DLL files are one of the most important system files in Windows. A problem with DLL files affects the stability and speed of your Windows system.

What are DLL files?

DLL files are an ingenious invention, because they allow the multiple use of certain functions by different programs with the help of the same program code. The use of dynamic link libraries (DLLs) therefore saves memory and resources. But DLL files have other advantages as well.

Thus, for example, the executable programs are considerably smaller when the DLL routines are connected during runtime. This in turn has a positive effect on the distribution and the loading time. In addition, the DLLs also contribute to standardization. For example, almost all programs always use the same Microsoft standard dialog for selecting files.

The disadvantage: If the version management is still not fully developed and inadequate, incorrect or faulty DLLs can cause system crashes, block the main memory and some programs can no longer start without a certain DLL version. You can download the required DLL files from Microsoft or the program manufacturer from the Internet and then install them.

The most common DLL errors and their causes

When starting a program or a function in Windows you will receive an error message such as ” not found” or “A DLL file was called with an invalid Dynalink call”.

The DLL file that is causing the error either does not exist, is not registered, or has the wrong version installed . Find out the currently installed DLL version and re-register the relevant DLL file in your Windows. You can also do a complete check of all system files.

Application-specific DLLs should normally be stored in the folder of the respective program. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Because some programmers simply save their DLLs in the Windows system folder. If a DLL with the same name already exists there and the installation routine does not ask for this, this DLL is simply overwritten. Other developers deliver certain versions of the system DLLs used with the installation routine and store these DLLs redundantly in the program folder, which is not the point.

When loading an application, access to a DLL with the same name but not belonging to the application can occur. Because the required DLL is always first searched for in the respective program folder and loaded from there.

If the DLL cannot be found there, it is searched for in the Windows system folder “\ WINDOWS \ system” or “\ WINDOWS \ system32” and then in the folder “\ WINDOWS” and started from there if necessary. If the DLL has already been requested by another program and is still in memory, the DLL in memory is accessed. However, this does not guarantee that it is the correct DLL. Access to the wrong DLL is acknowledged by the respective program with an error message or it crashes completely.

In order to avoid these problems, however, you can assign a path to the associated DLLs to each program under Windows. This is useful because programs often use the same DLLs but only work with different versions of those DLLs.

Fix DLL errors: Separate and save different DLL versions

With the following registry setting you can provide different versions of DLLs on your systems so that they do not “get in the way”

Find the key “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ Software \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ App Paths”.

Under this key you will find the program names, the path to the respective program and the paths to the associated DLLs saved as a string.




Contains the path and the name of the program.


Contains the path or, separated by semicolons, the paths to the required DLLs.

Tip! If the key for the respective program is missing, create it again with the name of the EXE file: ” Edit – New – Key “. Then enter the name of the executable program with complete path information under the entry (Standard). Now create a new entry “ Path ” with “ New – String ” and enter the path to the associated DLLs here. You can also enter several paths, separated by semicolons.

Fixing DLL Errors: How to Find the Appropriate DLL Version

A common cause of DLL error messages is a DLL file in the wrong version or in the wrong location.

But before you can install the correct version, you must first determine the version number, manufacturer name, or other information about the DLL file:

Start Windows Explorer.

Enter the name of the DLL file you are looking for in the search field at the top right, e.g. B. Shell32.dll.

In the list of files found, right-click on the relevant file, select “Properties” and under the “Details” tab you will find important information about the DLL.
Fixing DLL Errors: How to Re-Register DLLs
If you have received a current DLL version due to a DLL error and copied it into the directory provided for it, the same error message may still appear as if the old DLL version were still available.

In this case, simply re-register the DLL file:

To do this, open two Windows Explorer windows side by side.

In the first Explorer window switch to the folder with the new DLL file and in the second Explorer window to the folder “C: \ Windows \ System32”.

Drag and drop the DLL file onto the “regsvr32” file and then release the left mouse button.

Pay attention to the confirmation after registration.


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