How to Fix Dbghelp.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

A troubleshooting guide for dbghelp.dll errors

Screenshot of a dbghelp.dll error message in Windows

 Lifewire

Dbghelp.dll errors could be indicative of problems with the Windows registry, a computer virus or malware issue, or even hardware failure. There are several different ways that dbghelp.dll errors can show up on your computer:

  • Dbghelp.dll Not Found
  • This application failed to start because dbghelp.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
  • The program can't start because dbghelp.dll is missing from your computer.
  • Cannot find [PATH]\dbghelp.dll.
  • The file dbghelp.dll is missing.
  • Cannot start [APPLICATION]. A required component is missing: dbghelp.dll. Please install [APPLICATION] again.

Information in this article applies to all Microsoft operating systems including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

Causes of Dbghelp.dll Not Found Errors

Dbghelp.dll errors are caused by the removal or corruption of the dbghelp DLL file. Dbghelp.dll error messages might appear while using or installing certain programs, when Windows starts or shuts down, or maybe even during a Windows installation.

Do not download a dbghelp.dll file from a DLL download website. If you need a copy of dbghelp.dll, obtain it from its original, legitimate source.

How to Fix Dbghelp.dll Errors

Try these steps in order until the problem is resolved:

You may need to start Windows in Safe Mode if you're unable to access Windows normally due to the dbghelp.dll error.

  1. Restore your Recycle Bin. If you suspect that you've accidentally deleted dbghelp.dll, you might be able to restore the deleted file from the Recycling Bin. If you've already emptied the Recycle Bin, you can use data recovery software to restore the deleted file.

    Recycle bin on the Windows 10 desktop

    Only recover a deleted dbghelp.dll file if you're sure that you deleted it yourself.

  2. Reinstall the program that uses the dbghelp.dll file. If the dbghelp.dll error occurs when using a particular program, reinstalling the software should replace the file.

    Uninstall apps in the Windows settings

    If you're a software developer, you can get the latest version of dbghelp.dll from Microsoft's Debug Help Library.

  3. Run File Checker. Use the SFC /Scannow System File Checker command to replace a missing or corrupt copy of the dbghelp.dll file. If this DLL file is provided by Microsoft, the System File Checker tool should restore it.

    The sfc.scanow command in the Windows command terminal
  4. Update Windows. Many service packs and other patches update the DLL files on your computer, so check for and install Windows updates. The dbghelp.dll file could be included in one of those updates.

    Check for Windows updates in the Windows settings.
  5. Run a virus/malware scan of your entire system. Some hostile programs masquerade as DLL files, so scan your computer for malware to see if the error is due to a virus.

    Avira virus scan software
  6. Use System Restore to undo recent system changes. If you suspect that the dbghelp.dll error was caused by recent changes made to an important file or configuration, use Windows System Restore to restore your Windows PC.

    System Restore on the Windows System Properties menu
  7. Update hardware driversUpdate drivers for hardware devices that might be related to dbghelp.dll. For example, if you see the "dbghelp.dll is missing" error when you play a 3D video game, try updating the drivers for your video card.

    Update driver option on the Windows Device Manager menu
  8. Roll back your drivers. If the dbghelp.dll errors began after updating a particular hardware device, roll back the device drivers to an older version.

    Roll Back Driver option on the Windows hardware properties menu
  9. Repair your installation of Windows. Performing a Windows Startup Repair or repair installation should restore all Windows DLL files to their working versions.

    Startup Repair on the Windows Advance Options menu
  10. Clean the Windows registry. Use a registry cleaner to repair dbghelp.dll related issues in the registry. A free Windows registry cleaner will remove invalid dbghelp.dll registry entries that might be causing the DLL error.

    CCleaner free Windows registry cleaner
  11. Perform a clean installation of Windows. As a last resort, a clean install of Windows will erase everything from the hard drive and install a fresh copy of the operating system.

    Windows installation screen

    All the information on your hard drive will be erased during a clean install.

  12. Test and replace your hardware. Some hardware problems can cause dbghelp.dll errors. Use a free memory testing tool or a hard drive testing program to see if the problem is related to the system memory or other technical issues.

If the hardware fails any of your tests, replace the memory or replace the hard drive as soon as possible. If you're not interested in fixing this problem yourself, you can take your PC to a professional computer repair service.

Steps for replacing a hard drive
Maritsa Patrinos / Lifewire