That’s how you can fix Windows 11’s WSL error

by Farhad Pashaei
Farhad Pashaei
Farhad Pashaei
Author
He has spent the last seven years tinkering with laptops, smartphones, printers, and projectors, as well as writing reviews about them. When he isn't writing, you can bet... read more
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  • Users may receive WslRegisterDistribution Failed errors with various error codes while installing or using WSL on Windows 11.
  • Most common Windows 11 WSL errors includes 0x80070032, 0x80370102, 0x8007023e, and 0x8007019e.
  • There are various reasons why these problems occur, but the most common one is that you haven't activated a critical functionality like Virtual Machine Platform.
  • These problems can occur as a result of malware or a technical issue as well.

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A WSL error in Windows 11 might occur for a variety of reasons. The exact message is WslRegisterDistribution Failed with different error codes.

The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a function that allows developers and typical users to install and work with Linux on their Windows computers.

Despite the fact that this functionality is highly valuable for developers, it can occasionally cause mind-boggling complications that are difficult to fix.

Fortunately, these errors aren’t insurmountable; in this post, we’ll go over all of the possible causes and solutions.

What are the most common WSL errors in Windows 11?

The WSL error in Windows 11 includes a variety of codes and warnings; these are the most prevalent:

  • WslRegisterDistribution Failed with error: 0x80070032 
  • WslRegisterDistribution failed with error: 0x80370102 
  • WslRegisterDistribution Failed with Error: 0x8007023e
  • WslRegisterDistribution failed with error 0x8007019e

Let’s go into the solutions now that we’ve covered the error codes.

How can I fix Windows 11 WSL errors?

1. Fix WslRegisterDistribution Failed: 0x80070032 error

1.1 Scan your computer for malware 

  1. Press Windows + I keys to open Settings.
  2. Click on Privacy & Security, then on the right pane, choose Windows Security.Privacy and Security
  3. After that, click on Virus and threat protection.Virus and Thread protection
  4. Next, select Scan options.Performing Scan to address WSL error on Windows 11
  5. Select Full Scan and then click on Scan now
  6. Let the scan complete. 

The first thing to do when getting a Windows 11 WSL error code 0x80070032 is to scan your system for malware. 

Antivirus software from firms like ESET is also a good alternative due to their specialization in this field.

This anti-malware program ensures that your computer’s hard drive won’t be infected with any malicious software.

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1.2 Enable WSL

  1. Press the Windows key, and type Turn Windows features on or off, then click on the result to open it.
  2. Find Windows Subsystem for Linux and enable it. Enabling WSL
  3. Click OK.
  4. Let it search and install the required system files, then restart your computer and check if the problem is solved.

You can also enable WSL using Windows PowerShell by following the steps below:

  1. Click on the Start menu, type Windows PowerShell, right-click on it and select Run as administrator.Windows PowerShell
  2. Copy and paste the following code:
    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux Enabling WSL using PowerShell to address WSL error Windows 11
  3. If needed, type the following letter to reboot your system: Y.

1.3 Enable Virtual Machine

  1. Go to the Start menu and type Turn Windows Features on or off, then click on the result to open it.
  2. Find Virtual Machine Platform and enable it, then click OK.Enabling Virtual Machine to fix Windows 11 WSL error

The virtual machine installation is necessary for running WSL. If your system supports it, install it using Windows Features unless you will run into issues. 

1.4 Fix file permission issue

  1. Press Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box.
  2. Type %localappdata%\Packages\ and press Enter.Packages directory
  3. Find the Distro folder, right-click on it, and select Properties.
  4. Go to the Security Tab section, and click on the Advanced option.Advanced option
  5. Check to see your account is on the list or not. If your account is on the list, proceed to the following method; if not, delete and install WSL again.

1.5 Restart the LxssManager Service

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run.
  2. Type Services.msc and press Enter.ServiceMSC
  3. Find LxssManager, right-click on it, and select Stop.Stoping LxssManager to address WSL error on Windows 11
  4. Relaunch WSL and check if the error is disappeared or not. 

LxssManager controls distributions operations in the background. If it fails to start or is stuck in the process, you may get the 0x80070032 error.

So, restarting the LxssManager service may solve this problem.

1.6 Launch WSL from Microsoft Store

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start menu, then type Microsoft Store and press Enter.Microsoft Store
  2. Select My Library from the app’s bottom left corner.Library in Microsoft Store
  3. Find the Linux distribution app such as Ubuntu, then click Launch and check if the problem is solved or not. 

Sometimes Windows 11 WSL error may happen because of a bug in the Linux distribution you installed. To solve this issue, you can relaunch the WSL distribution app from the Microsoft Store.

2. Use a PC repair tool

It’s not uncommon for your computer to be the root of a problem, and it’s simple to fix using a third-party tool.

Restoro will analyze the corrupt and missing files and repair them. This application will solve the vast majority of cases when the error happens because of system corruption. 

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3. Fix WslRegisterDistribution Failed: 0x80040306 error on installation

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box, then type cmd.exe.
  2. Right-click on the title bar, choose Properties.CMD Properties
  3. Uncheck Use legacy console and click OK.Disable Use Legacy Mode

4. Fix WslRegisterDistribution Failed: 0x80370102 error

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4.1 Enable Hyper-V

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start menu, type Turn Windows Features on or off, and press the Enter key.
  2. Find Hyper-V and enable it.Enabling Hyper-V
  3. Now, click OK.
  4. Restart your computer and check if the problem is solved or not. 

If Windows 11 WSL error code 0x80370102 occurs, the first thing you can do is enable Hyper-V. This is a functionality required for working with WSL. 

4.2 Enable Hardware Virtualization

  1. Right-click on the Start menu, open Task Manager.
  2. Go to the Performance tab and check if the Virtualization is enabled.Checking Virtualization to adress WSL error on Windows 11
  3. If Virtualization is not enabled, restart your computer and hit the BIOS key as soon as the computer starts up to enter your PC BIOS option. F1, F2, F10, F12, or DEL could be the BIOS key.
  4. Locate the CPU configuration section and enable the Virtualization.

If you want to use Hyper-V powered WSL on your computer, you have to turn on the hardware Virtualization.

4.3. Turn on Virtual Machine Platform (VMP)

  1. Go to the Start menu and type Turn Windows Features on or off then hit Enter.
  2. Find Virtual Machine Platform and enable it, then click on OKEnabling Virtual Machine
  3. Wait for the installation to complete and restart your computer. 

VMP is one of the necessary features that must be enabled to fix the Windows 11 WSL error code 0x80370102.

5. Fix WslRegisterDistribution Failed: 0x8007023e error

5.1 Disable and Enable the Linux Subsystem

  1. Click on the Start menu and type Turn Windows Features on or off then hit Enter.Running Windows Features
  2. Uncheck Hyper-V, Windows Subsystem for Linux, Virtual Machine Platform, and Windows Hypervisor Platform, then select OK.Disabling Optional Features to address Windows 11 WSL errors
  3. Restart your computer.
  4. Run Windows Features once more and enable them again. 

5.2 Reinstall Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)

  1. Press Windows + I keys to open Settings.
  2. On the left pane, select Apps, and then on the right pane, click on Apps & features.Apps and features
  3. Find the Linux distribution (like Ubuntu) in the list, click on the three-dotted option and choose UninstallInstalling Ubuntu to fix Windows 11 WSL error
  4. Allow the procedure to finish.
  5. After that, find Windows Subsystem for Linux in the list, click on the three-dotted menu and select UninstallUninstalling WSL
  6. Follow the steps mentioned in the previous method to disable WSL and Windows Hypervisor Platform in Windows Features
  7. Restart your computer, then install WSL. 

6. Fix WslRegisterDistribution Failed: 0x8007019e error

6.1 Update Linux using Terminal

  1. Go to the Start menu, type cmd then right-click on Command Prompt, and select Run as administrator.Run CMD as Administrator
  2. Type the following commands in Command Prompt and hit Enter to update the Linux distribution application:
C:\> bash
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
$ <CTRL-D>
C:\> exit

6.2 Repair the Linux Terminal App

  1. Press Windows + I keys to open Settings.
  2. In the left pane, click Apps, then in the right pane, pick Apps & features.Apps and features
  3. Find a Linux Distribution Application such as Ubuntu then click on the three-dot and select Advanced Options.Go to Ubuntu app advanced options to fix WSL error
  4. Scroll down the page to find the Repair option then click on it.Repairing app to fix WSL on Windows 11

Check to ensure the error has been fixed, if not proceed to the next solution.

6.3. Reset the Linux Terminal App

  1. Press Windows + I keys to open Settings.
  2. In the left pane, click Apps, then in the right pane, pick Apps & features.Apps and features
  3. Find a Linux Distribution Application such as Ubuntu then click on the three-dot and select Advanced Options.Go to Ubuntu app advanced options to fix WSL error
  4. Scroll down the page to find the Reset option then click on it.Reseting app to fix WSL on Windows 11

WslRegisterDistribution failed with error 0x8007019e may occur because of a corrupt installation of the Linux application. You can repair or reset the Linux Distribution Application to solve the problem.

8. Fix Cannot access WSL files from Windows

  1. Press Windows + I keys to open Settings
  2. Next, select Windows Update and click on Advanced optionsAdvanced options in updates- WSL error
  3. Now, enable Receive updates for other Microsoft products when you update Windows.enable Receive updates for other Microsoft products when you update Windows to fix Windows 11 WSL error

When the 9P protocol file server fails to start, you will not have access to Windows Subsystem for Linux \\wsl$ on Windows.

The easiest way to fix this error is to enable updates for Microsoft products on Windows Update.

9. Fix The referenced assembly could not be found

  1. Press the Windows key and type Turn Windows features on or off, then hit Enter. Running Windows Features
  2. Find and enable the Windows Subsystem for Linux in the window that appears.

10. Bash is hung

If Bash hangs or refuses to respond to input, restart your system. You can also report a memory dump.

Before dumping your memory, be sure to save your work because this will lead to a system crash. 

What causes WSL errors?

The WslRegisterDistribution failed error code 0x800700032 occurs when the Virtual machine platform is disabled.

The WslRegisterDistribution failed error code 0x80370102 is a new error that is not limited to Linux distribution. You may encounter this error while trying to install the Debian distro as well.

In addition, this error happens when you want to run a Windows Insider Preview build, and you may see defects or bugs because it is under development.

Upgrading WSL and disabling Virtualization may also cause this error. The WslRegisterDistributionFailed 0x8007023e error is caused by a problem with WSL or the virtual machine settings in Windows.

Errors can occur as a result of a faulty or incomplete WSL installation, as well as a problem with Windows or WSL settings.

While there are many WSL-related issues on Windows 11, fixing them is usually as simple as reinstalling WSL or making sure you’ve activated the appropriate feature.

Make sure hardware Virtualization and Virtual Machine Platform are both enabled on your PC before diving into any sophisticated methods.

If you successfully overcame WSL errors on Windows 11, please tell us what the problem was and how you fixed it.

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