How to Scan Windows 10 Files with SFC /SCANNOW

SFC stands for System File Checker.

SFC is a DOS command that is mostly used in conjunction with the SCANNOW switch separated by a / sign. SFC /SCANNOW is used to detect and automatically fix the corrupt or missing files in Windows 10.

An Elevated Command Prompt must be opened in order to use the SFC command from within Windows. In case a Windows 10 computer fails to boot and you wish to run the command externally, you must boot the computer with Windows 10 bootable media and open the Command Prompt from there.

Here is how you can use the SFC /SCANNOW command to scan your Windows 10 computer for errors and to fix them automatically:

Part 01 – Using SFC /SCANNOW from Within Windows 10
[listNum=1]■Turn on your Windows 10 PC and use an administrator account to log on.
■When the desktop screen appears, right-click the Start button.
■Click Command Prompt (Admin) from the context menu.

■On the User Account Control confirmation box, click Yes to confirm your action.

■Wait until the Administrator: Command Prompt interface opens up.
Note: This is the Elevated Command Prompt where you can execute all the commands without any restrictions.

Take utmost care while executing the DOS commands in the Elevated Command Prompt. Any command typed incorrectly out of ignorance may result in permanent system failure.

■In the Administrator: Command Prompt window, type the SFC /SCANNOW and press Enter.

■Wait until the command checks Windows 10 for the missing or corrupt files, and fixes the errors automatically.

■Restart the computer when done.
■Start using your Windows 10 computer normally.

Part 02 – Using SFC /SCANNOW Externally
As mentioned above, the SFC /SCANNOW command can also be used after you have successfully started the computer with a Windows 10 bootable media, i.e. a bootable DVD or USB drive. Here is how you can use the command externally to scan your Windows 10 PC for corrupt or missing files and to fix the issues automatically:
[listNum=1]■Start your PC with a Windows 10 Bootable Media and open the Command Prompt externally.

■In the command window, type SFC /SCANNOW and press Enter.
■Wait until Windows 10 is successfully scanned for the missing or corrupt files and the issues are fixed automatically.
■Close the command window when done, and back on the Choose an option window, click Continue.
■Wait until Windows 10 boots normally before you start using it.[/listNum]