Win10 21H1 missing wsl.exe

Eaven HUANG 1,931 Reputation points

Dear Experts,

We are running a lot of Windows 10 Pro Education, originally with 2004 version then all are upgraded to 21H1 Build 19043. This should meet the requirement for wsl2 but when I tried to run wsl commands, it was not found under C:\windows\system32, no such wsl.exe file is there. I could see it from Windows 11 though.

What am I missing?


Windows 10
Windows 10
A Microsoft operating system that runs on personal computers and tablets.
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  1. Philippe Levesque 5,261 Reputation points MVP


    Make sure the Feature wasnt desactivated. I know the upgrade to Windows 11 often remove it, but it's maybe such case in your scenario.

    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux

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  2. Lei Tao (Shanghai Wicresoft Co Ltd) 300 Reputation points Microsoft Vendor

    Hi @Eaven HUANG

    WSL2 is a feature of Windows 10, version 1903 or later, so your system should support it. First, make sure that the WSL feature is enabled. You can do this by following these steps:

    1. Open the Control Panel.
    2. Select "Programs".
    3. Select Turn Windows features on or off.
    4. In the Windows Features window, find Windows Subsystem for Linux and select it.
    5. Click OK and wait for the installation to complete.

    If you have enabled WSL features, try running the following command in PowerShell to install WSL 2:

    dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:Microsoft-Windows-Subsystem-Linux /all /norestart
    dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:VirtualMachinePlatform /all /norestart

    After the installation is complete, download and install a Linux distribution for WSL 2, such as Ubuntu, Debian, or Kali Linux, in the Microsoft Store.

    If you still can't find the wsl .exe file, try running the following command in PowerShell to update Windows 10:

    sfc /scannow

    Hope it helps.

    Kind regards,


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