Top 10 Fixes to The System Cannot Find the File Specified

September 16, 2019

Meet the error message “The system cannot find the file specifed” in Windows 10/8/7? This article collects 10 effective solutions to help you fix the problem.

Symptom: The System Cannot Find the File Specified in Windows 7/8/10

When creating a system image backup, accessing files, connecting USB or doing other things, you may get the message “Windows backup failed: the system cannot find the file specified". It is a quite common error for Windows users, especially for Windows 10. And the error usually indicates an error code 0x80070002.

Causes to The System Cannot Find the File Specified Error

Various reasons can lead to “The system cannot find the file specified” error in Windows 10/8/7. The following are common factors:

  • System files are missing or corrupted.

  • Connection problems.

  • Missing driver file.

  • Abnormal registry keys.

  • Missing files in drivers.

  • Required files for the specific software are missing or corrupted.

  • Incorrect file permission settings.

  • ...

Now you know some common reasons that will cause the issue. Although the cause is unknown clearly, there are solutions to solve the problem. Just keep reading.

How to Fix The System Cannot Find the File Specified in Windows 10/8/7?

Solution 1. Change the Registry

This is the first method you can have a try to fix “The system cannot find the file specified” problem.

1. Press Windows key and R key together to open Run box.

2. Type regedit and press Enter.

Tip: Modifying the registry comes with certain risks, you’d better export your registry firstly to create a backup. Click File > Export to make it.

3. After you have backed up the registry, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.

4. Expand the key and look for RunOnce key. You can create it if this key doesn’t exist. Click the CurrentVersion key and choose New > Key from the menu.

Add Runonce

5. Type RunOnce as the name of the new key.

6. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.

7. Check if the RunOnce key is there. If not, repeat the above steps to create it.

8. Exit Registry Editor and restart your PC.

Solution 2. Delete ProfilemagePath Key

When you are trying to create a backup using the Windows backup utility, the system cannot find the file specified issue occur and prevent you from creating your backup. You can delete certain values from your registry to fix the problem.

1. Press Windows key and R key together to open Run box.

2. Type regedit and press Enter.

Tip: Remember to create a backup before making any changes. Click File > Export and choose a path to save the backup.

3. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\ProfileList.

4. Expand the ProfileList key. Navigate through each subkey, and check whether it has ProfileImagePath value available on the right pane.

5. If certain subkey doesn’t have ProfileImagePath value available or if its Data is empty, you need to click it and then choose Delete button to delete it from the menu.

Solution 3. Open the Libraries Folder

The Libraries folder is hidden by default in Windows 10. Some users say that accessing the Libraries folder has helped them fix the system cannot find the file specified error successfully.

1. Open This PC.

2. Right-click the empty space in the left pane > choose Show libraries.

Show Libraries

3. Then you can find the Libraries folder in the left pane.

Solution 4. Run Antivirus Software

The virus, cyber threats, and malicious attack may cause "The system cannot find the file specified" error in Windows 10/8/7. You can run antivirus software and scan your system.

Solution 5. Run System File Checker

When the file is missing or corrupted, you can meet the system cannot find the file specified error when you are trying to access or backup some files stored on the system. In this case, you can run SFC scan to repair the missing files.

1. Type Command Prompt in the search box > Right-click its name and choose Run as administrator.

2. Type "sfc /scannow" into the Command Prompt window and press Enter to start.

Sfc

3. When the process is done, type exit and press Enter to leave this command.

Solution 6. Run CHKDSK Scan

You may meet "The system cannot find the file specified" issue when the file is damaged or corrupted. You can run CHKDSK to scan the file.

1. Type Command Prompt in the search box > Right-click its name and choose Run as administrator.

2. Type chkdsk X: /f (replace X with the appropriate letter that matches your partition). Press Enter to start scanning.

Solution 7. Install Windows Update

Windows updates often help fix hardware and software error. You can go to have a check to update your Windows to the latest version.

1. Press Windows key and I key together to open Settings.

2. Choose Update & security > click Check for updates button.

3. If updates are available, download and install all the updates.

To avoid data loss after Windows backup, you can make a backup for your PC in advance. One third-party backup and restore software, AOMEI Backupper Standard allows you to perform backup and restore with an easy way.

For example, to create a system image backup with AOMEI Backupper, you can follow the steps below.

1. Download and run this backup software.

2. Click Backup tab, and then select System Backup.

System Backup

3. The necessary partitions for a full system restore will automatically be included in the backup source, so you just need to specify the backup target location.

Select Destination

4. Confirm the information and then click Start Backup to start the backup process.

Start Backup

Solution 8. Uninstall and Reinstall the Drives

If you download the driver from the manufacturer’s website and meet “The system cannot find the file specified” problem, then you can try this solution.

1. Right-click This PC > choose Manage > Device Manager.

2. Expand the category and find the device you want to uninstall.

3. Right-click the device and choose Uninstall.

4. Check Delete the driver software for this device and click OK to confirm.

5. Finally, install the driver again.

Solution 9. Format the USB

The system cannot find the file specified error may happen when inserting your USB flash drive, on this occasion, you can format your drive to fix the problem.

1. Open This PC > right-click the USB flash drive > click Format...

2. Check Quick Format option when the format window opens.

3. Click Start to make it.

Format Usb

Tip: It will erase all the existed data on the USB flash drive, just backup your USB in advance to avoid data loss.

Solution 10. Use WinRAR

If you meet “The system cannot find the file specified” when trying to delete a specific file or folder, then you can try this method.

1. Right-click the problematic file > choose Add to archive...

2. Check Delete files after archiving > click the OK button.

Now you are able to delete the file completely.

Conclusion

That’s all for how to fix “The system cannot find the file specified” error in Windows 10/8/7. Hope one of the methods can help you get out of the trouble. By the way, if you prefer an easier way to backup your computer, AOMEI Backupper can be your best choice. The backup process is much easier and quicker compared to the Windows built-in app. After the backup is done, you can also create a bootable media so that you can restore system when it is not working.