How to Fix DistributedCOM Error 10016 in Windows 10

By | January 12, 2022

The DistributedCOM error 10016 is a common Windows problem found in almost every version of Windows since Windows XP. This error does not immediately damage your system. You will not suffer the blue screen of sudden death. In fact, DCOM Error 10016 is benign.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t fix it. So, here is how to fix DistributedCOM Error 10016 on your Windows 10 system.

What is DistributedCOM

First, what is DistributedCOM, and why is it showing this error?

Distributed Component Object Model (DCOM) is an integral aspect of network communication on Windows computers. It is a patented Microsoft technology that acts whenever an application establishes a connection to the internet. Traditional COM can only access information on the same machine, whereas DCOM can access data on remote servers.

For example, many websites and services use scripts that access remote servers. When your system makes a request using a script or vice versa, DCOM forwards the request to the specified script object. Given how often modern applications use network connections and general computer usage, you can see how often DCOM starts to be used.

DCOM errors usually occur when an application or service tries to use DCOM but does not have the proper permissions. Most of the time, a DCOM error won’t affect your system, other than clogging your Event Viewer. Given that most Windows 10 users don’t check Event Viewer regularly, DCOM errors are nothing to worry about. However, an error-free system is better than the alternatives.

With that in mind, here’s one easy method to fix DCOM Error 10016, and one that’s a bit more elaborate.

Edit Windows Registry to Fix DCOM Error 10016

First is the Windows Registry. (If you don’t know what the Registry is yet see our article What is the Windows Registry) A simple registry tweak can sometimes fix DCOM Error 10016 immediately.

Before editing the registry, I recommend taking a backup or registry backup.

Type registry in your Start Menu search bar and select Best Match. open File > Export, set Export Range to All, then Save the Windows Registry to a convenient location. The following fixes won’t damage your computer, but it’s best to take a backup to restore in case any unforeseen errors occur.

Now, let’s try the fix.

  • Type registry in your Start Menu search bar and select Best Match.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftOle. You can copy and paste the address into Registry Editor’s address bar.
  • Delete the following four registry keys:
    • DefaultAccessPermission
    • DefaultLaunchPermission
    • MachineAccessRestriction
    • MachineLaunchRestriction
  • Close the Windows Registry Editor, then reboot your system.

Enable DCOM Permission for Custom Error

If that doesn’t work, there is a much older solution you can follow. However, if you have several individual applications all of which are giving DCOM errors, the following process will take some time as you will have to repeat most of them for each error.

The DCOM error message Error 10016 in Event Viewer contains information about the specific application or process that is creating the problem.

Enter event viewer in the Start Menu search bar and select Best Match.

open Windows Logs > System and find your latest DCOM Error 10016. Double-click the error message to expand it.

Tab General describes the reason for error 10016, lists CLSID (Class ID) and APPID (Application ID). The CLSID and APPID character strings look random. However, you can use it to identify which app or service is the 10016 error route.

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Find CLSID and APPID in Registry Editor

Here’s how you find the service in Registry Editor.

First, highlight the CLSID in the Event Viewer, then press CTRL + C to copy. Then, open Registry Editor. Search the registry for the following:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{Paste Your CLSID Here}

To me, it looked like HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTCLSID{2593F8B9-4EAF-457C-B68A-50F6B8EA6B54}.

Remember, you can copy and paste the address into Registry Editor’s address bar. Once the CLSID lookup is complete, you can cross-reference the APPID of the error message with the AppID listed under CLSID.

In my case, DCOM Error 10016 came from Runtime Broker, which is one of the most common causes of this error.

Edit CLSID Permissions

In the list of registry entries on the left, right-click the CLSID associated with the error, and select Permissions > Advanced. From here, you can edit the Service’s Permissions. (Changing file permissions can also fix many other Windows 10 issues Like Repair “Access Denied” Folder Denied Error)

Highlight Administrator and select Edit. Change Basic Permissions to insert Full Control, then press OK > Apply > OK.

Now, restart your system.

After the restart is complete, enter Component Services in your Start Menu search bar and select Best Match. Entered into Computers > My Computer > DCOM Config

You will see a long list of services that use DCOM in a number of ways. Find the service by name and APPID, right click and select Properties > Security.

Under Launch and Activation Permissions, choose Edit > Add > Add a Local Service > Apply. Now, check the box Local Activation, hit OK, and reboot your system again.

Wow! All done, the process is complete.

Notes: Unfortunately, if you have multiple causes of error 10016, you will have to complete this process for each CSLID/APPID combination.

Hopefully, that has alleviated your COM 10016 Distributed error. I must stress that the DCOM 10016 error is very unlikely to affect the performance of your system. In the past, when Microsoft first introduced “Distributed” to the Component Object Model, there were vulnerabilities. However, this vulnerability has been patched and DCOM is safe now.

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