How to Fix Window.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

If installing DirectX doesn't fix the error, reinstall the program that uses the file

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

Window.dll Errors

window.dll was not found error message

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

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

The error message might appear while playing a computer game, using or installing certain programs, or when Windows starts or shuts down.

The context of the error is an important piece of information that will be helpful while solving the problem. It could apply to any program or system that might utilize the file on any of Microsoft's operating systems.

How to Fix Window.dll Errors

Follow these steps in the order they're given below to address the more likely fixes first.

Don't download window.dll from a "DLL download" website. There are many reasons why downloading DLLs like that is a bad idea. If you need a copy of the file, it's best to obtain it from its original, legitimate source.

  1. Restore the file from the Recycle Bin. The easiest possible cause of a "missing" window.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 it with a free file recovery program. However, this is a good idea only if you're confident you've deleted the file yourself and that it was working properly before you did that.

    Start Windows in Safe Mode to complete this step or any other ones below, if you're unable to access Windows normally due to the error.

  2. Install the latest version of Microsoft DirectX. Upgrading to the latest version might fix the window.dll not found error if it's related to a PC game.

    Microsoft often releases updates to DirectX without updating the version number or letter, so be sure to install the latest release even if your version is technically the same.

  3. Run a virus/malware scan of your entire system. Some window.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.

    If a virus is to blame for the issue, be sure to install an always-on antivirus program to protect against future threats. There are plenty of really great free AV programs to choose from.

  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 fix the problem.

  5. Reinstall the program that uses the window.dll file. If the 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 the window.dll file, if possible, is a likely solution to this error.

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

    The window.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 the error began after updating a particular hardware device's driver.

  8. Run the sfc /scannow System File Checker command to replace a missing or corrupt copy of the file. If it's provided by Microsoft, System File Checker should restore it.

  9. 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 window.dll file could be included in one of those updates.

  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 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 window DLL files to their working versions.

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

  13. Perform a clean installation of Windows. This will erase everything from the hard drive and install a fresh copy of the OS. If none of the steps above correct the window.dll error, this should be your next course of action.

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

  14. Troubleshoot for a hardware problem if any window.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.

A similarly named file called timewindow.dll belongs to the Avid Media Composer program and is unrelated to window.dll.

Was this page helpful?