Missing Microsoft Windows .dll files
Missing Microsoft Windows .dll files.
A missing or corrupt .dll file can be caused by any of the below possibilities.
- Another program was uninstalled that removed a .dll file that was required by another program or the operating system.
- A program was installed that overwrote the .dll file with either an older version or a version that is incompatible with other programs causing .dll errors.
- A bad installation of a program corrupted one or more files causing the .dll errors.
- Another user or program maliciously or mistakenly deleted the .dll file or an associated file.
- A hardware issue exists with the computer, such as a bad hard drive, causing the data on the drive to become corrupt, casing the .dll errors.
This document is meant to be a solution for users who are encountering missing .dll errors or other error messages related to .dll files. Before trying the recommended resolutions to resolving these errors, we suggest if you're getting a single missing .dll error, that you search for that .dll file on Computer Hope.
For example, if you're getting an error similar to "Internet Explorer encountered an error in KERNEL32.DLL at 0137:BFF3191C", search for "kernel32.dll" to make sure a specific document has not been created for your issue. In some situations a .dll file error may be caused by a specific situation.
If the Computer Hope search does not return any results for your .dll file or you're encountering issues with several different .dll files, continue reading our recommendations for resolving your issue.
Downloading a .dll file
In some situations, it may be possible to download or copy a .dll file from another computer onto your computer to resolve the issue. However, because .dll error messages are almost always a more serious issue, replacing the missing .dll file will cause additional errors or report additional missing files, we suggest you try the below suggestions first.
If you still wish to try to download or copy a missing .dll file, unfortunately, Computer Hope does not have a library of downloadable .dll files; however, there are several other sites that do offer this service. Click here to open an external search for missing .dll files.
If you're encountering .dll errors that are preventing you from getting into Windows, to troubleshoot the computer, boot the computer into Safe Mode. Once successfully in Safe Mode, you can continue with the below steps.
If your computer boots normally and can bypass the .dll errors and still operate Windows, you can continue following the below steps.
Microsoft Windows XP and Windows 2000 users
If you're a Microsoft Windows XP or Windows 2000 user, Microsoft has included some tools that can help resolve .dll file errors; before trying any of the below recommendations you, may want to first try the below suggestions.
Windows XP users only
First, try restoring the computer back to an earlier date, this troubleshooting step is a quick and easy recommendation that can resolve a lot of issues encountered with Microsoft Windows computers.
Windows XP and Windows 2000 users
Use the Windows XP SFC command to have windows scan and repair files; to run this command, follow the below steps. Additional information about the SFC command can be found on our SFC command page.
- Click Start
- Click Run
- Type "sfc /scannow" and press enter.
Once the above steps have been completed, Windows will verify that all protected windows files are intact.
Issue with .dll files only with a specific program
If you're encountering the missing, corrupt, or other errors relating to .dll files only when you open or run a program, it's likely an issue with that program. Resolving program-specific errors can be much easier than operating system related .dll errors.
If the program you're attempting to run has worked in the past on your computer and has only recently started to get the .dll errors, reinstalling the program generating the errors will almost always resolve your problem.
Additionally, while reinstalling the program, it's also a good idea to check if updates or patches have been made available by the developer of your program. Updates are often found through the developer's website.
Recently uninstalled program
If you have recently uninstalled a program on the computer, it is possible that the program may have removed a .dll file that is necessary for Windows or a Windows program to work properly.
If you've already tried the above recommendations, you may wish to reinstall the program to get whatever file has been deleted back on the computer. If this resolves your .dll error message and you wish to uninstall the program again, during the uninstall process, make sure that you click "No" or "No to all" when asked to delete a system file or any file that may be used by another program.
Recently installed program
If you have recently installed a program and after the installation began encountering your .dll error messages, we suggest you first check if updates are available for the program. In some situations, a program may need to be updated for it to work properly on your computer. Updates are often found through the developer's website.
If no updates are available for the program, try uninstalling the program to resolve the issue. If this does correct your issue, we suggest you contact the developer of the program for additional support on getting the program installed on the computer without it causing errors.
Virus, spyware, or other malware installed on the computer causing your .dll error
Windows .dll error message or .dll errors when trying to do something within Windows and not a program
Microsoft Windows .dll errors or .dll error messages that occur when starting Windows or trying to do something within Windows, such as opening the Control Panel, can be more serious and unfortunately more difficult to resolve. For these errors we suggest you run through the basic troubleshooting steps for your operating system.
If running through these steps you encounter the same issues to resolve your .dll errors, we suggest you erase everything and reinstall Windows.
If issues continue after windows has been reinstalled or errors occur during the installation of Windows, it's possible that you may have a hardware issue that is the cause of all your problems.
- See the DLL definition for further information and related links.