How to Fix Netapi32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

In System Restore doesn't fix the error, run the 'sfc /scannow' command

Netapi32.dll errors are caused by situations that lead to the removal or corruption of the netapi32 DLL file. In some cases, netapi32.dll errors could indicate a registry problem, a virus or malware issue, or even a hardware failure.

The netapi32.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.

Netapi32.dll Errors

There are several ways netapi32.dll errors can show up on your computer. Below are some of the more common error messages you might see.

  • Netapi32.dll Not Found
  • This application failed to start because netapi32.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem
  • Cannot find [PATH]\netapi32.dll
  • The file netapi32.dll is missing
  • Cannot start [APPLICATION]. A required component is missing: netapi32.dll. Please install [APPLICATION] again
Netapi32.dll error message

Netapi32.dll error messages might appear while using or installing certain programs when Windows starts or shuts down, or maybe even during a Windows installation.

How to Fix Netapi32.dll Errors

Follow these steps in the order they're presented to attempt the simpler solutions first.

Do not download netapi32.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.

  1. Restore netapi32.dll from the Recycle Bin. The easiest possible cause of a "missing" netapi32.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.

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

  2. Run a virus/malware scan of your entire system. Some netapi32.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 netapi32.dll 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 netapi32.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 netapi32.dll file. If the netapi32.dll 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 this DLL file, if possible, is a likely solution to this error.

  5. Update the drivers for hardware devices that might be related to netapi32.dll. If, for example, you're receiving a "The file netapi32.dll is missing" error when you play a 3D video game, try updating the drivers for your video card.

    The netapi32.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 netapi32.dll errors began after updating a particular hardware device's driver.

  7. Run the sfc/scannow System File Checker command to replace a missing or corrupt copy of the netapi32.dll file. If this DLL file is provided by Microsoft, System File Checker 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 netapi32.dll file could be included in one of those updates.

  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 netapi32.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 netapi32.dll file 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 netapi32.dll related issues in the registry. A free registry cleaner program may be able to help by removing invalid netapi32.dll registry entries that might be causing the DLL error.

    We rarely recommend the use of registry cleaners. 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 netapi32.dll error, this should be your next course of action.

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

  13. Troubleshoot for a hardware problem if any netapi32.dll 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 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 lot more.

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