How to Fix Msvcrt.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

A troubleshooting guide for msvcrt.dll errors

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

The msvcrt.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 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000.

Msvcrt.dll Errors

msvcrt.dll error message in Windows

There are several ways msvcrt.dll errors can show up on your computer. Here are some of the more common messages:

  • Msvcrt.dll Not Found
  • This application failed to start because msvcrt.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
  • Cannot find [PATH]\msvcrt.dll
  • The procedure entry point could not be located in the dynamic link library msvcrt.dll.
  • The file msvcrt.dll is missing.
  • Cannot start [APPLICATION]. A required component is missing: msvcrt.dll. Please install [APPLICATION] again.

These error messages might appear while using or installing certain programs, when Windows starts or shuts down, or maybe even during a Windows installation. The context of the error is an important piece of information that will be helpful while solving the problem.

How to Fix Msvcrt.dll Errors

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

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

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

    If you suspect this, but you've already emptied the Recycle Bin, you might be able to recover the file with a free file recovery program.

    Undeleting msvcrt.dll 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.

  2. Download and install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio from Microsoft's website. This should replace the DLL file if you're missing it.

    There are two options here on that download page, depending on whether you have a 64-bit (x64) or 32-bit (x86) version of Windows.

    Choose the download you want page for Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015

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

  3. Reinstall the program that uses the msvcrt.dll file. If the msvcrt.dll DLL error occurs when you use a particular program, and the download in Step 2 didn't fix the msvcrt.dll error, reinstalling the program should replace the file.

  4. 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 msvcrt.dll file could be included in one of those updates.

  5. Run a virus/malware scan of your entire system. Some msvcrt.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 msvcrt.dll error you're seeing is related to a hostile program that's masquerading as the file.

  6. Run the sfc /scannow System File Checker command to replace a missing or corrupt copy of the msvcrt.dll file. This DLL file is provided by Microsoft in most versions of Windows, so the System File Checker tool should restore it.

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

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

    This 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.

  9. Roll back a driver to a previously installed version if the errors began after updating a particular hardware device's driver.

  10. 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 msvcrt.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.

  11. 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.

  12. Use a free registry cleaner to repair msvcrt.dll related issues in the registry. A registry cleaner may be able to help by removing invalid msvcrt.dll registry entries that might be causing the DLL error.

    We rarely recommend the use of registry cleaners because only really specific issues can be resolved with one. Read our Registry Cleaners FAQ for more on how they work and what situations might call for one.

  13. 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 msvcrt.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 msvcrt.dll error using a troubleshooting step prior to this one.

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

Need More Help?

If you're not interested in fixing this problem yourself, see my How Do I Get My Computer Fixed? piece 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 lot more.

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