How To Windows Sfc Command (System File Checker) SFC command examples, switches, options, and more Share Pin Email Print Windows Key Concepts Command Line Computer Concepts File Types Basics Guides & Tutorials Installing & Upgrading Tips & Tricks by Tim Fisher Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. Updated November 12, 2019 72 72 people found this article helpful The sfc command is a Command Prompt command that can be used to verify and replace important Windows system files. Many troubleshooting steps advise the use of the sfc command. System File Checker is a very useful tool to use when you suspect issues with protected Windows files, like many DLL files. Sfc Command Availability The sfc command is available from within the Command Prompt in most Windows operating systems including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. System File Checker is part of Windows Resource Protection in Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, and Windows Vista, and is sometimes referred to as Windows Resource Checker in those operating systems. System File Checker is part of Windows File Protection in Windows XP and Windows 2000. The sfc command can only be run from the Command Prompt when opened as an administrator. See How to Open an Elevated Command Prompt for information on doing that. The availability of sfc command switches may differ somewhat from operating system to operating system. Sfc Command Syntax Its basic form, this is the syntax required to execute System File Checker options: sfc options [=full file path] Or, more specifically, this is what it looks like with options: sfc [/scannow] [/verifyonly] [/scanfile=file] [/verifyfile=file] [/offbootdir=boot] [/offwindir=win] [/?] See How to Read Command Syntax if you're not sure how to interpret the sfc command syntax as it's written above or described in the table below. Sfc Command Options Item Description /scannow This option instructs sfc to scan all protected operating system files and repair as necessary. /verifyonly This sfc command option is the same as /scannow but without repairing. /scanfile=file This sfc option is the same as /scannow but the scan and repair is only for the specified file. /offbootdir=boot Used with /offwindir, this sfc option is used to define the boot directory (boot) when using sfc from outside of Windows. /offwindir=win This sfc option is used with /offbootdir to define the Windows directory (win) when using sfc offline. /? Use the help switch with the sfc command to show detailed help about the command's several options. You can save the output of the sfc command to a file using a redirection operator. See How to Redirect Command Output to a File for instructions or check see Command Prompt Tricks for more tips like this. Sfc Command Examples sfc /scannow In the above example, the System File Checker utility is used to scan and then automatically replace any corrupt or missing system files. The /scannow option is the most commonly used switch for the sfc command. See How to Use SFC /Scannow to Repair Protected Windows Operating System Files for more information on using the sfc command in this way. sfc /scanfile=c:\windows\system32\ieframe.dll The sfc command above is used to scan ieframe.dll and then repair it if an issue is found. sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows In the next example, protected Windows files are scanned and repaired if necessary (/scannow) but this is done so with a different installation of Windows (/offwindir=c:\windows) on a different drive (/offbootdir=c:\). The above example is how you would use the sfc command from the Command Prompt in System Recovery Options or from a different installation of Windows on the same computer. sfc /verifyonly Using the sfc command with the /verifyonly option, System File Checker will scan all protected files and report any issues, but no changes are made. Depending on how your computer was setup, you may need access to your original Windows installation disc or flash drive to allow file repairs. Sfc Related Commands & More Information The sfc command is often used with other Command Prompt commands, such as the shutdown command so that you can restart your computer after running System File Checker. Microsoft has some more information on System File Checker that you may find useful. Continue Reading Use the SFC /Scannow Command to Repair Windows Files How to Use the Attrib Command in Windows How to Use the Ping Command in Windows How to Use the Xcopy Command in Windows How to Use the Shutdown Command in Windows How to Use the Net Use Command in Windows How to Use the Net Commands in Windows How to Use the Msg Command in Windows How to Use the Dir Command in Windows How to Use the Tracert Command in Windows What Is the At Command? How to Use the Net User Command in Windows How to Use the Format Command in Windows How to Use the Help Command in Windows: Examples, Options, Switches and More How to Fix Your Hard Drive Windows System Files What's the More Command in Windows and How Is It Used?