How to resolve wimserv.exe ‘missing’ and ‘not found’ errors?

April 30, 2020 |

greater than 8 minutes

Are you frustrated by the wimserv.exe ‘Missing’ or ‘Not found’ error messages popping up on your Windows 10 PC? You must be wondering what wimserv.exe is, what causes the errors, and more importantly how to fix them.

Wimserv.exe (Windows Imaging Service) is a system file/process developed by Microsoft Corporation. It belongs to the Windows operating system and is part of Wimfltr v2 extractor, a software component of the Windows system. This means that the wimserv.exe file probably got into your computer through the installation of Windows.

The wimserv.exe file is required by the Windows system to perform some of its core functions. So, when it is missing, some applications or programs will not run or even start at all, and you end up receiving wimserv.exe error messages.

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Why Is Wimserv.exe Missing?

When you receive error messages related to the wimserv.exe file /process, it may indicate a virus infection. In most cases, hackers develop malware agents and give them names similar to those of genuine system files, such as wimserv.exe. This makes it difficult to detect whether or not your computer has been infected. The malware may corrupt, delete or replace the system file. As a result, the program or application that depends on that particular system file fails to execute, thus causing the error messages.

Wimserv.exe errors may occur when trying to install or run certain applications, during Windows startup or shutdown, or when using your computer. Knowing when and how the error message appeared can significantly help you to determine what could have triggered it. Some of the common causes of wimserv.exe errors include:

  • Registry corruption caused by the improper installation and uninstallation of applications in your system.
  • Accidentally removing the wimserv.exe file, making Windows unable to locate it when it is required.
  • Faulty computer hardware.
  • A malware infection.
  • An incomplete installation of a Windows update.
  • Downloading corrupt files.

Some of the error messages that you might encounter include the following:

  • exe not found.
  • exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
  • exe Application Error.
  • Error starting program: wimserv.exe.
  • exe is not running.
  • Cannot find wimserv.exe.
  • exe failed to initialize properly.
  • Windows failed to start – wimserv.exe.
  • exe – Bad Image.

If you don’t fix wimserv.exe errors as soon as possible, they may develop other complications, such as blue screen of death (BSOD) errors, which can damage your data. In this post, we’ll show you how to fix the ‘wimserv.exe cannot be found’ error.

How to Fix Wimserv.exe Missing in Windows 10

Important tip: We do not recommend downloading the wimserv.exe file from ‘EXE download’ websites. Most of the files on such websites are not verified by the publisher and are likely to be bundled with adware, spyware, Trojans, or other forms of malware. Furthermore, such files could be outdated or incompatible with your system and could cause more complications. If you must download the wimserv.exe file, it is advisable to do so from the original source.

If the wimserv.exe errors are preventing Windows from starting normally, then you will need to start Windows in Safe Mode. However, if Windows starts normally, skip this part. To enter Safe Mode in Windows 10, follow this simple guide:

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  1. Hold down the power button to shut down your computer.
  2. Power on your computer. Just before Windows loads, hold down the power button to switch off the PC once again.
  3. Repeat the above steps two more times and allow the computer to fully restart the third time. This will take you to the Windows Recovery Environment (WinRE).
  4. Now, select “Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings”, and then click on “Restart”.
  5. Once Windows restarts, select option 4 or press the F4 key to enable Safe Mode. To start Windows in Safe Mode with Networking, press F5 on your keyboard.

Your computer will now start in Safe Mode, where you can apply the solutions below.

Fix 1: Restore the Wimserv.exe File from the Recycle Bin

Like we mentioned earlier, you or someone else could have accidentally deleted the wimserv.exe file. Therefore, it is worth checking the Recycle Bin to see if you will find the file there and restore it. Here’s the procedure:

  1. Double-click “Recycle Bin” on your desktop to open it.
  2. Type “wimserv.exe” (without quotes) in the search box located in the upper right corner of the window.
  3. If you find the file, move it to its default directory, C:\Windows\System32.
  4. Restart your computer.

Restoring the wimserv.exe file to its original location should resolve the wimserv.exe ‘Missing’ or ‘Not Found’ errors. However, if the file is unavailable, then it means the problem lies elsewhere. In that case, try the solutions below until you find one that fixes the problem.

Fix 2: Run an SFC Scan

Wimserv.exe errors are likely to happen if malware has deleted, corrupted or replaced the wimserv.exe file in your system. Luckily, Windows offers a built-in tool called System File Checker that is designed to check your system files and replace or repair those that are missing or damaged. To run an SFC scan, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Win + X shortcut to bring up the Quick Link menu.
  2. Choose “Command Prompt (Admin)” and click “Yes” when prompted by the system.
  3. Type in sfc /scannow and hit “Enter”. System File Checker will begin the scanning process. This might take a while, so be patient and allow it to run uninterrupted.
  4. If the SFC tool finds problems, follow the on-screen instructions to apply the fixes.
  5. Restart your device and check if the problem has been resolved.

If this step fails, proceed to the next solution below.

Fix 3: Repair Your Registry

The registry is the core component that makes it possible for the Windows system to operate the way it does. It stores crucial information and system configurations and should, therefore, not be changed or edited, especially if you’re not computer-savvy.

If for any reason your registry has been corrupted, some applications will fail to execute and you may encounter wimserv.exe error messages. In such cases, you will need to repair the registry to remove invalid registry entries.

To make your work easier and safer, we recommend a reliable tool like Auslogics Registry Cleaner. It’s designed to clean, repair and optimize the Windows registry with one click to resolve errors and ensure that your system runs smoothly.

Auslogics Registry Cleaner also removes uninstalled software leftovers, thereby deleting registry keys left behind after uninstalling applications. This helps to restore system stability and prevent crashes.

Registry Cleaner is not only free but also easy to use. Plus, you don’t even need to have the technical know-how to use it.

Fix 4: Update Windows

Microsoft releases system patches to fix bugs, update system files and improve system functions. These updates also provide the latest security definitions that help to enhance the security of your system. This makes Windows updates very crucial. As such, you need to ensure that you’ve installed the latest Windows updates to avoid PC issues.

Usually, Windows automatically downloads and installs the updates unless you paused or deferred them. To check if there are pending updates, follow the procedure below:

  1. Press the Windows logo on your keyboard, type in “Windows Update” (without quotes), and hit “Enter”.
  2. This opens the “Windows Update” section in the “Settings” app.
  3. Click “Check for updates” and wait as Windows searches online for available updates. If there are pending updates, Windows automatically downloads and installs them on your PC.

Fix 5: Update Your Device Drivers

If the wimserv.exe error messages appear while watching movies or playing PC games, then it is highly likely that your graphics card drivers are outdated. However, video card drivers are not the only drivers that could trigger wimserv.exe errors. For this reason, you need to update all your device drivers collectively.

Manually updating your device drivers can be hectic. To make the process easy and fast, use a reliable third-party tool that lets you update all your drivers with a single click. This way, you are guaranteed that only the latest driver versions that are compatible with your system are installed, ensuring that your system runs smoothly.

Fix 6: Scan Your Device for Malware

There is also a high probability that your computer is infected by malware that ended up corrupting or deleting the wimserv.exe file. If that’s the case, then you will need to run a malware scan to remove any malicious programs trying to make unauthorized changes to your computer.

Windows 10 has its own security tool known as Windows Defender. To use this tool, follow the steps below:

  1. Hit the Windows Key and click on “Settings” (gear icon).
  2. Open Update & Security > Windows Security.
  3. Click on the “Virus & threat protection” link, and then open the “Scan options” link.
  4. Select “Full scan” and then click “Scan now”. For a more comprehensive scan, select “Windows Defender Offline scan” and click “Scan now”.

Windows Defender will commence the security check to find and remove malware that could be hiding in your system.

Sometimes, your computer might be infected by malware that is too complex for Windows Defender to pick up during the scans. These types of malware block your antivirus and Windows Update, making your computer even more vulnerable. That’s why we recommend using an advanced and more powerful malware removal tool like Auslogics Anti-Malware. This tool is designed to detect all kinds of malicious entities and remove them from your PC.

For enhanced protection, we recommend performing regular security checks to prevent malware from infiltrating your system.

Fix 7: Re-Install or Roll Back Drivers

If the wimserv.exe error started to occur just after updating your drivers, it means the new drivers are incompatible with your system or they have not been installed properly. If this is the case, try rolling back or reinstalling the drivers to check if it resolves the problem.

Fix 8: Restore Your System to a Previous State

If you’re still getting the ‘wimserv.exe cannot be found’ error, then it could be caused by the recent changes made to your system. To revert the changes, you need to perform a System Restore.

To do so, follow this guide:

  1. Press the Windows Key, and type in “System Restore” (without quotes).
  2. Choose “Create a restore point” from the results and then click “System Restore”.
  3. Click “Next”, and then choose a restore point just before the first occurrence of the wimserv.exe errors.
  4. Click “Next” and then “Finish”. System Restore will restart your device and commence the process. Once the process is complete, reboot Windows and check if the issue has been fixed.

Fix 9: Run a Clean Installation of Windows

If you’re still stuck with the wimserv.exe errors, a clean install of Windows may be the only remedy left. This process wipes all your data from the hard drive and usually takes longer to complete. The good side is that it installs a fresh copy of Windows that runs without issues. Only go down this route if you’ve tried every other solution you could find but none worked.

Let us know if the solutions in this post helped you to fix the wimserv.exe ‘Not Found’ or ‘Missing’ errors. For queries or suggestions, leave your comments below.

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