FIX: oleaut32.dll could not be opened

Vlad Turiceanu
by Vlad Turiceanu
Editor-in-Chief
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  • Oleaut32 stands for Object Linking and Embedding Automation for 32-bit Windows.
  • This DLL allows applications to handle files and information created by other applications.
  • We have many more similar articles in our dedicated hub for troubleshooting DLL errors, so make sure you look at that as well.
  • For more helpful articles, why not visit our Windows 10 Fix page?
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The oleaut32.dll could not be opened error usually comes up immediately you double-click or run some installation files. This oleaut32.dll crash is usually a pointer that either the application is not compatible with your system or you lack sufficient privileges to install it.

In this guide, you will learn the steps for troubleshooting that oleaut32.dll cannot be opened issue. First, make sure that you can log in to Windows as an Administrator, to be able to make use of the solutions presented here.


What to do if oleaut32.dll could not be opened in Windows 10?

1. Rebuild the file

  1. Press the Windows key and search for oleaut32.
  2. Right-click on the file and hit Open file location. It should be located in the C:WindowsSystem32 folder.
  3. Next, rename this file to oleaut32_OLD.dll.
  4. Finally, try installing the application again.

The application attempts to copy the file and overwrite the current oleaut.dll file. So, when running the installer, conflicts will cause the oleaut32.dll crash. Rebuilding the oleaut32.dll file can solve your issue.

If Windows does not let you rename the oleaut32.dll file, follow the steps below to acquire ownership of the file.

1.1 Acquire ownership of the driver file

  1. Press the Windows key and search for oleaut32.
  2. Right-click on the file and hit Open file location. It should be located in the C:WindowsSystem32 folder.
  3. Next, right-click on the installation file and hit Properties.
  4. In Properties, hit Security to switch to the Security tab.security-tab-oleaut32.dll-could-not-be-opened
  5. Next, click on the Advanced button at the bottom of the screen and navigate to the Owner tab.
  6. Here, hit Edit, specify your username, and click Apply to save the changes.
  7. Click on all the OK buttons to close the windows.

If this does not solve your problem, move to the next solution.

Run a third-party DLL fixer

There are plenty of third-party programs out there that promise to fix or replace missing or broken DLLs, and most of them stay true to their word. However, if you are to choose just one, then there’s no way you can go wrong with Restoro.

How to use Restoro to fix missing or broken DLLs

  1. Download here Restoro and install it on your Windows 10 PC
  2. Let Restoro perform a full system scan
  3. When the scan is finished, press Clean Now
    • This is when you will have to activate your license key
    • Before the repair process starts, Restoro will create a restore point of your system in case things go wrong
  4. Restoro will now proceed to fix your DLL-related issue.

Note: While Restoro can be downloaded for free, it has limited functionality until you activate it. That being the case, if you want the full benefit of a great PC repair and optimization tool, you should purchase the full license.

2. Troubleshoot compatibility

  1. Press the Windows key and search for oleaut32.
  2. Right-click on the file and hit Open file location.
    • It should be located in the C:WindowsSystem32 folder.
  3. Right-click on the installation shortcut and hit Properties.
    • This opens the Properties window.
  4. Here, click on the Compatibility tab to switch to it.run-in-compatibility-mode-oleaut32.dll-could-not-be-opened
  5. The next step in fixing the oleaut32.dll crash is to let Windows troubleshoot the program compatibility automatically, click Run compatibility troubleshooter and let Windows do its magic.run-windows-troubleshooter-oleaut32.dll-could-not-be-opened
  6. After the process initializes for a couple of seconds, the system will recommend settings to fix the oleaut32.dll could not be opened issue.
    • Hit Try recommended settings.oleaut32.dll-could-not-be-opened-windows-recommended-settings-for-compatibility
  7. Finally, on the next screen, hit Test the program and see if the application still throws the oleaut32.dll could not be opened error.
    • If oleaut32.dll crashes, then you proceed to troubleshoot it manually.

1.2 Troubleshoot compatibility manually

  1. Press the Windows key and search for oleaut32.
  2. Right-click on the file and hit Open file location.
    • It should be located in the C:WindowsSystem32 folder.
  3. Right-click on the executable file and select Properties.
  4. Next, in Properties, navigate to the Compatibility tab.run-in-compatibility-mode-oleaut32.dll-could-not-be-opened
  5. On the Compatibility tab, check the box beside Run this program in compatibility mode for:
  6. If this program ran correctly on an earlier version of Windows, select it from the dropdown menu below Run this program in compatibility mode for: and hit Apply.
  7. Otherwise, select Windows 8 and click on Apply.
  8. Run the program now. If it still shows the oleaut32.dll could not be opened error, return to Step 5 and select a different Windows version.
  9. Do this until you can run the application without any errors.

Hopefully, you have learned what to do when you get the oleaut32.dll could not be opened error. When you are finally able to solve the oleaut32.dll crash issue, your application will install and run.


FAQ: Learn more about oleaut32.dll

  • What does oleaut32.dllstand for?

Oleaut32 stands for Object Linking and Embedding Automation for 32-bit Windows.

  • What is oleaut32.dll used for?

OLE Automation allows applications to handle files and information created by other applications, and oleaut32. dll enables this process.

  • Should I delete oleaut32.dll?

In short, no. Deleting oleaut32.dll will result in any number of problems while running your Windows OS, especially errors when trying to launch specific programs. For more information on how to handle this, check on this article on how to deal with missing DLLs.


Editor's Note: This article was originally published in April 2020 and was revamped and updated in November 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.
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