How to Fix Uxtheme.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

A troubleshooting guide for uxtheme.dll errors

Uxtheme.dll errors are caused by situations that lead to the removal or corruption of the uxtheme DLL file.

In some cases, uxtheme.dll errors could indicate a registry problem, a virus or malware issue, or even a hardware failure. However, these errors are usually seen because a theme patcher was used to customize a Windows theme or install unsigned themes, which changed and ultimately corrupted the DLL file.

The uxtheme.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 10Windows 8Windows 7Windows VistaWindows XP, and Windows 2000.

Uxtheme.dll Errors

uxtheme DLL error message in Windows

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

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

These errors 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 Uxtheme.dll Errors

Don't download uxtheme.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 uxtheme.dll from the Recycle Bin
    . The easiest possible cause of a "missing" uxtheme.dll file is that you've mistakenly deleted it.

    If you suspect that you've accidentally deleted uxtheme.dll, but you've already emptied the Recycle Bin, you may be able to recover it with a free file recovery program.

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

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

  3. Run the sfc/scannow System File Checker command to replace a missing or corrupt copy of the uxtheme.dll file. If this DLL file is provided by Microsoft, System File Checker should restore it.

    You should also uninstall any theme patchers you have to make sure the uxtheme.dll file can be properly replaced without interference from one of those programs.

    Try your best to complete this step. Restoring the original uxtheme.dll file is a likely solution to this DLL error.

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

  5. Reinstall the program that uses the uxtheme.dll file. If the uxtheme.dll DLL error occurs when you use a particular program, reinstalling the program should replace the file.

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

    The uxtheme.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.

  7. Roll back a driver to a previously installed version if uxtheme.dll errors began after updating a particular hardware device's driver.

  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 uxtheme.dll file could be included in one of those updates, or an update could be required in order for the file to work properly.

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

    We rarely recommend the use of registry cleaners, but 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 uxtheme.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 error using a troubleshooting step prior to this one.

  13. Troubleshoot for a hardware problem if any uxtheme.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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