FC.exe – File Compare Command Line Tool

  • Amar 
  • OS

Fc.exe is a Windows inbuilt command-line tool that allows to compares the two files together, find out the difference between them and display them. The full form of FC.exe is “File Compare” and falls under the Win32 EXE file type category.

The first release of fc.exe was on 25/10/2001 for Windows XP, while the latest for Windows 10 was on 29/07/2015. It arrives bundled with the entire OS package for Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8.

File Size and Location

An original fc.exe will be always located under the C:\Windows\System32\ folder and the average file size of fc.exe is 24 KB in Windows 10.

You can see the file location of fc.exe on Windows system below:

fc.exe file location

Here is a quick overview:

File name:Fc.exe
File description:Dos 5 File Compare Utility
File version:10.0.18362.1
Product name:Microsoft Windows Operating System
File location:C:\Windows\System32\
Size:24.0 KB

The file is not critical for Windows booting and operations. It gets loaded during the boot process but is not a core file.

Fc.exe Uses

Fc.exe compares the content of two or more files and returns the lines that do not match between them. In other words, it displays their difference over the command line.

Syntax: FC [options] [drive1:][path1] filename1 [drive2:][path2] filename2

Common Errors

EXE errors are commonplace Windows errors that occur during runtime. Fc.exe may be already running or get executed during Windows startup, which triggers a runtime error.

Here are the standard runtime errors caused by fc.exe –

  • fc.exe – Bad Image
  • fc.exe Application Error
  • fc.exe not found
  • fc.exe failed to initialize properly
  • fc.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
  • fc.exe is missing or corrupt
  • Windows failed to start – fc.exe

If a running program triggers any of the errors, it results in premature termination of the application. Runtime errors generally arise from a corrupt file or when Windows cannot detect the file. Either way, it causes problems during booting.

Here is the command line to empty recycle bin.

When you encounter an error, you need to track the source of it. Sometimes it arises from Windows Operating System’s conflict with third-party applications or plugins or caused by faulty hardware. A malware attack may also corrupt, modify, or delete the file. Hence, you should keep robust antivirus software ready and update the Windows version regularly.

How to fix the errors?

There are two simple methods to troubleshoot and correct runtime errors. We have provided the steps in order of execution, where you move to the next if the first one fails –

Method 1: Rung the SFC command line to repair any damage or corrupt file. You can watch this video to fix fc.exe file:

Method 2: Run Windows Update to download the latest patches.

If both of the steps fail, then it must be a temporary issue, then just restart your PC.

Command Lines

Here are a few sample FC command line that can be used to compare the files:

    • FC /a C:\demo\sample1.txt H:\work\sample2.txt
      This command will compare both the text file and it will display only the first and last line for each set of differences.
    • FC *.bat new.bat
      The command compares every .bat file present in the directory with new.bat.
    • FC /u C:\home\apple.docx D:\student\banana.docx
      The above sample command line of FC will compare the two files as Unicode text files.

Also read:

DisplaySwitch.exe, clip.exe, Wevtutil.exe, Findstr.exe


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