The “ShellExecuteEx Failed” error has been fixed

If you are trying to install a program on a Windows computer when you see “ShellExecuteEx failed” with various codes, then this post will help you. The corresponding error codes maybe 2, 5, 67, 255, 1155, 1460, 8235, 2147221003, etc. This error usually occurs when the installer requires administrator privileges, the installation file is corrupt or there is an application conflict. ShellExecuteEx is an operating system function that performs an operation on a particular file. If the operation fails, you get this error.

“ShellExecuteEx” is an operating system function that runs under Windows 10 to execute the specified installer program file. If the installer requests administrative access and the installation fails or is corrupted due to a failure, users will find a “ShellExecuteEx Fail” error on their system. This error message is usually accompanied by a specific error code. The relevant error codes maybe 2, 5, 67, 255, 1155, 8235, 1460, 2147221003, and many others. There are a number of other reasons why this error occurs, such as outdated or corrupted drivers, corrupted lines and malware, etc.

The “ShellExecuteEx” error usually occurs when we try to install a specific application or program on Windows 10. It requires complete and authenticated installation data to install the file on the device. If this data is corrupted or infected by a virus, your system will display an installation error on your device.

What causes the “Shellexecuteex Failed” error in Windows?

What causes the "Shellexecuteex Failed" error in Windows?

We have investigated this particular issue by looking at various user reports and repair strategies that are commonly used in this particular scenario. Based on our analysis, there are several different culprits that are often identified as causing the problem.

Here are a few scenarios you may encounter:

The application does not have administrator privileges – It turns out that this problem often occurs when an application unexpectedly terminates due to insufficient permissions. If this scenario applies, in most cases you should be able to solve the problem by making sure that the application is open with administrator privileges.

Damaged system file – Another possible culprit is a corrupted system file that affects the dependency used by the application displaying the error. Several users who also encountered this problem reported that the problem was resolved after they fixed all logical errors and corrupted items using two built-in utilities (DISM and SFC). In the most severe cases, the only viable solution that works in this scenario is to reboot all Windows components through a new installation or repair.

The custom system sounds cause the application to crash – It is also possible that this problem is related to some Windows custom theme sounds that are not being handled properly by the application trying to use them. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by reverting to the default Windows sounds.

Application Conflict – Under certain circumstances, it is also possible that another application may conflict with the application’s startup process, eventually initiating an error.
Since there are no explicitly conflicting applications, the best way to find out who is responsible is to run the computer in clean startup mode and see if the symptoms stop.

Overly secure local policy – If a specific local policy is enabled (Run only signed and verify executables), then any executable that is not properly signed and verified will fail to start with that particular error.
In this case, fix the problem by going to the Group Policy Editor and disabling the policy that caused the problem.

How do I fix the “Shellexecuteex Failed” error in Windows?

How do I fix the "Shellexecuteex Failed" error in Windows?

Run the application as an administrator

If you encounter the “Shellexecuteex Failed” error message when opening or installing an application, it is probably because the application stopped unexpectedly or installed an executable because it does not have administrator access.

In the next part, we will tell you how to manage the application as an administrator.

  1. Right-click the application causing the error and select Properties.
  2. Select the Compatibility tab and under Settings, select Run this program as administrator. Click Apply.
  3. Restart the application and make sure that the “Shellexecuteex failed” error is resolved.
Performing DISM and SFC scans

In some cases, the “Shellexecuteex Failure” error occurs because the installation could not be completed due to corrupted system files.

To resolve this error, perform the following steps.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box. Type cmd and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to run the command prompt as administrator.
  2. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter to run an SFC scan.
  3. Once the analysis is complete, restart your computer and wait for the next boot. When the operating system is fully loaded, perform step 1 to open the command line again.
  4. Execute the commands: Dism.exe /online /cleanup-image /scanhealth and Dism.exe /online /cleanup-image / restorehealth to perform the DISM scan.
  5. After the DISM scan is complete, restart your computer to make sure that the “Shellexecutex failed” error has been resolved.
The resetting system sounds to defaults

In this case, you can also solve the problem by resetting all Windows sounds to their default settings.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box. Type mmsys.cpl and click OK to open the Sound screen.
  2. Click the Sounds tab, then change the sound scheme to Windows Standard. Click Apply, then click OK.
  3. Restart your computer to see if the “Shellexecutex Failed” error disappears.
Cleaning up

If the errors still haven’t been completely cleaned up, it’s possible that the “Shellexecuteex failed” error is caused by a conflict with a third party. Many potential applications may conflict with the application displaying the error, so the best solution to resolve the problem is to configure your computer to start up with a clean boot.

  1. Press the Windows + R keys to open the Run dialog box. Type mscofig and click OK to open the System Configuration menu.
  2. Click the Services tab and select Hide all Microsoft Services.
  3. Click the Disable All button to prevent all third-party services from running the next time you start your computer.
  4. Select the Start tab, and then click Open Task Manager.
  5. Always select each startup service, and then click Disable. This step ensures that no startup service will be invoked the next time you boot your system.
  6. Reboot the computer to verify that the error is still present. If the error is no longer present, complete the installation, then cancel the steps above and reactivate the previously disabled services.
Change the “Allow only executable files” policy.

In cases where the problem is caused by an improperly signed executable, you can configure a group policy called “Run only signed and committed executables” to avoid this particular problem.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialog box. Type gpedit.msc and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open the local Group Policy Editor with administrator privileges.
  2. Go to Computer Configuration -> Windows Settings -> Security Settings -> Local Policies -> Security Settings. Double-click User Account Control: Allow only signed and verified executables.
  3. Click the Local Security Settings tab and make sure that the policy is set to Disabled. Click Apply, and then click OK.
  4. Restart your computer to make sure that the problem is resolved.
Perform a clean installation

If none of the above methods can solve the problem, then you are most likely experiencing an underlying corruption problem that cannot be solved by traditional methods. The only way to solve this problem is to reboot every Windows component.

The fastest way is to perform a new installation. However, you will lose all of your personal data in the process. The most efficient and time-consuming way is to install the patch – in place. During this procedure, you can save all your personal stuff.

Frequently Asked Questions

Step 1: Right-click the application that is causing the error and select Properties.
Step 2: Select the Compatibility tab and under Settings, select the Run this program as an administrator check box. Click Apply.
Step 3: Restart the application and make sure that the "Shellexecuteex failed" error is resolved.

If the "Shellexecuteex failed" error occurs when you try to open or install an application, it is likely due to the application (or installation executable) stopping unexpectedly because it does not have administrator access.

Well, the "shellexecuteex failure code 2" error message is also due to corrupted system files. So if you get an error message because of corrupted system files, you need to use the SFC command. The SFC command in Windows will most likely fix any corrupted, missing, or altered system files.

  1. Click Start, type msconfig.exe in the boot search box, and then press ENTER to launch the System Configuration Utility.
  2. On the General tab, click Selective Load, and then uncheck Load Load Load Items.

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Mark Ginter is a tech blogger with a passion for all things gadgets and gizmos. A self-proclaimed "geek", Mark has been blogging about technology for over 15 years. His blog,, covers a wide range of topics including new product releases, industry news, and tips and tricks for getting the most out of your devices. If you're looking for someone who can keep you up-to-date with all the latest tech news and developments, then be sure to follow him over at Microsoft.