Repair Windows 10 System Files Using SFC

Repair Windows 10 System Files Using SFC

/ Shayne Sherman

If you have been using your computer for quite some time, you may begin to notice random system errors. Application icons are not showing on your desktop, or maybe your computer just isn’t as fast as it should be.

Even though Windows 10 tries its best to protect system files that are essential for your PC, some drivers, applications, or even Windows updates can cause an error on system files.

Windows has a system repair tool called System File Checker (SFC). SFC’s primary purpose is to repair missing and corrupted system files.

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How to Use SFC Repair tool

The following command will scan all the system files on your computer and try to fix and recover lost system files.

Step 1: Press Windows key + X on your keyboard and select Command Prompt (Admin).

Command Prompt (Admin)

Step 2: When Command Prompt open, type “sfc /scannow” and press Enter.

sfc /scannow

Step 3: After the scan is finished a system message will appear. See the list below to guide you on what it means.

  • Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations – This means your operating system doesn’t have any corrupted or missing files.
  • Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation – The repair tool detected a problem during the scan and an offline scan is needed
  • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them – This message will appear when the SFC was able to fix the problem it detected
  • Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. – If this error occurs, you will need to repair the corrupted files manually. See the guide below.

**Try to run SFC scan two to three times to fix all the errors**

How to view SFC scan detailed logs

To see the detailed log of SFC scan, you will need to create a readable copy on your computer. Follow the steps below to do it:

Step 1: Press Windows key + X on your keyboard and select Command Prompt (Admin)

Command Prompt (Admin)

Step 2: Type the following on Command Prompt and press Enter

findstr /c:”[SR]” %windir%LogsCBSCBS.log >”%userprofile%Desktopsfclogs.txt”

SFC scan detailed logs

Step 3: Go to your desktop and find a text file named sfclogs.txt. Open it

Step 4: The file will contain the information about the scan and the files that couldn’t be repaired


How to scan and repair Windows 10 System files (OFFLINE)

Some system files are being used while Windows is running in this case you should run SFC offline to repair these files.

To do these follow the steps below:

Step 1: Press Windows key + I to open Windows Settings

Step 2: Click on Update & Security

Update & Security

Step 3: Click on Recovery and under advanced startup, select Restart now

Restart Now

Step 4: Wait for Windows to Restart, A page will appear and select Troubleshoot

Step 5: Select Advanced Options

Step 6: Click on Command Prompt to boot Windows with Command Prompt function

Command Prompt

Step 7: When running SFC offline, you need to tell the repair tool exactly where the installation files are. To do this type the following command below:

wmic logicaldisk get deviceid, volumename, description

For our computer Windows is installed on Drive C:

Installation files address

Step 8: Now that you know where windows is installed, Type the following command and press Enter

sfc /scannow /offbootdir=C: /offwindr=C:Windows

**NOTE: offbootdir=C: (this is where your installation files are)

offwindr=C:(this is where Windows is installed)

For our case installation files and Windows is installed on one drive**

Step 9: Once the scan is finished, close Command Prompt and Click Continue to boot Windows 10.

Step 10: Use your computer and Observe if the system has improved. If not, run the scan one to two more times.

This fix is advisable for users who have minor issues on their system files.  For Windows 10 users that have a lot of corrupted system files, a fresh Windows 10 installation is needed.

Shayne Sherman
Meet the author

Shayne is an expert at all things Microsoft Windows and computer security. As a Windows user of over 30 years, he has been featured on Business Insider, Yahoo, Tech Republic, Hacker Noon, Techopedia, and many other publications. He also enjoys spending time with his family, including his English bulldog, Fergie as well as entertaining at his home theater.