How to Use SFC scannow Command to Repair & Fix Windows 10

The SFC command-line tool lets you repair and fix Windows 10 OS. Follow these steps to know how to run SFC scannow command in Windows 10.

Windows has several built-in command-line tools to fix and repair the system. When the computer doesn’t behave properly, you can use the command line tools to try and fix the problem. SFC (System File Checker) is one such tool. For example, when system files are corrupted, Windows might not work as it should. In worst-case scenarios, Windows might even fail to boot properly. The system files can get corrupted for any number of reasons like power failure, unexpected file changes, rouge programs, etc.

When system files are corrupted, you can use the SFC command-line tool to find and fix the problems automatically. The best thing about this tool is that it is pretty easy to use.

In this quick and simple Windows 10 guide, let me show how to run the SFC scannow command to fix system file corruption.

In case you are wondering, though I’m showing this in Windows 10, the steps given below will work in Windows 8 and Windows 7.

SFC commands list

SCF has several different command options or flags. Each command flag has its own use case. Depending on what you want to do, use the appropriate flag. Below are all the important SFC commands.

  • /scannow: This command will scan the system for corrupted files and fixes them automatically.
  • /scanonce: This command will scan the computer once at system restart. If it finds any corrupted files, the command will try to fix them.
  • /scanboot: Scans the system on every boot and if the scan finds any corrupted files, it will try to fix them.
  • /enable: Enables WFP (Windows File Protection) protection. This will protect system files from being modified.
  • /cancel: This command will cancel any scheduled SFC scans. Useful to disable /scanboot command.

Run SFC scannow command in Windows

You can the SFC /scannow command as an admin from in the Command Prompt window. Here is how.

  1. Open the Start menu.
  2. Search for “Command Prompt.”
  3. Right-click on Command Prompt.
  4. Select the “Run as administrator” option.
  5. Type SFC /scannow and press Enter.
sfc scannow command

Once you execute the command, the tool will scan the system and tries to fix any corrupted files. The whole process will take some time to complete. Once that is done, you can safely close the command window.

Run SFC scannow in Safe Mode

You can run the SFC /scannow command from the Safe Mode to fix stubborn corrupted files. This is particularly helpful if running the command in a normal environment did not work.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu.
  2. Hold the Shift key and click on “Shut down or sign out -> Restart.”
  3. Select the “Troubleshoot” option.
  4. Select “Advanced options.”
  5. Click on “Startup settings.”
  6. Click on the “Restart” button.
  7. Press “6” on your keyboard to boot into safe mode with Command Prompt.
  8. Open the Command Prompt window.
  9. Type “SFC /scannow” and press Enter.

As soon as you do that, the command will run to scan and fix corrupted system files.

Run SFC scannow in Recovery Mode

If Windows is not booting, you can boot into recovery mode and run the SFC /scannow command from there.

  1. Open Command Prompt in the recovery mode.
  2. Type the below command and press Enter.
    sfc /scannow /offbootdir=c:\ /offwindir=c:\windows

As soon as you execute the command, Windows will run the command. It will try to find corrupted files and fixes them automatically. Once that is done, you can restart the system to boot normally.

That is all. It is that easy to run SFC scannow command in Windows. If you are stuck or need some help, comment below and I will try to help as much as possible.

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