2 Easy ways to repair installation of Windows 11

Does Windows 11 is not working correctly? Here are two ways to fix any problem.

Windows 11 reinstall feature
Windows 11 reinstall feature
  • To repair the operating system with DISM and SFC, open Command Prompt (admin) and run the “dism /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth” and “SFC /scannow” commands. You can also run the “chkdsk/f c:” command.
  • To repair Windows 11 with reinstallation without losing your files, open Settings > System > Recovery, click “Restart now” for the “Fix problems using Windows Update” setting, and click “OK.”

If the system on Windows 11 shows signs of problems (such as errors or performance, battery, and boot issues), you can repair the installation in at least two ways, including using a quick reinstallation method and through Command Prompt using the Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) and System File Checker (SFC) commands.

The reinstallation method doesn’t have a specific name. Instead, Microsoft simply labels it “Fix problems using Windows Update.” This feature allows you to quickly reinstall the operating system using the current version through Windows Update without the need for installation media to repair components and system files. (The feature is similar to the “Reset this PC” feature to reinstall the operating system while keeping or removing your files.)

On the other hand, the DISM and SFC tools have been available for a long time. The DISM is an advanced tool that administrators use to prepare, modify, and repair the Windows image. However, you can use it with the SFC tool that scans and replaces corrupted and missing files using the repaired image to fix many setup problems. 

In this guide, I will teach you the easiest way to reinstall Windows 11 to resolve errors, performance, and other problems. (If you’re uncomfortable running commands, use the reinstallation method. This method should preserve your files, settings, and apps.)

Repair Windows 11 with DISM and SFC tools

To repair the installation of Windows 11 with the DISM and SFC command tools, use these steps:

  1. Open Start.

  2. Search for Command Prompt, right-click the top result, and select the Run as administrator option.

  3. Type the following command and press Enter:

    dism /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

    Windows 11 DISM command

  4. Type the following command to repair the installation and press Enter:

    SFC /scannow

    Windows 11 SFC command

  5. (Optional) Type the following command and press Enter:

    chkdsk/f c:

    Windows 11 Check Disk command

  6. Type “Y” and press Enter to schedule a scan.

  7. Restart the computer.

After you complete the steps, the DISM command will repair the files inside the system’s local image, and the SFC command will use the local image to repair the files of the Windows 11 setup. The repair logs will be located in the C:\Windows\Logs\CBS folder inside the “CBS.log.”

The chkdsk command will fix the logical and physical errors on the storage drive that could be the problem. Although the Check Disk command is optional, it’s still recommended.

When using these tools, you should always run the DISM command first and then the SFC command because the first command checks and repairs the local image, and the second command scans and repairs the operating system with the files from the local image.

If the problem persists, you can proceed with the reinstallation method. 

Repair Windows 11 with reinstallation tool

To repair the Windows 11 installation to fix problems, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on System.

  3. Click the Recovery tab.

  4. Click the Reinstall now button for the “Fix problems using Windows Update” setting.

    Reinstall now option

  5. Check the “Automatically restart my PC 15 minutes after installation” option.

    Windows 11 fix problems with reinstallation

  6. Click the OK button.

Once you complete the steps, the system will download the installation files of the same version of Windows 11 installed on your computer, and it’ll perform a reinstallation to repair components and system files. The processes should preserve your files, apps, and settings.

The reinstallation feature is available starting on version 23H2 and higher releases. If you don’t see it, you’re probably still on version 22H2 or an older release of Windows 11.

What method fixed the problem on your computer? Let me know in the comments.

Update March 21, 2024: This guide has been updated to ensure accuracy and more details.

About the author

Mauro Huculak is a Windows How-To Expert who started Pureinfotech in 2010 as an independent online publication. He has also been a Windows Central contributor for nearly a decade. Mauro has over 14 years of experience writing comprehensive guides and creating professional videos about Windows and software, including Android and Linux. Before becoming a technology writer, he was an IT administrator for seven years. In total, Mauro has over 20 years of combined experience in technology. Throughout his career, he achieved different professional certifications from Microsoft (MSCA), Cisco (CCNP), VMware (VCP), and CompTIA (A+ and Network+), and he has been recognized as a Microsoft MVP for many years. You can follow him on X (Twitter), YouTube, LinkedIn and About.me. Email him at [email protected].