How To Fix ‘There Was a Problem Resetting Your PC’ Error on Windows?

Occasionally you might find yourself having problem to reset your Windows 10 computer saying “There was a problem resetting your PC“.

problem resetting your pc

If however you have an underlying issue like missing or corrupt files, it’s possible to get stuck in a Windows reset loop.

Whether or not you can access the Windows desktop, there are several solutions you can try for the ‘There Was a Problem Resetting Your PC’ error.

What Causes This “Windows Reset” Error?

The most likely cause of “There was a problem resetting your PC” error is an unsuccessful Windows update.

It might also appear if any of the following occur:

  1. Damaged or corrupted files in the system registry.
  2. Before the system reset, your computer’s settings were already in a hard drive reset.
  3. You’re trying to use a recovery media disk which isn’t correct for your PC.

You might not be sure why you are getting the error exactly, but there are various ways you can try to solve the problem.

If you see the ‘There Was a Problem Resetting Your PC’ error but you’re able to get to the desktop, try fixes #1 to #4.

If you see the error but can’t reach the desktop because you’re stuck in a reset loop, skip to fixes #5 to #8 instead.

Try These if You Can Access the Windows Desktop:

If you are able to get to the Windows desktop, there are four methods you can try to see if any will get rid of the error.

These include running a system file check, disabling Reagentc.exe, using a system restore point and refreshing Windows using Windows Defender.

Fix #1: Run a System File Check From the Command Prompt

run a system file

The System File Check , or SFC, is a program you can run from the command prompt.

It can work out whether the protected operating files on your Windows are damaged or not.

It looks for compromised files then tries to repair them, and this includes ones corrupted or damaged by malware.

  • Look for the command prompt in the Windows search bar.
  • Right-click it and choose to “Run as Administrator“.
  • Type this: sfc /scannow

When the scan finishes, close the command prompt.

If any missing or corrupted files are discovered, the SFC will attempt a repair and let you know whether it succeeds or fails.

Fix #2: Disable Reagentc.exe

disable reagentc exe

If the SFC didn’t help, try this solution next. The ReAgentc.exe file is the Windows recovery environment’s configuration file.

If the PC can’t boot up via the main operating system, it tries to run the recovery environment to fix the issue.

If you temporarily disable this configuration file, it might help with the error you are experiencing. This is how to do it:

  • Look for the command prompt in the Windows search bar.
  • Right-click it and choose to “Run as Administrator“.
  • Type the following into the command prompt, pressing Enter after each one:
    • Reagentc /disable
    • Reagentc/ enable
  • Try to reset the PC again.

Fix #3: Try Using a System Restore Point

Windows has a useful feature known as a system restore point, which lets you restore the operating system back to a state you set previously.

You will only be able to try this fix if you manually set your PC up to use system restore in the past.

If you did then you can restore the PC back to a time when it worked properly and you didn’t get the error.

This is how to perform a system restore:

  • Type this in the Windows search bar: system restore
  • Click on “Create a Restore Point – Control Panel” (system properties window will open).
  • Navigate to the system protection tab and click on system restore (if it’s grayed out that means you didn’t set any restore points).
  • Another window will open and you will be prompted to click “Next“, then choose a restore point to use (you can click on “Show More Restore Points” to see more).
  • Follow the on-screen instructions.
  • Try to reset the PC again to see if the error has gone.

If you don’t have any restore points but you want to set it up for use in the future, go to the control panel.

Look for the recovery options and toggle on the system protection option under ‘configure system updates’. Then you can create new restore points.

Fix #4: Use Windows Defender to Refresh Windows

use windows defender

Windows Defender helps to protect your PC against malware and viruses, but you can also use it to refresh the PC.

Refreshing it is similar to resetting it.

  • Type this in the Windows search bar: settings
  • Open Windows settings and click on “Update & Security“.
  • Click on “Windows Security” on the menu on the left side of the screen (a new window will open).
  • Than click on “Device Performance & Health” and go to the “Fresh Start” section.
  • Click on “Additional Information” and on “Get Started“.
  • Follow the instructions on the screen.

Bear in mind that most files on the hard drive of your system will be deleted if you use this process.

If there are any files you want to keep, make a backup of them before you attempt to refresh the computer.

Try These if You Can Not Access the Windows Desktop:

If you can’t get to the Windows desktop there are still some solutions you can try. The first solution uses the advanced setup options as well as the command prompt.

The second means using an external media device to force a clean install or a reset.

Fix #5: Run a System File Check (Outside Windows)

run a system file

You need to boot the computer up in safe mode.

Either boot it up from a USB drive or CD-Rom and click on Repair Your Computer or press and hold F8 or Shift and F8 while booting up.

You could also power the PC on and off 3 times using the power button.

Once you are in safe mode, navigate to the Advanced Startup Options screen and continue with these steps:

  • Click on “Troubleshoot” then “Advanced Options” and “Command Prompt“.
  • Input the following commands, pressing Enter after each one:
wmic logicaldisk get deviceid

You will see a list of local drives.

  • Locate the system drive and type this:
sfc /scannow/offbootdir=d: /offwindir=d:Windows

(replace the d: with whichever letter you’re using as the system drive).

Let SFC finish the scan of the drive where the Windows OS is stored.

If any problems are found, SFC will attempt to repair them.

Restart the PC once SFC has completed its check.

Fix #6: Run a Deployment Image Servicing & Management Scan (Outside Windows)

run dism

It is possible to run the DISM command line tool even if you can’t get on to Windows. It will check, configure, update, and if necessary repair every .wim file on your PC using a media installation drive or disk.

Use the MS Media Creation Tool to create a media installation drive or disk.

  • Boot your PC up from the new installation media you made.
  • Follow the directions on the screen and input your location and language.
  • Rather than installing, click on “Repair Your Computer“, on the bottom left of the screen.
  • Now go to “Troubleshoot” then “Advanced Options” and then “Command Prompt“.
  • Type this (change the drive letter to whichever is correct for your PC):
dism /get-wiminf/wimfile:E:sourceinstall.esd command
  • Now enter this in the command prompt (again change the “d:” letter to wherever Windows is stored on your PC.:
mkdir d:scratch
  • Run this command (replace the drive letters in that command if applicable):
dism /image:d /cleanup-image/restorehealth/source:esd:e:sourcesinstall.esd:2/scratchdir:d:scratch /limitaccess
  • Wait for the DISM scan to finish.

Restart the computer and see if the issue is fixed.

Fix #7: Renaming the System and Software Registry

rename software distribution folder

If you believe the system32.exe file is corrupt or there could be corrupt files in there, you can try using the command prompt to repair the registry.

You can use this method whether or not you can get on to the desktop. This might solve the ‘there was a problem resetting your PC’ error.

If you can access the Windows environment do this:

  • Type the following in the command prompt, pressing Enter after each one:
cd %windir%\system32\config
ren system system.001
ren software software.001
  • Restart the PC

Fix #8: Use Installation Media to Perform a Clean Install

If you have reached this point and nothing else has helped, you are going to have to do a clean install.

This will totally wipe your PC and install a fresh copy of Windows. To do this you will need an installation media.

Create an installation media following steps 1 to 5 from the above fix.

  • Boot Windows using the installation media you created with the MS Media Creation Tool.
  • Follow the instructions you see on the screen.
  • Select your language and location when prompted.
  • Follow the rest of the instructions shown on the screen.
  • Your computer will be reset to factory defaults.