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How to Fix Broken Registry Items in Windows 10

While multiple solutions exist to fix broken registry items in Windows 10, some even advanced, this post will discuss two that are easy to execute.

I’ll start with the easiest solution.

Solution 1: Leveraging the Inbuilt System File Checker

Abbreviated as SFC, the Windows 10 System File Checker quite literally exists for the purpose of fixing broken system files. For the most part, the process is divided into two steps:

  1. First, the system scans for the files.
  2. Next, it restores the corrupted files. Technically, it replaces it with a previously working cached copy.

SFC is part of “Windows Resource Protection” whose goal is to protect, as mentioned, the system files; registry included.

How to Run the SFC (System File Checker) in Windows 10

Step 1: Run the command prompt as an administrator.

running command prompt as an administrator
As your first step, run the command prompt as an administrator.

Step 2: Type the following command below:

sfc /scannow

Once done, press enter, and the process will begin (screenshot below for reference).

running windows 10 sfc in order to fix broken registry items in windows 10
Let the verification and fix complete. If Windows finds any corrupt files, and if it can do so, it will repair them for you.

Solution 2: Performing a Reset

Like many electronics, performing a reset can fix many problems. Windows 10 is no different when it comes to resolving broken registries. To execute, follow the steps below.

Step 1: Get to the recovery settings (which is where the reset options are) by searching for “reset this pc” in the start menu.

searching for resetting a pc in windows 10
As step 1, search for “reset this pc.”

Step 2: Next, select the “get started” button under the Reset this PC heading.

first step to resetting a windows 10 pc
Hit the button shown in the image to get started. Note that you will get 2 different types of reset options. One where you can keep your files, and the other where you can do a clean install. In other words, your personal files will not be preserved. See the image in step 3 below.

Step 3: Choose the best suitable option to eventually reset your PC.

choosing what kind of reset to perform in windows 10
From the two, select the one that you think would best fit your needs. Perhaps try the one where you can keep your files first.

What Else?

Outside of these two methods, a few more sophisticated solutions are available; however, leveraging system restore points can also work in your favor. It’s something that I am not discussing here, but I have touched on it in my post about deleting backup files.

And yes, the post is about deletion, but you’ll notice the point I make about restore points. High-level, if enabled, Windows will create “restore points,” which in other words translates to storing all the conditions of a properly working Windows OS. The entire idea of restore points is precisely that. If you notice something broken, something not working, you can transition back to a point when it was.

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In Closing

The solutions proposed to fix broken registry items in Windows 10 should do the trick — especially resetting. Start first with SFC though, in the command prompt, and then attempt other options.

A few more nuanced and advanced settings are also available to configure that you can find with additional research. And if you look deep enough, you may even find paid services or tools available and ready to assist with fixing broken registries.