How to Fix Kernel32.dll Errors

A troubleshooting guide for kernel32.dll errors

What to Know

  • The causes of the kernel32.dll error message are as varied as the messages themselves.
  • Kernel32.dll files can cause error messages to appear onscreen nearly any time a computer is in use.
  • Keeping your programs and operating system up-to-date is one way to prevent or fix kernel32.dll errors.

The kernel32.dll file is involved with memory management in Windows. When Windows is started, kernel32.dll is loaded into a protected memory space so that other programs don't attempt to use the same space in memory to run their operations.

The frequently accompanying "invalid page fault" error means that another program (or many programs) is trying to access this same space in your computer's memory.

Depending on the specific error, kernel32.dll error messages apply to any number of software programs on any of Microsoft's operating systems from Windows 95 through Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, and Windows XP.

Different Kernel32.dll Errors

Kernel32 DLL error message in Windows

There are a number of different ways that the "invalid page fault in module kernel32.dll" error may show up on your computer. Many different software programs may generate the kernel32.dll error in Windows, but here are some of the more common specific error messages you may see:

  • Explorer caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.DLL
  • Iexplore caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.DLL
  • Commgr32 caused an invalid page fault in module Kernel32.dll
  • Error in Kernel32.dll
  • [PROGRAM NAME] has caused an error in Kernel32.dll
  • Failed to get proc address for GetLogicalProcessorInformation (KERNEL32.dll)
  • This application has failed to start because KERNEL32.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix the problem.

Kernel32.dll error messages may appear when Windows starts, when a program is opened, when a program is running, when a program is closed, or at nearly any time during a session of Windows.

How to Fix Kernel32.dll Errors

  1. Restart your computer. The kernel32.dll error could be a fluke.

  2. Reinstall the program if the "invalid page fault in module kernel32.dll" error occurs only when you use a single software program.

    Chances are, the software program is most likely to blame, so uninstalling and reinstalling the program might do the trick.

    Be sure to install any service packs or other patches available for the program. One of these may have resolved the kernel32.dll problem that the software is causing. If necessary, you may need to stop using a particular program if it's the only cause of the problem.

  3. Use Windows Update to update your computer with any new Windows-related patches or service packs that might be available. An outdated Windows installation might be causing the DLL error.

    In Windows XP specifically, and when Skype is installed, you might get the kernel32.dll error message when trying to run the program if you don't have SP3 installed.

  4. Repair potentially damaged password list files. Try this troubleshooting step only if you're running Windows 95 or Windows 98 and if the kernel32.dll page fault is caused by "Explorer", "Commgr32", "Mprexe", "Msgsrv32", or "Iexplore".

  5. Repair corrupted thumbs.db files. Sometimes, the "Explorer caused an invalid page fault in module kernel32.dll" error is caused by a corrupted thumbs.dll file in a folder or subfolder that you're trying to access.

  6. Do you have DLL files saved to your desktop? If so, remove them. This can sometimes cause kernel32.dll errors.

  7. Run a virus scan. Some specific computer viruses cause kernel32.dll errors as part of their damage to your computer. Quarantining the virus could resolve your issue entirely.

  8. Run CHKDSK to scan and fix any system errors that might be causing the DLL error.

  9. Update drivers for any hardware that might be related to the kernel32.dll error. For example, if a kernel32.dll error appears when printing to your printer, try updating the​ drivers for your printer.

    If you suspect that drivers need to be updated but aren't sure where to start, update your video card drivers. Outdated video card drivers sometimes cause kernel32.dll errors.

  10. Decrease the hardware acceleration on your video card. While uncommon, some computers do have problems when the hardware acceleration is set at its default setting of full acceleration.

  11. Have you overclocked your PC? If so, try resetting your hardware configuration to the default recommended by the manufacturer. Overclocking has been known to cause kernel32.dll issues.

  12. Run the System File Checker Tool (SFC). This tool scans and restores Windows system files.

  13. Test your system memory for damage. Kernel32.dll error messages from random programs and activities in Windows could be a sign of a hardware failure with your computer's memory. One of these programs will clearly identify if you have a problem or give your memory a clean bill of health.​ 

    Replace the memory if it fails any of your tests.

  14. Repair your Windows installation. If individual software reinstallations and hardware tests fail to resolve the problem, a repair installation of Windows should replace any damaged or missing files that may be causing kernel32.dll messages.

  15. Perform a clean installation of Windows. This type of installation will completely remove Windows from your PC and install it again from scratch.​ 

    We don't recommend this step unless you feel comfortable that the kernel32.dll error isn't caused by a single program (Step 2). If a single piece of software is causing the kernel32.dll error message, reinstalling Windows and then installing the same software may put you right back where you started.

  16. Troubleshoot for a hardware problem. If all else has failed, including the clean installation from the last step, you're likely looking at a hardware issue with your hard drive or another piece of hardware.

    If the hard drive is the likely culprit, replace the hard drive and then perform a new installation of Windows.

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