FIX: Windows resource protection SFC error

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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  • SFC scans are a go to solution for fixing some of the most common Windows 10 issues
  • One good alternative to SFC if the service is down is using the CHCKDSK feature, which works in a similar fashion, and it is also command-based.
  • This article is part of our special hub for Troubleshooting System Errors, so make sure you bookmark it for future reference in case you get any similar errors ever again
  • Visit our dedicated SFC Section for more useful articles
Windows resource protection SFC error

Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation is an error message displayed while SFC is running on your Windows 10 computer. Since SFC is a troubleshooting process itself, it’s imperative to find a quick fix for this system bug.

We all know that it’s impossible to find the perfect operating system that can run smoothly all the time. There will always be problems and malfunctions that will stop us from completing our daily tasks. What’s important is to have the right troubleshooting tools at our disposal.

And, on Windows 10 the built-in software that can help us repair most of the system glitches is the System File Checker, or simply SFC. Thus, when SFC isn’t working as it should, we must find a way to quickly solve any possible errors.

SFC is a dedicated system scan feature. This process will look for system issues and will automatically repair the most common Windows soft-related problems.

But, in some situations, SFC itself might experience malfunctions – while the scan runs you might get the following error message:

Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation.

So, in that situation, we need to find punctual solutions that can fix the System File Checker feature, as explained during this step by step guide.


How to fix the Windows resource protection SFC error?

1. Run SFC from Safe Mode

  1. Launch the Run engine on your Windows 10 device
    • Press the Win+R keyboard keys together.
  2. In the Run box type msconfig and click on OK.msconfig windows 10
  3. From System Configuration switch to Boot tab.
  4. Under Boot options select the Safe mode checkbox and also check Minimal from underneath.
  5. Click OK and Apply.reboot safe mode windows 10
  6. When prompted choose Restart.
  7. Now your device will be automatically restarted into Safe Mode.
  8. From there run the sfc /scannow command.

When you cannot complete the SFC scan normally, you should initiate the same process from Safe Mode. When the Windows 10 OS runs in Safe Mode all third-party apps, and the processes associated with such software will be stopped or deactivated.

Thus, if the SFC error was somehow related with a third party software, now you will be able to successfully perform the system scan.


2. Make some security changes

  1. Right-click on the Windows Start icon and from the displayed list click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. In cmd type ICACLS C:Windowswinsxs and press Enter in the end.winsxs
  3. Close the command prompt window.
  4. Restart your Windows 10 system.
  5. Run SFC as the problem should have been fixed.

SFC might be interrupted if the winsxs folder cannot be accessed for some reason. You can change that by modifying security descriptors for that folder.


3. Run CHKDSK from Command Prompt

  1. Open elevated cmd on your device – right-click on the Windows Start icon and choose Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. In the cmd window enter chkdsk /r and press Enter.
  3. You will be asked when to perform the disk check; enter ‘y’ and press Enter.
  4. Close the cmd window and restart your computer.
  5. The scan will be automatically initiated.
  6. Afterward, try to run the SFC scan.

Another reason why SFC might crash is related to hard disk errors. Now, similar to SFC there is a troubleshooting process featured by default on Windows 10 that lets you scan and repair hard disk errors automatically.


FAQ: Learn more about SFC scans

  • How long does SFC scan take?

This may take five to ten minutes. It’s normal for the progress bar to stay at 20 percent for a while, so don’t worry about that. If the results of the DISM command state that anything was changed, restart your PC and you should then be able to run the SFC command successfully.

  • Will SFC Scannow delete my files?

The sfc /scannow command will scan all protected system files, and replace corrupted files with a cached copy. This means that you do not have any missing or corrupted system files.


The three methods detailed in this tutorial should help you solve the Windows resource protection could not perform the requested operation error on Windows 10. It means that now you can run the SFC scan without any sort of problems.

Let us know which of the methods worked best for you by leaving us a message in the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in September 2017 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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