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How to fix missing DLL file error in Windows 7/8/8.1/10

Let’s face it, details matter a great deal in any system. In fact, a tiny cog can go off the rails and lead to the most unfortunate consequences. DLL errors in Windows 7/8/8.1/10 are a case in point: they are vexing issues that spring up out of the blue and prevent your apps from functioning properly. What a nuisance. Indeed, you’d better deal with them without any delay. Just read on to know how to fix missing DLL file error in Windows 7/8/8.1/10.

What are DLL files?

Dynamic Link Libraries (or DLL) are actually external parts of your apps that store important pieces of code. DLL files are loaded into memory and utilized when their contents are needed by your programs.

Why do DLL errors come up?

When a DLL file is missing or corrupt, the code it contains becomes inaccessible for your OS or apps. That is when you receive the notorious ‘DLL file is missing’ message.

How can you fix DLL errors in Windows?

DLL errors, persistent though they may seem, are fortunately pretty solvable.

Here are our top 10 tips on how to fix missing DLL files in Windows 7/8/8.1/10:

  1. Reboot your PC
  2. Update your Windows 7/8/8.1/10
  3. Examine your Recycle Bin
  4. Recover your DLL files with special software
  5. Reinstall the app which is having DLL-related issues
  6. Perform a system restore
  7. Run an SFC scan
  8. Update your drivers
  9. Scan your PC for malware
  10. Perform a clean system install

Let’s take a closer look at each of the solutions:

1. Reboot your PC

That is the first thing you should do when troubleshooting the ‘missing DLL file’ issue. The problem is, some DLL errors might make your PC unresponsive. In a situation like this, you will have to force restart your machine.

2. Update your Windows

If DLL issues persist on your PC, try updating your OS – this might fix the problem.

Use Windows Update to update your OS

Here is how you can do that:

  1. Start menu -> Control Panel -> System and Security
  2. Windows Update -> Check for updates
  3. You will see the Select Updates to Install window -> Click on the updates you wish to install on your PC -> OK -> Install updates

Restart your PC and see if your issues have been resolved.

3. Examine your Recycle Bin

The point is, you might have accidentally deleted some of your DLL files. So, go to your Recycle Bin and carefully explore its contents.

4. Recover your DLL files with special software

Can’t find your DLL files in the Recycle Bin? There is no need to despair: you can easily recover them, using special software, such as Auslogics File Recovery.

Recover your files with Auslogics File Recovery

5. Reinstall the app which is having DLL-related issues

If running a particular app causes DLL issues, consider reinstalling it to put an end to this adversity.

Just follow the instructions below:

  1. Start -> Control Panel -> Programs -> Uninstall a program
  2. Select the program you want to uninstall from the list -> Click on it -> Uninstall -> Click Yes if prompted to confirm your action -> You will receive a status message -> Click OK

Install your program again and see if the DLL issue has gone.

6. Perform a system restore

Incredible as it may sound, it is going to take a bit of time traveling to fix missing DLL files in Windows. Luckily, the System Restore recovery feature will lend you its full backing and configure your OS to an earlier state:

  1. Start -> Type System Restore into the Search box -> System restore
  2. Restore system files and settings -> Click Next to proceed -> Select the desired restore point from the list
  3. Click on Scan for affected programs option to see what changes will happen to your programs and drivers
  4. Then confirm your restore point -> Your PC will restart
  5. The restore process will start automatically -> It may take a while -> After its completion, check if it has resolved your issues
Use System Restore to configure your system to an earlier state

7. Run an SFC scan

Your DLL annoyance might stem from corrupt or missing system files. You should check them without further delay to get your system back on track. For this purpose, we recommend you utilize System File Checker to check and fix missing DLL file error in Windows.

Here is how to do that:

  1. Open an elevated Command Prompt (Run it as an administrator) -> Type ‘sfc /scannow’ (without quotes) -> Press Enter
  2. SFC will scan your system files for malfunction and repair them if necessary-> It might take a while

If DLL issues persist, proceed to the following fix.

8. Update your drivers to fix DLL errors in Windows

Out-of-date or faulty drivers might have thrown a spanner in the works and caused your DLL files to go missing, which means you should fix your driver issues as soon as possible.

You have 3 options:

Make use of Device Manager

Device Manager is a built-in tool that can update your drivers automatically.

To let it do its job, take the steps below:

  1. Start -> Right-click on Computer -> Select Manage
  2. Device Manager -> Select the device which driver you want to update -> Right-click on it -> Select the Update Driver Software option
Use Device Manager to update your drivers

Update your drivers manually

Device Manager is neither omnipotent nor flawless: it may fail to find the best driver versions for your hardware. In such a case, you can take matters into your own hands: search the net for the latest manufacturer-recommended drivers and install them on your PC.

Use special software

Driver Updater: Fix DLL error in Windows

Suffice it to say, updating your drivers requires plenty of time and manual work. To save yourself a lot of effort, employ a special tool, such as one-click Driver Booster, to get all your drivers in tip-top shape.

9. Scan your PC for malware to fix DLL errors in Windows

Malicious software never sleeps: it might have penetrated your Windows and messed it up – as a result, your DLL files have gone missing. As such, it is time for you to run a full scan in order to detect and banish the unwelcome guests.

Here is what you can do:

Use Windows Defender

This built-in Windows tool is designed to protect your PC against malware. So, why not use it straight away? All hands on deck:

  1. Start -> Type ‘Defender’ into the box
  2. Select Windows Defender -> Scan -> Full scan

Use your main security solution

If you have a trusty third-party antivirus solution on your PC, you should use it to scan every nook and cranny of your system – keep in mind that malware is particularly stealthy these days.

Use a special anti-malware tool

There’s no rest for the wicked: chances are your third-party antivirus software is not enough. In fact, you need an ally that remains abreast of the latest trends and developments in the world of malware. Auslogics Anti-Malware fits this description perfectly: this tool can hunt down the malicious entities your main security solution might not be aware of. So, if your DLL missing error is caused by malware, it can help fix missing DLL file error in Windows.

Perform a full anti-malware scan of your system: fix DLL errors in Windows

10. Perform a clean system install

If none of the fixes above has proved efficient for you, you have nothing to do but perform a clean install of Windows 7. Unfortunately, this procedure will wipe all the files off your hard disk, so make sure to back them up. For this purpose, you can use intuitive Auslogics BitReplica, which will store all your files in the cloud so that you can easily access them from all your devices.

To give your Win 7 a fresh start, boot from your installation media, wait for the installation files to load and follow the on-screen prompts to install your OS from scratch.

We hope your DLL files are in their place now.

Do you have any ideas or questions regarding this issue?

We are looking forward to your comments! Fed up with your slow PC? Tired of waiting for Windows to startup? Take a look at the most common reasons behind poor performance and the best ways to deal with them here.


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