How to Fix Core.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

If reinstalling the program that uses core.dll doesn't fix the error, try System Restore

Core.dll errors are caused by situations that lead to the removal or corruption of the core DLL file. In some cases, core.dll errors could indicate a registry problem, a virus or malware issue, or even a hardware failure.

Core.dll Errors

core DLL error message in Windows

There are several ways core.dll errors can show up on your computer. Here are some of the more common error messages you might see:

  • Core.dll Not Found
  • This application failed to start because core.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
  • Cannot find [PATH]\core.dll
  • The file core.dll is missing.
  • Cannot start [APPLICATION]. A required component is missing: core.dll. Please install [APPLICATION] again.

A "core DLL" file is different from the "core.dll" file. The first just means an important, major DLL file that the application relies heavily on, while core.dll is a specific file. There are also lots of DLL files that go by a similar name (e.g., system.core.dll, sscore.dll, mfcore.dll), but are likely to require different troubleshooting steps than what's described on this page.

These messages might appear while using or installing certain programs, or when Windows starts or shuts down.

Adobe Creative Cloud is one example of software that we know is associated with this file.

The core.dll error message could apply to any program or system that might utilize the file on any of Microsoft's operating systems, including Windows 11, Windows 10Windows 8Windows 7Windows VistaWindows XP, and Windows 2000.

How to Fix Core.dll Errors

Follow these steps in the order they're listed below to address the more likely fixes first.

Do not download core.dll from a "DLL download" website. There are many reasons why downloading a DLL file that way is a bad idea. If you need a copy of core.dll, it's best to obtain it from its original, legitimate source.

  1. Restore core.dll from the Recycle Bin. The easiest possible cause of a "missing" core.dll file is that you've mistakenly deleted it.

    If you suspect this, but you've already emptied the Recycle Bin, you may be able to recover the file with a free file recovery program. Just make sure the file was working properly before it was deleted (i.e., it wasn't corrupted or malicious).

    Start Windows in Safe Mode to complete any of these steps if you're unable to access Windows normally due to the core.dll error.

  2. Run a virus/malware scan of your entire system. Some core.dll errors could be related to a virus or other malware infection on your computer that has damaged the DLL file. It's even possible that the error you're seeing is related to a hostile program that's masquerading as the file.

  3. Use System Restore to undo recent system changes. If you suspect that the core.dll error was caused by a change made to an important file or configuration, System Restore could solve the problem.

  4. Reinstall the program that uses the core.dll file. If the DLL error occurs when you use a particular program, reinstalling the program should replace the file.

    Try your best to complete this step. Reinstalling the program that provides the core.dll file, if possible, is a likely solution to this error.

  5. Update the drivers for hardware devices that might be related to core.dll. If, for example, you're receiving a "The file core.dll is missing" error when you play a 3D video game, try updating the drivers for your video card.

    The core.dll file may or may not be related to video cards—this was just an example. The key here is to pay very close attention to the context of the error and troubleshoot accordingly.

  6. Roll back a driver to a previously installed version if core.dll errors began after updating a particular hardware device's driver.

  7. Run the System File Checker command to replace a missing or corrupt copy of the core.dll file. If this DLL file is provided by Microsoft, the System File Checker tool should restore it.

  8. Install any available Windows updates. Many service packs and other patches replace or update some of the hundreds of Microsoft distributed DLL files on your computer.

    The core.dll file could be included in one of those updates, or an update installed through Windows Update could be necessary in order for core.dll to work properly.

  9. Test your memory and then test your hard drive. We've left the majority of hardware troubleshooting to the last step, but your computer's memory and hard drive are easy to test and are the most likely components that might cause core.dll errors as they fail.

    If the hardware fails any of your tests, replace the memory or replace the hard drive as soon as possible.

  10. Repair your installation of Windows. If the individual troubleshooting advice above is unsuccessful, performing a startup repair or repair installation should restore all Windows DLL files to their working versions.

  11. Use a free registry cleaner to repair core.dll related issues in the registry. One of these programs may be able to help by removing invalid core.dll registry entries that might be causing the DLL error.

    We rarely recommend the use of registry cleaners (see why in our Registry Cleaners FAQ), but we've included the option here as a "last resort" attempt before the destructive step coming up next.

  12. Perform a clean installation of Windows. This will erase everything from the hard drive and install a fresh copy of Windows. If none of the steps above correct the core.dll error, this should be your next course of action.

    All the information on your hard drive will be erased during this step. Make sure you've made the best attempt possible to fix the core.dll error using a troubleshooting step prior to this one.

  13. Troubleshoot for a hardware problem if any core.dll errors persist. After a clean install of Windows, your DLL problem can only be hardware related.

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