Missing Microsoft Windows .dll files

Windows DLLThis 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.

Search for .dll:

If the Computer Hope search does not return any results for your .dll file or you're encountering issues with multiple .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 is only going to causes additional errors, try the below suggestions before trying to find a .dll file to download.

If you still want 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 other sites that do offer this service. Click here to open an external search for missing .dll files.

Safe Mode

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 steps below.

If your computer boots normally and can bypass the .dll errors and still operate Windows, you can continue following the steps below.

Microsoft Windows XP and above users

If you're a Microsoft Windows XP or later 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.

Restoring computer back to an earlier date

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 SFC command

Use the Windows XP SFC command to have windows scan and repair files; to run this command, follow the steps below. Additional information about the SFC command can be found on our SFC command page.

  1. Click Start
  2. Click Run
  3. 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 want to reinstall the program to get whatever file has been deleted back on the computer. If this resolves your .dll error message and you want 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

It is possible for a virus, spyware, or other malware program to cause .dll errors; and therefore, we suggest users make sure to run a full virus and spyware scan on your computer.

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.

Additional information