FIX: Windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • Windows errors are, unfortunately, a natural part of the Windows 10 experience.
  • The article below will show you how to handle an unexpected shutdown error in Windows 10.
  • For more similar issues, visit our System Errors Hub.
  • If you need more guidance on Windows-related issues, come visit our Windows 10 Errors page.
Windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown

Some users have posted on forums about an unexpected shutdown error in Windows. For those users, Windows shuts down unexpectedly. After the restart, an error message pops up that states:

Windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown.

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Users need to fix that issue if it becomes a recurring error. These are some of the potential fixes for the Windows unexpected shutdown error.


How can I fix the unexpected shutdown error?

1. Clean boot Windows

First, try clean-booting Windows to remove third-party services and programs from the startup that might be triggering the unexpected shutdown error.

  1. Open Run by pressing the Windows key and R at the same time.
  2. Enter msconfig in Run’s text box to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
    The General tab windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown error
  3. On the General tab, select the Selective startup radio button.
  4. Select the Load system services and Use original boot configuration options if they aren’t selected.
  5. Uncheck Load startup items so that option isn’t selected.
  6. On the Services tab, select the Hide all Microsoft services option.
    The Services tab windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown error
  7. Click the Disable all option.
  8. Select the Apply option, and click the OK button.
  9. Click Restart to initiate the clean boot.

If that fixes the issue, you can leave the startup configuration as it is. Alternatively, you can try to figure out what startup program or service was triggering the error by re-enabling one at a time until the issue returns.

That will help identify which one is triggering the error.


2. Run a system file scan

Some users have confirmed that the System File Checker can fix the unexpected shutdown error.

  1. Open the search utility by pressing the Windows key + S hotkey.
  2. Type cmd in the search tool’s text box.
  3. Right-click Command Prompt within the search tool to select its Run as administrator option.
  4. Before initiating the system file scan, input DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth and press Enter.
  5. Next, enter the sfc /scannow command; and press the Return button.
    sfc /scannow command windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown error
  6. When the scan is done, the Command Prompt might tell you that it repaired system files. If so, restart Windows.

3. Scan device drivers

The unexpected shutdown error can be due to a faulty device driver.

  1. To check for faulty (corrupted) device drivers, click the Free Download button on Driver Booster 7’s webpage.
  2. Add Driver Booster 7 to your desktop or laptop with its installer.
  3. Open the Driver Booster 7 software.
  4. The software will start scanning when you first launch it.
    • Click Update Now if its scan shows there are some faulty drivers as in the snapshot below.

Driver Booster 7 software windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown error


4. Restore Windows to a restore point

Restoring Windows to a previous date with System Restore might also fix the unexpected shutdown error for some users.

  1. Launch the Run accessory.
  2. Next, input rstrui in the Open box; and click the OK button.
  3. Click Next to proceed.
  4. If it isn’t greyed out, select the Show more restore points setting.
    System Restore window windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown error
  5. Select a restore point that will roll Windows back to a time that predates the unexpected shutdown error on your desktop or laptop.
  6. To check what software will get deleted for a restore point, click the Scan for affected programs button.
    The scan for affected programs window
  7. Press the Next button, and then click Finish to restart.

The above resolutions have fixed the unexpected shutdown error for some users.

Let us know which of the troubleshooting steps did you use to get rid of this error by leaving us a message in the comments section below.

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FAQ: Learn more about Windows errors

  • What is the Windows has recovered from an unexpected shutdown error?

This error message appears commonly after your PC experiences an unforeseen shutdown.

  • Can I lose data because of the unexpected shutdown error?

It all depends on what you were doing when the shutdown occurred. That is why it is a good idea to frequently back up your system from time to time.

  • How can I fix unexpected PC shutdowns?

One way to fix unexpected shutdowns is to perform frequent system maintenance operations, such as cleaning your registry.


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