Fix “SFC Scannow Found Files but was Unable to Fix” Error (3 Ways)

You can learn what is SFC scannow, why “SFC scannow found corrupt files but was unable to fix” error occur and how to fix it with 3 easy methods. Just keep reading and to know more details.


By Clytze Updated on November 28, 2022

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What is SFC Scannow?

System File Checker tool also known as SFC tool or sfc.exe or sfc scannow, allows Windows users to scan and recover damaged and lost Windows system files. Normally, running the sfc /scannow command will automatically repair corrupted system files, but there are some situations it cannot handle.

When you receive the error message “SFC scannow found corrupt files but was unable to fix” just like described in the picture below, then you need to use some methods to fix it. You can read on to find out why this error occurs and how to fix it.

Error Message

Why does SFC Scannow Windows Resource Protection Error Occur?

There are several common reasons for the “SFC scannow found corrupt files but was unable to fix” issue.

  • The tool does not have enough resources to fix the problem.
  • You are running an outdated operating system.
  • A background process is interfering with the system file checker process.

Once you understand why SFC scannow found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them, you can read on to learn three troubleshooting methods to fix this problem.

How to Fix “SFC Scannow Found Files but was Unable to Fix” Error

Once you understand the reason, don't worry too much. This article will introduce three simple and useful methods to fix this “SFC Scannow Windows resource protection” error. You can try these methods in turn to help you solve the problem. Detailed tutorials are included for each method.

Fix 1. Run a DISM Scan

The first method is through a Deployment Image System Management (DISM) scan, which will check Windows servers to replace corrupt files. You can follow the steps below.

Step 1. Right-click the Start button and select Windows Terminal (Admin) from the menu.

Step 2. Enter the following command in the terminal and hit Enter:

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth


Note: It can take a while for the scan to run, and it isn’t uncommon for it to appear stuck at 20 percent. Don’t close the terminal window until the scan completes.

Step 3. After the scan completes, run an SFC scan again to see if you still receive the error.

Fix 2. Run SFC Scan in Safe Mode

The Windows Resource Protection found corrupt file error can be due to the running of operating system processes and services. You can start Windows in safe mode, which will only load the minimum drivers and services to start the system. After booting into Safe Mode, you can run an SFC scan. To boot Windows 11 into Safe Mode, you can follow the specific operation steps.

Step 1. Press the Windows key and head to Start > Settings > System > Recovery.

Step 2. Scroll down the menu and click the Restart now button next to the Advanced startup option.

Step 3. Click the Restart now button when the verification message pops up.

Step 4. When boot into the Windows recovery environment, and from there, you want to go to Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Startup Settings.

Step 5. Choose Enable Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

Enable Safe Mode

Step 6. Now that you’re in Safe Mode launch the terminal as admin and run an SFC scan.

sfc /scannow

Fix 3. Uninstall Windows Updates

Receiving the Windows Resource Protection found corrupt file error after a Windows update can be caused by conflicts with other system files. You can uninstall a Windows update to try and fix it. The following are the specific operation steps.

Step 1. Open Start > Settings and click on Windows Update at the bottom-left corner of the menu.

Step 2. Under the More options section, click on Update history from the list.

Step 3. Scroll down the list to the Related settings section and click on Uninstall updates.

Step 4. Right-click the troublesome update and select Uninstall and click Yes when the verification message appears.

Unistall Windows Update

Step 5. After the update uninstalls, restart your system, and rerun the SFC scan to see if it fixes the error.

How to Prevent Recurrence of Irreparable System File Corruption

To avoid the SFC tool not repairing problem from recurring, you can regularly backup your system with the free backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard. That way, even if anything goes wrong, you don't have to worry. You can quickly restore from a previously created system backup without losing any data. It also has the following advantages.

  • Scheduled backup: You can set different backup frequencies to backup your Windows system regularly, such as Daily/Weekly/Monthly.
  • Different backup paths: It supports backing up the system to different backup destination paths, such as HDD, SSD, USB flash drive, NAS, cloud disk and network location, etc.
  • Incremental backup: When you perform the scheduled backup, the freeware will run the backup task with the incremental backup to improve backup efficiency and save disk space.

Download and install this freeware first then follow the graphic tutorial below. If you are a Windows Server user, you can pick AOMEI Backupper Server.

Download FreewareWin 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Open the software and click Backup > System Backup.

System Backup

Step 2. It will select system partition and boot-related partitions automatically. And you just need to select a destination.

Select Destination

Step 3. Click Start Backup to back up the Windows operating system to prevent the “SFC scannow found corrupt filws but was unable to fix” error occur again.

Start Backup


  • Options: You can write comments for the system backup or select the compression level or set email notifications according to your own needs.
  • Schedule Backup: It offers 5 different backup frequencies to backup system including Daily, Weekly, Monthly, Event trigger and USB plug in. The last two are available in the Pro version.
  • Backup Scheme: You can select different backup methods. And you can upgrade to the Pro version to enjoy the differential backup method which can easily restore your scheduled backup. After the upgrade, you can also enable automatic backup cleanup feature to save disk space. 


This article explains what SFC scannow is and why this “SFC scannow found corrupt files but was unable to fix” error occurs. You can fix this problem according to the 3 methods provided in the article. In order to avoid such errors from happening again, it is recommended that you regularly back up your system with the free backup software AOMEI Backupper Standard. That way, if anything goes wrong, you can also quickly restore from a previous system backup.

In addition to system backup, this software also provides disk backup, file backup and partition backup to fully protect your computer security. You can download this software to explore more functions.

Clytze · Editor
Clytze, an editor at AOMEI Technology, is passionate about safeguarding your digital world. She dedicates her expertise to empower users like you in data security and recovery. She firmly believes that everyone should have the tools and knowledge to protect their digital assets through computer backup, seamless disk cloning, and efficient file synchronization. Clytze is your trusted guide on the journey to data safety.