How to fix the Windows cannot find error [Full Guide]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things surrounding it. He is passionate about... Read more
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  • Unable to start working due to the annoying Windows cannot find error? The message may pop up when you try to open File Explorer or certain applications.
  • If Windows cannot find a file, try to use File Explorer to pinpoint it on your hard drive.
  • The Windows cannot find error can be solved by reregistering the apps using our solution.
  • You can also use the dedicated third-party software recommended below to fix this annoying issue.
Fix Windows cannot find error
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The Windows cannot find error is one that can occur under alternative circumstances. For some, the issue occurs when trying to open File Explorer with the Win + E hotkey or from the Win + X menu.

For other users, the error message pops up when launching some Windows 10 apps. In both instances, an error message states: Windows cannot find. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again.

If that error message only pops up when you try to open File Explorer, it’s not such a big deal. You can still open that file manager by pressing the taskbar’s File Explorer button or by clicking This PC on the desktop.

However, Windows 10 apps returning that same error message don’t open. This is how you can fix the Windows cannot find error for both Explorer and apps.

How can I solve the Windows cannot find error?

1. Select File Explorer’s This PC option

  1. Press the File Explorer icon on the Windows taskbar.
  2. Select the View tab in the snapshot directly below.Windows cannot find file, make sure you typed the name correctly
  3. Press the Options button and select Change folder and search options from its menu.Windows cannot find file, make sure you typed the name correctly
  4. That option will open the window directly below. Select This PC from the Open File Explorer to the drop-down menu.
  5. Press the Apply and OK buttons on the Folder Options window.

Fixing the Windows cannot find error for File Explorer is more straightforward. Some Windows users have resolved the issue by adjusting the Open File Explorer setting to This PC.

Tired of so many File Explorer issues? Fix them all with the help of this extensive guide.

2. Fix the error using a third-party app

The Windows can’t find error has extremely diverse causes and that is why it can be pretty hard to pinpoint and troubleshoot. So that’s why it’s recommended to use a third-party solution that can fix issues automatically.

The solution we propose below can fix a lot of Windows 10 issues like the ones that occur after updates and even BSoD errors, file corruption problems or missing DLLs.

Windows Update is meant to improve the overall performance of your operating system, integrate new features, and even upgrade the existing ones. However, there are times when certain errors may occur out of the blue.

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  5. Restart your PC for all the changes to take effect.

After the process is completed your computer should work perfectly fine and you will no longer have to worry about Windows Update errors of any kind.

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3. Reregister Windows 10 apps

3.1 Get the App package using PowerShell

  1. Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager.
  2. Click File and select Run new task to open the window directly below.Windows cannot find file, make sure you typed the name correctly
  3. Enter PowerShell in the Open text box and select the Create this task with administrative privileges checkbox.
  4. Then click OK to open the window below.Windows cannot find file, make sure you typed the name correctly
  5. Input the following command in PowerShell and press the Enter key. Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}Windows cannot find file, make sure you typed the name correctly
  6. Thereafter, reboot the Windows 10 platform.

If Windows 10 apps are showing the Windows cannot find message, resetting the apps is one of the best resolutions.

Reregistering an app is a little like reinstalling it as that deletes app data, but you don’t need to install it again. You can reset Windows 10 apps as follows.

Can’t open Task Manager? Don’t worry, we’ve got the right solution for you.

Reregistering Windows 10 apps with PowerShell will reset all the default apps bundled with the platform. If you need to reregister new apps you’ve installed, you can do so via Settings.

Each listed app has a Reset button that you can press to reregister it as outlined below.

PowerShell stopped working? Fix it by following the simple steps from this amazing guide.

3.2 Reset the apps

  1. Press the Start button, and then click the Settings icon.
  2. Click Apps to open the app list in the snapshot directly below.
  3. Select an app to reset.
  4. Click Advanced options to open the app’s Reset option.Windows cannot find file, make sure you typed the name correctly
  5. Press the Reset button, and click Reset again, to reregister the selected app.

4. Open the Microsoft Store App Troubleshooter

  1. Press the Win key + I keyboard shortcut to open Settings.
  2. Click Update & Security and select Troubleshoot to open a list of troubleshooters as shown below.
  3. Select the Windows Store App troubleshooter, and press its Run the troubleshooter button.
  4. Press the Next button to go through the troubleshooter‘s resolutions.

The Microsoft Store App troubleshooter might also help fix the Windows cannot find error you are facing. Use the above procedure in that regard.

If the Troubleshooter stops before completing the process, fix it with the help of this complete guide.

4. Rename EXE Files

  1. Browse to the folder location of the program that’s showing the error in File Explorer. If the software has a desktop shortcut, you can right-click that icon and select Open file location.
  2. Select the program’s EXE in File Explorer, and press the F2 key.
  3. Then enter another title for the file, and press the Return key.

The Windows cannot find error can also occur for programs that aren’t Store apps. Then the error message will also include a path for the specific software you’re trying to open.

A particular error is followed by the message Windows cannot find c:program make sure you typed the name correctly. Renaming EXE files is one resolution for errors that include software paths.

Those are a few resolutions that can fix the Windows cannot find error for File Explorer, apps , and other desktop software. Check out this post for further details on how you can fix Windows 10 apps that aren’t opening.

If you have any additional questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

The above solutions may be applied in multiple scenarios users face the days:

  • Windows cannot find. Make sure you typed the name correctly – Users report getting the simple Windows cannot find message or the one that states Windows cannot find. Make sure you typed the name correctly.
  • Windows cannot find. Make sure you typed the name correctly and then try again – That’s another variation of the same core issue. In any case, the above solutions work like a charm.
  • Windows cannot find file – Even if you are using Windows 10 licensed, chances are you’ll encounter this error sooner or later. Try booting your computer in Safe mode or use Microsoft’s Security Scanner.
  • Windows cannot find filename.exe – If that’s the issue you are dealing with, don’t hesitate to rename the EXE file.
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Frequently Asked Questions

  • There are times when the error message shows up when you try to open File Explorer, so select File Explorer’s This PC option and get rid of it for good, as detailed in this quick guide.

  • Plenty of users report that they have received the same error message when opening an application. We have an excellent error to fix the Windows cannot find error.

  • When getting this error message, it usually means that the file is blocked by Windows. Here’s what to do if Windows cannot access the specified device path or file.

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Avatar dcb112

on my system the problem turned out to be a change in permissions probably caused by a w10 update. Admin accounts were denied access to user account files. So if a user downloaded a new app and ran the install pgm, the after entering the pw into the User Account Control the pgm could not be found. Solution: share the folder with the Admin (or Everyone).

Avatar Robert Fischer

1) Already set to “This PC”
2) “this file doesn’t have an app associated with it…” (it is there though)
3) “There was a problem and this can’t continue”
4) Wouldn’t let me rename
Basically my computer can’t find many exe filetypes even when I’m literally double-clicking (or right-click, open) on them.

This problem started after a PC shutdown during a forced Windows update. I had no idea it was updating, there was no indication on the screen whatsoever, looked like screen was frozen. I gave it a few minutes and still appeared frozen (just a dark screen with no text, loading bar or any sort of motion, just a solid color screen and nothing else). There really needs to be some sort of indication that an update is being forced.

I tried to reinstall the Windows 10 OS and it doesn’t allow me to go through with that either. It lets me run the command prompt, but not as administrator, so I don’t know if there is something (maybe in safe mode) that I can type in cmd prompt that will fix this issue?

I’m also unable to install Windows updates. These latest updates failed:

1) 2019-06 Cumulative Update for Windows 10 Version 1803 for x64-based Systems (KB4503286) – Error 0x8007007e

2) 2019-06 Security Update for Adobe Flash Player for Windows 10 Version 1803 for x64-based Systems (KB4503308) – Error 0x8007007e

The “retry” option never works and the troubleshooter doesn’t help. I’ve already tried manually downloading the windows update files linked from some troubleshooter. The downloads worked, just not the installation.

I tried “retry” again and it added a 3rd failed update:

3) 2019-02 Update for Windows 10 Version 1803 for x64-based Systems (KB4346084) – Error 0x8007007e

Avatar Edgar Nicov


Thank you very much for your comment. We are glad our guide helped you. Don’t forget to come back on our site for more news and fixes.