How to Fix “The System Cannot Find The File Specified” Issue

Please refer to the following content to find out why the system cannot find the file specified issue happened and how to recover deleted files on Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7.


By Dervish / Updated on May 12, 2023

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Error: System cannot find the file specified

System Cannot Find the File Specified

Many users have reported feedback that they receive the message "The system cannot find the file specified" when connecting a USB, creating a system backup image, accessing files, or in other situations.

The system cannot find the file specified is a very common error for most Windows users, especially Windows 10 or Windows 11 users. Typically, this error code is 0x80070002.

There are many reasons to causes this error:

system file corruption

connection error

missing driver files

Registry key exception

Missing or corrupted files required by specific software

File permissions are not set correctly



How to fix “The system cannot find the file specified” on Windows

Now, you already know why this error occurs, although there is no exact answer, we can try the following ways to fix it.

▶ Way 1. Detect viruses and threats by running Windows Security

Viruses, Internet threats, and malicious attacks can cause "The system cannot find the file specified" error. To keep your computer safe, you should scan your system for potential viruses or threats.

First, press "Win + I" to open Windows Settings. Next, click on “Update & Security” and “Windows Security”. Then, click "Viruses & threat protection". Finally, click "Scan options", select "Full scan" and click "Scan now".

Full Scan

▶ Way 2. Update device drivers

Undoubtedly, outdated drives can also cause this problem. Don’t worry, press “Windows + R” and type “devmgmt.msc” to open Device Manager. Then, find the graphic card drivers and select the “Update drives”.

Update drivers

▶ Way 3. Install Windows Update

Windows Updates often help fix hardware and software errors. You need to make sure if you update Windows to the latest version.

Check for Updates

▶ Way 4. Run SFC command to fix corrupted file system

This error can also appear if the file system is missing or corrupted. Fortunately, you can fix the system cannot find the file specified with CMD.

Step 1. Type Command Prompt in the search box > Right-click its name and choose Run as administrator.

Step 2. Type "sfc /scannow" into the Command Prompt window and press Enter to start.

Step 3. When the process is done, type exit and press Enter to leave this command.


▶ Way 5. Format USB drive

When there is a connection problem, The system cannot find the file specified on USB drive, but we can solve it by formatting the USB.

1. Open “This PC”, right-click the USB flash drive and select “Format”.

2. Check “Quick Format” option when the format window opens.

3. Click “Start” to make it.

Format USB Drive

▶ Way 6. Create RunOnce Registry Key

Modifying the registry is more complicated than other methods, and you need to be extra careful when modifying it. Please strictly follow the steps below.

Step 1. Press "Win + R" and type "Regedit" in the window. Then press "Enter" or press "OK" to continue.

Step 2. Navigate to


Step 3. Extend the key and look for RunOnce key. You can create it if this key doesn’t exist. Right-click the CurrentVersion key and choose New > Key from the menu.

New Key

Step 4. Type RunOnce as the name.

Step 5. Navigate to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion.

Step 6. Check if the RunOnce key is there. If not, repeat the above steps to create it.

Step 7. Exit Registry Editor and restart your PC.

▶ Way 7. Using WinRAR

When you receive a "The system cannot find the file specified" message when you try to delete a specific file or folder, you should be able to delete the file after trying this method.

1. Right-click on the file in question > select Add to Archive.

2. Check Delete files after archiving > click the OK button.

How to recover it when “the system cannot find the file specified”

As you can see, if the system cannot find the specified file, data loss may result. At this point, you need to rescue deleted data from Windows or other storage devices.

If you have a regular backup habit, then you can restore deleted files directly from the backup. If not, I tend to seek help from reliable data recovery software such as AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional.

It can easily recover deleted files in Windows 11, 10, 8, and 7, including videos, pictures, Excel, Word, PPT, audio, and other 200+ types of data from HDD/SSD/SD card/removable device. What's more, it provides a graphical user interface, which is friendly to users who have no computer experience.

Free Download Win 11/10/8.1/8/7/XP
Secure Download

Step 1. Download and install AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional, click Recover > Recover Data function.

Recover Data

Step 2. Select the drive where the file saved and click Start Scan.

Recover Windows Data

Step 3. After the scan, the recoverable files will be listed.

Recover Data

Step 4. Select a path to save the recovered file.

Select Saved Path

Step 5. The recovery progress will start and the file will be saved to the target path if it is worked.


Final words

There are 7 options to solve the “system cannot find the file specified” issue. In addition, we also show you how to recover deleted/lost files with AOMEI Partition Assistant Professional. If you need to manage disks or partitions on Windows, you can also try other advanced features of it, such as allocate free space, clone a disk to a larger one, create a bootable USB, convert dynamic disk to basic, wipe disk and so on.

Dervish · Staff Editor
Dervish is an English editor of AOMEI Technology; He is delicated to offering users easy and effecitve solutions for issuses related to disks and partitoins. In his spare time, he enjoy wathcning films, playing footable, traveling and so on.