How to fix DLL Missing Error on Windows?

It’s common to encounter “DLL file not found” error in Windows 10. No matter what the build is – 1909, 2004 or newer, missing DLL file issues or fatal errors associated with DLL files aren’t going anywhere.

We’ve had a lot of them. However, it is worth noting that it is easy to fix DLL errors.

To help you with that, we’ll share a few solutions to fix DLL errors while also mentioning what a DLL file is.

Also find out about DLL hijacking vulnerability: https://gbhackers.com/dll-hijacking-vulnerability-in-pc-doctor/

What are DLL Files?

A DLL (Dynamic-Link Libraries) file is a module for applications or other DLL files that they depend on for some of their functionality. You can also say that it’s a file with functions and data that may be used by multiple programs.

Technically, a DLL file contains executable code and resources like images, icons – but unlike an .EXE file, you cannot directly run it. Only the program that needs it will load it up when needed. Usually, a program loads up the DLL file upon startup.

The purpose of having it in the first place is to re-use the code of a program, save disk space, and ensuring the least amount of memory usage with multiple processes running.

Of course, that’s the technical advantage of Dynamic-Link Libraries in theory – but it doesn’t mean that if a program depends on some DLL files, it will run faster and will take less memory. The implementation and usage of programs will differ in reality.

If you’re curious, you can check out the official documentation for Dynamic-Link Libraries as well.

How to Fix DLL Errors?

As we mentioned earlier, it is fairly easy to fix a DLL error. You will mostly find it as “XYZ.dll missing” / “Failed to find XYZ.dll” or “XYZ.dll not found”.

Here, we shall highlight some of the best methods to fix DLL errors that I’ve found useful.

First thoughts, you can download .dll files to try fixing the missing or not found error by placing the .dll file in the correct Windows directory.

1. Restart your computer

Rebooting a Windows machine solves a ton of issues. It’s usually the last resort for some – but we’ve had a lot of luck getting rid of DLL errors by just restarting my PC.

It’s no magic but when you restart your computer, temporary data gets purged and random processes that might have caused the conflict stops as well.

So, instead of screwing up anything else, might as well just hit the restart button and save yourself big time.

2. Re-install the program

Unless there’s a lot of important data that you don’t want to lose, you can simply re-install the program. That should solve the issue.

You should always check if there’s any associated data with the program before uninstalling it. If you’re sure about that, re-installing will repair all potential issues.

For instance, you might fix one DLL missing error and follow up with another (in some cases). But, when you re-install it, the missing files appear at once and you don’t have to keep fixing issues one by one.

3. Delete the corrupted .dll files

In some cases, the .dll files exist but for some reason you still get the missing DLL error. We noticed the same issue when I encountered a fatal error with a missing DLL file when I launched Steam.

All we had to do was delete the DLL files that weren’t being recognized and restart the program which generated the files again which solved the error.

Of course, you have to be careful with what you’re deleting, if it’s application-specific or not. So, depending on the application you’re having the issue, you need to check the documentation or the forums to make sure that’s the right approach.

4. Check the Recycle Bin

If you’ve done some cleaning recently, you might want to double-check your recycle bin so that you did not accidentally delete any DLL files.

If you did, you can easily restore them and get it resolved. In either case, if you’ve permanently deleted the file, you need to follow the next method.

5. Update Drivers

This isn’t a common solution but it seemed to work on some cases looking at the forums on the web. So, if nothing else works for you, make sure that you have the latest device drivers for everything you have connected.

6. Use a Recovery tool to get the DLL file(s)

You can still recover the files that you permanently deleted on the condition that you’ve not added any new data to your storage drive after deleting the files.

No matter whether you’re sure about that, you can try a free and open-source recovery tool to recover the DLL files. You should give it a try!

7. Update Windows

If you’re still not able to resolve the issue by following the methods above, you might as well try updating your Windows version.

Ensure that you have the latest build installed and check if that fixed the DLL error.

8. Reset your PC or Perform a Clean Installation

If you don’t have an application-specific DLL error and you think that it’s a file associated with the system, you can try the reset option on Windows 10 to see if that solves it for you.

Do note that you have the option to keep the personal files or remove them when resetting the PC. You can explore more about it in their official documentation if you don’t know what you’re doing.

In either case, you can simply wipe your storage drive and install Windows 10 again as a clean installation if you want start from scratch. This usually helps if you have a lot of conflicting programs and a potentially infected PC that performs slow.

Wrapping Up

While we’ve focused on giving you the best solutions to fix DLL errors, you should keep in mind that some errors may need a different troubleshooting step. So, you might want to contact support of the software or Windows to see if they can help you fix it before you end up deleting everything.

Hope that helps you out and let me know what works for you in the comments below!

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