If you are using Windows, then there are chances that you have encountered a DLL file error. That’s because DLL or the dynamic link library is an integral part of how programs work in the Windows environment.
In this article, we will explore the Dynamic Link Library(DLL). First, we will learn what DLL files are and then learn how to fix the most common DLL errors.
Let’s get started.
What is a DLL file?
As stated earlier, DLL stands for Dynamic Link Library(DLL). The modern Microsoft Windows operating systems such as Windows 7 and Windows 10 utilize DLL files for different functionalities. The DLL files contain modules that are frequently required by the different Windows functionality. For instance, if you want to run a program that needs a module defined in a particular DLL. In that case, the program or service will call the DLL during its operation.In short, DLL is a way to store different modules that are frequently required by programs or services to run in a Windows environment.
DLL usage promotes many benefits, including:
- Code reuse
- Efficient memory usage
- Code modularization
- Reduced disk space
Other benefits include faster program loading, faster execution and proper disk utilization.
So, we can easily say that their DLL provides the program to run by providing modules during runtime. The programs, on the other hand, depend on the DLL by creating dependencies. If the DLL is missing or corrupt for some reason, a DLL error will be thrown and the program that you are trying to run will either stop working or not execute itself at all.
Technically, we can define DLL as a library that contains data and code which can be accessed by one or multiple programs during execution.
To understand the concept of DLL further, let’s go through an example below.
As a user, you decided to run a traffic monitoring software. The software surely has multiple dependencies for its functionalities. However, it will not require all of them at one given time. At startup, it will only call dependencies that are required for it to start. After that, it will call DLL files on functionalities during execution. So, if you try to ping a certain IP address using the traffic monitoring software, then it will call the required module to execute the said functionality.
DLL files can also have different extensions apart from .dll. They are as follows:
- Control Panel files → These files are located in the control panel and have an extension of .cpl.
- ActiveX Controls → These files are used for calendar control DLL files called when you select a date. They have an extension of .ocx.
- Device driver files → These DLL files are used by devices to run themselves.
How To Fix DLL Errors
As programs create a DLL dependency, the program will throw DLL error if something goes wrong.
A DLL error can occur in any of the following scenarios:
- The dependent DLL is not the same version. This can happen if the DLL is upgraded in the background or the program is request an older version of the DLL
- If the DLL files are removed or missing
These errors lead to DLL conflict, which then leads to DLL errors.
To solve the error, you might want to try the following:
You can download missing dll files and place in the appropriate Windows directory and restart the application that is throwing the dll error.
Restart your PC.
One of the most effective ways to solve the error is to restart your PC. If there is any conflict or Windows failed to start it earlier, restarting the PC can resolve it and you will be able to use your program again. However, this step doesn’t work for more serious DLL issues.
Restore DLL files
Another way you can solve the issue is to restore the DLL file. In most cases, you might have accidentally deleted the file. In these cases, you can simply go to the Recycle bin and then restore the file. To check if it is fixed, simply try to run the program. In case, you are still having a problem, try the next solution.
Use file recovery programs
If you cannot find the DLL file in the recycling bin, you may want to use a file recovery solution to restore it.
Run a scan
Sometimes, the DLL error can occur because of malicious programs that do not let the program run—in that case, running a proper full-system antivirus scan.
Reinstall the program
You can also try to re-install the program for which you are getting the DLL error. The program during installation can download and register the DLL file itself.
System restore or clean Windows install
If everything fails to solve the problem, then you might want to do a system restore or do a completely new Windows installation.