Software & Apps Windows How to Fix DLL Not Found or Missing Errors General guide for solving DLL file errors by Tim Fisher General Manager, VP, Lifewire.com Tim Fisher has 30+ years' professional technology support experience. He writes troubleshooting content and is the General Manager of Lifewire. our editorial process Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Tim Fisher Updated on November 10, 2019 reviewed by Jerrick Leger Lifewire Tech Review Board Member Jerrick Leger is a CompTIA-certified IT Specialist with more than 10 years' experience in technical support and IT fields. He is also a systems administrator for an IT firm in Texas serving small businesses. our review board Article reviewed on Apr 30, 2020 Jerrick Leger Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email A DLL error is any error with a DLL file—a kind of file ending in the .DLL file extension. DLL errors can appear in any of Microsoft's operating systems including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP. DLL errors are especially troublesome because there are so many of these types of files in existence, all with the potential to cause trouble. These are general DLL error troubleshooting steps. If you haven't already, search Lifewire for the specific DLL file you're having issues with, such as jvm.dll errors or physxloader.dll errors. We may not have information for the exact DLL but if we do, the steps there will be more likely to help. Don't Want to Fix This Yourself? See How Do I Get My Computer Fixed? for a full list of your support options, plus help with everything along the way like figuring out repair costs, getting your files off, choosing a repair service, and a whole lot more. How to Fix DLL "Not Found" & "Missing" Errors Do not download DLL files from DLL download sites in an attempt to replace your missing or corrupt DLL files. In many cases, these sites are simply sources of malware. Restart your computer. It's possible that the problem that's causing the DLL error is just temporary and a restart is all you need. This is only an option if the DLL error isn't stopping your computer before Windows fully starts. If you have one of those more serious DLL problems, you'll need to forcefully restart your computer. See How to Restart Anything for help if you need it. Restore the deleted DLL file from the Recycle Bin. You may have simply accidentally deleted the DLL file. Most DLL errors come in the "DLL Not Found" and "Missing DLL" form. The easiest possible cause of a DLL error like this is that you've deleted the DLL file without realizing it. Enter Safe Mode to do this or any of the following steps if you're unable to access Windows normally due to this DLL error. Recover the deleted DLL file with a free file recovery program. If you suspect that you've accidentally deleted the DLL file but you've since emptied the Recycle Bin, a file recovery program can help. Recovering a DLL file with a file recovery program is a smart idea only if you're confident you've deleted the file yourself and that it was working properly before you did that. Run a virus/malware scan of your entire system. Some "DLL Is Missing" and "DLL Not Found" DLL errors are related to hostile programs that masquerade as DLL files. Use System Restore to undo recent system changes. If you suspect that the DLL error was caused by a change you or someone else made to your registry or other system configuration, then a System Restore could end the DLL error. Reinstall the program that uses the DLL file. If a DLL error occurs when you open or are using a particular program, then reinstalling the program should properly install and register the DLL file again. Don't skip this step if you can help it. Reinstalling the program that provides the DLL file is a very likely solution to any program specific DLL error. Update drivers for any hardware that might be related to the DLL error. For example, if you're receiving a "Missing DLL" error when you use your printer, try updating your printer drivers. Run the sfc/scannow command to replace any missing or incorrect operating system related DLL files. System File Checker (the proper name of the sfc command) will replace any damaged or missing Microsoft supplied DLL files. Apply any available Windows Updates. Many operating system service packs and other patches can replace or update some of the hundreds of Microsoft distributed DLL files on your computer. Perform a repair installation of Windows. If the individual DLL troubleshooting advice above is unsuccessful, a repair installation of the operating system should restore all Windows DLL files to their original working versions. Perform a clean installation of Windows. A clean install of Windows will erase everything from the hard drive and install a fresh copy of Windows. If a repair install doesn't correct the DLL error, this should be your next course of action. All the information on your hard drive will be erased during a clean install. Make sure you've made the best attempt possible to fix the DLL error using a troubleshooting step prior to this one. Troubleshoot for a hardware problem if any DLL errors persist. After a clean install of Windows, your DLL problem can only be hardware related.