Is it safe to delete .dll files?

Updated: 04/26/2017 by Computer Hope

.dll fileSoftware programs place DLL files in one or more folders during the installation. These files contain code that tells programs how to operate.

Safest to not delete

If you are thinking about deleting an unknown DLL file, it is likely best to leave it alone. The reasoning behind this logic is that some programs share these files, so deleting a certain DLL file may unintentionally cause issues. That is to say, deleting a DLL file could cause one or more other programs to stop functioning correctly, if at all.

Hard to find

Some software programs may also install DLL files into multiple folders outside the Program Files folder (where most programs are installed). Finding these DLL files can be quite difficult and deleting them can be hazardous.

If you must delete, copy first

As we mentioned previously, if you are not sure if a DLL file is used by another program, we recommend leaving it alone. However, if you must delete the DLL file, we suggest you make a copy of it first. This ensures that if you encounter a problem with another program that requires the use of the DLL file you just deleted, you can restore the file using a backup copy.

Additional information

  • See our DLL definition for further information and related links on this term.