What are Files with the .dll File Extension Used For?

What is the .dll file extension?

Files with the .dll extension are Dynamic Link Library files and are one of the most common file types on a Windows computer. A .dll file, such as shell32.dll, stores executable code that can be used by various processes or applications simultaneously.

The advantage of using DLL files is that with this approach you don?t need to embed codes for performing common functions, such as controlling dialog boxes separately in each application.

Whenever an application wants to use a function that is provided by a particular DLL file, all it needs to do is call on this DLL file. The DLL file will then be loaded to system memory and its function will be made available to the application that called it. Using DLL files allow you to reduce the code in applications and manage system resources, such as disk space better.

Due to their immense popularity and use, DLL files are quite vulnerable to malware infections. Further, various malware programs are also known to hide their malicious codes within genuine DLLs. When in doubt about the authenticity of any DLL file, scan the file using your protective software.

Which programs can be used to open a .dll file on your Windows computer?

Ideally, one should not open files with the .dll file extension, as these files store executable code which if gets altered or deleted will cause DLL errors to appear every time you run the program to which the DLL file is associated. If you must open a .dll file, you can use the following applications in Windows:

  • Microsoft Visual Studio ? You can use this application to view certain sections of a .dll file.
  • Microsoft Dissembler – Though part of Microsoft Visual studio, the Microsoft Dissembler enables you to view a .dll file in greater details.

Where are Window DLLs stored?

Windows DLL files are usually stored in the System folder on your Windows computer. The default path to this folder on Windows 7/Vista/XP is c:\windows\system32.

What are some examples of common DLL error messages?

Listed below are common DLL error messages that you may come across:

  • <DLL filename> not found.
  • <DLL filename> is missing.
  • This application failed to start, an important component: DLLfilename is missing. Reinstalling the application may fix the error.

How to repair a DLL error

The reasons behind a DLL error can be aplenty. And likewise the solution steps vary. However, more often than not you can repair a DLL error by performing the following 2 steps:

  • Reinstall the application that is generating the DLL error ? Most DLL errors occur due to missing or corrupt DLLs. The issue is resolved when you reinstall the application.
  • Download the missing DLL file ? In case the DLL file listed in the error message is still missing after you reinstalled the application then download the missing DLL file from a reliable online DLL directory, copy it to its location on your computer and restart your Windows computer.

I receive a file type error when I try to open certain file types on my Windows computer ? what should I do?

To resolve the matter, we recommend you use a reliable file extension repair software. This software will detect issues with the problem file and then repair it so that it can be used normally on the system.