FIX: Subst.exe not working in Windows 10

Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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  • If the subst.exe batch file stopped working in Windows 10, you should try a System File Check first, just to make sure all system files are in place.
  • If the SFC scan didn't detect any problems, you should try to temporary disable your antivirus software because sometimes, it may block .exe files from running.
  • Corrupted or missing system files are a pretty common problem but in our How to repair missing or corrupted system files hub you will find all possible solutions for that.
  • Windows 10 is a very stable OS but it's not perfect. Visit our Windows 10 fix hub to troubleshoot your system for any issues.
subst.exe not working in Windows 10, Windows 8.1

Some users have reported that they are getting problems with running Subst.exe in Windows 10. Here’s how the complaint sounds like:
subst.exe windows 8.1

I have a batch file that I’ve been using since windows xp, all the way up through windows 8.1 beta. Since I installed the full 8.1 this week, the batch file quit working: SUBST.EXE L: c:developmentclientname

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I tried right/click run as administrator, and it sorta works…interestingly…with MSAccess XP. But MSOffice 2010 products don’t recognize the drive letter in the File Open dialog box, and Windows Explorer doesn’t display the L: drive.

However, if I go to a command prompt and type L: and press enter, it recognizes and goes to the L: drive…. I tried running the command line directly from command prompt (admin) and same results…

How can I fix subst.exe batch file stopped working in Windows 10?

  1. Run SFC scan
  2. Stop switching between MSAccess XP and MSAccess 2010
  3. Disable your antivirus/firewall
  4. Create a new user account

The thread is still open on the Microsoft community forums and we’re keeping a keen eye on it, in the eventuality that a working solution will be provided.

Meanwhile, here are some solution suggestions that may help you fix the problem.

1. Run SFC scan

Those who are affected by this should try first a System File Check just to make sure all system files are in place.

If this doesn’t work, then you can go ahead and from an admin command prompt, type sfc /scannow to start. After that, just follow the instructions and restart.

sfc scannow

2. Stop switching between MSAccess XP and MSAccess 2010

For some, the issue has been generated by the fact that users switch often between MSAccess XP and MSAccess 2010, so if you’re doing the same thing, stop.

3. Disable your antivirus/firewall

Sometimes, your antivirus software may block .exe files from running on your computer. You can turn off your antivirus tool, as well as your firewall , and check if the Subst.exe file now works.

Don’t forget to enable your antivirus and firewall protection after you completed the tests.

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4. Create a new user account

Other users suggested that creating a new user account may fix this problem. While this solution works only in rare cases, do give it a try as it may help you fix the problem.

So, just in case you know additional working fixes, do let us know and we’ll inform those affected.

FAQ: Read more about system files

  • What are system files in Windows?
Theoretically, a Windows system file is any file with the system attribute. System files are those indispensable files for Windows to operate properly. If the system files are corrupted, fix them with our straight forward guide
  • How can I fix Subst.exe not working?

You can start by running an SFC scan. If that doesn’t fix the problem, follow our exclusive guide to fix Subst.exe.

  • Where are saved files stored in computer?
Saved files are stored in the hard drive of the computer. If you’re not sure about the exact path where a file was stored, run the specific program and try to save another file to see the location to where it gets saved.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in August 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in March 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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