FIX: Winload.exe issues in Windows 10

Andrew Wafer
by Andrew Wafer
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  • Winload.exe issues are pretty severe since they inadvertently lead to you not being able to properly boot your PC, and therefore cannot access your data.
  • We will be covering several simple methods on how to fix Winload.exe issues in the article below in a way that is extremely easy to understand.
  • This article is part of a much larger hub that we have that is dedicated towards Boot errors and how to efficiently fix them.
  • For more useful articles, visit our dedicated BOOTMGR section.
fix winload error

Are you having problems with your Windows 10 OS? If you can’t properly boot your device or if you are noticing issues with the winload.exe protocol (winload.exe is missing or winload.exe is corrupt) then we recommend you to use the troubleshooting steps from below in order to address these problems with ease.

winloadWinload.exe is in fact what we know as Windows Boot Loader, a small program in built on the Windows 10 system. Winload.exe is initiated by another protocol, BOOTMGR which is the boot manager featured in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista.

Now, winload.exe will load some files from Windows, files that are quite important for your device. Because of that, if winload.exe is corrupt or missing you will not be able to properly use your Windows 10 based tablet, laptop or desktop.

So, due to same reasons, you should use the troubleshooting solution from below in order to safely fix this problem.

How can I fix Winload.exe in Windows 10:

  1. Use Startup Repair
  2. Remove the Windows.old folder
  3. Reinstall Windows 10

1. Use Startup Repair

  1. Make sure you can use your Windows 10 installer DVD.
  2. So, insert the bootable DVD on your device and restart the PC.
  3. When prompted press any key in order to boot from DVD.
  4. Wait while the Windows installation files are being uploaded.
  5. Then from the main menu of your installer disk choose computer
  6. Up next from the System Recovery Options select Command Prompt.cmd from wind 8 installer
  7. A cmd window will be displayed on your screen; there type bootrec /rebuildbcd and press enter from your keyboard.
  8. Wait while the command is being executed.
  9. Then on cmd type exit and press enter.
  10. Reject the DVD and reboot your Windows 10 device as you are done.

The Boot Configuration Data file is missing? Don’t panic, we’ve got a dedicated guide about that. Check it out and solve the issue in no time.

For being able to fix winload.exe you need to rebuild the Boot Configuration Data protocol, dubbed as BCD. This protocol is telling to your Windows device how to start the boot sequence and contains essential boot configuration options.

You don’t have a Windows 10 installation media? Create one right now in just a couple of simple steps.

2. Remove the Windows.old folder

1. Type Disk Cleanup > select your C drive > select Clean up system files

2. Wait for the utility to calculate how much space it can free up > on the new windows, click on the “More options” tab

3. Go to System Restores and Shadow copies > hit Clean up

Problems deleting all your junk files? Follow this guide to solve Disk Cleanup issues and save your drive.

The Windows.old folder may also cause various .exe file errors. As a quick reminder, the Windows.old folder appears when you upgrade your Windows version or perform a clean install of Windows 10.

The role of this folder is to keep your previous Windows installation files, allowing you to restore it. Here’s how to remove the Windows.old folder:

3. Reinstall Windows 10

If the two solutions listed above didn’t help you fix Winload.exe bugs on Windows 10, try reinstalling the OS.

Epic guide alert! Reinstall Windows 10 with a few quick steps. Everything you need to know is right here.

FAQ: Learn more about Winload.exe

  • What is Winload.exe ?

Winload.exe is a software component, that acts as a system loader, and it is started by BOOTMGR, the boot manager in all Windows OSes since Vista.

  • Can Winload.exe issues lead to data loss?

Winload.exe issues prevent you from properly booting your PC, one solution would be to replace your hard drive.

  • Does fixing Winload.exe  differ from OS to OS?

Fixing Winload.exe issues is pretty much identical on all Windows OSes, as long as you know how to follow the right methods using each OS’ equivalent steps.

That’s it: you have resolved the winload.exe problem from your Windows 10 device.

If you need further Windows 10 tips or troubleshooting solutions, don’t hesitate and use our tutorials, or use the comments field from below for sharing your questions with our team.

If you’ve got additional tips and suggestions on how to fix Winload.exe issues in Windows 10, you can list them in the comments below.

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

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  • I don’t get it. I have followed many, many solutions that have been offered by those who are kind enough to offer thier time to post thier ideas. And I relate to most of those who are seeking help as I have come across quite a few circumstances as those seeking assisstance. Unfortunarely I have to come across one solution that has worked for me. Mainly because most of the solutions that are offered suggest going into save mode or some other form of advanced recovery. However if I was able to get onto safe mode, etc , I doubt that I would have the need to seek out assistance from areas such as this. Another thing that is frustrating is I noticed that allot of posting run off into some other area that is of no help what so ever. Why? I don’t understand that. If you don’t have a valuble solution for the problem at hand please don’t bother. Or just get straight to the point of the solution and be done with it because I do not need to read about how your friend’s uncle’s, brother’s, sister’s, best friend has a simular problem then never offering a workable solution for the problem you are suppose to be helping to solve. Bottom line, in most cases when some is looking for a solution for a laptop that won’t boot up I am pretty certain that means they cannot get into safe mode, any other F8 function or any other type of advanced recovery option. To me when my puter won’t boot up I am not getting any where further than a logo or a black screen with a blinking white cursor. So don’t keep suggeting problem “Solved” then posting an F8 solution because that is of no help.

  • Thanks a lot, worked like a charm on Windows 10 Pro x64
    Got the error for no reason, but was completely unable to boot. Using this tuto I was able to restart and everything was fine again. Hope it’ll stay that way.

  • Works for Windows 10.
    After entering the command “bootrec /rebuildbcd”, it will scan and show,
    “Total identified Windows installation: 1”
    “[1] D:Windows”
    “Add installation to boot list? Yes(Y)/No(N)/All(A):”
    Enter “y”, exit and reboot.

  • Thankyou, Thankyou, Thankyou.
    I have been rebuilding the software and profs and reinstalling files all week when this happened!
    So Thankyou at 2am

  • had some fun trying to get rid of an acer hidden partition on a WD Black2 dual drive after a clone. this resolved my boot issue. Thanks for posting this!!!!

  • Trouble issue ! On command window I get:

    X:sources>bootrec/rebuildBcd (AND NOT rebuid BCD)
    -> process goes on and ask to choose between ALL OS or one of them
    -> as I want to rebuild Win8.1, I choose ALL (to see what are the others OS)

    ENTER for Win8.1 then:
    Error message:

    File: Windowssystem32winload.exe
    Status: 0xc0000428
    Info: windows can’t verify the digital signature for this file

    Tip: If you understand why the digital signature can’t be verified and want to start Windows without this file, temporarily disable driver signature enforcement

    So, how to do that ??