The 0xc0000005 application error (access violation) can occur when trying to open a file, play a game, or launch a program. It’s triggered by system issues that prevent Windows from accessing the files and settings required for launching one or more applications.
For instance, users have reported getting this error when attempting to launch League of Legends. In other cases, it caused PC audio problems. It might seem impossible to solve the problem when you can’t even access basic system tools, but it can be done nonetheless.
How to fix Exception Code 0xc0000005 on Windows 10
Check out the following solutions to troubleshoot the 0xc0000005 error. We suggest creating a system restore point before getting started, so that you can easily undo changes and start from scratch if necessary.
1. Restart your computer
Get started with the simplest possible solution: restarting your computer. If the 0xc0000005 application error was caused by a hanging process or faulty service, then a PC reboot should do the trick. And, if you want to be thorough about it, you can perform a hard PC reboot in order to clear the memory cache. Here’s how:
- Shut down your computer from the power menu
- Unplug the PC from its power source. If you have a laptop, make sure to remove its battery
- Press and hold the power button for 15-20 seconds to clear the cache
- Plug the computer back into its power source and turn it on
2. Close all application processes
If the application’s processes weren’t properly closed the last time you launched the program, it’s possible that the situation has led to access violation error 0xc0000005. To fix it, make sure to terminate all processes before relaunching a specific program. Here’s what you need to do:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager
- Find your app and select its entire process tree
- Click End task
- Try to launch the program now
3. Run as administrator
The 0xc0000005 access violation error could be caused by a lack of user permissions when attempting to launch a specific program or system tool. To easily test this, right-click the application’s launcher and select Run as administrator. If the option doesn’t appear in the context menu, hold down Shift when clicking the executable file.
However, if you’re trying to open a file with any other extension besides .exe, you have to run its application with admin rights. For example, let’s assume that you’re trying to open a PNG image using IrfanView. In this case, you must run IrfanView with admin rights and then open the PNG image using the photo viewer.
Otherwise, if IrfvanView is set as the default photo viewer on your Windows 10 PC, right-click its launcher file, switch to the Compatibility tab, select Run this program as an administrator, click Apply, and exit. Now you should be able to open the PNG file by just double-clicking it in your file browser. Windows will automatically run IrfanView with elevated rights.
4. Run Program Compatibility Troubleshooter
Windows 10 has an internal troubleshooter dedicated to fixing program compatibility issues. You can use it to repair the 0xc0000005 error if you’re trying to open files using applications that don’t fully support your operating system. Here’s how:
- Click the Start button, search for Troubleshoot settings, and press Enter
- Click Additional troubleshooters
- Select Program Compatibility Troubleshooter and click Run the troubleshooter
- Choose the program you’re having problems with. If it’s not there, select Not Listed and click Next
- Click Browse to find and add the program’s launcher file
- Proceed to the next step and select Try recommended settings
- Click Test the program, observe results, then click Next
- If you still get the 0xc0000005 error, pick No, try again using different settings
- Follow the remaining wizard steps
5. Clear the app cache
You should empty the application’s cache to delete temporary data that might prevent your program from launching correctly. The steps vary for each program, so it’s a good idea to look up the cache clearing steps online. Here are some suggestions.
How to clear the cache of a Microsoft Store app:
- Click the Start button, search for the app, select it, and click App settings
- Scroll down and click Reset
- Click Reset again to confirm
How to clear Google Chrome cache:
- Press Win key + E to open File Explorer
- Click inside the address bar, type
%appdata%, and press Enter
- Go one folder up (from Roaming to AppData)
- Head over to Local > Google > Chrome
- Delete the User Data folder
How to clear Steam cache (if you can’t play games on Steam):
- Open File Explorer
- Go to
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\if you installed Steam in the default directory
- Delete the appcache folder
6. Reinstall the application
There could be something wrong with the application that you’re trying to launch, but you can resolve this problem by removing it from your PC and then reinstalling it. Here’s how to do it correctly:
- Right-click the taskbar and select Task Manager
- Find your application, choose its entire process tree, and click End task
- Right-click the Start button and go to Apps and Features
- Select your application from the list, click Uninstall and again to confirm
- Proceed with the removal operation
- Restart your computer
- Download the application from its official website
- Install and try to launch it
7. Repair and reinstall .NET Framework
Some software programs depend on .NET Framework to work properly. If the Framework package has corrupt, modified, or missing files, it could be the reason why you keep getting application error 0xc0000005. But you can easily fix this issue by repairing .NET Framework using a dedicated tool from Microsoft.
How to use Microsoft .NET Framework Repair Tool:
- Download Microsoft .NET Framework Repair Tool from the official website
- Launch the application and agree to the license terms
- Click Next to begin a computer scan
- Make sure to apply any fixes found by the repair tool, like reregistering or restarting the Windows Installer service
Try to launch your application after using the repair tool. If you still can’t shake off the error code, it’s a good idea to reinstall .NET Framework.
How to reinstall Microsoft .NET Framework:
- Press Win key + R, enter appwiz.cpl, and hit the Enter key
- Find and uninstall .NET Framework. If you have multiple versions installed, make sure to remove all of them
- Using a web browser, visit the .NET Framework official download page
- In the Supported versions group, click the recommended entry
- Download the runtime version (for non-developers)
- Install .NET Framework
- Check if you can open programs now
8. Check for system updates
Make sure that your Windows 10 computer is equipped with the latest features, improvements, hotfixes, and security patches from Microsoft. If there’s a system-wide problem known to cause the 0xc0000005 error, Windows Update will likely take care of it soon.
- Press the Windows key, type Check for updates, and press Enter
- If the online search doesn’t begin automatically, click Check for updates
- Wait a few seconds until Windows and click Download if there are any pending updates
- Restart your computer
9. Reset Windows Update
If Windows Update doesn’t work properly and gives you various errors, it’s a good idea to reset its cache and all components involved in this tool by turning to the command-line environment.
- Sign in to Windows 10 using an administrator account
- Click the Start button, search for Command Prompt, and open this app
- Enter the following lines of code (press Enter after each one):
net stop wuauserv
net stop cryptSvc
net stop bits
net stop msiserver
ren %SystemRoot%\SoftwareDistribution SoftwareDistribution.old
ren %SystemRoot%System32\catroot2 Catroot2.old
net start wuauserv
net start cryptSvc
net start bits
net start msiserver
- Reboot your computer and try to run Windows Update again
10. Run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter
The 0xc0000005 application error could be triggered by malfunctioning hardware and devices. It’s usually a simple problem, like quickly reinstalling a device that wasn’t properly set up on your PC.
Under normal circumstances, you should find the tool in Troubleshoot Settings. However, if the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter is missing from your computer, here’s what you need to do:
- Press Win key + R, type
msdt.exe -id DeviceDiagnostic, and hit the Enter key
- Click Next and allow your operating system to apply any fixes
- Restart your PC after the wizard is finished
- Try to launch programs now
11. Fix hard drive corruption
If your hard disk has corrupt files, Windows might not be able to open files or launch programs anymore, resulting in violation error 0xc0000005. But you can fix this problem by using a command-line tool that comes bundled with Microsoft’s operating system, called CHKDSK (Check Disk).
How to use CHKDSK:
- Press Windows key + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open Command Prompt with elevation rights
- If Windows is installed on the default C: drive, run
chkdsk c: /f /r. Else, replace
c:with the correct partition letter
- Run y when you’re asked to confirm scheduling CHKDSK during the next system boot
- Restart your computer and wait for CHKDSK to do its job
12. Repair corrupt system files
Your operating system could have corrupt or missing files that prevent applications from running properly on your PC. You can restore damaged items with the help of SFC (System File Checker). Just like CHKDSK, you can operate this tool from the console environment.
How to use SFC:
- Run Command Prompt as admin
sfc /scannowand hit Enter
- Windows will find and repair any issues. Once it finishes, restart your PC
If SFC won’t solve the 0xc0000005 error, you can use DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management) to check the component store of the Windows image.
How to use DISM:
- Launch Command Prompt with elevated rights
DISM /online /cleanup-image /scanhealthand wait
- If it finds any problems, run
DISM /online /cleanup-image /restorehealth
- Once it completes its task, restart your PC
- Open Command Prompt as admin again
- Run SFC (
- Reboot your PC one last time
13. Check the system memory
If you’re experiencing any problems with the system RAM, it could affect all operations in your computer, including critical ones like opening files or launching apps. To fix RAM issues, you can turn to Windows Memory Diagnostic. Here’s how to use it:
- Make sure to save and close any projects you’re currently working on
- Click the Start button, search for Windows Memory Diagnostic, and open this app
- Click Restart now and check for problems
Your computer will reboot and start checking the system memory for issues. It performs a Standard test by default, but we suggest opting for the Extended version since it’s in-depth. Press F1 to go to options, select Extended, and hit F10.
You can leave your PC unattended while it’s busy identifying memory problems. Once it completes, it will start Windows 10 normally and show the scan results in the notifications center. An alternative solution is MemTest86, which you can use to perform a RAM stress test.
14. Check your drivers
Your device driver might be outdated or incompatible with your operating system. In time, this can lead to error 0xc0000005 when attempting to open files, play games, and launch various applications. Begin the troubleshooting process by checking if your device and video drivers are obsolete and need updating.
How to update drivers:
- Right-click the Start button and go to Device Manager
- Click the small arrow next to Disk Drives to extend this group
- Select your disk, right-click it, and choose Update driver
- Click Search automatically for drivers. If you get the The best drivers for your device are already installed message, click Search for update drivers on Windows Update. But if you have already checked for system updates, there’s no need to do this again
- Do the same for your video driver in the Display adapters category
Windows is rarely successful at finding and downloading drivers on its own. In fact, it’s more reliable to do this manually: find the name of your driver in the Properties section, visit the official website, download a newer version, then return to Device Manager to perform the update by selecting the Browse my computer for drivers option.
However, if you’re having a hard time trying to figure out which drivers are obsolete and where to download them from, it’s easier to use a driver update application. It scans your computer, finds obsolete drivers, locates newer versions on the web, and installs them to your computer. And it’s all performed automatically. Plus, you won’t risk getting incompatible drivers that might end up causing more harm to your PC.
How to roll back unsupported drivers:
- Press Win key + R, type devmgmt.msc, and hit Enter
- Choose the device with the unsupported driver, right-click it, and go to Properties
- Select the Driver section
- Click Roll Back Driver and follow the steps. If the button’s greyed out and you can’t click it, it’s not possible to make the rollback because there’s no previous driver version saved to your PC. You can skip this step
15. Run a malware scan
If your operating system has viruses, it’s no wonder that you keep getting error codes like 0xc0000005 when trying to use your computer. It’s time to use Windows Defender or any other third-party anti-malware solution installed, in order to find and eliminate any threats from your hard drive.
How to use Windows Defender:
- Press the Win key, search for Windows Security, and launch this app
- Go to Virus & threat protection
- Choose Quick scan and click Scan now
- If no threats are revealed after the quick scan, select Windows Defender Offline scan and click Scan now
- Patiently wait while Defender runs the scan. You shouldn’t use your computer during this time since it will be slowed down. If Defender identifies any viruses, allow it to quarantine or remove the suspicious files. Meanwhile, any files you consider safe should be moved to the whitelist in order to exclude them from further scans
16. Temporarily turn off your antivirus
Depending on the third-party antivirus program you have installed, certain security settings might conflict with your computer configuration. In other words, your security program might block your access to your favorite applications due to safety issues.
To quickly put this theory to the test, temporarily disable your antivirus and then try to open the file or launch the application. If you can do so without any more errors, it means that you have to change your antivirus settings and add an exception for your files and applications. Whatever you do, don’t leave the antivirus powered off since you will leave your PC vulnerable to Internet dangers.
17. Temporarily disable your firewall
Your firewall controls which applications are allowed to access the Internet and which outside servers can reach your machine. Normally, an application makes an exception for itself in the system firewall as soon as you set it up. However, if that doesn’t happen on your computer because you or someone else changed firewall settings, you can end up with application errors like 0xc0000005.
Easily test this by deactivating your firewall:
- Log in to Windows 10 with administrator rights
- Press the Windows key, type Check firewall status, and hit Enter
- Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off on the left part of the window
- Set Turn off Windows Defender Firewall at both Private network settings and Public network settings. Click OK
Try to launch the application or open the file that was giving you trouble before.
If you’re successful, restore firewall settings to default:
- Search for firewall on your computer and open Firewall & network protection
- Scroll down and click Restore firewalls to default
- Click Restore defaults and Yes to confirm
If the 0xc0000005 error returns, add an exception for your app in the firewall:
- Go back to Firewall & network protection
- Click Allow an app through firewall
- Click the Change settings button (you need admin rights)
- Search for your app in the list. If it’s not there, click Allow another app, the browse your computer and add your application’s launcher file
- Select your app from the list, check its box, then enable the Private and Public options next to it
18. Change Data Execution Prevention settings
Data Execution Prevention (DEP) is a security tool built into Windows 10, whose role is to protect memory pages by stopping applications from deploying malicious code. If the program you’re trying to launch has a behavior seen as malicious, DEP won’t let you access it. It could be the reason why you keep getting the 0xc0000005 violation error.
But you can make an exception for your app in Data Execution Prevention:
- Press Win key + R, type sysdm.cpl, and press Enter to access System Properties
- Go to the Advanced tab
- At Performance, click the Settings button
- Switch to the Data Execution Prevention tab
- Select Turn on DEP for all programs and services except those I select
- Click Add, open your application’s executable file, and click OK to confirm. You can do this for multiple programs. However, keep in mind that DEP can’t be turned off for certain programs
- Click Apply and exit to the desktop
- Try to open your program now
If you later wish to restore Data Execution Prevention settings to default, retrace the steps above to reach the Data Execution Prevention tab. Then, choose Turn on DEP for essential Windows programs and services only, and click Apply.
19. Disable the LoadAppInit_DLLs registry entry
Another way to fix the 0xc0000005 violation code error is by disabling the LoadAppInit_DLLs registry entry. Don’t worry about damaging computer settings since you will be creating a registry backup before changing anything, just in case you need to restore the original configuration later.
- Click the Start button, search for regedit, and open Registry Editor
- Open the File menu and click Export
- Set a file name and destination, then click Save to create the registry backup file (.reg format)
- Go to this location:
- Find the LoadAppInit_DLLs entry and check that its Data is set to 0x00000000 (0). If it’s not, double-click the entry, set Value data to 0 and Base to Hexadecimal, then click OK
- Exit Registry Editor
If you need to restore the previous registry settings for any reason, just double-click the .reg file you previously exported.
20. Repair the BCD file
If your system’s BCD (Boot Configuration Data) is malfunctioning, Windows might have trouble trying to process the files and settings required for launching programs. But you can repair the BCD file using a Windows installation media:
- Connect an empty USB flash drive into your PC
- Download Media Creation Tool from the official website
- Start the application and follow the steps to set up a Windows installation media disk
- Click the Start button and open the power menu
- While holding down the Shift key, click Restart to boot Windows to the troubleshoot menu
- Select Troubleshoot > Advanced Options > Command Prompt
- Choose your PC account and enter your password to continue
- Write the next commands (hit Enter after each line of code):
- Exit Command Prompt and start Windows normally
21. Disable startup programs
Your operating system might have trouble accessing files due to conflicting applications that automatically run at every Windows boot. To fix this problem, you should disable all autostart apps:
- Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to launch Task Manager
- Go to the Startup section
- Select a program with the Enabled status and click Disable. Do this for all apps with the Enabled status
- Restart your computer
22. Run a clean system boot
You can run a clean Windows 10 boot in order to disable non-essential system services and startup items that might be affecting your applications and causing the 0xc0000005 error. Here’s what you need to do:
- Click the Start button, search for System Configuration, and press Enter
- Stay in the General tab
- Choose Selective startup
- Disable Load system services and Load startup items
- Click Apply and exit
- Right-click the taskbar and open Task Manager
- Go to the Startup area
- Disable all apps with the Enabled status
- Reboot your PC
23. Start Windows 10 in Safe Mode
You can start Windows 10 in Safe Mode to create a secured environment for diagnosing computer issues that lead to application error 0xc0000005. Here’s what you need to do:
- Shut down your computer and turn it on. Interrupt the boot sequence three times in a row to reach the Advanced Startup menu
- Select Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Startup Settings
- Click Restart and wait
- Press F5 to boot Windows in Safe Mode with Networking or, if you don’t need Internet access to open the files or launch the applications that are giving you trouble, press F4
24. Roll back Windows 10
You can revert Windows 10 to a checkpoint that was recorded before you started experiencing the 0xc0000005 access violation error, thanks to System Restore. Before proceeding, keep in mind that all applications installed beyond the restore point will no longer exist, so you will have to reinstall them.
How to use System Restore:
- Log in to Windows 10 using an admin account
- Press the Win key, search for Control Panel, and open this app
- Select Recovery
- Click Open System Restore
- Select a restore point from the list or click Show more restore points to inspect more options. To find out which apps you will have to reinstall, click Scan for affected programs
- Proceed with the remaining steps. Windows will reboot to complete the restore
25. Use a Linux live distro
Unfortunately, System Restore often fails to work. When you exhaust all your options, it’s time to prepare your PC for a full reset. During preparation, you should back up all personal files and any applications you don’t want to reinstall after the reset. If you’re having a difficult time performing file operations like copying due to various errors, you can create a Linux live distro.
How to create a Linux live distro with Rufus:
- Download a Linux distro like Ubuntu
- Plug a pen drive into your PC. Copy any files you might need later since the drive will be formatted
- Download Rufus from the official website
- Set up and launch Rufus
- Select the pen drive and set Boot section to Disk or ISO image
- Click SELECT and add the Ubuntu ISO image
- Set Partition scheme to MBR
- At File system, select FAT32
- Click OK and wait
How to boot Ubuntu from the USB flash drive:
- Make sure the pen drive remains plugged into your computer
- Restart Windows but, before system boot, quickly press the key displayed on the screen to access the boot startup menu (F12 on some computers)
- Choose the USB storage drive with Ubuntu and press Enter
- After Ubuntu loads, access your files and create a backup
26. Reset your PC
Once you make sure that all your essential files are safely copied somewhere, you can perform a factory reset on Windows 10 by removing not only applications and files, but also by formatting the drive to erase any problem that caused application error 0xc0000005 in the first place.
How to reset Windows 10:
- Click the Start button, type Reset this PC, and press the Enter key
- Click the Get started button
- Select Remove everything and proceed with the next instructions
Application error 0xc0000005 can be fixed
To review, the 0xc0000005 violation error can occur when trying to open files, launch applications, or play games. It indicates an underlying problem with your hard disk or operating system that must be immediately resolved.
You can try a simple solution like restarting your computer, closing all processes, or running the app with administrator rights. However, if the problem is more complicated than that, you can run Program Compatibility Troubleshooter, clear the application cache, reinstall the program, repair and reinstall .NET Framework, check for system updates, or reset the Windows Update components.
It’s also a good idea to run the Hardware and Devices troubleshooter, fix corrupt hard disk and operating system issues, check the system RAM, update or roll back drivers, run a computer malware scan, temporarily disable the antivirus and firewall, change Data Execution Prevention settings, deactivate the LoadAppInit_DLLs registry entry, or repair the BCD file.
Furthermore, you can disable applications that automatically run at every system startup, run a clean system boot, or roll back Windows 10 to a previous checkpoint using System Restore. However, if everything fails, you can use a Linux live distro to access and back up your files in order to prepare for a Windows 10 factory reset that will surely resolve the violation error.
How did you manage to get rid of this error? Tell us about your experience in the comments below.