I had an interesting Office application unable to start error (0xc0000142) today on Windows 10 when the OneNote icon loaded in the notification area. When I tried to open all the other Office 365 applications installed on my computer, they all started with an updating Office loading screen, then erroring out, forcing a close.
Since OneNote was the application that first tripped this error, I thought Microsoft uninstalled the last good version of OneNote without my consent again. When this happened before, I was shocked when I saw a new interface without any of my data. The newer version of OneNote doesn’t include all the features of OneNote 2016 since they are basically discontinuing the product line, or at the very least only providing a bare bones version.
It wasn’t this problem again, but it did remind me to finally migrate my data away from OneNote.
Here are the steps I took to solve the problem:
Table of Contents
1. Fix System Files
The first thing I tried was to attempt to find and repair missing or corrupted system files.
- Open an elevated command prompt.
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealthand hit Enter.
- It takes a little time to update the image to fix corruptions.
- If you have Windows Update problems, type
DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccessand hit Enter.
- More info on fixing modern Windows Update errors (8 and up).
sfc /scannowand hit Enter.
When I finished this procedure, I updated my image (great!), but the SFC scan did not find any missing or corrupted system files. On to the next procedure.
2. Re-register DLLs
The following 2 for commands below register every file type in a location until the end of the folder, in this case, it is a registered system32 directory of all DLLs. You either type these commands out or copy and paste them into an elevated command prompt.
for %i in (%windir%\system32\*.dll) do regsvr32.exe /s %iand hit Enter.
- This starts the register DLL process.
- There are quite a bit of DLL files so this may take a while. If you know which DLL needs to be re-registered just do that one manually. I find that this saves time if you don’t know.
for %i in (%windir%\system32\*.ocx) do regsvr32.exe /s %iand hit Enter.
- This starts the register OCX process.
- Any IT pro knows about the pain of dealing with ActiveX controls. This one may not be necessary but there are not a whole lot of these files to run through (less than 10 on a normal install).
This re-register section did it for me. I guess there was an update somewhere that borked a few DLLs.
Office Application Unable to Start Conclusion
After the second procedure above and a quick restart later, I was able to launch all my Office 365 applications. If the first procedure didn’t work for you, the second one should. If these 2 procedures did not, then follow the clean boot procedure from Microsoft to do more troubleshooting.
Let me know how it goes by commenting below.
Just wanted to say, This Works Great, Just did the entire Process in less than 15min and worked like a charm, fixed my oneNote Problem, and got back to work, thank
Excellent, I’m glad you were able to resolve this quickly. Thanks for sharing Angel!
I wanted to say thank you for these steps. It turns out that some files were corrupted somehow and your process of updating the image to fix the corrupted files worked like a charm. It’s quite refreshing to come across instructions to resolve one of the many annoying Windows system issues that actually works like a charm. 🙂
Thank you…it’s much appreciated.
Fantastic news Devin. Thanks for sharing your experience as well. I’m glad this helped!
Roy, you mentioned migrating away from OneNote a couple of times. I’m a light user of OneNote – just use it to store tidbits on various topics for later reference – but am curious what you are migrating your data to.
What brought me here in the first place: I had the 0xc0000142 problem, read your post, tried a “quick repair” before getting into the command line stuff and it looks like that fixed it.
Hi Don, thanks for joining in. I’m glad the command line stuff fixed you up for now.
I have been testing Evernote and Notion for a while now as possible replacements. Each service offers a free tier to get started. I would like to add content on how I migrated and what I use each offering for in the near future. I think there would be enough demand for me to document this as you are not the first person to ask me specifics on this topic. Thanks!
Thank you so much! I’ve used your fix several times, and it works. The only issue is: I have to do it every few weeks, since that’s how often that error message seems to pop up on my laptop. I have an older machine (2012-ish), so that in itself may be the root of the problem. As far as I know, it’s has all the current Windows updates. Would you happen to have any ideas for a more permanent fix, short of buying a new laptop? (I will eventually, but want to get as much mileage out of this one as I can). I would really appreciate it.
Hi Natalie, thanks for commenting. Also, kudos to you for keeping your laptop updated. As an IT/security person, I love to see that. I haven’t seen this issue pop up as frequently as you mentioned. One thing I recommend you try is to repair your office installation (link to Microsoft help doc). Hopefully that does it for you permanently. As far as buying a new laptop is concerned, I do recommend you do that at some point. At least make a plan to do so within the next 2 years or so, as manufacturers eventually stop updating drivers and other critical updates to older laptops. And this is especially true if you notice the laptop having a hard time running modern software.
Hello Sir. I’m in the situation you describe. Holding on for dear life to Onenote 16 in a Windows 365 context. Today got
“ONENOTE.EXE application error. Application was unable to start correctly.”
I’d already done chkdsk C: /f /r /x and /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth and scannow.
I was delighted to find your description of my problem. When I copy and paste the “do regsvr32.exe” commands, I get:
for %i in (%windir%\system32\*.dll) do regsvr32.exe /s %i
At line:1 char:4
+ for %i in (%windir%\system32\*.dll) do regsvr32.exe /s %i + ~
Missing opening ‘(‘ after keyword ‘for’.
+ CategoryInfo : ParserError: (:) , ParentContainsErrorRecordException
+ FullyQualifiedErrorId : MissingOpenParenthesisAfterKeyword
Perhaps just a 32 vs 64 error? But I don’t know how to fix it.
I’d greatly appreciate your help.
Also, do you have a “migrating out” of OneNote solution?
This would be a potentially unsustainable loss for me.
Thank you Anne for commenting and sharing your experience. When I try to replicate your issue, I get that error when I paste the code into the PowerShell app. Most people use the 32-bit version of Office, even with a 64-bit Windows so that shouldn’t be an issue. I’m guessing you are using the PowerShell program since using
foreachin the above manner is not proper Powershell syntax and will give you an error every time.
Try to type or paste that code into the regular command line cmd.exe (as an administrator). I’ll update the article to make this a little more clear. Also, I will be writing an article on how to migrate away from OneNote 2016 with a couple solutions. Stay tuned!
brilliant – had this error come up and couldn’t reinstall office 2016 as had used the product key and your instructions were so easy to follow and it worked. Thank you so much, really got me out of a hole.
Excellent, thank you for sharing Lynda. I’m glad to hear you were able to fix the Office reinstallation problem!
I encountered this same problem again today on a different computer that did not have System Restore active. I typed the commands listed in the “Re-register DLLs” section into a txt file then used that to copy and paste the commands into a elevated command prompt. Then stored that txt file in a convenient location expecting I will find this problem on more computers. Thank You Roy!
Excellent! Thanks again Doug for contributing. That would definitely save some time. The txt file idea made me think of creating a bat file to make things even easier. That would definitely save some time as this fixes quite a few problems. Not to mention servicing multiple machines. Good stuff.
I had this exact symptom on a client’s computer today. I performed a System Restore which solved the problem quick and easy. The restore operation claimed to have failed but the problem was solved anyway.
Thanks Doug. This is a good solution as well. I’m glad it worked for you even though it errored out.
Lifesaver – Thanks Roy! Skipped straight to the re-registering of DLLs as that seemed to work for you and others.
Perfect. Thanks for chiming in Darin!
Re-register DLLs worked. Thanks Roy!
Thanks John. Glad that did the trick!
THanks SO MUCH!
I was in a real bind and it worked!
Very clear instructions
Awesome. Glad it worked for you.