What is “Windows cannot find” error

Users tend to stumble upon this issue due to many cases. Firstly, when trying to open File Explorer via Win + E combination. And second, whilst trying to access certain apps stored on Windows 10. In both cases, people receive the same message saying:

“Windows cannot find. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again”.

Technically it means that the route to some file or program is wrong and has to be changed. You might be wondering if everything used to work fine then why it would suddenly fail? Well, these kinds of violations may be occurred due to internal system breakdowns or the influence of secondary apps. This is why we decided to make a full review of how to get rid of this problem in the article below.

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 “Windows cannot find” errors in Windows 10.

1. Choose “This PC” option in File Explorer

The number one method that has been most effectively solving the error is by changing File Explorer preferences to ‘This PC’. Make the following steps below:

  1. Find File Explorer options by pasting into the searching tab located next to the Start Menu button, and open it.
  2. In the appeared tab go to General and click on the drop-down menu next to Open File Explorer to. Select This PC.
  3. Then click Apply and OK below.

2. Reset apps through PowerShell

If you face difficulties opening in-built Windows apps, then you can try to re-register them via Windows PowerShell function. This is how to do this:

  1. In the searching tab type Windows PowerShell. Right-click on it and choose Run as administrator.
  2. In the opened window paste this command:

    Get-AppXPackage | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage – DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)AppXManifest.xml"}

    and press Enter.

  3. Reboot the PC and see if “Windows cannot find” has been resolved.

3. Run Windows Store Apps Troubleshooter

Instead of doing the previous step, you can try another stalwart action by running the Windows Troubleshooter option. It will automatically rectify issues that arise malfunction around Windows apps, therefore, fixing the error. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Type Troubleshoot settings in the searching bar and open it.
  2. On the right side choose Windows Store Apps.
  3. In the drop-down click on the Run the troubleshooter button.
  4. Once finished, restart your computer and see if anything changes.

If you cannot access secondary applications, then you can also try resetting them by following the instruction below:

  1. Right-click on the Start Menu button and choose Apps & Features.
  2. In the opened window find the app you want to reset.
  3. Left-click and choose Advanced options.
  4. Scroll down a little bit and click the Reset button.
  5. Finally, you have re-registered additional programs and check whether the error disappeared.

4. Scan your PC for viruses

Seldomly this issue can be correlated with malware, especially trojans. We recommend scanning your device by using a great utility called Malwarebytes Anti-Malware that has been distinctively accurate at detecting this type of malware and can easily remove it from your computer in just a couple of moments. You can download it via this link.

Download Malwarebytes

5. Rename .exe files

The “Windows cannot find” error also pop-ups when launching appendant applications that are downloaded from the web. When trying to open the app, users are usually said that Windows could not find the route to a specific file. Thus, renaming .exe files may potentially solve the problem. Here is how:

  1. Open the location that Windows cannot access. You can also right-click on an application icon on the desktop and choose Open file location.
  2. In the opened direction find the main .exe of the program, right-click on it and choose Rename.
  3. Then add a symbol or totally change it to the desired name and click Enter.
  4. Hopefully, you will be able to run apps after implementing these steps.

Basically, these are the major solutions that you can apply to tackle the issue. However, besides everything mentioned, there is a slight chance that your files became corrupted and have to be restored. You can easily do this by taking further steps.

6. Run an SFC scan

System File Checker (SFC) is a feature that comes pre-installed on your computer and is capable of finding and restoring damaged files that can hinder different processes. If none of the previous methods worked, you can try and do this:

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching tab next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Open Command Prompt, type this the sfc /scannow command and click Enter.
  3. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.


There you have it, 5 most testified and effective methods to solve the “Windows cannot find” errors. As you can see, all of the steps are simple and do not require extra time for novice users. We did not forget to mention that there are also some utilities aimed to solve these errors automatically, rather than manually. However, in our case, Windows options are much safer and more effective because they were initially designed for this purpose and perfectly set up for the system. Finding and installing good utility will comprise more time that you can spend on taking the initiative on your own.

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