What Is System File Checker and How to Use It?

Share on:

The more modern version of Windows- Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 10 have got some useful utilities to find and repair errors on the system side. The system file checker is one of them and you can use it when you see unusual happening to your PC. The best thing about the system file checker is that you do not need to install any additional software of any sort. The built-in utility of Windows i.e. system file checker allows users to scan the whole system and fix the error files. Thus, your PC revives from any major breakdown. You should know all about the system file checker and that’s why this post dedicates to this phenomenal utility program. You will also be able to learn how you can use the system file checker. Let’s begin.

What Is System File Checker

What is the System File Checker?

You install apps and software and whatnot on your Windows and sometimes find out that some of the apps are not installed correctly. You may see an error message showing there is a missing .dll file or .inf file or any other system files. This can happen when you install a game, an app, or utility software. Without the essential system files, you cannot run .exe (executable) programs at all. Similarly, you can receive notifications about the missing of some system files after a driver update or Windows re-installation.

The system file checker can identify the missing system files that are preventing any installation or proper working of the Windows. Additionally, the utility can also fix the error files automatically. However, sometimes you will have to do the fixing manually as the system file checker is unable to do so. You would need to run a command prompt to scan your system with the use of the system file checker.

The system file checker (scf) is also called Windows Resource Protection especially on the command prompt. After the scanning process is completed, it will show you the result. You may or may not need to carry out additional tasks depending on the result of the scan. You can be notified on the command prompt by any of the following messages:

1. Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violation: It means your system is safe and there are no error files, at least the checker could not find anything bad. Hence, you do not have anything to do about it. The problem might be somewhere else.

2. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and fixed them: It also adds no additional asks for you to do as the utility itself fixes the error files.

3. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but could not fix some of them: If you see this message, then you will have to fix the bugs manually.

4. Windows Resource Protection could not perform the required task: This message indicates the inability of the checker to scan the system files or repair the erroneous system files. It can happen especially when you run the scan in the normal mode of Windows.

How to use System File Checker?

The system file checker works through the command prompt. You can easily use this app to scan your system and fix the bugs if there are any. Follow the steps provided below to learn the process of using the system file checker. The images shown here are of Windows 10 version. Here we go-

Go to the Windows search bar that can be found on the bottom-left corner of the screen and write ‘cmd’ and hit the enter button. The search result will bring the command prompt app. Now, right-click on the app; and then select ‘Run as administrator’.

The black screen of the command prompt will appear before you along with the text, C:\Windows>system32>, already inscribed on the screen. You will just type in ‘sfc /scan now (sfc> space> slash> scannow). Be attentive to the fact that there is no space between scan and now. When the typing is done, hit the enter button. The scanning process will begin and it will take some time to complete. Patiently wait in the meantime.

Viewing the Result of the System File Checker

When the verification is 100% completed, the SFC will show the result of the scan automatically. The following image shows us that the system is clean and the checker did not find any error files. If you view this result, then you should be happy about the fact that your system is not full of bugs and the problem lies somewhere else.

You may find the scan result stating that the corrupt files were identified and fixed of them. Yes, the first part of the message is disheartening but still, you can be relieved as the SFC has successfully removed the corrupt files. However, you may receive a slightly different notification- the Windows Resource Protection was unable to fix some of the corrupt files. Hence, you need to remove these files manually.

First of all, you need to view the corrupted system files in order to remove them. To do this, navigate to the file explorer and to drive (C). Then, click on the ‘Windows’ folder.

Next, scroll down the Windows folder to find the ‘Logs’ folder and tap on it to view its contents.

You will see a folder named ‘CBS’ on the logs folder; click here.

Here you will see the ‘CBS’ text document file. Right-click on the file and open it with the default notepad. This CBS file contains all the information about the detected erroneous system files by the system file checker before.

You can view the corrupted files as the following picture suggests. Then you can take necessary action after knowing about the apps, files, or folders that were causing trouble.

However, if you see the message that the SFC cannot even scan or detect the corrupted files, then you might have to run the command prompt on safe mode. This time the scanner should run well.


System File Checker is a very good utility for checking any error happening on the system side of your Windows. Hopefully, you have learned all about it and the way of using it. Just remember one last thing; issues on your PC can occur from many sources; not only by system files.

About The Author

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.