bad image error

Bad image error is a common error code when an application fails to launch on Windows and indicates the program’s executable file or one of its supporting modules is corrupted or incompatible. The warning message may also show the error status 0xc000012f. If you encounter this problem, don’t worry. After reading this post, you’ll learn how to solve it easily and quickly.

Fixes to try:

Here are 5 simple fixes for the bad image error on Windows. You don’t have to try them all. Just work your way down the list until you find the one that does the trick.

  1. Perform a system repair
  2. Reinstall the program that doesn’t work
  3. Uninstall Windows update
  4. Run an SFC scan
  5. Update your device drivers

Fix 1 – Perform a system repair 

There are various reasons for the bad image error. It could be due to a defective Windows update, DLL file mismatch, corrupted registry entry, virus attack, etc. To identify the cause and repair it, you can try checking those components one by one. Or simply run a full system scan.

Fortect is a powerful tool that specializes in Windows repair and can detect many issues related to hardware or security. It removes damaged files on your computer while replacing them with correct and updated Windows files and components. It’s much like a fresh reinstallation of Windows, but keeps your programs, user data and settings as they are.

  1. Download and install Fortect.
  2. Open Fortect and click Yes to run a free scan of your PC.
  3. Fortect will scan your computer thoroughly. This may take a few minutes.
  4. Once done, you’ll see a detailed report of all the issues on your PC. To fix them automatically, click START REPAIR. This requires you to purchase the full version. But don’t worry. If Fortect doesn’t solve the issue, you can request a refund within 60 days.

Now your computer system should be restored to its peak performance. Test the issue. If the error doesn’t disappear, try the second method.

Fix 2 – Reinstall the program that doesn’t work

From the bad image error message, Windows suggests you reinstall the program when it’s running into trouble. A clean reinstallation is a universal solution to many kinds of program issues, and it’s effective most of the time.

  1. Press the Windows logo key and R on your keyboard at the same time to invoke the Run command. Then type appwiz.cpl and click OK.z
  2. Right-click the program and click Uninstall.
  3. Press the Windows logo key and R again to invoke the Run command. Type %programdata% in the field and press Enter.
  4. Locate the program folder and delete it.
  5. Open the Run command by pressing the Windows logo key and R on your keyboard. Type %appdata% and press Enter.
  6. Delete the program folder.

Reboot your computer. Then go to the official source to download and install the program. If it still triggers the bad image error when starting, continue to the next fix.

Fix 3 – Uninstall Windows update

If the bad image error appears after you install the most recent Windows updates, you could remove it to see if the problem is solved.

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R at the same time to invoke the Run box.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl, and click OK.
  3. Click View installed updates in the left pane.
  4. Right-click the most recent update and click Uninstall.
  5. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the process.

Restart your computer and see if the program opens normally now. If not, there are two more fixes to try.

Fix 4 – Run an SFC scan

The bad image error often indicates system file corruption. But with the System File Checker (SFC), a built-in Windows utility, you can scan the integrity of the system files and restore the incorrect or missing versions with the proper ones. 

  1. Click the Start button. Type cmd in the Windows search bar. Then right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.
  2. Click Yes when you’re prompted to continue.
  3. Type the sfc /scannow and press Enter.

It will start verifying the system files, which may take a few minutes. Upon completion, you should see a message that says Windows Resources Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them.

You can test the program to see if the problem persists. If Yes, check out the last method.

Fix 5 – Update your device drivers

Bad image errors may also be related to driver issues. Drivers enable your operating system to communicate with certain pieces of hardware. If it’s faulty or outdated, your device won’t work properly and relevant applications will be affected.

It’s always recommended you keep all your device drivers up to date, as this is necessary for the programs to run smoothly. You can visit the official website of the device manufacturer and download the most recent driver that’s compatible with your operating system.

But if you don’t have the patience or computer skills to do that manually, you can instead, do it automatically with Driver Easy. Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for installed devices and your Windows version, and it will download and install them correctly:

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.
  3. Click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system (this requires the Pro version – you’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All). Or you can click Update to do it for free, but it’s partly manual.

Once the updates complete, restart your computer and open the problematic programs and see if the error gets fixed.


Hopefully the post helped you solve the bad image error on Windows PC. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below.

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