How to Fix a Winlogon.exe Application Error (9 Steps)
By Angela M. Wheeland
A Winlogon.exe error most commonly appears when a virus or malware has infected the Winlogon.exe file on your computer. The Winlogon.exe process manages the user log-on and log-off information, and checks the authenticity of your operating system. If a virus or malware moves or modifies this file, your computer will prompt you with the Winlogon.exe error message each time you log on. By pressing "OK" on the error message, your computer continuously reboots, attempting to locate the affected file, until the problem is resolved. Removing the infection and repairing your computer's Winlogon.exe file is the only way to resume use of your computer.
How to Fix a Winlogon.exe Application Error
Press "Start" and then "Run." Type SFC.EXE/SCANNOW to run the System File Checker. Click "Enter." System File Checker is included in all modern versions of Windows, such as XP, Vista and Windows 7.
Insert the Windows installation CD if requested. The System File Checker will begin the process of transferring or replacing any missing files, onto your computer. Restart your computer after the process is complete.
Enter safe mode by pressing "F8" immediately upon restarting. Safe mode starts your computer while only loading the programs and drivers required to run your operating system.
Turn on your virus protection program, and run a complete scan on your computer. If you do not have a form of virus protection on your computer, install one before continuing. Most Internet providers offer a free version of antivirus software to their customers. If your provider does not offer a free version, purchase a copy at your local retail store or download a free or trial version.
Reboot your computer normally. If these steps do not solve the Winlogon.exe application error, repair your system from the Windows installation CD (see next section).
Repair Your Computer System
Insert the Windows Installation CD and reboot your computer.
Click "Enter" when prompted, to enter Windows Installation Setup.
Press "F8" when prompted, to accept the terms.
Use the keyboard to select the current version of Windows, and press "R." Your computer will begin the process of repairing your system. After the process is complete, your computer will reboot and allow you to continue normal use.
- Windows may require the user to be logged in as an administrator in order to perform System File Checker.
- Repairing your system can overwrite the registry and causes programs to stop working. Use the system repair as a last resort.
Angela M. Wheeland specializes in topics related to taxation, technology, gaming and criminal law. She has contributed to several websites and serves as the lead content editor for a construction-related website. Wheeland holds an Associate of Arts in accounting and criminal justice. She has owned and operated her own income tax-preparation business since 2006.