How to Repair Windows DLL Errors


In this tutorial we show you step-by-step how to solve a system DLL file error and explain what a DLL is, and the problems you may face should you encounter with this type of error.

A DLL error messages can occur in several different situations: When playing a computer game, running certain applications, or when Windows starts or shuts down and sometimes even during an upgrade.

What is a DLL and what can cause errors?

What the hell is a DLL file?

A DLL file which is also known as a (Dynamic Link Library), and is a file format critical for the Windows Operating System to function properly. DLL files are needed in Windows, so developers can share code and different programs can work together.

They also contain a set of instructions that most applications need to operate correctly.

In addition, Windows DLL files allow programs to update functionalities more easily. In most cases, DLL files run in the background without you even noticing it.

Note: DLL-files are in many ways similar to EXE-files. But while DLL is the extension for a dynamic link library, EXE is an extension used for executable files.

Why do DLL files cause problems? DLL issues can be caused by registry problems, malware or even hardware failure. If one DLL files goes missing on your computer, you may receive a system error when trying to run them application associated to it.

Common DLL error messages you may encounter:

  • Sysmenu.dll file missing
  • Msvcr100.dll not found
  • T8extpex.dll file error
  • Hal.dll files missing
  • DLL file missing for iTunes, SQL Developer
  • Kernel32.dll files missing
Windows DLL System Error
Windows.dll System File Error

Solving DLL errors step-by-step

1. Running the SFC Scanner

Locate the source of the DLL error by using the SFC Scanner a built-in tool within Windows. It will repair system related issues and detect missing DLL files.

You can run the SFC Scanner, by following these steps:

  1. Right-click on Start, then select “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
  • Enter the command “sfc/scannow” and confirm by pressing Enter.
  • Wait until the process is completed and then restart your computer.
  • Check if the issues are resolved.

2. Running the DISM

The next step is a follow-up of the last action. Here is how to use the DISM (Deployment Image & Servicing Management):

  1. Right-click on Start, then select “Command Prompt (Admin)”.
  2. Enter the command “DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth” and confirm by pressing Enter.
  • Wait until the process is completed and then restart your computer.
  • Check if the issues are resolved.

3. Fix Missing DLL Files Manually

Attention: (Not recommended) for the novice computer user.

  1. If a specific program is affected, try to reinstall it. This way, missing DLL files in the applications files can be reinstalled.
  2. Restart Windows in Safe Mode, then perform a system repair.
  3. Check your Recycle Bin in case you accidently deleted the file.
  4. Look for the missing DLL file on the Internet and download directly from the applications source. “Never download Windows DLL files from third party websites”.
  5. If you encounter a DLL error when trying to start a video game, check if you have DirectX installed on your computer. If not find the required DirectX version and install it (either from the game’s disk or directly from Microsoft’s website).
  6. The same applies to Visual C++ Redistributables. They are needed for many applications in Windows. Download them from the official Microsoft website and reinstall them. Be aware that some applications don’t work with the latest but with an older version.
  7. It can happen that antivirus software interferes with Visual C++ Redistributables, keeping them form installing the required DLL files.

    You can try to disable or uninstall your antivirus and see if this resolves the issues. You might need a specific removal tool to remove all files of the antivirus program. After uninstalling, try to reinstall Visual C++ Redistributables.
  8. Make sure to reinstall your Antivirus software again to protect your computer. In some cases, DLL issues can be caused by malware.
  9. If you get the error message “window.dll is missing/not found” when starting a video game, you can try to update or roll back the drivers for your video card.

4. Reinstall Windows 10

The next thing you can try is to reinstall Windows 10.

  1. First, download the Microsoft 10 ISO file from the official website. Make sure to download the version that fits your computer.
  2. Double-click the downloaded file and run the “setup.exe” file that should show up in “This PC”.
  3. Follow the installation process and install the recommended updates. (this can take a while).
  4. Accept the “Terms of Service” and select “Change what to keep” in the “Ready to install” window.
  5. Choose “Keep personal files and apps” and click “next”. Now, just wait until the upgrade is finished and check if the DLL issues are resolved. If not, you might consider a Windows 10 reset.

If you were not able to resolve the DLL problem, you may have a hardware malfunction. Troubleshooting a DLL error caused by hardware problems is very time consuming and complex. In this case, we highly recommended bringing your computer to qualified repair technician.

Paul has more than 10 years of experience within the digital realm. He loves to talk about his ‘HOT’ girlfriend and when it comes to geeky boring topics, and nerdy technical issues he’s a magic man. Paul also enjoys reading and solving complex puzzles. "Give to the world the best you have and the best will come back to you" -Edward W. Bok 1929