows 10 safe mode boot option

  • Once in Safe Mode, open an elevated Command Prompt by searching for “Command Prompt,” right-clicking on it, and selecting “Run as administrator.”
  • In the Command Prompt, type the command “sfc /scannow” and press Enter.
  • Wait for the scanning process to complete, and then restart your computer, allowing Windows to start normally.
  • Check if Windows functions properly after the restart.

Install the latest Windows updates

Installing the latest Windows updates can often help fix or replace corrupt system files. Windows updates not only address potential security vulnerabilities but also fix known issues, including corrupt system files. If a system file is corrupted, Windows Update may attempt to replace or repair it during the update process.

  • Press the Windows key + I to open Settings.
  • Click on “Windows Update” then “Check for updates” and allow your system to search for the latest updates.
  • If there are updates available, click “Install now” to download and install them.
  • After installing updates, it’s important to restart your computer to apply the changes.

Download windows 11 updates

Perform System Restore or Reset

If the above methods fail to resolve the issue, you can consider performing a System Restore or a system reset on Windows 11. System Restore allows you to revert your computer’s state to a previous point in time, which can help fix system corruption problems. Alternatively, a system reset reinstalls Windows while preserving your personal files, providing a fresh start.

Here’s how to perform these actions:

  • To perform a System Restore, search for “System Restore” in the Start Menu and open the corresponding settings.
  • Follow the on-screen instructions to choose a restore point and initiate the restoration process.

Confirm system restore

  • If a system reset is required, go to the Start Menu, search for “Settings,” and open the Settings app.
  • In the Settings app, navigate to System > Recovery.
  • Under the “Reset this PC” section, click on the “Get started” button and follow the prompts to initiate the reset process.

Use Windows 11 Installation Media

If the previous methods do not resolve the issue, you can utilize the Windows 11 installation media to repair corrupted system files. Here’s how:

  • Insert the Windows 11 installation media (USB or DVD) into your computer.
  • Restart your computer and boot from the installation media.
  • Select your language preferences and click “Next.” Click on “Repair your computer” and choose “Troubleshoot.”
  • Select “Advanced options” and then “Command Prompt.”
  • In the Command Prompt, type the command “sfc /scannow /offbootdir=X:\ /offwindir=X:\Windows” (replace X: with the drive letter where Windows is installed) and press Enter.
  • Wait for the scan to complete and follow any on-screen instructions.
  • Restart your computer and check if the corrupted system files have been fixed.

Perform a Clean Install of Windows 11

If all else fails and the system files are severely corrupted, performing a clean install of Windows 11 can help resolve the issue. However, be aware that a clean install will erase all data on your computer, so make sure to back up your important files before proceeding. Here’s a general outline of the process:

  • Create Windows 11 installation media using the official Microsoft tool.
  • Boot your computer from the installation media and Follow the on-screen prompts to install Windows 11, selecting the appropriate options.
  • When prompted to choose the installation type, select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced).”
  • Select the drive where you want to install Windows 11 and click “Next” to begin the installation.
  • Follow the remaining steps to complete the installation.
  • After the installation, reinstall your programs and restore your personal files from the backup.

Remember to exercise caution while performing a clean install, as it will remove all data from your computer.

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