How to fix Bad Image (Error status 0xc0000020) in Windows 10/11?

How to Fix the “Bad Image, Error Status 0xc0000020” Issue
Quick Fix

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Windows 10/11 users have reported encountering the Error Status 0xc0000020 when attempting to use Outlook. This issue has caused concern among users, leading them to seek assistance and search for solutions online. If you’re reading this article, you’re likely looking for answers as well.

Well, do you think this problem is something worth panicking about? What does this error suggest? What triggers it?

This article will discuss everything there is to know about the Error Status 0xc0000020. We’ll tackle how to get rid of the Error Status 0xc000012f (bad image).

Why Does the Error Status 0xc0000020 Appear When Launching Outlook?

So, what does the Error Status 0xc0000020 mean?

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The Error Status 0xc0000020 clearly indicates that the app (Outlook), which you were trying to launch, has been damaged or corrupted. It may also surface when some system files are lost or if the Windows Image is outdated.

The complete error message says that a certain DLL may not be designed to run on a Windows platform or it may have encountered a problem. It also suggests installing the concerned software using its installation media or seek help from a system administrator or the support team of the software vendor.

In most cases, the error appears after installing a new Windows update. However, there are other scenarios wherein the error code may show. Some sample scenarios are listed below:

  • Certain system files are corrupted.
  • A software program may have been incompletely installed.
  • A problematic or unstable Windows update has been installed.
  • A malware attacked the device, resulting in file corruption.
  • The device was improperly shut down.
  • Some registry entries are corrupt.
  • Certain system settings have been misconfigured.
  • There is a DLL mismatch.

How to Fix the “Bad Image, Error Status 0xc0000020” Issue

If you encounter the Bad Image, Error Status 0xc0000020 problem, we suggest that you try our recommended solutions below. You need not try everything from the list, though. Decide what fix to try first until you find one that resolves the issue.

Fix #1: Re-Register the DLL File

If you have noticed the error message, it says that the problem is caused by a DLL file.

A DLL file is a dynamic-link library, a kind of computer program that helps the operating system run applications. It contains code and data that can be used by more than one program at the same time.

To fix the problem, take note of the DLL file mentioned in the message. Then, try to re-register it and check if the issue is resolved. Here’s how:

  1. Launch an elevated Command Prompt.
  2. Into the command line, input this command:

regsvr32 “path & filename of dll or ocx”

  1. Hit the Enter
  2. Exit Command Prompt and restart your computer.

Fix #2: Run an SFC Scan

If you suspect that the problem is caused by damaged or corrupt system files, try running an SFC scan. An SFC (System File Check) scan is used to identify and repair problems in Windows system files. It can be started from within Windows by opening up the Start menu, selecting Run, typing “sfc /scannow” (no quotes), and finally, hitting Enter.

Fix #3: Uninstall then Reinstall the Problematic Program

Assuming that the error appeared while trying to launch or when using Outlook, uninstall it and see if it helps.

To uninstall Outlook or any problematic program, do the following:

  1. Type “control panel” (no quotes) into the search field and select the most relevant result.
  2. Go to Programs and then click the Programs and Features
  3. Right-click on Outlook or any problematic program.
  4. Select the Uninstall option on the top-most part of the list and wait for the entire uninstallation process to complete.
  5. Restart your computer for the uninstallation changes to take effect.

Fix #4: Uninstall the Problematic Windows Update

As you may already know, Microsoft regularly releases Windows updates to introduce new features or improve security features. However, there are times when these updates cause more problems than good, resulting in several errors, such as the Bad Image error code.

If the Error Status 0xc0000020 issue appeared after installing a Windows update, uninstall it. Follow these steps to avoid confusion:

  1. Click the Windows search field and type “control panel” (no quotes).
  2. Select the top-most result.
  3. Go to Programs and Features. In the next window, select the View Installed Updates option.
  4. You should now see a list of all installed Windows Updates.
  5. Hit the Installed On button to sort the updates by date.
  6. Right-click on the latest update.
  7. Choose Uninstall and hit Yes when asked to confirm.
  8. Restart your device. Hopefully, the error has been fixed.

Fix #5: Reset Your Windows Device

Some users were able to fix the problem by resetting Windows. So, if you are trying to perform a clean install or reset Windows 10/11, here are steps to follow:

  1. Click the Windows search field and type “control panel” (no quotes).
  2. Select the most relevant search result.
  3. Go to Recovery and select the “If you’re having a problem with your PC, go to Settings to reset it” option.
  4. Navigate to the Settings panel and click Reset This PC.
  5. Hit the Get Started
  6. Now, if you wish to keep your files and personal data, select Keep My Files. Otherwise, choose the Remove Everything option and follow the reinstallation prompts.
  7. Once the process is complete, check if the issue is gone.

Fix #6: Clean Install Windows 10/11

If resetting Windows 10/11 doesn’t do the trick, consider performing a clean install. Doing this will install a clean copy of the operating system, which means all data will be lost. So, before you consider a clean install, back up your data first.

To perform a Windows 10/11 clean install, do the following:

  1. Download the media creation tool for your system from the official Microsoft website.
  2. Create a bootable installation media using a USB or DVD file.
  3. Next, click the Start
  4. Press and hold down the Shift key while selecting Power, then Restart.
  5. Once your computer restarts, select Troubleshoot.
  6. Choose the Reset This PC
  7. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the clean install process.
  8. Check if the error persists.

Fix #7: Perform a DISM Scan

In case you haven’t installed any program recently, it is possible that the issue is caused by a corrupted system image. Luckily, this can be easily fixed by using the built-in Windows tool called DISM.

Here’s how to use it:

  1. Press the Windows + X keys simultaneously to launch the Power User
  2. Select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
  3. At this point, the User Account Control (UAC) window will pop up. Select Yes to grant administrative access to the console.
  4. Into the command line, execute the following commands. Don’t forget to hit the Enter key after each command:
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /StartComponentCleanup
  • Dism /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
  1. The scanning process may take a couple of minutes to complete, so patience is required.
  2. When the scanning process is over, restart your computer.

Fix #8: Run a Malware Scan

Malware is a real threat to any PC. Hackers are always on the hunt for new ways to infect your computer or corrupt system files. Thankfully, there are many tools available to help stop them before they get in. If you think the error code is triggered by malware, run a virus scan right away.

Here’s how:

  1. Access the Start menu and choose Settings.
  2. Navigate to Update and Security and click Windows Security.
  3. Choose Virus & Threat Protection.
  4. Next, go to Current Threats and select Quick Scan.
  5. The virus scan will start now.
  6. Once the virus scan is complete, check the results and apply the recommendations to remove malware.

Fix #9: Install Any Pending Windows Update

According to some affected users, the error appeared when they chose to neglect a certain Windows update. And to get rid of it, they tried to install the update. For many, this trick has worked. So, in case you want to try your luck with this fix, follow these steps:

  1. Press the Windows + R This will launch the Run dialog.
  2. Into the search field, type “ms-settings:windowsupdate” (no quotes).
  3. Hit OK to open the Settings
  4. Navigate to the Update
  5. Hit the Check for Updates
  6. If an update is detected, Windows will install it right away. Follow the instructions on your screen to bring your Windows 10/11 devices to the most recent build.
  7. Once the pending update is installed, restart your device.


In this article, we’ve provided you with a quick tutorial on how to fix the bad image error that can occur when trying to install a new Windows 10/11 update. If you have any additional questions regarding the process, please leave a comment below. We will get back to you as soon as we can!

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