How to Fix Corrupt Registry in Windows 10

Repair registry errors as soon as you can to avoid bigger problems

If there's a problem with the Windows Registry, you might see an error like the following:

  • Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:\WINNT\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM
  • Stop 0xc0000218 (0xe11a30e8, 0x00000000, 0x000000000, 0x00000000) UNKNOWN_HARD_ERROR
  • System hive error

There other variations of Registry errors, which typically include terms like “CONFIG,” “Stop 0xc0000218,” or “hive error.” Whichever error message you're seeing, the steps to fix a corrupted Registry in Windows 10 are basically the same.

What Causes Windows Registry Corruption?

Registry errors are most likely to occur when the computer is shutting down. Possible causes of Windows Registry errors include:

  • Power failures or unexpected shutdowns
  • Corrupted system files
  • Viruses and other malware
  • Hardware failures

The Windows Registry contains configuration settings for all of your computer's hardware and software. Whenever you install something new, its values and keys are stored in the Registry. You can view and edit Registry entries in the Windows Registry Editor.

A corrupt Windows Registry can prevent your computer from restarting, shutting down, or booting up at all. If you see a Registry error message, address it as soon as possible to avoid bricking your device.

Windows 10 logo on a red brick wall

 2023583 / Pixabay

How Do I Fix Registry Errors?

Here's a list of things you can try to fix your Windows Registry, from the simplest and most likely to work to more advanced fixes.

  1. Run the Windows Error Checking tool. This tool scans your hard drive for bad sectors and fixes them automatically when possible.

  2. Run the SFC /scannow command. Enter this command in the Command Prompt to scan for corrupted Windows system files and repair them.

  3. Use a Registry cleaner program. These types of programs can fix Registry problems the built-in Windows tools cannot.

  4. End all processes before shutting down. Some running processes could cause conflicts when your PC is shutting down, so close all running programs and processes first if your computer won't turn off or restart.

  5. Reverse overclocking. If you've overclocked your CPU to enhance your computer's performance, it could be causing problems during a shutdown.

  6. Review the Windows 10 Event Viewer. If you see event ID 9, 11, or 15 in the system event logs, you could have a major hardware problem to address.

  7. Restore your computer to a previous state. If you've set up a system restore point, go back to a time before the error started.

  8. Update the Windows BIOS. Your computer's basic input/output system (BIOS) is essential to booting Windows properly. It usually updates automatically, but you might need to update it manually if any important files are corrupted.

  9. Reset your Windows 10 PC. If none of the above steps work and your operating system is beyond repair, use the Rest This PC feature to reinstall Windows. You have the option to Refresh your PC, which will keep your files (photos, music, etc.), or Reset your PC, which will restore your PC to factory settings.

How Do I Restore the Registry in Windows 10?

If you've previously backed up your Windows Registry, it's possible to restore the Registry completely. Your Registry backup file ends in the REG file extension. Just open it to begin the process.

Backing up the Registry is highly recommended, so you don't lose all of your files in the event of a Registry error.

How Do I Repair Corrupted Windows 10?

The Registry isn't the only thing that can get corrupted on your computer. Many of the steps above will work for fixing any corrupted file. If you're having trouble with a specific file, try changing the file format or using file repair software. If you're having problems with the entire operating system, your best bet is to refresh or reinstall Windows.

  • How do you get to the Windows 10 registry?

    Type "Reg" into the Windows 10 search bar, then select the Registry Editor app.

  • How do you backup a Windows 10 registry?

    Open the Registry Editor and select Computer to highlight it. Then go to File > Export. Give the file a name, pick a location, and select Save.

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