How to fix the “Application Was Unable to Start Correctly” error on Windows 10 – 0xc000007b

When you update your computer to the latest version of Windows 10, you expect your computer to run better. The idea behind having your computer up to date, means that you are less likely to run into problems with how your computer functions and ideally, have it run smoother and faster as a result. Completing Windows 10 updates will also minimize your risk of security breaches and ensuring all of your software programs are up to date, will minimize program errors. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case, and you may run into incompatibility issues or file problems when updating. The “application was unable to start correctly” error on Windows 10 often comes up after an update or when there is an incompatibility between computer and application. In this article, we are going to discuss what this code means, when does it occur, why it can happen, and outline 9 methods for fixing it.

"application was unable to start correctly" error message

What does the “Application Was Unable to Start Correctly” error mean?

The “application was unable to start correctly” error indicates that your computer is having a problem launching a specific application. While this error code does come up a lot for Windows 7 64-bit users and Windows 7 32-bit users, it can also occur in Windows 8 and on Windows 10 machines. This error is accompanied by the following stop code, 0xc000007b. Unfortunately, there is no quick way to identify what the root cause of this error is, as it can occur for a variety of different reasons. For instance, it may be an incompatibility issue, it may be a .Net Framework issue, it could be a problem with the application’s file, or be an issue with a recent Windows update that you’ve done. We will talk more about these below and then follow up with some methods that you can cycle through in order to solve the issue.

When does the 0xc000007b error occur, and why does it happen?

The “application was unable to start correctly” error, or stop code 0xc000007b, primarily occurs when a user tries to run software that has an issue with it. Identifying what the issue is can be a bit tricky, but here are some common reasons as to why it happens.

  • You are trying to run a 32-bit software program, such as a game, word processor, or video editing software, on a 64-bit Windows 10 system. The 64-bit system will not run smoothly or work well with a 32-bit software program (and vice versa) as the two architecture types will be incompatible with one another.
  • There is something wrong with the software’s files. This could be an issue with a singular file or several of the files. This could extend to the entire program or a portion of the program, but if it impacts the portion of the software program that utilizes commands to open, it will not launch, giving you the error.
  • There is a problem with your computer’s .NET Framework, Microsoft Visual C++, or the version of Direct X that you are running. Your computer uses these to execute numerous programs.
  • If you have done a recent update to Windows 10, this problem can also arise due to the installation of new files interfering with existing files on the computer.

9 methods for fixing “Application Was Unable to Start Correctly” on Windows 10

Regardless of the reason, fixing this issue is critical as not being able to open up your favorite programs and use them is frustrating and impractical for daily living. We will start with simple fixes and gradually progress towards more complex troubleshooting methods.

Try rebooting your computer

Sometimes your computer can run into errors if it is running for too long or doesn’t restart after a fresh installation. Sometimes the error can be fixed by simply rebooting your computer. Close down everything and hit your start button and choose the restart option.

When launching the program, run it as administrator

If there is a problem with the software program’s files, running the program in administrator mode can sometimes get it to launch correctly.

  1. Open up Windows Search and find the program by typing in it’s name.
  2. Right-click on it when it pops up in the menu.
  3. Choose the ‘Run as administrator’ option. If you have an admin password set up, you will need to type this in or click ‘yes’ in the user account control window that pops up.
Run application as administrator

The second way to do this is to find where your program’s executable file is held. This is found in the folder where it is installed or on your desktop, if you made a shortcut. 

  1. Right-click on this file.
  2. Choose the Properties option.
  3. Find the Compatibility tab, click on it, and find the “Run the program as an administrator” checkbox. Enable it and hit Apply, then OK.

Reinstall the application

If you suspect that the problem lies within the program files itself, reinstalling the application can fix the 0xc000007b error. Generally, if this error is popping up with one program, then it is safe to try this method. If the error pops up with multiple programs and frequently, the root problem is elsewhere.

To reinstall an application:

  1. Head to Windows Search, type in “control panel” and open it up.
  2. In the Control Panel, click on Uninstall programs under the programs section and find the program in the list.
  3. Click on it, hit the Uninstall button and follow the on-screen instructions.
  4. Once the uninstallation is complete, download the program again from the official website of the software vendor, then reinstall it the usual way.
Uninstall the application

Perform any pending Windows updates

Sometimes older versions of Windows 10 can cause issues over time if they have holes in them.

To see if your computer has a pending Windows update:

  1. Head into your Settings menu.
  2. Find the Update & Security section. (You can search for this in your computer’s search bar as well.)
  3. Under Windows Update, hit the Check for updates button. If there is an available update, choose the Install now option.
  4. Wait for the update to go through and test to see if the problem persists.
Check for new Windows updates

Repair or reinstall the .Net Framework

A common method for fixing the 0xc000007b error is to reinstall the .NET Framework or update it to the latest version. This is because this software development framework is used to build and run programs for the Windows operating systems. So, naturally, if this system is outdated or broken, it’s going to cause your applications to fail.

Check what version of .NET Framework you have:

  1. Use the “run” command and type in “regedit.exe“. You will need administrator access to run it.
  2. Type in the following subkey: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\NET Framework Setup\NDP
  3. If the full subkey is not present, you do not have the latest version. Cross reference your version against the latest version that is out.
Check .NET Framework version in Registry Editor

To install the latest .NET Framework:

  1. Head to Microsoft’s website and find the version that is recommended.
  2. Click on it and choose the Download option.
  3. Choose Yes and wait for it to download.
  4. You may need to extract the installer.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions carefully to install correctly.
  6. Once installed, restart your computer and relaunch your program.

Reinstall DirectX

Generally, DirectX files will come with your Windows updates, but it is good to do a complete fresh install from time to time.

To do this:

  1. You will need to delete your current DirectX components first. These will be found in your Windows\System32 folder, which is found on the disk drive where your operating system is installed.
  2. Look for the following files: d3dx9_24.dll, d3dx9_43.dll, d3dx10.dll, d3dx10_33.dll, d3dx10_43.dll, d3dx11_42.dll and d3dx11_43.dll.
  3. Remove all of these by selecting all and deleting. You will need admin access for this.
  4. Next, head to Microsoft’s website and find the DirectX End-User Runtime program and download it.
  5. Set it up by following the on-screen instructions and accept the agreement. Make sure to deselect any additional software that may come with it (like search bars).
  6. Wait for the wizard to finish installing DirectX, then restart your computer and relaunch your application.

Repair Microsoft Visual C++ redistributables

These redistributables are for running C++ applications in Windows. In order to reinstall them:

  1. Head to Control Panel and choose the Uninstall a program option under the Programs section.
  2. In the top right-hand side of this window, type in “Microsoft Visual C++” and wait for the program list to compile all installed packages.
  3. Right-click on the top one in the list, click on Change, then hit the Repair button.
  4. Hit Yes, then wait for it to repair.
  5. Repeat this process for all Microsoft Visual C++ packages that you have for each year.
  6. Restart your computer when done.
Visual C++ redistributables in Programs and Features

Run the chkdsk command

If you have any existing hardware problems, these can always cause applications to fail to launch. To see if the source of the 0xc000007b error is a hard disk issue, run chkdsk:

  1. Open Windows Search and type in “command prompt”.
  2. Right-click it and select Run as administrator.
  3. In the command windows, type in “chkdsk c: /f /r” and hit Enter. (If you want to check a drive other than “c” then replace “c” with your drive letter.)
  4. Type in “Y” to continue.
  5. Once the command has run, restart the computer and try to relaunch the application to see if the issue is resolved.
chkdsk command

Update your Windows system from 32-bit to 64-bit

If you have a 32-bit version of Windows 10, updating it to 64-bit can solve the issue if it is a computer to software incompatibility. To do this, you will need to make a backup of your computer and prepare a bootable Windows installation drive. The trick with this is that all of your hardware components need to support the 64-bit architecture, which includes your CPU, GPU, and motherboard to mention a few.

Important: This is not a simple process, and if you make a mistake you can potentially lose all your data.

Make sure to read a detailed upgrade guide if you are unsure of how to do it properly.

We hope that by this point you have managed to solve the “application was unable to start correctly” error and you can now successfully launch your app as usual. Let us know in the comments which fix worked for you.

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