How to Download and Install File Checksum Integrity Verifier (FCIV)

A quick tutorial on using the command-line file verification tool

What to Know

  • Download, open, and extract FCIV. Select a destination for the files. Copy fciv.exe.
  • Go to the C: drive, right-click the Windows folder, and select Paste.
  • Now you can execute the command from any location on your computer.

File Checksum Integrity Verifier (FCIV) is a free command-line checksum calculator tool provided by Microsoft. FCIV works in Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, 2000, and most Windows server operating systems.

How to Download and Install File Checksum Integrity Verifier (FCIV)

Once downloaded and placed in the correct folder, FCIV can be used like any other command from the Command Prompt. It produces a checksum, either MD5 or SHA-1, the two most commonly used cryptographic hash functions for checking a file's integrity.

Follow the steps below to download and install it:

  1. Download Microsoft File Checksum Integrity Verifier and then open the setup file.

    If you see a "Windows protected your PC" message, select More info and then Run anyway.

    That link is to an archive of the page that used to host the download, since Microsoft doesn't seem to have a live download for this tool anymore.

  2. A window with the title Microsoft (R) File Checksum Integrity Verifier will appear, asking you to accept the terms of the License Agreement.

    Choose Yes to continue.

  3. In the next dialog box, you're asked to choose a location where you want to place the extracted files. In other words, you're being asked where you'd like to extract the FCIV tool to.

    Select Browse.

  4. In the Browse for Folder box, select Desktop, listed at the very top of the list, and then choose OK.

    Browse for Folder box with Desktop selected
  5. Select OK on the window that shows the path to the Desktop.

  6. After the extraction of the File Checksum Integrity Verifier tool is complete, which takes around one second in most cases, select OK on the confirmation box.

  7. Now that FCIV has been extracted and is on your Desktop, you need to move it to the correct folder in Windows so it can be used like other commands.

    Locate the extracted fciv.exe file on your Desktop and then copy it.

    fciv file in Windows 11 folder
  8. Open File/Windows Explorer or Computer (My Computer in Windows XP) and navigate to the C: drive. Locate (but don't open) the Windows folder.

  9. Right-click or tap-and-hold on the Windows folder and choose Paste. This will copy fciv.exe from your Desktop to the C:\Windows folder.

    Windows folder highlighted with context menu option

    Depending on your version of Windows, you may be prompted with a permissions warning of some kind. Don't worry about this—it's just Windows being protective of an important folder on your computer, which is good. Grant the permission or do whatever you need to do to finish the paste.

    You can choose to copy FCIV to any folder that's part of the Path environment variable in Windows but C:\Windows always is and is a perfectly good location to store this tool.

  10. Now that File Checksum Integrity Verifier is in the right folder, you can execute the command from any location on your computer, making it much easier to create checksums for file verification purposes.

    See How to Verify File Integrity in Windows with FCIV for a complete tutorial on this process.

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