- Many Windows 10 users complained that they get the ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND error when trying to open an app.
- You need to make sure that the security solution you're using doesn't interfere with the OS.
- To make sure you fix this error, you should use a dedicated software to repair the registry.
- Also, you have to clean your temporary files and folders by following our steps below.
If you’re getting the ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND 3 (0x3) or The system cannot find the path specified error code, use the troubleshooting steps listed in this article to fix it.
ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND: What is it and how to fix it
System cannot find path specified message can be problematic, but sometimes similar issues can occur. Regarding those issues, here are some similar problems that users reported:
- Error_path_not_found Windows 7 sp1 – This issue can appear on any version of Windows, and even if you don’t use Windows 10, feel free to try any of our solutions.
- Error path not found Lenovo – Many PC brands can experience this issue, and in order to fix it, install the latest updates and perform SFC and DISM scans.
Solution 1 — Repair your registry
The simplest way to repair your registry is to use a dedicated tool. Don’t forget to first backup your registry in case anything goes wrong.
Many reasons are causing the ERROR_PATH_NOT_FOUND error code, which means that Windows cannot access the main disk where your OS is installed.
We recommend using third-party software to fix it and keep your computer safe from common Windows errors.
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.
Thankfully, if you happen to run into such issues, there is a specialized Windows repair software that can help you solve them in no time, and it is called Restoro.
This is how you can fix registry errors using Restoro:
- Download and install Restoro.
- Launch the application.
- Wait for the application to find any system stability issues and possible malware infections.
- Press Start Repair.
- 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.
Disclaimer: This program needs to be upgraded from the free version in order to perform some specific actions.
Solution 2 – Perform an SFC and DISM scans
Another cause for System cannot find path specified error can be file corruption. Sometimes your Windows installation can get corrupted, and that can cause this and many other errors to appear. However, you might be able to fix the issue by performing an SFC scan. To do that, just follow these simple steps:
- Open Win + X menu by using Windows Key + X shortcut. Alternatively, you can right-click the Start button. Choose Command Prompt (Admin) or PowerShell (Admin) from the menu.
- After the Command Prompt opens, run the sfc /scannow command.
- SFC scan should now start. We have to mention that this scan can take about 10-15 minutes, so don’t interfere with it.
If the problem persists after running the SFC scan, you might have to run the DISM scan. This is quite simple, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Start Command Prompt as administrator.
- Enter DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth command and press Enter.
- DISM scan will start repairing your installation. This process can take about 20 minutes, sometimes more, so don’t interrupt it.
Once the DISM scan is finished, check if the problem is resolved. If the issue is still there, repeat the SFC scan once again.
Solution 3 — Update your OS
If you keep getting System cannot find path specified error, you might be able to fix the problem simply by installing the latest updates. This issue can appear due to certain bugs on your system, and the best way to deal with them is to keep your system up to date. To do that, just follow these steps:
- Open the Settings app. You can do so quickly by using Windows Key + I shortcut.
- Navigate to Update & Security section.
- In the right pane, click Check for updates button.
Windows will now check for available updates. If any updates are available, they will be downloaded automatically in the background. After the updates are downloaded, simply restart your PC in order to install them.
Once your PC is up to date, the problem should be completely resolved.
Solution 4 – Check your antivirus
Several users reported that their antivirus was the cause for this issue, and in order to fix it, it’s suggested that you temporarily disable your third-party antivirus software. If disabling the antivirus doesn’t fix the problem, you might have to uninstall it.
Users claim that removing your antivirus can fix the issue in some instances, so you might want to try that. If removing the antivirus solves the problem, you should consider switching to a different antivirus solution.
A deep, full-system scan made by your antivirus program can optimize your computer and boost its performance. Apart from protecting it against malicious software, your antivirus solution can speed up your PC through a wide range of activities, such as removing unnecessary registry keys or deleting broken shortcuts.
Solution 5 – Clean your temporary files and folders
Sometimes temporary or old files can cause System cannot find path specified error to appear. If that’s the case, you need to remove those files from your PC. The best way to do that is to use Disk Cleanup tool in Windows 10.
This is a quite useful tool that can free up space and remove problematic files, and you can use it by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + S and enter disk cleanup. Now choose Disk Cleanup.
- Select your system drive, by default it should be C, and click OK.
- Disk Cleanup will now scan your drive.
- When Disk Cleanup window opens, you’ll see a list of files. Select all files on the list and click OK.
- Optional: If you want, you can click Clean up system files button to remove old and unnecessary system files from your PC.
After using Disk Cleanup, check if the problem is still there. Several users claim that Windows.old folder was the cause for this issue, so be sure to select Previous Windows installations in Disk Cleanup in order to remove it.
Solution 6 – Perform a chkdsk scan
In some cases, file corruption can cause System cannot find path specified message to appear. To fix this issue, you need to run a chkdsk scan and scan your system drive. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Start Command Prompt as administrator.
- When Command Prompt opens, run chkdsk /f X: command. Be sure to replace X with the letter that represents your system drive. In almost all cases that’s C.
- You’ll be asked to schedule a scan. Press Y to do so.
- Now restart your PC and the chkdsk scan will run before Windows starts.
After the scan is finished, check if the problem is still there. If you want, you can also repeat this scan for all other partitions on your system and check if that helps.
Solution 7 — Download the file/ app again
This error also occurs if the download process got damaged or corrupted. In this case, try downloading the respective file or the entire app again.
This error also occurs if the download process got damaged or corrupted. In this case, try downloading the respective file or the entire app again. Do not switch to another Wi-Fi network during the process.
Alternatively, Windows 10 offers a feature that lets you repair and reset an app if it’s not launching correctly. To do this, go to Settings and select Apps. Under Apps & features, scroll until you find the desired one and click on it to reveal the list of advanced options (Repair, Reset, and Uninstall).
The first option will look for bugs and errors, repairing the corrupted app files, while the second one will remove all default settings and reinstall the app.
You can also use a dedicated download manager for this task.
Solution 8 — Change the location of the file
Moving the file affected by the ‘path not found’ error to a different folder may fix the problem. Try moving the file to a different folder on the same drive. If this doesn’t work, try moving it on a different drive.
Also, make sure that the destination folder is not set to Read-Only. Here’s how to check this:
- Right click the folder > select Properties
- Go to the Attributes section > the Read-only option should be unchecked
Solution 9 – Remove conflicting software
In some cases, third-party applications can cause this problem to appear, and in order to fix System cannot find path specified message, it’s advised that you remove any recently installed applications or the application that is giving you this error.
This is fairly simple to do, but if you want to completely remove an application, we advise using uninstaller software.
By using a professional uninstaller tool you’ll completely remove all files associated with the application you’re trying to remove and ensure that the issue doesn’t reappear.
Solution 10 – Perform a System Restore
If this problem started occurring recently, you might be able to fix it simply by performing a System Restore. This is quite simple to do, and you can do it by following these steps:
- Press Windows Key + S and type system restore. Select Create a restore point from the menu.
- Click the System Restore button.
- System Restore window will now open. Click Next to proceed.
- Check Show more restore points option if it’s available. Select the desired restore point and click Next.
- Follow the instructions on the screen.
After you perform a System Restore, check if the problem is resolved.
If you’ve come across other workarounds to this error, feel free to list the troubleshooting steps in the comment section below.
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