What is Bad Image error (0xc000012f)

Bad Image is a popular file-related issue that pops whilst trying to open an app in Windows 10. It states some file is either not designed to run on Windows 10 or contains some error. Reinstalling a problematic program or contacting software vendors is the only solution offered by the error message. Trying to do so may not help as there are often broader reasons for its appearance. In most cases, Bad Image errors indicate there is a corrupted or incorrect version of the DLL file specified in the text of the error. This can happen as a result of some crashes, misplaced or non-existent components, damaged updates, and various other similar causes. It is also possible to happen after users downloaded some DLL files from third-party resources to fix other errors. The name of the DLL file written in the Bad Image error message can be quite helpful to pinpoint more accurate reasons for the problem. Normally, people encounter 0xc000012f or 0xc0000020 errors due to issues with Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable software. If you see your DLL file start with msvcr, msvcp, or other names like ucrtbase.dll, then it is likely to have something wrong with the above-mentioned Visual C++. In all other cases, it is better to google your DLL and get a detailed summary of its emergence. Below, we will show you the most popular and effective solutions that help people get rid of Bad Image errors in most cases.

Download Windows Repair Tool

Download Windows Repair Tool

compatible with microsoft

There are special repair utilities for Windows, that can solve problems related to registry corruption, file system malfunction, Windows drivers instability. We recommend you to use Advanced System Repair Pro to fix the “Bad Image error (0xc000012f)” in Windows 10.

1. Reinstall Visual C++ Redistributables

As we already mentioned, Bad Image errors are often caused by some corruption in Visual C++ Redistributables installed on your system. Thus, it is worth trying to reinstall Redistributable packages by deleting them from your PC and downloading new versions from the official website. You can also try to repair them manually, but we would still recommend you to wipe them out completely and install them from scratch. To do this, follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows key + R, type appwiz.cpl and then press Enter.
  2. Select the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable programs in the list and click Change in the upper bar.
  3. Once the setup window is opened select the Repair button.
  4. After finished, reboot your PC and try to open the program again.
  5. In case it did not work, try to delete all Redistributables from the list and install them again from the official website.

Note: Visual C++ Redistributables have different year editions as well as x86 and x64-bit versions. We recommend installing all versions (both x86 and x64) from 2008 to 2019. Open this link to the official Microsoft website and download each version available. Some download pages of Visual C++ may require choosing your country from the list as well.

2. Check integrity of the system files

Moving on with the error solution, we advise you to scan the system for damaged or missing elements. Some files may be essential for other Windows components to work correctly. If there is something falling out of the native directory, more likely it will be the reason for compatibility errors. Below, we are going to use both SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management), which will detect and restore absent components. This is how:

Using SFC

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching box next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Once the console is opened, type the sfc /scannow command and click Enter.
  4. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.

Using DISM

  1. Open Command Prompt as we did in the previous step.
  2. Copy and paste this command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.
  3. Click Enter and wait until Windows ends the scanning and fixing.
  4. Once done, restart your PC and try to open the problematic program again.

After performing both of these scans, attempt to boot the application you struggled with. If this does not work, get down to the other steps mentioned below.

3. Uninstall recent updates

In case there was some update installed right before Bad Image (0xc000012f or 0xc0000020) started to show, then you can try to delete it and see if this helps. Some updates could be released with bugs and flaws that make other processes run into the malfunction. At times, users may not spot updates as they are installed in automatic mode. If you are unsure whether some has been installed in recent days, you can always check that by date. If you have pending updates that have not been downloaded just yet, make sure to install them instead of deleting any. It is possible these updates contain special fixes to resolve your error.

To uninstall recent updates:

  1. Press Windows Key + I buttons to open Settings and choose Update & Security.
  2. Then, in Windows Update, click View update history on the right pane.
  3. Choose Uninstall updates on top and delete the most recent update by date of installation.
  4. Now you can reboot your PC and open the problematic application again.

4. Update drivers

As you might know, drivers play a significant role in the proper operation of physical components. Graphic cards, processors, and other elements require proper configuration established by drivers. This is why it is important to keep them up-to-date by running regular updates. Some DLL files may also be related to corrupted drivers. It is more likely to be the case if a DLL stated in error text is located inside of the DriverStore folder. Most often it is Display drivers causing the issue, so you should try to update them first. To do this, follow the instructions below:

To update drivers manually:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button and select Device Manager.
  2. In the opened tab right-click on all drivers, choose Update Driver, and follow the on-screen instructions.
  3. Windows will start searching for available updates and automatically install them on your computer.
  4. Sometimes there are malfunctioned drivers (marked with a yellow rectangle), which means you should update them in the first order.

To roll back drivers:

If you knew which driver has been updated recently, you could find and roll it back to the previous version.

  1. Navigate to Device Manager as we did above.
  2. Locate and right-click on a previously updated driver.
  3. Choose Roll Back Driver and follow instructions.
  4. Once finished, reboot your PC and see if the problem dissipates.

You can also use IObit Driver Booster to perform automatic updates. It is way faster than going through the manual process because the utility will find aged or malfunctioned drivers and update them. Here is the link to download it.

Download Driver Booster

5. Run a Clean Bootup

Corruption of DLL files may also be caused by third-party software that prompts compatibility issues. This, it is worth checking if this is your case. Clean bootup ensures your PC is started only with in-built apps and services to find out whether some secondary app triggers the problem. To launch in Clean bootup mode, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Press Windows key + R combination and paste msconfig.
  2. Then in the opened window go to the Services tab located on top.
  3. Check the box next to Hide All Microsoft Services and click on the Disable all button.
  4. Now choose the General tab and select the Selective startup option. Make sure that the box is checked only next to the Load System Services.
  5. Click Apply and OK. Then reboot your PC.

Now you can try to launch an application whilst being in Clean Boot mode. In case everything works fine now, this means there is some third-party program failing to get along with Windows processes. Think of what you installed recently and try to delete it. After booting in Clean Mode, you should turn Windows back to Normal Startup settings. To do this, simply redo all the steps you implemented above by enabling the disabled services and changing your startup option from Selective to Normal.

6. Use System Restore Point

In case nothing works out and trying to find the right solution results in constant failure, System Restore may be your savior. Unless you installed Windows just now, there should be some backup point store by the system when DLL problems were not present. So let’s roll your system back to exactly that point using these steps:

  1. Open This PC, right-click on empty space just under your disks, and choose Properties.
  2. Click Advanced system settings on the left pane.
  3. Now you should see a new tab opened. Move to System Protection and click on System Restore button.
  4. Then, in the appeared window, select a backup point by a date when you did not have the issue.
  5. Click Next and wait until Windows restores your system.


Bad Image errors are quite annoying as they prevent people from using programs they want. We hope it is no longer a problem after performing the solutions from our guide. DLL issues do vary and often require different solutions for each individual case. If you are still facing the issue despite performing all of the steps, we suggest reinstalling your system from scratch. This will ensure your Windows is new and not affected by something that causes the error.

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James Kramer
Hello, I'm James. My website Bugsfighter.com, a culmination of a decade's journey in the realms of computer troubleshooting, software testing, and development. My mission here is to offer you comprehensive, yet user-friendly guides across a spectrum of topics in this niche. Should you encounter any challenges with the software or the methodologies I endorse, please know that I am readily accessible for assistance. For any inquiries or further communication, feel free to reach out through the 'Contacts' page. Your journey towards seamless computing starts here