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How to Fix DLL Not Found or Missing Errors on Windows

While installing applications or games on your Windows PC, you might come across an error or two. And one of the most frequent errors that you might face is related to the DLL files. These DLL or Dynamic Link Library files hold some important codes related to its associated software. More often than not, the error related to these DLL files is that they might be missing (or not found). In other words, you might have seen the following error message displayed across the screen: the program cannot start because xxx.dll is missing, try reinstalling the program to fix this problem”.

Well, if you have ever faced this issue, or are currently facing the same, then you have come to the right place. Today, we will be sharing with you different methods through which you could fix the DLL missing or not found error. There is no universal solution, and different workaround might work for different users. So with that in mind, here are all the DLL fixes.

fix-missing-dll-files-windows

Restart your PC

Well, this might sound a simple fix on paper, but trust us, a simple reboot is enough to fix some of the Windows issues. So go ahead, save all your work and give your PC a reboot. As soon as it opens, try launching the software and see if the DLL missing error is fixed or not. If the reboot fails to fix it, head over to the next solution mentioned below.

Run the System File Checker Command

The System File Checker command search for missing or damaged DLL files. Do note that being a system command, it checks for the OS related DLL files, and not third-party software. And this might well be the cause of the error. It is not always that the application’s files are missing, sometimes it might be a result of missing or corrupt DLL files of the OS. In that case, here is what needs to be done:

  1. Click on the Start Menu and type in cmd to open Command Prompt. Make sure to launch it as an administrator.
    sfc /scannow
  2. Wait for around 15 minutes for the scan to finish. Once it successfully does so, it will show you the corrupt files that it found and will then subsequently fix it.
  3. Finally, reboot your PC and then launch the said application. The error should be rectified.

Likewise, we also have a detailed guide on the System File Checker Command. Don’t forget to check it out as well. However, if the scan didn’t find any corrupt DLL files, then the issue might be related to the missing DLL file of the software itself. In that case, try out the below mentioned DLL missing or not found error fix.

Check Online for the DLL file

Sometimes the developers themselves upload the important DLL files for their software. If that’s the case, then a simple Google search might do the job. But always keep one thing in mind. There might be tons of other websites offering the DLL files for your required software. However, they might be malware or viruses.

So it is always recommended to search for the files on the respective developer’s site only. And once you are able to get your hands on the same, just copy-paste that file inside the directory where the software is installed.

But if you weren’t able to get your hands on the DLL files or the developer hasn’t uploaded it, not an issue. Try the below mentioned DLL file not found or missing fix.

Reinstall the Software or Application

The next fix is pretty simple. It might happen that during installation, one or more files might not have been successfully installed. So the best bet, in that case, is that you simply reinstall the said software. Along the same lines, always remember to download the setup from a trusted site. The DLL error might also be the result of the software being installed from a damaged or corrupt setup as well.

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With that said,  head over to Control Panel > Add or Remove program> Select the desired program from the list and click on Uninstall. Now launch the setup and reinstall the software again. This should fix the DLL missing or not found error.

Update Driver

If the DLL file missing error is related to any hardware like printers, then there is one more workaround that you could try as a fix. For that, all that is needed is an update to the drivers associated with that hardware. To do so, the steps are pretty simple. On that note, don’t forget to check out our guide on how to update audio drivers as well.

fix-dll-update-driver

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  1. Launch Device Manager from the Start menu.
  2. Next, go to the said hardware in which you’re facing the DLL error. Right-click it and select Update Driver.
  3. In the next screen, click on Search automatically for the updated driver software. Windows will lookout for a newer version of the said driver. If found, it will automatically update the same.
    automatic-search
  4. Once the update is done, restart your PC and carry out the steps that were earlier throwing up the error. Hopefully, the DLL file missing or not found error might have been rectified by now. If not, follow the other mentioned fixes mentioned below.

Check for Windows Update

It might be the case of a bad OS update as well. Sometimes a Windows update might bring with itself one or two bugs. And if that happens, the company is quick to roll out another update with bug fixes. And that might fix the DLL error of missing files. So head over to Settings from the Start menu and navigate to Update and Security.

check-for-update

Within that, click on Check for Update. If there is a new update in the queue, it is highly recommended to install it right away. Once done, reboot your PC and relaunch the application. The DLL is not found error might be fixed by now. Still, facing errors? Try the below fix as the last-ditch effort.

System Restore

Although the chances are rare, yet there might be a case of tweaking with the system configuration or registry files, intentionally, or not. As a result, the application might fail to launch, even if you try all the above DLL missing files fixes. If that’s the case, then ‘system restore’ may be your only savior. To do so, here is what needs to be done:

  1. First off, make sure to be logged in as an administrator. Then head over the Start menu and search for Control Panel
  2. Click on the View by option situated at the top right and click on Category from the drop-down.
    control-panel-category
  3. Next, click System and Security and then on System in the next screen.
  4. Within that, click on System Protection from the left menu bar.
    fix-dll-files-system-restore
  5. Under the System Properties window, click on System Restore. Follow the on-screen instructions and wait for the process to finish. The problem should now be rectified.

So these were the various methods of fixing the DLL files not found or missing. Do let us know in the comments which one ultimately did the job for you.

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