Troubleshoot | The System Cannot Find The File Specified!

Fix the issue of the system cannot find the file specified using eight solutions and learn how to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11 on this page.


By Penny / Updated on April 2, 2024

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What does it mean the system cannot find the file specified?


Hello! I upgraded my computer from Windows 7 to Windows 10 a few weeks ago. Everything was fine. Until yesterday when I tried to login into my Windows account, it was hanging, and then I read the message, “The system cannot find the file specified.” I tried to log in on all the profiles, but the problem persisted and would not let me in. Any ideas on what could have caused this? More importantly, any ideas on resolutions? Thanks.

- A user from Microsoft Community


The system cannot find the file specified! Many users might have received this error, which usually contains the error code 0x80070002. If you’ve upgraded to Windows 10 version, you’re more likely to encounter this problem.

Possible causes of the system cannot find the specified file

Please get an overview of its possible reasons first.

  • Drive issues
  • Corrupted file systems
  • Bad sectors of the drive
  • Something wrong with Windows updates
  • Problems in Registry Files
  • Old image file issues

How do I fix the system cannot find the file specified?

How to fix the issue of the system cannot find the file specified? There’re eight feasible solutions for your reference.

Fix 1. Perform full scan to detect viruses & threat

To ensure your computer is safe, you’re supposed to scan your system to detect potential viruses or threats before proceeding with other fixes. Besides third-party antivirus tools, Windows Settings offers a built-in feature for you to delete malicious viruses or threats from your PC.

Step 1. Press “Win + I” to open Windows Settings. Then click Update & Security > Windows Security > Virus & threat protection.


Step 2. Click the “Scan options” button.


Step 3. Select “Full scan” and click “Scan now” to start the scanning process.


Fix 2. Reinstall the program

The system cannot find the file specified! Sometimes, you can try to solve this issue by reinstalling the problematical program.

Step 1. Press the “Windows” button and select the “Settings” option. Then click Apps.


Step 2. Click Apps & features on the left and choose the program you want to remove. Then “Uninstall” it. Afterward, you can go to the Microsoft Store and re-download tools on your PC.

Fix 3. Update your graphics card driver

Undeniably, an outdated graphical card driver also can cause the system cannot find the file specified. These steps describe how to update your graphics card drives.

Step 1. Press “Ctrl + Alt+ Del” to enter the Secure login screen. Then click Task Manager > File > Run new task. Then type “devmgmt.msc” in the window. You can hit “Enter” or press “OK” to open it.


Step 2. Right-click on your located Display adapters. Then select the “Update driver” option.


Step 3. Select the “Search automatically for drivers” option.


Fix 4. Update your Windows

If you haven’t updated Windows for a long time, you may receive this error. In this case, you’re supposed to install the latest Windows version to address this problem because Windows updates can correct the bugs and errors in hardware and software.

Step 1. Press “Win + I” to open Windows Settings. Then click the “Update & Security” button.


Step 2. On the Update & Security interface, click the “Check for updates” button.


Please wait patiently. Then you can restart the system to finish the installation of your downloaded updates.

Fix 5. Run DISM and SFC commands to repair corrupted file systems

If the file system of your files is corrupted, you can utilize DISM and SFC.exe (System File Checker tool) to repair detected file systems.

Step 1. Type “cmd” in the search bar and click “Run as administrator” to open the command prompt window.


Step 2. Copy the following command lines one by one. Then hit “Enter” to go on.

  • DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth
  • sfc /scannow 


Step 3. After the process, you can check whether these files’ file system has been fixed.

Fix 6. Check and correct the System Log File

It’s possible to fix the system cannot find the file specified error using the system log files. Let’s show how it works.

Step 1. Go to the C:/Windows/inf directory and open the INF folder.  

Step 2. Locate the setupapi. dev.log and open it.


Step 3. Press “Ctrl + F” to show a search bar and type “cannot find the file” in it. Then you can get the missing file.

Step 4. Copy and paste it into the Windows/INF folder. Then you can reinstall the hard drive disk and reboot the system.

Fix 7. Modify your registry

Registry Editor is another method for you to fix the system cannot find the specified file. Please refer to the following steps to check for RTHDCPL in the Registry key.

Step 1. Press “Win + R” and type “Regedit” in the window. Then hit “Enter” or press “OK” to go on.

Step 2. Go to HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Run and find RTHDCPL.


If it doesn’t exist, check the property of Run. Then you can set the admin-user permission as “Full Control” and press the “OK” button.

Fix 8. Recover deleted files in Windows 10/11 using data recovery software

As you can see, fixing the system cannot find the file specified error might lead to data loss. In this scenario, you can salvage deleted data from your Windows or other storage devices.

If you’ve made backups regularly and your backups include your needed data, you can restore files from these backups directly. On the contrary, you’re prompted to seek help from highly-praised data recovery software like MyRecover.

MyRecover can exempt users who don’t have backups from necessary backups and try to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11 with ease.   

Recover the deleted/lost Word, Excel, PPT, PDF, photos, videos, audio, folders, and other 200+ types of data from HDD, USB, SD cards, and other storage devices.
Keep the original format for the deleted/lost files.
During Quick Scan and Deep Scan, you can enter filenames in the search bar to find your desired files or wait to see all the deleted and other missing files.   
Support NTFS, exFAT, FAT32, and ReFS file systems.

Download MyRecover on your Windows 11, 10, 8, 7, or Windows Server computers to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11!

Download Software Windows 11/10/8/7/Server
Secure Download

Step 1. Launch MyRecover on your PC, and hover the mouse over the partition that contains the files you want. Then click Scan.


Step 2. Locate your desired files by Name, Date, Type, Size, or Path. After Quick Scan and Deep Scan, you can also wait to view all the files and other missing files.


Step 3. Go to the Deleted Files/Other Missing Files folder, and click “Recover x files” to get your selected files back. Please remember to store these recovered files in another path.


Related suggestions

If the system cannot find the file specified, you can refer to the above methods to solve this issue. Apart from that, it’s inevitable for those users who don’t have regular backups to recover deleted files in Windows 10/11.

Since you’ve realized the importance of regular backups, why not give this free backup software for Windows a shot to back up files, folders, partitions, disks, or systems?

Penny · Editor
Penny works as an editor at AOMEI Technology, while she's a tester and editor for AOMEI Data Recovery Tools. She enjoys helping users with data recovery issues on Windows and iPhones using simple and practical solutions. Outside of work, she has a strong affection for pets, particularly giant pandas.