What Causes DLL Errors – Infographic

infographic DLL

DLL errors usually happen when you want to start certain programs or tasks, it can be quite a challenge to figure out what is causing the DLL error. This post is to help you narrow down the problem.

Error message(s) you might see:

The program can’t start because .dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.
This application failed to start because .dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
Cannot find [PATH]\.dll
Below we will give general guidelines about the causes of this problem. Use the search bar on our website if you want to find specific information about a DLL file. We don’t have all the DLL files yet but we do take requests, just send us a message on our contact us page.


If you don’t have the required libraries for the files installed it is likely that you will run into this error. It often happens with Microsoft Visual C++, .NET Framework, DirectX.

Microsoft Visual C++ download link:

.NET framework download link:

DirectX download link:


If you have old drivers on your computer make sure to update them. For example if you get the “dll is not found” error while you want to use your printer. Then download the latest printer driver and it should be fixed.

In some cases you can also get these drivers while doing the Windows updates. However most of the time these are not the latest version. That is why we recommend you to download and install them from the manufacturer site.


In some cases the link between the dll and the register entry is broken or corrupt. This happens when the application has trouble with updating/installing or when another application removed it.


Sometimes it shows up when your system is infected with malicious software. Some malware are trying to alter dll files making them useless, others will try to masquerade as dll files.

In either cases it is recommended to install a anti-virus program such as Avast or MalwareBytes to clean your system.


A dll can become corrupt for a lot of reasons, for example when an application that is using the file is abruptly shutdown. It happens when good data is written to the wrong spot or when bad data is written to the good spot.

In both cases it will result in a file that will not respond to read and write requests. The best thing you can do at this point is replace the dll or reinstall the program that is using the file.


Bad sectors are a common cause for this problem. It happens a small portion of data storage became defect. If the DLL happens to be on this spot then you will get the “DLL not found” error. This can happen on any data storage device (hard drive, solid state drive, disc, USB flash drive, etcetera).


If you have removed a program recently it might have deleted the file or register entry with it. As a result you will get the error when you want to start applications which need to load the same file.


While installing a new program it might have replaced the DLL with an older incompatible version. When you now want to launch another application that also is using this file it will pop-up an error since it needs a newer version of the file.


If an update went wrong on your computer it might have deleted or altered it. At this point it is advised to reinstall it. However if something went wrong while updating you can just redo the update to fix the issue.


Sometimes due to programming mistakes made by the developer you will get errors. You can do very little about this issue, the best you do is report it to the developers and wait till they release a patch/update for it.


Hardware failures can be the cause of the problem. For example when you drop a hard disk on the ground it might have lost data. Despite technology getting better data loss is still a common issue.


About Elina Garcia
Elina Garcia is a freelance writer and love to explore technologies ideas.