Fix: Windows Application Error Code 0x0000022

If you are a Windows user then you might see the error 0xc0000022 when trying to open certain apps. The error code might have “The application was unable to start correctly” message. For some users, they might see this error message when trying to activate the Windows as well. When seeing the error message while activating the Windows, the error code will usually have an “Access Denied” description.

The error message is usually brought up because of issues with the system files. A lot of the time the system files get corrupted and causes issues like these. For people who are experiencing this issue while trying to activate the windows, the issue will most likely be caused by a problem with Software Protection Service. In some cases, the issue might simply be because of your security application.

Method 1: Repair Installation

This solution is for people who are seeing the error message with the Adobe applications e.g. when opening a pdf via Adobe Acrobat Reader. If you are seeing the error on Adobe Acrobat Reader then repairing the installation will solve the issue for you.

  1. Open the pdf in Adobe
  2. You will see the error message, click Ok
  3. Click Help from the top
  4. Scroll down and select Repair Installation. Follow any additional on-screen instructions.

Once done, you should be good to go.

Method 2: Uninstall CA or any other AV

For some, the issue might be caused by their antivirus application especially if they have the CA antivirus program on Windows 7. Uninstalling the antivirus application in Safe Mode has worked for a lot of users. If uninstalling the antivirus resolves the issue then it is time to switch your security application.

Here are the steps for getting into Safe Mode and uninstalling the security application.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type msconfig and press Enter

  1. Select Boot tab

  1. Check the option Safe Boot in the Boot options section
  2. Select the option Minimal under the Safe Boot option
  3. Click Ok

  1. Windows will ask you to restart. Click Restart
  2. Once the system restarts, you will be in the Safe Mode. Uninstall the problematic application. Hold Windows key and press R
  3. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter

  1. Locate the antivirus application and select it
  2. Click Uninstall and follow the on-screen instructions
  3. Once the application is uninstalled, you need to turn off the Safe Mode option.
  4. Hold Windows key and press R
  5. Type msconfig and press Enter

  1. Select Boot tab

  1. Uncheck the option Safe Boot in the Boot options section
  2. Click Ok

  1. Windows will ask you to restart. Click Restart

Check if the problem is resolved or not. If you don’t see the error message again then the problem was caused by your antivirus program. Kindly download any other antivirus program because these programs are essential for the security of your system.

Method 3: Turn Windows Features On or Off

A lot of users resolved the issue by turning on the option Direct Play from Turn Windows Features On or Off option. Here are the steps for turning Direct Play on.

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type appwiz.cpl and press Enter

  1. Click Turn Windows Features On or Off

  1. Scroll down and find Legacy Components option
  2. Click the + sign on the left side of Legacy Components

  1. You should see an option named Direct Play under Legacy Components. Make sure Direct Play option is Checked
  2. Click Ok

  1. Reboot

You should be good to go.

Method 4: Run in Compatibility Mode

If you are experiencing the problem with just one application then running the application in the compatibility mode for Windows XP or Windows 7 will most likely resolve the issue. Follow the steps given below to turn on the compatibility mode for your application.

  1. Locate the executable file of the problematic application. You can also go to the shortcut of the application on Desktop
  2. Right click the executable/shortcut file and select Properties
  3. Select Compatibility tab

  1. Check the option Run this program in compatibility mode for. This option should be in Compatibility mode section
  2. Select Windows XP or Windows 7 from the drop down menu
  3. Click Apply then select Ok

Your issue should be resolved.

Method 5: Get Permissions for Software Protection Service

If you are seeing this error while trying to activate the Windows then the problem might be with the Software Protection Service. The main problem is that the Software Protection Service isn’t starting. You can try to start the Software Protection Service and then try to activate the Windows again. Here are the steps for turning on Software Protection Service

  1. Hold Windows key and press R
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter

  1. Locate and double click Software Protection

  1. Click Automatic from the drop down menu in Startup Type
  2. Click Start button and click Ok

If the service is started then try to activate the Windows again and see if it works. If it doesn’t work then reboot and check again. If it still doesn’t work then you might be seeing the Access Denied error message. This means that Software Protection Service cannot start because of some permission or file issues. Follow the steps given below to solve this issue.

  1. Press Windows key once
  2. Type command prompt in the Start Search box
  3. Right click Command Prompt from the search results and select Run as administrator

  1. Type the lines given below and press Enter. Note: The command given below is just one command, simply copy paste it and press Enter.

Icacls %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform /grant “BUILTIN\Administrators:(OI)(CI)(F)” “NT AUTHORITY\SYSTEM:(OI)(CI)(F)” “NT Service\sppsvc:(OI)(CI)(R,W,D)” “NETWORK SERVICE:(OI)(CI)(F)”

  1. Now, close the Command Prompt
  2. Hold Windows key and press R
  3. Type %windir%\System32 and press Enter

  1. Click View and check the option Hidden items

  1. Locate a folder named 7B296FB0-376B-497e-B012-9C450E1B7327-5P-0.C7483456-A289-439d-8115-601632D005A0. Right click this folder, select Delete and click yes to any confirmation dialogs. You might see multiple folders or files with this name. So, delete every file or folder with this name.
  2. Close the Windows Explorer
  3. Hold Windows key and press R
  4. Type %windir%\ServiceProfiles\NetworkService\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\SoftwareProtectionPlatform\ and press Enter

  1. Locate and right click the file name dat. Select Rename and rename the file to tokens.bak and press Enter
  2. This should fix the issues with the Software Protection Service.
  3. Hold Windows key and press R
  4. Type services.msc and press Enter

  1. Locate Software Protection Service and double click it

  1. Select Automatic from the drop down menu in Startup Type
  2. Click Start button and click Ok

  1. The service should start normally now. Reboot the computer and try to activate the Windows now

Method 6: SFC scannow

SFC stands for System File Checker. This is basically Windows built-in tool for fixing any Windows related corrupt files. You can use this tool to fix any corrupt files that might be causing the issue. Since this problem can be caused by a corrupt Windows file, running SFC is a good way of fixing this issue.

Here are the steps for running SFC

  1. Press Windows key once
  2. Type command prompt in the Start Search
  3. Right click the Command Prompt from the search results and select Run as administrator

  1. Type sfc /scannow and press Enter. There is a space after “sfc” part. A lot of people miss that space. Note: If you see this error message Windows Resource Protection Could Not Start the Repair Service then that means the Windows Modules Installer service is either disabled or stopped. You should type net start trustedinstaller and press Enter and then retype sfc /scannow

  1. Now, wait for the scan to finish. It might take a while
  2. Once the scan is completed, SFC will show you the results as well.
  3. There are 4 types of results that you will get
    1. Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations. This means that everything is fine

  1. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files and successfully repaired them. This means that there was a problem but now the issue is solved

  1. Windows Resource Protection could not perform the requested operation. This means that there was a problem in the process. Make sure you started command prompt with administrator privileges or type net start trustedinstaller and press Enter in the command prompt.
  2. Windows Resource Protection found corrupt files but was unable to fix some of them. If you see this message then go here and analyze the log file created by SFC.
  1. Now that you are done with the scan, we will advise you to repeat step 4 (Type sfc /scannow and press Enter) 3 more times to ensure that everything is checked and fixed. Scanning 3-4 times is a good practice and it ensure best results

Once done, reboot your computer and check if the problem persists or not.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

Fix: Windows Application Error Code 0x0000022

If the issue is with your Computer or a Laptop you should try using Reimage Plus which can scan the repositories and replace corrupt and missing files. This works in most cases, where the issue is originated due to a system corruption. You can download Reimage by clicking the Download button below.

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