A common approach used to fix PC errors when a DLL file is missing is to download and reinstall the file. However, this DLL repair approach is really only suitable as a last resort. Here, we’ll show the other approaches to consider before using downloads.
Dynamic Link Libraries: Why DLLs Can Cause Faults
A DLL is simply an executable program file that encapsulates a list of functions that can be used by applications and the operating system programs. They can become faulty if:
- The DLL has been overwritten with an incorrect version, moved to a new directory or removed.
- The Windows registry entries for the DLL have errors or have been removed.
These could be caused by viruses on your PC or program changes (application installs/updates/removals).
DLL file repair: The Basic Steps
Before starting into doing any DLL fix, backup your essential data to an external hard drive for safekeeping.
Virus Scans: Start all DLL repair work by updating your anti-virus software and scanning for bugs. If present, these can overwrite registry entries and corrupt files.
Getting Updates: DLL files change very often so are consequently included in patch/program updates on a regular basis. You can simply repair DLL errors by installing the latest updates to overwrite corrupt files and refactor the registry settings. This can work for applications (checking their website for updates) and the operating system (using Windows Update service).
System Restarts: Restarting the computer is often jokingly suggested as a way to fix PC errors, but when trying to fix DLL issues it does actually have some worth. A reboot can repair DLL errors by allowing the computer to reset and reload system files, including DLLs, that may have had initial problems loading.
Program Reinstalls: For application related DLL file repair, it is worth considering reinstalling the application on some occasions. Downloading the latest installation and installing it can reset registry keys and overwrite DLL files with a stable, healthy version.
Using A Windows DLL Repair Program: There are a number of computer repair programs available that can repair DLL issues. In particular, these programs need to be capable of downloading the correct DLL version for your system, as well as scan and repair any of the registry faults.
Windows DLL Repair Emergencies
The Windows System Restore tool can also be used to rollback the registry file and protected OS programs/files to earlier checkpoints. The program takes a snapshot of these files as you install programs and run Windows update service so that you can rollback changes afterward, if necessary.
The one proviso with the tool is that program changes made since the snapshot date may cause application settings to be lost once system files are restored to earlier editions (e.g. browser add-on changes and network settings).
- Vista/Windows 7: Go to Start/Search and enter System Restore.
- XP: The utility is in the Start/Programs/Accessories/System Tools folder
There are several Windows DLL repair approaches listed here to try before attempting to repair DLL errors by downloading the missing files. If you do end up resorting to downloading DLLs, then only use reputable websites as some smaller, malicious sites may be run by hackers providing DLLs with trojan viruses as a means to get their programs onto your PC.