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How to Fix "Application Failed to Initialize" Windows Error

Updated on June 30, 2013

What Causes the "Application Failed to Initialize" Error?

As a Windows user, you know how annoying and frustrating different errors can be. Some of them don't cause real problems - all they do is appear on your screen free time to time and give you a warning. But there are Windows errors that make your PC or your software unusable. "Application Failed to Initialize" error is one of them. I've found a pretty good tutorial that can help fix it.

You can get the "Application failed to initialize properly" error pop-up at any time and the error can refer to any of the programs installed on your computer. This includes the software you installed, the software that came preinstalled on your computer, and operating system components. When it's just a software failure notice, it appears as a pop-up message on your screen. But when this error is caused by an operating system component failure, you can get the dreaded BSOD (Blue Screen of Death) error.

So, what's the most common cause of this Windows error? Well, nine times out of ten getting this error means that a component of an app (usually a .dll file) has gone missing or become corrupted. Read on to learn how to fix it.

The application failed to initialize properly, error code: 0xc0000142
The application failed to initialize properly, error code: 0xc0000142 | Source

Fixing the "Application Failed to Initialize Properly" Error

Fixing the "Application Failed to Initialize" error can be quite difficult mainly because you first need to identify the source of the error. Looking at the error message that pops up will help you with that. Look at what's written on the message header and you will know which file is corrupted. For example, your error message will say something like "Game.exe - Application Error". So, you will know that it's game.exe that is responsible for the problem.

It's easy to find the cause of the problem when you get an .exe file error. But what if the message says something like "p2grc.dll - Application Error". Well, if that happens, you'll need to write down the name of the corrupted file and the error code (something like 0xc0000142) and then go to Google. That way you will be able to figure out which program is responsible for the problem.

Once you know which application is causing the error, you will be able to start fixing it.

The easiest way to fix application-related errors is to simply uninstall and reinstall the application that's giving you hell. This will help you solve problems with missing files, corrupted dll files, incorrect updates and so on.

Before you uninstall the software that's causing problems, make sure you know how to install it again and have your license key if it's a paid software. You will need it for the program to start working again. When you have all that, do the following:

  1. Click on Start and go to Control Panel
  2. Under Programs click on the Uninstall a program link
  3. A new window will open. Wait for Windows to compile the list of your software
  4. Find the program you want to uninstall, highlight it, and click on the Uninstall button
  5. Wait for the uninstaller to finish and reboot your PC
  6. Now install the program again by running the installation file and following the prompts

This should fix the "Application Failed to Initialize Properly" error. If not, move on to the second method.

RegAce System Suite

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Use Reputable Registry Repair Software

If you are not computer-savvy and reinstalling the erroneous app didn't help, you should consider scanning your PC with a reputable registry repair tool. Now, I know that there is a lot of bad stuff written about registry cleaners and a lot of it is the truth. However, a good quality registry cleaner can really help when you get errors like this one. That's because the registry cleaner will find obsolete registry entries left by your long gone software and delete them. This way it will eliminate software conflicts, which may help fix the "Application Failed to Initialize" error. Also it will help if you've updated your software and it stopped working because it will remove leftovers from the previous version.

There are several good registry cleaners you can try, CCleaner being the most popular of them all. But I prefer using RegAce because it doesn't overwhelm you with the number of detected errors (always a good sign because it means the software won't delete something that's needed) and it has lots of other useful Windows optimization tools. Another decent tool is FileCleaner.

"Application Failed to Initialize" Error Codes

Error code
A .Net Framework error. Install, update or reinstall .Net Framework to fix it
A Windows Defender error. To fix, enable the Windows Defender service or register its .dll files
An error related to Office 2003 and XP. Requires a repair or a Windows reinstall
An error related to third party software, often security software like firewalls

Learn all you need to know about computer security

Register DLL Files to Fix "Application Failed to Initialize" Error

If you are tech-savvy, then another way to fix the "Application Failed to Initialize Properly" error is to register the application's DLL files manually. You can do that by using the command line utility.

First of all, you need to remember that it's not possible for me to tell you which DLL files to register because that depends on which application is causing the error. So, you'll need to find out which are the right DLLs by yourself.

Anyway, here is how to register DDL files:

  1. Make sure you are logged in as Administrator
  2. Click on Start and type cmd in the Search box
  3. In the search results, right-click on the Command Line tool and select Run as administrator
  4. In the black Command Line window, type regsvr32 "path and FileName.dll" and hit Enter. Make sure you replace "path and FileName.dll" with the actual path and name to the file you are registering. For example, regsvr32 "C:\Windows\System32\example.dll"
  5. You should get a message telling you that the DLL file was registered successfully and that a record was placed in the Windows registry



How do you fix it?

How do you fix the "Application failed to initialize properly" error?

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© 2013 Snurre


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    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 

      5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Great information to fix these errors when they pop up on your computer, can be a real pain sometimes ! Well done !

    • Zubair Ahmed profile image

      Zubair Ahmed 

      5 years ago

      Yes these windows error message can be a pain. Thank you for this tip very useful. I find that when running memory intensive applications the error bug kicks in more often than other times.


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