How to Download Winload.exe and Fix EXE Error Messages

Last Updated: 09/05/2018
[Time to Read Article: 5 minutes]

OS Loader files, such as winload.exe, are considered a type of Win32 EXE (Executable application) file. They are associated with the EXE file extension, developed by Microsoft for Microsoft® Windows® Operating System.

Winload.exe was first released for Windows Vista Operating System on 11/08/2006 with Windows Vista. The latest file update released for Windows 10 was on 07/29/2015 [file version 10.0.15063.0 (WinBuild.160101.0800)]. Winload.exe is bundled with the software package in Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8.

Below, you find comprehensive file information, instructions for simple EXE file troubleshooting, and list of free winload.exe downloads for each available file version.

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File Overview

General Information
File Name: winload.exe
File Extension: EXE file extension
Description: OS Loader
Object File Type: Executable application
File Operating System: Windows NT 32-bit
MIME Type: application/octet-stream
User Popularity Rating:
Developer and Software Information
Software Developer: Microsoft Corporation
Software Program: Microsoft® Windows® Operating System
Legal Copyright: © Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
File Details
Character Set: Unicode
Language Code: English (U.S.)
File Flags: (none)
File Flags Mask: 0x003f
Entry Point: 0x1130
Code Size: 804864

What are winload.exe Error Messages?

winload.exe Runtime Errors

Runtime errors are Windows errors that occur during "runtime". Runtime is pretty self-explanatory; it means that these EXE errors are triggered when winload.exe is attempted to be loaded either when Windows is starting up, or in some cases already running. Runtime errors are the most common form of EXE error you will encounter using Windows.

In most cases, winload.exe runtime errors occurring while the program is running will result in the program terminating abnormally. Most of these winload.exe error messages mean that Windows was either unable to locate this file on startup, or the file is corrupt, resulting in a prematurely-aborted startup process. Generally, Windows will be unable to start without resolving these errors.

Some of the most common winload.exe errors include:

  • winload.exe - Bad Image.
  • winload.exe Application Error.
  • winload.exe could not be found.
  • winload.exe could not be installed.
  • winload.exe could not be launched. Class not registered.
  • winload.exe could not be started.
  • winload.exe failed to initialize properly.
  • winload.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
  • winload.exe is not a valid Win32 application.
  • winload.exe is not running.
  • Cannot find winload.exe.
  • Error starting program: winload.exe.
  • Faulting Application Path: winload.exe.
  • The file winload.exe is missing or corrupt.
  • Windows failed to start - winload.exe.
System Error

The program can’t start because winload.exe is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.

Thus, it's critical to make sure your anti-virus is kept up-to-date and scanning regularly.

Finding the source of the winload.exe error is key to properly resolving these errors. Although most of these EXE errors affecting winload.exe will happen during startup, occasionally you will encounter a runtime error while using Microsoft® Windows® Operating System. This can occur due to poor programming on behalf of Microsoft Corporation, conflicts with other software or 3rd-party plug-ins, or caused by damaged and outdated hardware. Also, these types of winload.exe errors can occur if it has been accidentally moved, deleted, or corrupted by a malware infection. Thus, it's critical to make sure your anti-virus is kept up-to-date and scanning regularly.

How to Fix winload.exe Errors in 3 Steps (Time to complete: ~5-15 minutes)

If you're encountering one of the error messages above, follow these troubleshooting steps to resolve your winload.exe issue. These troubleshooting steps are listed in the recommended order of execution.

Step 1: Restore your PC back to the latest restore point, "snapshot", or backup image before error occurred.

To begin System Restore (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10):

  1. Hit the Windows Start button
  2. When you see the search box, type "System Restore" and press "ENTER".
  3. In the search results, find and click System Restore.
  4. Please enter the administrator password (if applicable / prompted).
  5. Follow the steps in the System Restore Wizard to choose a relevant restore point.
  6. Restore your computer to that backup image.

If the Step 1 fails to resolve the winload.exe error, please proceed to the Step 2 below.

Step 2: Run SFC (System File Checker) to restore the corrupt or missing winload.exe file.

System File Checker is a utility included with every Windows version that allows you scan and restore corrupted system files. Use the SFC tool to fix missing or corrupt winload.exe files (Windows XP, Vista, 7, 8, and 10):

  1. Hit the Windows Start button
  2. In the search box, type "cmd" but DO NOT PRESS "ENTER".
  3. Press and hold "CTRL-Shift" on your keyboard while pressing "ENTER".
  4. You'll be prompted with a permission dialog box.
  5. In the box, click "YES".
  6. You should have a black screen with a blinking cursor.
  7. In that black screen, type "sfc /scannow" and hit "ENTER".
  8. SFC will begin scanning for winload.exe issues and any other system file problems.
  9. Follow any on-screen commands to complete the process.

Please be aware that this scan might take a while, so please be patient while it is working.

If this Step 2 fails as well, please proceed to the Step 3 below.

sfc /scannow

Step 3: Perform a Windows Update.

When the first two steps haven't solved your issue, it might be a good idea to run Windows Update. Many winload.exe error messages that are encountered can be contributed to an outdated Windows Operating System. To run Windows Update, please follow these easy steps:

  1. Hit the Windows Start button
  2. In the search box, type "Update" and press "ENTER".
  3. In the Windows Update dialog box, click "Check for Updates" (or similar button depending on your Windows version)
  4. If updates are available for download, click "Install Updates".
  5. After the update is completed, restart your PC.

If Windows Update failed to resolve the winload.exe error message, please proceed to next step. Please note that this final step is recommended for advanced PC users only.

If Those Steps Fail: Download and Replace Your winload.exe File (Caution: Advanced)

If none of the previous three troubleshooting steps have resolved your issue, you can try a more aggressive approach (Note: Not recommended for amateur PC users) by downloading and replacing your appropriate winload.exe file version. We maintain a comprehensive database of 100% malware-free winload.exe files for every applicable version of Windows. Please follow the steps below to download and properly replace you file:

  1. Locate your Windows operating system version in the list of below "Download winload.exe Files".
  2. Click the appropriate "Download Now" button and download your Windows file version.
  3. Copy the file into the appropriate directory for your Windows version:

  4. Windows 10: C:\Windows\System32\
    Windows 10: C:\Windows\System32\Boot\
    Windows 8.1: C:\Windows\System32\
    Windows 8.1: C:\Windows\System32\Boot\
    Windows 8: C:\Windows\System32\
    Show 5 more directories +
    Windows 8: C:\Windows\System32\Boot\
    Windows 7: C:\Windows\System32\
    Windows 7: C:\Windows\System32\Boot\
    Windows Vista: C:\Windows\System32\
    Windows Vista: C:\Windows\System32\Boot\
  5. Restart your computer.

If this final step has failed and you're still encountering the error, you're only remaining option is to do a clean installation of Windows 10.

GEEK TIP : We must emphasize that reinstalling Windows will be a very time-consuming and advanced task to resolve winload.exe problems. To avoid data loss, you must be sure that you have backed-up all of your important documents, pictures, software installers, and other personal data before beginning the process. If you are not currently backing up your data, you need to do so immediately.

Download winload.exe Files (Malware-Tested 100% Clean)

CAUTION : We strongly advise against downloading and copying winload.exe to your appropriate Windows system directory. Microsoft typically does not release Windows EXE files for download because they are bundled together inside of a software installer. The installer's task is to ensure that all correct verifications have been made before installing and placing winload.exe and all other EXE files for Windows. An incorrectly installed EXE file may create system instability and could cause your program or operating system to stop functioning altogether. Proceed with caution.

Windows 10
Windows 8.1
Windows 8
Windows 7
Windows Vista

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ktmutil.exe Kernel Transaction Management Utility Microsoft® Windows® Operating System (10.0.15063.0) 15360 C:\Windows\System32\
ieinstal.exe Windows Executable Windows 7 269824 C:\Program Files\Internet Explorer\
mstsc.exe Remote Desktop Connection Microsoft® Windows® Operating System (6.3.9600.17415) 1086976 C:\Windows\System32\

Other Files Related to winload.exe

File Name Description Software Program (Version) File Size (bytes) File Location
WUDFSvc.dll Windows Driver Foundation - User-mode Driver Framework Service Microsoft® Windows® Operating System (6.3.9600.17415) 87552 C:\Windows\System32\
MMC.adml Group Policy Language-Specific Administrative Template Windows 7 4806 C:\Windows\PolicyDefinitions\en-US\
CbsApi.dll Component Based Servicing API DLL Microsoft® Windows® Operating System (10.0.15063.0) 32672 C:\Windows\servicing\
NR2171E3.PPD PostScript Printer Description Windows 7 71103 C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\...
msiscsi.sys Microsoft iSCSI Initiator Driver Microsoft® Windows® Operating System (6.0.6002.18005) 215528 C:\Windows\System32\DriverStore\FileRepository\...


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