Recently, when I installed WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) on my brand new Windows 11 installation and tried to launch the Ubuntu, I got the strange error “Fix WslRegisterDistribution failed with error: 0x800701bc.” This stopped me from installing and opening any Linux distro in WSL.
The full error is as follows:
Fix WslRegisterDistribution failed with error: 0x800701bc
Error: 0x800701bc WSL 2 requires an update to its kernel component.
As you can see, the error states that the WSL kernel needs an update. However, I just installed WSL and it should have been up-to-date. Thankfully, the error is quite easy to fix. If you ever see this error, follow the steps I’ve given below.
Fix WslRegisterDistribution Error 0x800701bc
To fix the 0x800701bc WslRegisterDistribution failed error, we have to update the WSL kernel component. Thankfully, it is quite easy to do. Let me show you.
- Open the Power User menu with the Windows key + X shortcut.
- Select the Terminal (Admin) option to open Windows Terminal.
- Type the “wsl –update” command and press Enter on your keyboard.
- The command updates and re-install WSL.
- Close the terminal and restart your computer.
- With that, the WslRegisterDistribution Error 0x800701bc is fixed.
- You can now install and launch any Linux distro in WSL.
Steps with more details:
As I said, you need to update WSL on your computer to fix the error. For that, open Windows Terminal as admin. Right-click on the Start menu or press the “Windows key + X” shortcut and then select the “Terminal (Admin)” option from the Start icon context menu.
Once the admin terminal window opens, type the “wsl –update” command and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
As soon as you do that, the WSL kernel gets updated. Once that is done, you will see the “Windows Subsystem for Linux has been installed” message.
If you don’t want to run the command or if it didn’t work, you can download the WSL kernel update package from Microsoft and run it. To do that, go to the official Microsoft WSL manual page, and click the WSL2 Linux kernel update package link under step 4 to download it.
After downloading, double-click on the “wsl_update_x64.msi” file. Click the Next button and the WSL2 kernel update will be installed. After that, click the “Finish” button to close the installer window.
Once the WSL kernel update is installed, you can install and launch any Linux distro in WSL. As you can see, in my case, I can proceed to install Ubuntu in Windows 11 WSL.
That is all. It is that simple to fix the WslRegisterDistribution failed with error: 0x800701bc.
I hope this simple and easy Windows how-to guide helped you.
If you are stuck or need help, send an email, and I will try to help as much as possible.