Fix Bootmgr is Missing Issue in Windows 11, Windows 10, and other Older Versions

“Bootmgr is missing” error in Windows can be troublesome. Fortunately this step-by-step guide will help you fix the issue with ease. Starting from the simplest ways to a bit more complex solutions.
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Written by John Harris / Approved by Praneeth / Updated on April 30, 2024

Have you ever encountered the error message “BOOTMGR is missing in Windows. Press Ctrl+Alt+Del to restart” or any other error messages like “Couldn’t find BOOTMGR” or “BOOTMGR is missing. Press any key to restart” or “Boot manager failed to find OS loader” when trying to start your computer?

bootmgr error message

This article will explain everything you need to know about the Windows Boot Manager, its role in booting up Windows OS,  why it might become missing, and what you can do to solve the issue.

So, let’s get started.

Boot Manager, or bootmgr, is a vital component of the Windows system. It is responsible for loading and booting up the operating system into memory during startup. It manages the initial boot process by coordinating the boot configuration data and ensures the operating system is correctly loaded.

The primary role of the bootmgr is to locate and start the Windows Boot Loader, which launches the Windows operating system. If your Bootmgr is missing, your computer will not know how to start your Windows system, leading to various boot errors.

There are many reasons why your systems bootmgr might be missing. Starting from missing boot files or the boot/system files might get corrupted due to malware, software bugs, or deletion of those files. Incorrect BIOS boot order, where the BIOS might have been set to boot from a different device. Damaged Hard drive: your internal hard drive might have become physically damaged or faulty, thereby leading to Bootmgr problems. Corrupted Master Boot Record, which happens due to incorrect system shutdown or due to other software issues. Last but not least, the issue might also be due to system updates.

Irrespective of the reason that has triggered the “Missing Windows Boot Manager.” issue. If you are wondering what you can do to fix the issue of bootmgr is missing, I can assure you that you stick to the end and follow the solutions explained in this article, such as restarting your computer, booting your Windows system into repair mode, rebuild bootmgr, running command prompt, restoring the system, and reinstall Windows. I am sure you will be able to fix the bootmgr is missing error.

How to Fix Windows Boot Manager Missing?

One can try basic solutions like restarting your system, removing all the connected peripherals, and changing the Boot order in BIOS. 

If these solutions have failed, then you need to boot your system into the Windows Recovery Environment and try fixes like rebuilding the boot configuration data, running startup repair, restoring the system to an earlier restore point, running Command Prompt, and reinstalling Windows.

Let’s go in-depth and try all of those solutions one by one.

Method 1: Restart your Computer

First things first, you need to try restarting your computer the moment you have encountered the black screen displaying the error “BOOTMGR is missing.” Simply press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete keys simultaneously and restart your system.

If the issue was resolved by a simple restart, then it suggests the issue was caused by a small system glitch or a minor issue.

But if the issue persists even after restarting your system, then your system is definitely trying to boot from a different device. 

This can happen mainly due to two reasons: first, your internal drive or the main boot device might be corrupt or damaged. Second, your system might prioritize bootable USB or other drives over internal drive.

I also recommend you check your BIOS Boot Order, and if required, you should change it.

How to Check BIOS Boot Order?

  1. Restart your Windows system and enter the BIOS setup. You can try pressing keys like F2, Delete, or Esc while starting up.
  2. Verify if the internal hard drive is listed first in the boot order settings.
  3. Exit the BIOS.

If your internal hard drive is displayed later in the list. You can try two solutions: First, remove all the connected devices. Second, change the Boot Order.

Method 2: Remove All Connected Devices

At times, the issue might be caused when the system is trying to boot from other connected external devices that are bootable, like a USB Flash Drive, rather than from the internal hard drive. In such cases, you can try shutting down your system, disconnecting all the external devices and peripherals, and restarting it. Verify whether this solution worked or not. 

If the solution does not work, you need to change the boot order to fix the “bootmgr not found” issue.

Method 3: Change the Boot Order

The third solution in this list and the second best solution if the issue was specifically caused by an incorrect boot order is to change the boot order in the BIOS.

1: Restart the system and boot into the BIOS Setup.

2: Once you have entered the BIOS setup, click on the Boot tab at the top of the screen.

3: Under the Boot Option Priorities section, a list of all available boot options will be displayed on your screen. This includes options like internal hard drive, external drives, network adapters, etc.

4: Use the on-screen instructions to move the internal hard drive to the top of the boot option priority list. 

5: Once your internal hard drive is set as a 1st boot option, you need to save the changes and exit the BIOS.

Your Windows system restarts and tries to boot from the internal drive.

If the issue has not been resolved yet, then you need to boot the computer into the Windows Recovery Environment and try the following solutions.

Boot Your System into the Windows Recovery Environment

Step 1: Press the Ctrl+Alt+Delete key combination; this will bring up the Windows Security screen.

Step 2: Click on the power button at the bottom right corner. From the options menu, click on Restart.

Step 3: Hold the Shift key and click on the Restart option.

Step 4: Your screen will automatically restart and display the “Choose an option” screen.

Windows recovery environment screen

Step 5: Click on the Troubleshoot option, then click on the Advanced option. A list of all Advanced options will appear on your screen.

Windows recovery environment advanced option screen

From here, you can try running options like Command Prompt, Startup Repair, System Restore, and Reinstalling Windows.

The next solutions will explain to you how to use each of those options to resolve the boot manager missing in Windows 10 and other versions.

Method 4: System Restore Your System to the Earlier Point to Fix the Windows bootmgr is Missing Issue

System Restore is a free built-in option in Windows that allows users to revert to the system’s previous state, called a restore point.

This solution can be extremely helpful in various scenarios, including fixing the “computer says bootmgr is missing,” especially if the issue was triggered after the system or boot files became corrupt.

1: Boot into Windows Recovery Environment.

2: In the Advanced Options window. Click on the System Restore option.

3: Your screen will display a list of all available system restore points, along with timestamps and descriptions.

4: Choose the most appropriate restore point and click on the Next button.

5: If prompted, click on the Yes option, followed by clicking on the OK button to confirm and start the restore process.

6: The system restoration process will take some time to complete. Do not shut down or power off the system.

7: Upon completion of the process. Your Windows system should boot normally. I recommend you verify if your files and other applications are intact.

If the bootmgr file is missing, the issue is still displayed. The last option that you can try is reinstalling Windows.

Method 5: Reinstall Windows to Get Rid of the Boot Manager is Missing in Windows 10 and other Versions

Reinstalling Windows involves rebuilding the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) and creating a new Master Boot Record (MBR) and other boot-related files. This solution could be extremely helpful in case the issue was triggered by corrupted or missing boot mgr files.

Apart from recreating the Boot configuration, reinstalling Windows also helps fix corrupt system files, resolve software conflicts, fix incorrect Boot configurations, and eliminate virus/malware-induced problems.

Steps to Reinstall Windows

1: Create and use Bootable Installation Media on USB or any other drive.

2: Connect the installation media drive to your system, restart your system, and enter the BIOS/UEFI settings window. You might be asked to make changes in the BIOS/UEFI in order to set the correct boot order. Set the boot order to boot from the installation media drive.

3: Your computer will now boot into the Windows setup screen. Choose your language preference, time, currency, and keyboard layout. Click on the Next button and the Install Now option to start the installation process.

4: Select the installation type and also select the drive where you want to install Windows.

5: Click on the Next option to confirm and start the reinstallation process.

6: Once Windows is reinstalled, follow the on-screen instructions and configure the system and privacy settings. You can sign in with your Microsoft Account or create a local account.

7: Once done. Reinstall the applications and drivers, and you are good to go.

I am sure you were able to fix the issue of bootmgr missing in Windows after reinstalling Windows and using other earlier-mentioned solutions.

If you have lost your Windows data after encountering an issue or while trying to fix the problem, the next section will explain how to recover lost data from a Windows computer.

Powerful tools like Remo File Recovery Software are designed to help you get back your deleted files or lost data that went missing due to any reason.

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The next section discusses tips that can ensure your data is safe and prevent issues like missing bootmgr in Windows 10 and other versions from popping up again.

Tips to Protect Your Data and Prevent the Issue from Popping Up

Users practice good computing habits to protect their data and prevent issues like bootmgr being missing and other boot-related issues. Here are some important tips to ensure complete data protection and significantly reduce the risk of encountering issues, errors, and problems.

  • Regularly backup your important files and data
  • Use reliable antivirus software and regularly run it to keep your system and storage devices free from malware and viruses.
  • Keep your Windows OS and drivers updated; this increases performance
  • Always follow proper system start and correct shutdown ways. Improper or abrupt system shutdown can cause data loss.
  • Run scans regularly, such as CHKDSK and SFC scans, to identify and resolve issues before they become a serious threat.
  • Defragment your hard drives and local partitions
  • Only download and use the necessary applications and software. Downloading unnecessary applications might cause conflicts among different software, thereby resulting in errors and problems.
  • Always download files and other data only from reliable sites.

Conclusion

Encountering the worrisome issue of “bootmanager is missing” or “bootmgr is missing” can be a frustrating experience. This error prevents your system from booting up.

However, understanding the causes and symptoms and exploring the available solutions can help you safely address the issue and restore your system to normal.

In this article, we have explored various solutions to troubleshoot and resolve the “Bootmgr is missing” error. Right from basic solutions like restarting your system, disconnecting all the connected external devices and peripherals, changing the boot order, and restoring your system to an earlier point, or if all of these solutions have failed, you can try reinstalling Windows.

Additionally, I have also mentioned various tips you can use to ensure the safety of your data and keep errors and problems at bay.

I hope you found this article helpful in fixing the “PC bootmgr missing” issue.

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