Fix Windows Error 2: Step-by-Step Guide to Resolve The System Cannot Find the File Specified Issue

Windows Error 2, also known as 'The System Cannot Find the File Specified' issue, is a common error that users might encounter while using their Windows Operating System. This error can occur due to multiple reasons, such as an incorrect file path, corrupt system files, or a missing or outdated driver. In this guide, we will provide a step-by-step solution to help you resolve this issue.

Table of Contents

Step 1: Check the File Path

Check if the File Path is Correct

One of the most common reasons for this error is an incorrect file path. Make sure that the file you are trying to access is located in the specified directory. You can do this by:

  1. Opening File Explorer.
  2. Navigating to the location where the file should be.
  3. Verifying if the file is present in the specified directory.

If the file is not present or the path is incorrect, correct the file path and try again.

Check for Unsupported Characters in the File Path

File paths containing unsupported characters might cause this issue. Make sure that the file path doesn't contain any of the following characters:

< (less than)
> (greater than)
: (colon - sometimes works, but is actually NTFS Alternate Data Streams)
" (double quote)
/ (forward slash)
\ (backslash)
| (vertical bar or pipe)
? (question mark)
* (asterisk)

If the file path contains any of these characters, rename the file or folder to remove the unsupported characters and try again.

Step 2: Run System File Checker

System File Checker (SFC) is a built-in Windows utility that scans and repairs corrupted system files. Running SFC might help resolve this issue. To run SFC, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win + X and click on Command Prompt (Admin).
  2. In the Command Prompt, type sfc /scannow and press Enter.
  3. Wait for the scan to complete. If any corrupted files are found, SFC will automatically repair them.

Learn more about System File Checker

Step 3: Update Device Drivers

Outdated or missing drivers might cause this issue. To update your device drivers, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win + X and click on Device Manager.
  2. Expand the category of the device you want to update.
  3. Right-click on the device and select Update Driver.
  4. Choose Search automatically for updated driver software.

Learn more about updating drivers

Step 4: Run Disk Cleanup

Running Disk Cleanup can help remove temporary and unnecessary files that might cause this error. To run Disk Cleanup, follow these steps:

  1. Press Win + S and search for Disk Cleanup.
  2. Select the drive you want to clean up and click OK.
  3. Select the file types you want to delete and click OK.
  4. Click Delete Files to confirm.


1. What is Windows Error 2?

Windows Error 2 is an error message that appears when the system cannot find a specified file. This issue can occur due to various reasons, such as incorrect file paths, corrupted system files, or outdated drivers.

2. How do I fix the 'The System Cannot Find the File Specified' error?

To fix the 'The System Cannot Find the File Specified' error, you can follow these steps:

  1. Check the file path.
  2. Run System File Checker.
  3. Update device drivers.
  4. Run Disk Cleanup.

3. Can I use System Restore to fix this error?

Yes, you can use System Restore to fix this error. System Restore allows you to revert your computer's system files and settings to an earlier point in time. However, it's recommended to try the solutions provided in this guide before resorting to System Restore.

4. How do I prevent this error from occurring in the future?

To prevent this error from occurring in the future, you can:

  1. Regularly update your device drivers.
  2. Keep your system files and folders organized.
  3. Regularly run Disk Cleanup to remove temporary and unnecessary files.

5. Can this error cause data loss?

This error itself does not cause data loss. However, if the error is caused by a corrupted file, you might not be able to access the file until it's repaired or restored. It's always a good practice to back up your data regularly to prevent data loss.

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