System File Checker

By: Robert Neagoe
3 minute read
Fix corrupted system files with SFC (system file checker)

System File Checker (SFC) is a utility in Microsoft Windows that allows users to scan for and restore corruptions in Windows system files. This utility is available on all versions of Windows OS and is located in C:WindowsSystem32 folder.

This article will describe the following issues related to SFC tool:

  • how to run the system file checker tool
  • how to fix SFC errors
  • how to use SFC scannow in Safe Mode

The time required for SFC command scannow to repair important windows files is usually from 5 to 15 minutes.

How to run SFC scannow in Windows 10

The SFC might resolve many system errors, including blue screen issues. This is how you can run an SFC scan in Windows.

  • Press the Windows key + X to open the Win + X menu.
  • Click Command Prompt (Admin) to open the Command Prompt as an administrator.
    corrupted-system-files-cmd-1
  • When Command Prompt opens, enter sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  • The repair process will now start. Don’t close Command Prompt or interrupt the repair process. The repair process can take a while, so wait patiently while it completes.

  • When the SFC scan is complete, the Command Prompt might state, “Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.” If that’s the case, restart Windows.

How to use SFC scannow in Safe Mode

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.

Here is how you can reboot your device into Safe Mode right away:

  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.

FIX most common System File Checker/SFC scannow errors

SFC is a dedicated system scan feature available in the Windows NT family of operating systems,  and it scans files using Windows Resource Protection. Although this process can automatically repair the most common Windows soft-related problems, in some situations, SFC itself might experience malfunctions. Here are some of the most common issues that users reported:

  • Sfc /scannow stuck at verification, at beginning system scan – According to users, SFC scan can get stuck at verification or at the beginning of the scan. However, you might be able to fix the problem simply by replacing the corrupted files.
  • Sfc /scannow frozen Windows 10 – This is another issue that can appear with the SFC scan. To fix this issue, it’s advised to restore your PC using System Restore and check if that solves the problem.
  • Sfc scannow nothing happens – Couple of users reported that nothing happens while using SFC scan on their PC. If that’s the case, try using the DISM scan instead and check if that solves the issue.
  • Sfc scannow stops scanning – According to users, sometimes an SFC scan can stop completely on your PC. This is a strange issue, and it might be caused by Turbo Memory feature. Simply disable this feature and check if that solves the issue.
  • Sfc /scannow fails Windows 10, 8.1, 7 – This problem can appear on almost any version of Windows, and Windows 8.1 and 7 aren’t exceptions. However, you should be able to fix this issue by using one of our solutions.
  • Sfc scannow stops you must be an administrator – SFC scan requires administrative privileges in order to run, and if you’re having any issues with SFC, be sure that you’re using Command Prompt as an administrator.

Check out the full guides on how to fix SFC error in the following articles:

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