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Windows Calculator Missing or Disappeared?

You’ve probably read this article if you were looking to find a calculator on your Windows computer to perform important calculations, but after a little searching, you realized that your calculator program is missing!

Quite strange, isn’t it? This can happen for a number of reasons, but basically your calculator isn’t there! If you recently installed a Windows XP service pack, such as SP2 or SP3, this may be the cause. If you’ve upgraded from Windows 7 or Windows 8 to Windows 10, this could also be the cause.

Anyway, here are some ways to get the calculator back in Windows XP and up.

Method 1 – reinstall the calculator (Windows XP)

The first method is pretty simple if you have a Windows CD. Insert it into your drive and go to Control Panel. Now go to Add or Remove Programs, click Add / Remove Windows Components.

Click on “Accessories and Utilities” and then click on the “Details” button below:

Now click on “Accessories” and click on the “Details” button again. Now don’t forget to check the “Calculator” box.

Now hit OK all the way and XP will reinstall the calculator! If you are unable to obtain the Windows XP disc, try the second method.

Method 2 – copy calc.exe (all Windows versions)

The second way to get the calculator back, and probably easier, is to simply copy the calc.exe file from another computer to the C: Windows System32 folder. Also copy calc.chm to c: Windows Help.

Obviously, you will find both of these files in those two directories on another computer that is running the calculator. After that, you can simply create a shortcut to the calc.exe file in the Start menu or wherever you like. If you can’t find the CHM file, don’t worry, all you really need is an EXE file.

If you get an error when trying to copy to the System32 directory, make sure you open Windows Explorer as administrator.

To do this, click “Start”, type “explorer”, then right-click Windows Explorer and select “Run as administrator”. In Windows 10, right-click the File Explorer option (Run Command).

In an Explorer window with administrator rights, you can now copy and paste the calc.exe file into the System32 directory.

Method 3 – Download the calculator from Microsoft

If for some reason the calculator does not work on your system, simply download it from Microsoft (currently only available from CNET). This works on all versions of Windows.


Once you download and install it, you will probably be shocked by the awful default user interface. It’s purple with oval buttons and looks terrible.

Fortunately, you can click View and then select Classic View to get a regular version of the calculator. If you don’t like the Calculator app included with Windows 8 and Windows 10, you can always download this version and use it.

You can also click View and select Standard to remove the conversion options on the left and leave only the old standard calculator.

On Windows 10, the calculator app should already be installed by default. If not, you can download the calculator app from the Microsoft Store

Method 4 – Use CD and SFC

If you have a Windows XP CD, you can also try inserting the CD and running these two commands, where X is the letter of your CD / DVD drive.

expand -r X: I386 calc.ex_ c: windows system32 expand -r X: I386 calc.ch_ c: windows help

If you are not using Windows XP, you can try running the System File Checker (SFC), which is a built-in command that checks all system files to make sure they exist and are not damaged. You can read my previous post on how to use the SFC command in Windows If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!

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