Software & Apps Windows How to Fix Setup.dll Not Found or Missing Errors A troubleshooting guide 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 July 10, 2019 Setup.dll Error Message. Windows The Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide Tweet Share Email Setup.dll errors are caused by situations that lead to the removal or corruption of the setup DLL file. In some cases, setup.dll errors could indicate a registry problem, a virus or malware issue, or even a hardware failure. There are several different ways that setup.dll errors can show up on your computer. Here are some of the more common ways that you might see setup.dll errors: Setup.dll Not FoundThis application failed to start because setup.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.Cannot find [PATH]\setup.dllThe file setup.dll is missing.Missing resource setup.dllCannot start [APPLICATION]. A required component is missing: setup.dll. Please install [APPLICATION] again. The setup.dll file can be used to run specific commands before and/or after a program installation or uninstallation, so setup.dll error messages might appear during those times or while using or installing certain programs, when Windows starts or shuts down, or maybe even during a Windows installation. The context of the setup.dll error is an important piece of information that will be helpful while solving the problem. The setup.dll error message could apply to any program or system that might utilize the file on any of Microsoft's operating systems including Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000. How to Fix Setup.dll Errors Do not download setup.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 setup.dll, it's best to obtain it from its original, legitimate source. Start Windows in Safe Mode to complete any of the following steps if you're unable to access Windows normally due to the setup.dll error. Restore setup.dll from the Recycle Bin. The easiest possible cause of a "missing" setup.dll file is that you've mistakenly deleted it. If you suspect that you've accidentally deleted setup.dll but you've already emptied the Recycle Bin, you may be able to recover setup.dll with a free file recovery program. Recovering a deleted copy of setup.dll 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 setup.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 setup.dll error you're seeing is related to a hostile program that's masquerading as the file. Use System Restore to undo recent system changes. If you suspect that the setup.dll error was caused by a change made to an important file or configuration, a System Restore could solve the problem. Reinstall the program that uses the setup.dll file. If the setup.dll DLL error occurs when you use a particular program, reinstalling the program should replace the file. The "Missing resource setup.dll" error is commonly seen when installing the Avira antivirus program. If this is when you're seeing the setup.dll error, you should know that you can not install Avira in Windows XP. See these free antivirus programs for some free alternatives. Try your best to complete this step. Reinstalling the program that provides the setup.dll file, if possible, is a likely solution to this DLL error. Update the drivers for hardware devices that might be related to setup.dll. If, for example, you're receiving a "The file setup.dll is missing" error when you play a 3D video game, try updating the drivers for your video card. The setup.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. Roll back a driver to a previously installed version if setup.dll errors began after updating a particular hardware device's driver. 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 setup.dll file could be included in one of those updates, but even if it isn't, it might rely on a missing update that can be installed through Windows Update. Test your memory and then test your hard drive. I'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 setup.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. Repair your installation of Windows. If the individual setup.dll file troubleshooting advice above is unsuccessful, performing a startup repair or repair installation should restore all Windows DLL files to their working versions. Use a free registry cleaner to repair setup.dll related issues in the registry. A free registry cleaner program may be able to help by removing invalid setup.dll registry entries that might be causing the DLL error. I rarely recommend the use of registry cleaners. I've included the option here as a "last resort" attempt before the destructive step coming up next. 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 none of the steps above correct the setup.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 setup.dll error using a troubleshooting step prior to this one. Troubleshoot for a hardware problem if any setup.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 whole lot more.