How to fix “Application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized” error in Windows?

Question

Issue: How to fix “Application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized” error in Windows?

Hello. Recently, after a Windows update, I was unable to get OneDrive to work. Whenever my PC boots, I receive an error “Application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized.” Any advice on how to deal with this issue? Thanks in advance.

Solved Answer

Windows operating system consists of many components – some are already pre-installed while others need to be implemented manually. For example, Node.js is one of the third-party components you would see on almost any Windows computer.

Qt is a C++-based[1] framework that is designed to create applications on Windows, Android, Linux,[2] and other platforms. While it is not a programming language on its own, apps that are based on it need to have the framework installed on their machines to be able to run. Unfortunately, these dependencies can create certain issues due to one reason or another.

When something goes wrong with the Qt platform, users may receive the “Application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized” error.

Several applications could be affected by this error, including games such as Apex Legends,[3] standalone components (Dllhost), or commonly-used apps as OneDrive. The latter resides in every Windows computer and is an extremely useful app commonly used for system/file backups or additional storage for user files.

Here's the full message that users receive upon encountering the error (the error message text may vary in some instances):

This application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.

Available platform plugins are: minimal, offscreen, windows.

While it may seem like enabling or installing the Qt platform would fix the “Application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized” error, it is not the case. Reinstalling the app that is having difficulties detecting the plugin might help, however.

How to fix "Application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized" error in Windows?

Unfortunately, that is not always possible, as users reported that they then received the “Can't be found” error while trying to do so. The reason for this being is that a newer version of the app may be already present on the device, hence uninstallation is not possible. There is a way around it.

In some cases, the reasons for the error could be unrelated to the ones mentioned above. For example, system file corruption might also cause this error, so we recommend you try running a scan with ReimageMac Washing Machine X9 repair software that could fix underlying Windows issues automatically. Otherwise, proceed with the below methods that should help you solve this error for good.

Method 1. Copy relevant folder to a different location

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  • Press Win + E on your keyboard to open File Explorer
  • On the left side of the window, select This PC
  • In the search box on the top-right, type in pyqt5_tools and hit Enter
  • When search is complete, right-click on pyqt5_tools folder and and select Open folder location Find the pyqt5_tools folder
  • Go to PyQt5 > Qt > plugins folder
  • Right-click on platforms and select Copy or press Ctrl + C Copy the relevant folder
  • Now go back to the site-packages folder (the folder that you initially opened)
  • Go to pyqt5_tools > Qt > bin
  • Right-click on an empty space here and select Paste or simply press Ctrl + V
  • When you receive a warning, select Replace the files in the destination.

Method 2. Check system files for damage

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  • Type in cmd in Windows search
  • Right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator
  • Here, type sfc /scannow and press Enter Run SFC scan
  • Wait till the scan completes and restart your machine
  • If the SFC has returned an error saying it was unable to repair damaged files, run the following commands, pressing Enter each time:
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
    DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth

Method 3. Try Clean Boot

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  • Type msconfig in Windows search, hit Enter
  • Go to Services tab
  • Check the Hide all Microsoft services checkbox and select Disable all
  • Go to Startup tab and pick Open Task Manager
  • Here, right-click on every entry and select Disable and close the Task Manager
  • Go to Boot tab, tick Safe Boot and select Apply + OK. Use Clean Boot

Once booted back into Windows, try running the app you were having problems with. If that fixes your problem, it means that there is a third-party application that is at fault. In order to fix the “Application failed to start because no Qt platform plugin could be initialized” error, you should uninstall all recently installed applications and see if that solves your problem in normal mode.

Method 4. Reinstall the application in question

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You should try uninstalling the app you are having troubles with and then installing it anew. If you are dealing with OneDrive, you should do the following:

  • Press Win + R on your keyboard
  • In the Run dialog, copy and paste the following:
    %userprofile%\\AppData\\Local\\Microsoft\\OneDrive\\Update\\OneDriveSetup.exe
  • Go through the installation steps and restart your PC Reinstall OneDrive
  • If Windows can't find the file specified, you should download the setup file from the official website [direct link].

If this method does not work and you are presented with an error, proceed with the method below and then repeat this step.

Method 5. Uninstall the problematic app via Command Prompt

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Uninstalling a program that does not want to uninstall might be difficult, although it is possible via PowerShell, as you can launch it as an administrator. Keep in mind that the below example is for the OneDrive application, and the command would differ depending on the app name and its location.

  • Open Command Prompt as administrator as explained above
  • Copy and paste the following commands, pressing Enter after each:
    taskkill /f /im OneDrive.exe
    %SystemRoot%\\SysWOW64\\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall Force uninstall OneDrive
  • Note: if you are using 32-bit Windows system use the following command to uninstall OneDrive instead:
    %SystemRoot%\\System32\\OneDriveSetup.exe /uninstall
  • This should force-uninstall the app.

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About the author
Jake Doe
Jake Doe - Computer technology geek

Jake Doe is the news editor at UGetFix. Since he met Ugnius Kiguolis in 2003, they both launched several projects that spread awareness about cybercrimes, malware, and other computer-related problems.

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