How to Troubleshoot the Windows Troubleshooter When It’s Not Working

Windows 11 Troubleshoot Settings screen

Windows Troubleshooter is a collection of tools intended to address a variety of different issues, from Internet connectivity and Windows Update problems to audio recording and Bluetooth performance issues. But in some cases, you may find that the troubleshooters encounter unforeseen errors and stop working. Fortunately, there are easy fixes to troubleshoot Windows troubleshooters.

What to Do When Windows Troubleshooter Stops Working

Windows Troubleshooter is often the first diagnostic tool available to the majority of Windows users whenever something goes wrong. But much like other crucial Windows diagnostic tools, such as the SFC scan, Windows troubleshooter can sometimes stop working. Users may encounter the following errors:

  • An error occurred while troubleshooting 0x80300113
  • A problem is preventing the troubleshooter from starting
  • Windows Online Troubleshooting Service is disabled

You may face error codes different from the ones listed above based on the specific troubleshooter you’re trying to run. The following fixes are meant to address all potential culprits and resolve them to get your Windows Troubleshooter working again.

Tip: learn how to reset Group Policy settings in Windows, if you ever need to.

1. Ensure Cryptographic Services Is Enabled

Cryptographic Services are needed for the Windows Troubleshooter to work properly. You can check the Services application to see whether the option is enabled and turn it on if it isn’t.

  1. Type “services.msc” in the Windows search bar and select “Services” from the search results.
  2. Find “Cryptographic Services” and double-click it to open its “Properties” window.
Double clicking Cryptographic Services in Services app.
  1. Ensure that “Startup type” is set to “Automatic.” Also, if the service isn’t running in “Service status,” click “Start” to initiate it.
Selecting the "Automatic" option from "Startup type" in Properties for Cryptographic Services.
  1. Click “Apply” and restart your PC, then try running the Windows Troubleshooter again to see whether it’s working.

2. Check the Environment Variables

For the Windows Troubleshooter to work properly, Windows needs to be able to locate the folders where temporary files are stored. These paths are configured in “Environment Variables” in the System settings. To ensure the correct paths are set, follow the steps below:

  1. Type “Control Panel” in the Windows search box and select the best match underneath.
  2. In the Control Panel window, type “environment” in the search box in the top left.
Clicking on "Edit the system environment variables" option in Control Panel.
  1. Click “Edit the system environment variables” from the result displayed under “System.”
  2. In the “System Properties” window, click “Environment Variables” at the bottom.
Clicking the "Environment Variables" button in System Properties window.
  1. In the “Environment Variables” window, you’ll see “TEMP” and “TMP” among other variables under “User variables for [username].”
  2. Double-click the “TEMP” entry and enter “C:\Temp” in the “Variable value” field. Repeat the same for “TMP.”
Double clicking on TEMP variable in Environment Variables window.
  1. Click “OK” to save the changes and run the Windows Troubleshooter to check whether the error has been resolved.

3. Run SFC Scan

Corrupt Windows files can often be the root cause behind common Windows Troubleshooter issues. You can run an SFC scan to automatically repair any corrupt system files that may be preventing the Windows Troubleshooter from working properly.

4. Disable Antivirus

Antivirus programs can often cause conflicts with the Windows Troubleshooter and stop it from searching for solutions on the Internet. You can temporarily disable your antivirus and check whether the troubleshooter started working again.

McAfee Internet Security products on display.
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

If you don’t have a third-party antivirus program installed, you can temporarily disable Microsoft Defender from the Windows Security applications in Settings.

Tip: Windows Security not opening for you? Learn how to fix it.

5. Check Group Policy Editor

Sometimes your Group Policy settings are at fault for your Windows Troubleshooter not working. To resolve this, ensure a few settings are configured correctly.

  1. Type “Group Policy” in the Windows search bar and click on “Edit group policy.”
  2. Navigate to “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> System -> Troubleshooting and Diagnostics -> Scripted Diagnostics.”
Accessing "Scripted Diagnostics" folder in Group Policy Editor.
  1. Double-click on the first entry on the right: “Troubleshooting: Allow users to access online.”
  2. Check whether the “Disabled” option is ticked. If yes, select either “Enabled” or “Not Configured.” Do the same for the other two entries.
Setting entries in Group Policy to "Not Configured" or "Enabled."
  1. When you’re done, try running the Windows Troubleshooter again.

FYI: check out these useful registry hacks to optimize your experience on your Windows PC.

6. Edit Registry

In some cases, making a few changes to your registry can fix the Windows Troubleshooter. Make sure you create a backup of your Windows registry before making any modifications, though. Follow the steps below to make the required edits to your registry:

  1. Type “regedit” in the Windows search bar and select “Registry Editor.”
  2. Enter the following path in the search bar at the top to navigate to the right location:
Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WinTrust\Trust Providers\Software Publishing
Navigating to specific location in Registry Editor.
  1. In the right pane, double-click the “State” entry and check its “Value data” field. If it’s already set to “23c00,” you can leave it as is and move on to the other fixes. If it isn’t, change it to “23c00” and click “OK.”
Changing the value data of "State" key in Registry Editor.
  1. Run the Windows Troubleshooter and see whether it’s working now.

7. Repair .NET Framework

Some users find that repairing their .NET framework installation fixes the Windows Troubleshooter errors they were facing. You can use the official .NET Framework Repair Tool for an easy repair.

  1. Visit the Microsoft .NET Framework Repair Tool page and download the tool from the “Download information” section.
  1. Once downloaded, run “Netfxrepairtool.exe” to run the repair tool.
Netfxrepairtool.exe visible on desktop.
  1. Accept any prompts that are shown and click “Next.”
Clicking "Next" button in .NET Framework Repair tool.
  1. The repair tool will scan the system for some time and recommend any changes if needed. Click “Next” to apply the recommended changes.
Recommended changes view in .NET Framework Repair tool.
  1. Click “Next -> Finish” to close the repair tool. Check whether you’re able to run Windows Troubleshooter.

8. Update Windows

If your computer is missing important Windows updates, chances are this is the reason behind Windows Troubleshooter not working. You can manually update Windows from the Settings application and see whether it resolves the error.

Good to know: learn the differences between a Local Account and a Microsoft Account.

9. Create New User Account

If you aren’t able to fix corrupted files on your system, create a new user account instead to bypass the issue. Run the troubleshooter from the new account without resetting or reinstalling Windows to fix your original account. Follow the steps below to do this:

  1. Press Win + I to launch Settings.
  2. Select “Accounts -> Other users.”
Accessing "Other users" from Accounts in Settings.
  1. Under “Other users,” click “Add account” next to “Add other user.”
Clicking on "Add account" button under "Other Users."
  1. On the next window, select “I don’t have this person’s sign-in information.”
Selecting " I don't have this person's sign-in information" option in Microsoft account window.
  1. Select “Add a user without a Microsoft account.”
Clicking on "Add a user without a Microsoft account."
  1. Enter a username and password on the next screen and click “Next.”
Creating an ID and password for non-Microsoft account.
  1. Finish the process and log in to the newly created account to run the Windows Troubleshooter.

10. Reset Windows

If you don’t want to create a new account, you have the option to reset Windows to repair your Windows installation, then run the troubleshooter from your original account.

Clicking the "Reset PC" button from Recovery in Windows Settings.

Refer to our guide on how to reset/reinstall Windows without losing your files to easily reset your Windows installation. This fix should be a last resort in case none of the other fixes work for you.

Tip: if you’re unsure, we show you how to tell which Windows version you’re running on your PC.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I access the Windows troubleshooter options?

You can access all the troubleshooters in the Settings application by navigating to “System -> Troubleshoot -> Other troubleshooters” in Windows 11. Select the troubleshooter you want to run, depending on the issue you’re facing, then click “Run” next to the respective troubleshooter. Follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process. In Windows 10, you will need to navigate to “Settings -> Update & Security -> Troubleshoot.”

How do I get Windows into troubleshooting mode?

For advanced troubleshooting, boot into Advanced Options. This boot environment allows you to access options like Startup Repair, System Restore, Command Prompt, and more. It can be used when you aren’t able to perform certain diagnostics in the regular Windows environment or are not able to boot to the desktop at all, such as when you are confronted with BSOD errors. You can access the Advanced Options by simply powering down your PC while it’s booting three times in a row. On the fourth boot, Windows will automatically load the Advanced Options environment.

All screenshots by Tanveer Singh.

Tanveer Singh
Tanveer Singh

Tanveer hunts far and wide for PC Hardware, Windows, and Gaming ideas to write about. An MBA in Marketing and the owner of a PC building business, he has written extensively on Technology, Gaming, and Marketing. When not scouring the web, he can be found binging on The Office, running for his life in GTFO, or wrecking karts in Smash Karts.

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