Fix: Windows cannot find ‘wt.exe’. Make sure you type the name correctly

Windows Terminal, a default host application in Windows 11, is responsible for running any command-line app. However, you will occasionally come across an error while launching the application. You will receive the “Windows cannot find ‘wt.exe. Make sure you typed the name correctly, and then try again” error message. This error occurs when the Windows Terminal is internally encountering bugs that prevent the application from opening. 

Windows cannot find wt.exe.
Windows cannot find wt.exe.

This guide will show you what methods to follow when facing the “Windows cannot find wt.exe” error with your Windows Terminal. 

1. Repair and Reset the Terminal

Windows repair is a built-in feature that allows fixes problems with certain applications that face issues while launching. When Windows fails to find the Windows terminal extension, it is due to corruption in the terminal application. Therefore, you must repair it before performing other methods. You can repair this application with the instructions listed below:

  1.  Open the Windows Settings with the Win + I keys.
  2. Navigate to Apps > Apps and features.
  3. Type ” Terminal” in the search bar.
  4. Select the three-dotted icon next to the Terminal.
  5. Click on Advanced options.

    Opening terminal advanced options
    Opening terminal advanced options
  6. Select the “Repair” option under “Reset” to repair the application without affecting its data.
    Repairing application
    Repairing application
  7. If you are still facing the error, you must select the “Reset” option. 
     However, resetting the application will cause your data to be deleted. Therefore, save your data in a backup file. 
  8. Relaunch the Windows Terminal from the Windows Start menu. 

2. Uninstall the Windows Terminal preview

When you have both the Windows Terminal and the Windows Terminal Preview installed on your system simultaneously, they will conflict with each other and thus preventing the Terminal from launching. With new preview updates being released rapidly, you must uninstall the Windows Terminal Preview before the next update gets released. 

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Windows start menu.
  2. Find the Windows Terminal Preview in the “Recently added” section.
  3. Right-click on it and select “Uninstall.”

    Uninstalling the Windows terminal preview
    Uninstalling the Windows terminal preview
  4. After uninstalling the preview, restart your computer from the start menu.
    Restarting the computer
    Restarting the computer
  5. Relaunch the Terminal when the system has restarted. 

3. Reset Permissions of ‘WindowsApps’ Folder

ACLs provide an access control list on a certain directory. Removing the special conditional permissions from the folder will allow you to access the Windows Terminal without facing the error on its launch. Therefore, you must follow the instructions listed below to reset these permissions on all folders in the windows app:

  1. Press the Windows key to open the Start Menu.
  2. Type “cmd” and run the command prompt as an administrator.
    Running command prompt as administrator
    Running command prompt as administrator
  3. Type the following command and press Enter reset permissions on all the folders and files in the windows apps folder:
    icacls "C:\Program Files\WindowsApps" /reset /t /c /q

4. Add Registry Path to Windows Terminal

After your Windows automatically updates itself, you can face issues with your registries. Having the wrong value of the registry key is known to cause the Windows Terminal to face such an error. Therefore, you can use the methods below to change the given registry and run the Windows Terminal without any issues:

  1. Open the Run command with the Win + R keys.
  2. Type “regedit” and click OK to open the Registry Editor.
    Opening the registry editor
    Opening the registry editor
  3. Navigate to the following path and change the: 
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\wt.exe
  4. Now, inside this registry folder you will find two keys named ‘(Default)’ and ‘Path’
  5. Double-click on one of them and change the path to where your wt.exe file is located. In my case, it’s located in ‘C:\Program Files\WindowsApps\Microsoft.WindowsTerminal_1.16.10262.0_x64__8wekyb3d8bbw‘.
  6. After the change has been made, make sure to restart your computer.

5. Reinstall the Windows Terminal

In case your wt.exe file size is zero, you must re-install the application after receiving the error message. Reinstalling the terminal will start the application with minimum bugs and prevent such an error from occurring. Below is how you can reinstall the Windows terminal:

Uninstalling Windows Terminal

  1. Open the Windows start menu by pressing the Win key.
  2. Under the “Recently added” section, locate the Windows terminal.
  3. Right-click on it and select “Uninstall.”

    Uninstalling the Windows terminal preview
    Uninstalling the Windows terminal preview
    Note: Restarting your computer is advised here to make the necessary changes
  4. Restart your computer after the Windows terminal is uninstalled.

Reinstalling Windows Terminal from MS Store 

  1. Open the Microsoft Store from the start menu. 
  2. Type “Windows Terminal” in the search box above and press Enter.
  3. Click the install option and wait till the application re-installs.
    Installing Windows Terminal
    Installing Windows Terminal

Reinstalling Windows Terminal from PowerShell

  1. Open the Windows start menu by pressing the Win key.
  2. Type “Powershell” and run as an administrator. 
    Running powershell as an administrator
    Running PowerShell as an administrator
  3. Type the command below to reinstall the Windows terminal from Windows PowerShell:
    get-appxpackage Microsoft.WindowsTerminal -allusers | Foreach {Add-AppxPackage -DisableDevelopmentMode -Register "$($_.InstallLocation)\AppXManifest.xml"}

6. Perform an In-Place Upgrade

An in-place upgrade is a feature in Windows that allows you to upgrade your operating system to the latest available version while still keeping all your data intact. When all methods fail to work for you, you must resort to using the In-place upgrade to fix the Windows Terminal error. 


Muhammad Zubyan

Muhammad Zubyan is a certified Google IT Support Professional with over 7 years of extensive experience. He has worked on more than 1500 computers, gaining valuable insights that enable him to detect and troubleshoot any complicated root cause of Windows-related issues and errors. In addition to managing Appuals as a Senior Editor, he is currently developing his own Game Optimization program that caters to both gamers and casual users alike.