Fixing "the application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000018)" in Windows

Martin Brinkmann
Oct 16, 2015
Windows, Windows tips

I have received the error message "the application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000018)" twice already ever since I upgraded one of my machines to Microsoft's new operating system Windows 10.

A double-click on the application icon in the taskbar does not start the linked program at all but throws the error message instead.

The only option provided by the prompt is to hit the ok button to close it. I experienced this twice with Google Chrome Canary and not with other programs installed on the system.

Before I searched for solutions on the Internet, I tried the usual assortment of fixes including updating the program to the latest version, removing it from the system and installing it from scratch, trying to load it without extensions, running a thorough malware scan, and even running sfc /scannow on the system.

None of those options worked however so off I went to find solutions on the Internet.

There are plenty of resources that deal with the issue and it quickly became clear that the issue was not limited to Windows 10 but occurred for others on other versions of Windows as well.

Users reported it happening when they were trying to load Windows Explorer or the Command Prompt, the archiving software 7-Zip, or McAfee Data Loss Prevention Endpoint.

One recurring suggestion was to delete data from the Windows Registry which supposedly would fix the issue.

  1. Tap on the Windows-key, type regedit and hit enter.
  2. Confirm the UAC prompt.
  3. Navigate to the key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\­Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windo­­ws
  4. Locate APPINIT_DLLS there and delete its contents by double-clicking on it and removing all characters.
  5. Note: Some tips suggested to delete the entire key instead which did not resolve the issue on my end as well.


The issue that I ran into was that the value was already empty on the system I was experiencing the issue on.

What I did to fix the issue? I restarted the PC multiple times. While I was not able to find out why the error occurred in first place, it resolved the issue on the PC that I was experiencing it on.

As I mentioned earlier, I experienced the issue twice ever since I have upgraded the machine to Windows 10, and the restart "fix" resolved it both times.

Article Name
Fixing "the application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000018)" in Windows
How to fix the Windows error the application was unable to start correctly (0xc0000018).

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. Boaz said on May 26, 2020 at 11:51 pm

    For me it was the Windows 10 Defender:

    1. Type Defender in the Windows search box.
    2. Open Windows Defender Settings
    3. Select App & browser control
    4. Scroll down to Exploit protection settings
    5. Here I am not sure which of the settings did the trick. You may turn them all off first to see if it resolves it. You may also switch to the “Program settings” tab to try creating an exception for the problematic app only, without modifying the system defaults.

  2. Sohan Sasi said on October 2, 2018 at 9:27 am

    That didn’t work for me. That box was already blank in my PC. Any other tips?
    Thanks in advance.

  3. Fernando said on April 16, 2017 at 5:33 pm

    Do you know for what this App_InitiDLLs Works on Windows?

  4. warzer said on March 25, 2017 at 8:16 am

    thanks.. that is working …

  5. johnnybgoode said on July 27, 2016 at 9:31 pm

    The only reason the restart solution worked is because it helped commit the previously changed registry values.

  6. Cable B said on June 27, 2016 at 7:46 pm

    Stopped Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit, problem solved.

  7. Torsten Kraft said on April 11, 2016 at 11:44 am

    Hi Luiz,

    thanks for your reply, I think it’s related to McAfee DLP Endpoint protection which is used in our company. I have found a KB article on teh McAfee page:
    i will make some tests and let you know.

    Best regards
    Torsten Kraft

    1. Luiz Vessosa said on April 11, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      Good to know!

  8. Torsten Kraft said on April 6, 2016 at 8:27 am

    Hi Luiz,

    sorry I lost the link to this discussion. The error 0x0000018 appears for all windows applications like windows explorer or cmd. So I cannot just delete a dll of the OS.

    Best regards

    1. Luiz Vessosa said on April 6, 2016 at 10:46 am

      Can you execute procmon (from Sysinternals) ?
      If yes, try to monitor Explorer only, ignore all other process. Then try to execute Explorer, it will throw the error.
      Now check in the list of items monitored the last dlls (from bottom to top) and see if you can find a non-windows dll (like dropbox, tortosesvn, git, 7zip, winrar).
      I suspect that could be a dll used to register a right click context for example, but I would need to take a better look to be sure.
      If there is only windows dlls, then I would try to check windows integrity with tools like sfc /scannow
      But you will have to figure out how to execute a command, as you cannot enter cmd ou explorer without getting the 0x0000018 error. May be try Windows safe mode.. if you can execute CMD or Explorer from there, is sure that a DLL is messing it.

  9. Clueless_Gamer said on April 5, 2016 at 11:00 pm

    my Microsoft dropbox was empty, HAS ANYONE ELSE EXPERIENCED THIS??? HOW DO I RESOLVE THIS???

    1. Luiz Vessosa said on April 6, 2016 at 8:15 am

      Clueless_Gamer maybe the problem isn’t Dropbox.. try to follow my instructions mentioned in previous comments.

  10. Luiz Vessosa said on March 15, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Have you tried what I said previously? You can discover what is fault and update or remove it. Just follow the procedures and is you have any doubts let me know.

  11. Torsten Kraft said on March 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    Hi all,

    we are facing the same issue on our win 7 computers in our company who have downloaded Windows updates from web instead of the wsus server. But I cannot say which update it is exacly as the error message appears sometimes and after a restart it’s working again. The hint with deleting the reg key resolves it once but appears again and then you do not have this key to delete then. That is my point now and I gave it a try with procmon but this does not help me. We also haven’t installed Malwarebytes. Any ideas?


  12. Luiz Vessosa said on February 5, 2016 at 10:09 pm

    To discover what is causing this issue, first use Procmon (From Sysinternals) and start skype or your app that is causing this error (ignore all others processes). Then check to see what is the last .dll that was called and then try to uninstall if you can this dll.

    This fix works also with all other cases of 0xc0000018 errors.

    Here in my case the issue was happening when I start Chrome or Edge. After using this fix I could see that the problem was because of Warsaw (a security plugin that is a pain in the *ss). I just uninstall it and everything works great. Except my bank access.

    1. yamaguchi said on September 23, 2016 at 3:38 pm

      same here

    2. Edmundo said on September 23, 2016 at 3:23 am

      There was the same to me Warsaw

  13. Nick C said on January 2, 2016 at 7:32 am

    OMG! Thank you so much! Disabling Malwarebytes Anti-exploit fixed mine! I couldn’t start any browser and I was getting super worried I had some kind of malware

  14. Steve T said on December 28, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    RDaneelOlivaw October 17, 2015 at 7:35 pm #

    You beauty! I couldn’t start Edge, IE11 or the command prompt. Computer also running like treacle. Stopped Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit and instantly back to normal!


  15. Fulanito said on December 9, 2015 at 10:47 pm

    For me was malwarebytes anti exploit as well. Odd :s

  16. evo said on November 30, 2015 at 7:59 pm

    malwarebytes anti exploit needs to be turned off,no need to uninstall…

    1. nigel said on December 6, 2015 at 1:34 pm

      Turning of Malwarebytes anti exploit worked for me

  17. unyk said on October 18, 2015 at 4:28 am

    I had the same issue on 10. It happens because of missing vb/vc runtime files. I downloaded a package that had all the vb/vc runtimes in one and that fixed the problem. The program was nox player. They provided me the link.

  18. Lil ndn said on October 17, 2015 at 9:42 pm

    I had this issue about a month or so ago. I too tried the above fixes found listed by MSFT and nothing worked immediately either. Then out of the blue when I deleted all Chrome, Opera & Malwarebytes related items via RevoUninstaller it quit appearing . Not sure which one or a combination of those or all were creating problem. I did do this action several times as I kept trying to install repeatedly all three programs and deleting them when the “…unable to start correctly (0xc0000018)” in Windows ….” box would appear. I was using the latest program updates available for all three. Never had this issue before or since and that bothers me a wee bit. I was using a W10 machine that had been updated from a W7 64bit.

    1. Jiri Wichern said on September 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

      I actually had this problem today with Opera only on a laptop of a friend with Windows 10 upgraded from, I guess, 7 (because it had a sticker ;) ). Explorer wouldn’t start after logging on (blank screen) and manual start from within the task manager gave me the 0xc0000018 error. Removed Opera (which was the most recently installed app) using safe mode (in which the desktop did appear) and everything worked again… Apparently Opera uses some hooks in Explorer which can bork up Explorer pretty badly.
      By the way, the ‘AppInit_DLLs’ registry key was empty in this case…

  19. RDaneelOlivaw said on October 17, 2015 at 7:35 pm
    1. Scott said on August 1, 2017 at 3:00 pm

      Worked for me too.

    2. Anonymous said on March 16, 2017 at 4:14 pm

      That worked

    3. Anonymous said on February 4, 2017 at 6:42 pm

      thanks, that was also my problem.

    4. Dan Nelson said on January 12, 2016 at 5:13 pm

      Thanks that worked for me instantly

    5. Dave said on December 29, 2015 at 9:00 pm

      Thank you!

    6. The_Thang said on November 17, 2015 at 12:13 am

      Yep, that did it.

  20. Andrew said on October 16, 2015 at 6:58 pm

    I’m curious if it is even related to Windows 10 (not saying it isn’t though) or just Canary. You said it is only happening to Chrome Canary which is (kind of) like an alpha release, I wonder if anyone else was having the issue with the same version of chrome you have on a different version of windows.

    1. Daniel Costa said on February 6, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      for those with Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit installed.

      I solved this problem by downloading a new version of Malwarebytes Anti-Exploit and reinstalling it.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.