How to Fix Broken Registry Items in Windows 11

Here's how to use the built-in tools in Windows to get your system back in shape

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Registry errors in Windows 11 can be some of the most frustrating problems to deal with, as they can accumulate over time and appear to have no obvious cause. Whether it's just from system clutter, malware, or an incomplete shutdown, however, there are ways you can fix broken registry items in Windows 11. Here are some of the best.

What Causes Broken Registry Items in Windows 11?

It's not always clear what's behind broken registry items in Windows 11, but it's likely a mixture of a few things. Malware can cause issues with your registry as they attempt to infiltrate and replicate in your system, and problematic Windows updates can occasionally throw a spanner in the works too. It's also possible an incomplete shutdown, say from the being power, could cause some corruption in registry files, leading to further issues down the line.

Whatever the cause for the registry problems, though, the solutions are the same.

How to Fix a Broken Registry

There are a few different methods you can use for fixing the registry in Windows 11. Here are the best ones, listed from easiest and most likely to work, to the more complicated and time demanding.

  1. Try running the SFC /Scannow command from the Windows 11 Command Prompt. This system file checker will make sure all of your Windows system files and DLL files are working properly, and if not, it'll replace them. Make sure you're running the Command Prompt as an administrator, too, so you'll have access to this important cleanup tool.

    Running the command prompt as an administrator is referred to as an Elevated Prompt.

  2. Try running the DISM.exe deployment image servicing and management tool. It can fix your Windows image if there's a problem with the installation, which should help shore up any problems with your registry. To do so, open the Command Prompt, then type in the following:

    DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

    Then press the Enter key.

    Once the scan is completed, restart your PC to see if that's fixed the issue.

  3. Run the Windows 11 automated disk cleanup tool to remove any unnecessary files that might be causing your registry problems. To do so, use the Windows Key+R "Run" menu to input the following command:


    Then press enter. Select the drive you want to clean, then select Clean Up System Files from the pop-up window.

  4. Run a Malware scan to make sure there aren't any viruses or trojans that are causing your registry errors.

  5. Perform a Windows Startup repair from the advanced boot options menu. You can find out more about this particular tool and other useful Windows tools, in our article on how to fix a computer that won't start up properly.

  6. Revert to a previous Windows restore point that was taken before your registry errors appeared.

  7. If all else fails, reset Windows 11 to its factory defaults. That should clear out any lingering registry error issues you're facing.

  • How do I restore my Windows registry?

    If for any reason you need to completely restore your Windows registry, you can do so by using a previous backup.

  • How do I clean up a broken registry in Windows 10?

    Press the Windows button + S and search for "disk cleanup." Choose the drive you have Windows installed to, then select Clean Up System Files and select the same drive again. Go over the options as they're presented, then select OK to start.

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