How to Fix Wlanapi.dll Not Found or Missing Errors

If installing the Wireless LAN service doesn't fix the wlanapi.dll error, reinstall the program that uses the file

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

Wlanapi.dll Errors

wlanapi.dll error message in Windows 10

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

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

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

However, because this DLL file is necessary in order for the Wireless LAN service to run properly in some versions of Windows, it's more commonly seen when attempting to use a wireless device or when installing a program that needs access to that service. VPNs are one example.

The wlanapi.dll error message could apply to any program or system that might utilize the file on any of Microsoft's operating system, from Windows 11 through Windows 2000.

How to Fix Wlanapi.dll Errors

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

Don't download wlanapi.dll from a "DLL download" website. There are many reasons why downloading a DLL file that way 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 wlanapi.dll from the Recycle Bin. The easiest possible cause of a "missing" wlanapi.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. However, do this only if you're sure the file was working properly when it was deleted (i.e., it wasn't corrupted or malicious).

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

  2. Enable the Wireless LAN service if you're using a Windows Server operating system. The process is a bit different between Windows versions, but the general idea is to open Server Manager and then add the feature/role called Wireless LAN Service.

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

  4. Update the drivers for hardware devices that might be related to wlanapi.dll. If, for example, you're receiving a "The file wlanapi.dll is missing" error when attempting to use a wireless device, try updating the drivers for your network card.

    It might be a wise decision to first completely uninstall any program that might be connected to that network driver. For example, if you have a wireless program installed that was the initial carrier of the network driver, use a free uninstaller program to delete the whole program, and then try updating the driver.

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

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

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

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

  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 wlanapi.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 wlanapi.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 wlanapi.dll related issues in the registry. A free registry cleaner program may be able to help by removing invalid wlanapi.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.

  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 wlanapi.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 wlanapi.dll errors persist. After a clean install of Windows, your DLL problem can only be hardware related.

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