How do I restore a missing system file?

Restoring a missing system file can be a difficult and time-consuming task, depending on the type and scope of the file you need to restore. The most common method is to scan/re-install your operating system or use data recovery software (such as Recuva). This guide discusses the best ways to restore your missing system files.

1. Scanning/Reinstalling Your Operating System:

One of the most common and reliable ways to restore missing system files is by using the built-in scanning and reinstallation feature of the operating system that you are using on your computer. All Windows versions have an inbuilt feature called System File Checker (SFC) which can be used to fix corrupt or missing system files. The steps for running SFC are given below:

Step 1: Open the Start menu, search for “cmd” and open Command Prompt with administrator rights.

Step 2: Type “sfc /scannow” in the command prompt and press Enter.

Step 3: Wait for the system file checker to finish scanning and verifying all the system files. It may take a few minutes to complete.

Step 4: After the scan is completed, restart your computer.

If the scan is successful, it will be able to repair any corrupt of missing system files. If it fails to repair them, the next step would be to reinstall the operating system.

2. Using Data Recovery Software:

Data recovery software is another option available for restoring lost or deleted system files. There are many software packages available for data recovery, such as Recuva, EaseUS, Data Rescue, R-Studio and Active@ File Recovery, which can help to recover your lost system files.

The steps for recovering deleted system files with data recovery software are given below:

Step 1: Download and install the data recovery software on your computer.

Step 2: Launch the software and select the location where the system files were located.

Step 3: Select the files you wish to recover and click “Scan”.

Step 4: The software will begin to scan the selected location and will try to recover any lost or deleted system files.

Step 5: Once the scan is completed, you can view the list of recovered files.

Step 6: Select the files you wish to restore and click “Recover”.

The data recovery software will save the files to the desired location.

3. Using Backup Files:

If you have created a backup of your system before losing the system files, you can easily restore the missing files from this backup. Windows automatically creates a system image when you install the operating system for the first time. You can restore this image to its default settings, which will restore all the system files that were present at the time of the image creation.

Alternatively, you can use any third-party backup solution to create a backup of your system files. Most of these backup solutions also provide an option to restore the lost system files from the backup.


Restoring missing system files can be a difficult and time-consuming task. However, with careful preparation, scanning and reinstalling the operating system, using data recovery software or restoring the system files from a backup can help to recover your lost system files.