If you see the ‘could not find the recovery environment’ error in Windows 10 or 11 while refreshing the Windows or after updating the Windows to a newer version, you’re not alone. Windows Recovery Environment contains tools to help you troubleshoot errors in Windows.
There are many reasons for this error, such as a corrupt or missing winre.wim file or a disabled Windows Recovery Environment.
Here is a list of three quick fixes that you can try to fix the ‘could not find the recovery environment’ error in Windows PC.
Enable Windows Recovery Environment
Winre.rim is an image file of Windows Recovery Environment, which contains the bootable repair tools for Windows 11/10. Before continuing further, you should first check the WRE status.
Step 1: Type cmd in the search box and then press Ctrl + Shift
+ Enter to open the Elevated Command Prompt.
Step 2: In the Command Prompt, type
reagentc /info and then press Enter to check whether the Windows RE is enabled or not.
If you see the Windows RE status as disabled, type
reagentc/enable to re-enable it. In the above screenshot, you can see that it is enabled on my computer.
If, however, the Windows RE had already been enabled, and you still face the issue, then there could be a problem with the file itself. The file might be corrupted or damaged.
Also read: How to fix Visual Studio enotfound error?
Fix corrupted Winre.wim file
Winre.wim file is usually hidden from the user and is located in the Windows recovery partition. To access the file, you will need to assign a letter to the recovery partition. If this is the case, then you have to locate the Winre.wim file either manually, or you can even extract the file from the Windows installation disk image. or you can try any third-party website to download the file. However, we advise against the third option.
Winre.wim is initially located in a folder
\Windows\System32\Recovery, for staging or when disabled. When the RE is re-installed or enabled, it moves to folder
\Recovery\WindowsRE, in the recovery partition with two other files.
When you don’t have a recovery partition, then you can access the file in the Recovery folder of your C drive, the path to which is as follows — C:\Recovery.
There is also a remote possibility that the file can be in another drive. Just enter the drive’s name in the path and you are good to go.
After locating the file, check if the file is valid and not corrupt. If everything is ok, then set the location of the Windows RE boot image using the
Remember, all the commands that I am showing here are when the file is located in C drive. You will have to change the drive letter in case as per your file’s location.
If the winre.wim file is corrupt, then you can copy the file from any other computer using the same version of Windows or you can search the web.
Use a Windows installation or recovery media
If you already possess a Windows installation or recovery media, you can reinstall Windows or troubleshoot the issues using the recovery media.
In case you don’t possess such media, then you will have to create a new recovery media. All you need is a 16 GB USB drive. For business owners and creators, we advise you to regularly create recovery media for ease of mind, if nothing else.
Here are the steps to create a Windows recovery media in Windows 11 and 10:
- Go to the taskbar and type create a recovery media in the search space.
- Confirm that Back up system files to the recovery drive option is checked and then click on Next.
- Now, connect a USB to your computer and again click on Next.
- Click on Create.
Also read: How to play Windows games on Mac?
Deputy Editor at Candid.Technology. Hemant writes at the intersection of tech and culture and has a keen interest in science, social issues and international relations.
You can contact him here: [email protected]