How to restore accidentally deleted system files in Windows 10

Did you somehow accidentally delete a system file or folder in Windows 10? And if so, are you not able to open Settings or reboot your computer? Sometimes, we may end up deleting a file wrongly thinking that it could be malware or junk. If the file is from the Windows folder and especially the System32 or SysWOW64 folder, it could have major repercussions. If you have removed any of those files, how do you restore it? Windows 10 OS offers tools and options using which you can restore those accidentally deleted system files. All you will need is system admin access to run them.

Restore accidentally deleted system files in Windows

The Windows Resource Protection protects registry keys and folders as well as critical system files. If any changes are detected to a protected system file, the modified file is restored from a cached copy located in the Windows folder itself. But if this too fails, then here are the tools you can run to restore the deleted system files. Some are command line tools, while others need you to boot into Advanced Startup.

1] Run System File Checker

RUN SFC or System File Checker

Running System File Checker will repair corrupted or damaged Windows files. If they are found to be missing, it will replace the files. You will need to run this command from an elevated CMD. For best results, you may want to run System File Checker in Safe Mode or Boot Time.

2] Run DISM Tool

When you run DISM Tool (Deployment Imaging and Servicing Managemen) command, it will repair a possibly corrupted Windows System Image and Windows Component Store in Windows 10. All of the system inconsistencies and corruptions should be fixed. You can either use PowerShell or Command Prompt to execute this command.

You can also use our very useful freeware utility FixWin to run SFC or DISM with a single click!

3] Run System Restore

Its a well-known feature of Windows which can restore all system files to a date where everything was working fine. It only works if you have a System Restore in place. In case you don’t, make sure to set it up right away. System Restore is also available under advanced options in Startup mode.

4] Run Automatic or Startup Repair

Automatic repair

Earlier known as Automatic Repair, this advanced Windows tool – Startup Repair helps you diagnose issues like this. It will scan system files, registry settings, configuration settings and more and try to fix the problem on its own, automatically.

You will have to boot into Advanced Startup Options, navigate to Troubleshoot > Advanced option > Startup Repair. If you have deleted any system file which is essential to boot the computer, this will fix it.

5] Run Reset This PC

Restore accidentally deleted system files

Using Reset This PC is the last option that we recommend. You can use this to completely remove everything from the Windows 10 computer, and start fresh. The option is available under Settings > Update & Security > Recovery.

All the best!

Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

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