How to Fix Bad Image Error 0xc0000020 in Windows 11 / 10

Many users have reported seeing an error Bad Image, Error Status 0xc0000020 when trying to open any application on their Windows PC. Based on the application raising the error, the error message indicates that a particular DLL file related to the application may not be designed to run on Windows or may have encountered any issues. Basically, this error is a result of corrupted system files that are necessary for the application to run.

Possible causes for this error status 0xc0000020 are

  • Problems with the application installation/uninstallation
  • Malware infection
  • Problematic Windows update


If you are confronting this bad image error on your PC while launching any program, then you are looking at the right article. Here, we have detailed some methods that have been tried by other users facing this issue and have been successful in overcoming them.


Fix 1 – Run an SFC Scan


1. Hit the Windows key and type command prompt in the search box.

2. Right-click on Command Prompt in the search result and choose Run as administrator.


Open Command Prompt As Admin Min


3. Type the command below and hit Enter to execute.

sfc /scannow

4. The scan starts to check the system files and replaces those that are corrupted. Wait for the scan to complete.


Sfc Scan Command Prompt Min


5. Once the scan completes, try opening the application throwing the error to check if it is fixed.


Fix 2 – Perform a DISM Scan


1. Press Windows and R keys together on your keyboard to open Run.

2. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt as an administrator.


Run Command Prompt Min


3. Click on Yes when the User Account Control prompts for permission.

4. Enter the command and execute it.

DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

5. The scan may take some time to complete the repair process.


Dism Scan Command Prompt Min


6. Restart your PC once the scan finishes. Check if the issue has been resolved after startup.



Fix 3 – Re-register the DLL File


As seen in the error message, a DLL file is the culprit for this issue. So, you can try re-registering the DLL file seen in the error message to check if it resolves the issue.


1. Follow Steps 1 and 2 above to open Command prompt as administrator.

2. Type the command below and hit Enter.

regsvr32 "path and filename of dll"


Note: Replace “path and filename of dll” with the path and filename of the DLL file seen in the error message.


Register Dll Min


3. You will see a message stating that the DLL file has been successfully registered.

4. Restart your system and check if the error is resolved when you launch the particular application.



Fix 4 – Reinstall the Problematic Application


1. Just use the Windows and R key combination to open Run.

2. Type ms-settings:appsfeatures to open Apps & Features in Settings.


Ms Settings Apps Features Min


3. Locate the problematic application in the list of installed applications.

4. Click on the three vertical dots associated with the app and choose Uninstall.


Uninstall Problematic App Min


5. On the confirmation prompt, click on Uninstall again.


Confirm App Uninstall Min


6. Wait for the uninstallation to complete. Restart your PC.

7. Go to the download page of the particular application to get the installer. Complete the reinstallation of the application.

8. Launch the app once the installation completes and check if it resolves the issue at hand.


Fix 5 – Uninstall the Recent Windows Update


Users have noticed that at times Windows update results in errors in the system. If you are seeing this error after a recent update to Windows, then check if uninstalling that update helps you overcome the issue.


1. Open Run (Windows + R).

2. Type ms-settings:windowsupdate to open Windows Update settings page.


Run Ms Settings Windows Update Min


3. Scroll down and click on Update history below More options.


Windows Update History Min


4. In the Related settings section, choose the option Uninstall updates.


Windows Updates Uninstall Min


5. Right-click on the latest Windows update in the list and select Uninstall.


Select And Uninstall Update Min


6. Restart your computer and check if the Bad Image error is solved.


Fix 6 – Perform a System Restore


1. To open Run just use the Windows and R keys simultaneously.

2. Type rstrui and hit Enter to open System Restore.


Run System Restore Command Min


3. Select the option Choose a different restore point and click on Next.


System Restore Choose Different Restore Point Min


4. In the next window, check the box next to Show more restore points.

5. Then choose a restore point from the list. Click on Next.


System Restore Select Restore Point In List Min


6. Review the system restore details in the window that is shown.

7. Click on Finish to confirm and start the restore process.


System Restore Finish Min


8. Your system will be restarted so as to restore it to a previously selected working state.

9. On restart you will see a message that indicates the successful completion of the restore process.

10. Check if the error is resolved.


Fix 7 – Reset Windows


If none of the above methods work for you, then try to perform a Windows reset to check if it resolved the issue. Follow the methods mentioned in this article to reset your Windows 11 PC.


Thanks for reading.

We hope this article has helped you to fix the Bad Image error status 0xc0000020 on your Windows PC. Let us know if this was informative and which fix worked for you in the comments.