The DLL error can appear in Microsoft’s operating systems, including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.
DLL errors are especially troublesome because many file types exist, all of which can cause trouble. Fortunately, you can take several troubleshooting steps that have a great chance of fixing any DLL errors you might have.
Essential: These are general DLL troubleshooting steps. If you haven’t already, search for Lifewire for the specific DLL file you’re having problems with. We might not have the exact DLL information, but there will be more steps to help if we do.
Required Time: Fixing a DLL error can take an hour or more depending on the particular error, and usually, although it depends on the cause of the problem, it’s pretty easy to do.
Don’t want to fix this problem yourself?
If you are interested in fixing any of the DLL issues you are having, continue with the troubleshooting in the next section.
If not, see How Do I Get My Computer Fixed? For a complete list of your support options, plus help with things like finding out repair costs, getting your files, choosing repair services, and a whole lot more.
How to Fix “Not Found” & “Missing” DLL Errors
- IMPORTANT: DO NOT download DLL files from DLL download sites to replace your missing or corrupt DLL files. There are several reasons why downloading DLL files to resolve the DLL error is a terrible idea. At least it can’t solve your problem. Note: If you downloaded a DLL file from one of these DLL download sites, remove it from wherever you put it and continue the below troubleshooting.
- Restart your computer. The problem causing the DLL error to be temporary, and a reboot may be all you need. Note: This is only an option if the DLL error does not stop your computer before Windows starts fully. If you have one of the more severe DLL problems, you will need to restart your computer forcefully.
- Recover DLL files deleted from Recycle Bin. You may have accidentally deleted the DLL. Most DLL errors are present in the “DLL Not Found” and “Missing DLL” templates. The most likely cause of a DLL error like this is that you deleted the DLL without realizing it. Note: Enter Safe Mode to do this or any of the following steps if you can’t access Windows generally because of this DLL error.
- Recover deleted DLL files with a free file recovery program. If you suspect that you have accidentally deleted the DLL, but you have since emptied the Recycle Bin, a file recovery program can help. Necessary: Recover a DLL file with a file recovery program is a smart idea only if you are confident that you deleted the file yourself and worked before you did it.
- Run a virus/malware scan on your entire system. Some DLLs are Missing “and” DLL not found “DLL errors are related to hostile programs that masquerade as DLL files.
- Use System Restore to undo recent system changes. If you suspect that the DLL error is caused by you or someone else made to the registry or other system configurations, System Restore may end the DLL error.
- Reinstall the program that uses the DLL file. If a DLL error occurs when you open or uses a particular program, reinstalling it should be installed correctly and registering the DLL file again. Important: Don’t skip this step if you can help. Reinstalling the DLL-provisioning program is a possible solution to any particular DLL program error.
- Update Driver for any hardware that may be related to the DLL error. For example, if you are getting the “Missing DLL error” error while using the printer, try updating your printer driver.
- Run the command sfc / scannow to replace any missing or incorrect OS-related DLL files System File Checker (exact name of sfc command) will replace any faulty or missing DLL file from Microsoft.
- Apply any available Windows Updates. Many operating system service packs and other patches can replace or update some of the hundreds of Microsoft distributed DLLs on your computer.
- Perform a repair install of Windows. If the above individual DLL troubleshooting instructions are unsuccessful, the operating system’s repair installation should restore all Windows DLLs to their original working version.
- Perform Windows installation. A clean install of Windows deletes everything from the hard drive and installs a fresh copy of Windows. If a fix installs DLL error incorrectly, this will be your next action. Important: All information on your hard drive will be deleted during the installation process. Make sure you’ve made your best possible efforts to fix the DLL error using this one troubleshooting step before.
- Fix hardware problems if a DLL error exists. After a complete Windows installation, your DLL issue might be hardware related only.
Look for your specific DLL Error
As mentioned above, these steps are general troubleshooting steps and are not specific to any particular DLL error.
Although you are certainly welcome to follow the steps above, some may be less specific to the DLL error you received. We have some troubleshooting guides for some DLL-based particular errors, so finding the site using your exact error could turn out to be something more helpful.