Shell32.dll: What Is It & How to Fix this Error

You should use a dedicated DLL fixing tool to resolve such issues

by Sagar Naresh
Sagar Naresh
Sagar Naresh
Content Analyst
Sagar is a web developer and technology journalist. Currently associated with WindowsReport and SamMobile. When not writing, he is either at the gym sweating it out or playing... read more
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Alex Serban
Alex Serban
Windows Server & Networking Expert
After moving away from the corporate work-style, Alex has found rewards in a lifestyle of constant analysis, team coordination and pestering his colleagues. Holding an MCSA Windows Server... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • The Shell32.dll file is an important system file that ensures the smooth functioning of associated DLLs.
  • It is mainly responsible for all web-related tasks and other tasks such as file opening, etc.
  • The Shell32.dll errors can be fixed by ensuring that your PC is running the latest Windows update available. 
For fixing DLL errors, we recommend Fortect: This tool will replace the damaged or corrupted DLLs with their functional equivalents using its dedicated repository where it has the official versions of the DLL files.
  1. Download and Install Fortect on your PC
  2. Launch the tool and Start scanning to find DLL files that could be causing PC problems
  3. Right-click on Start Repair to replace broken DLLs with working versions
  • Fortect has been downloaded by 0 readers this month.

The Shell32.dll is a system-related DLL responsible for many important functions within the Windows operating system. Notably, the Shell32.dll file is connected to several other DLL files, so it is pretty important, and the Shell32.dll error requires your attention.

Luckily for you, we have compiled a list of solutions that has helped several users resolve the Shell32.dll error issue at their end. This is one of the most common DLL missing errors on Windows 10 PCs. Follow the guide to fix the issue.

What is Shell32.dll?

The Shell32.dll file is a critical Windows OS DLL file that ensures that other related DLLs work smoothly without any issues.

The main function of this DLL file is to open and handle web pages, and other files on the PC it manages the Windows Shell API (Application Programming Interface) functions.

You will come across several error messages related to the Shell32.dll file. Some of these are listed below:

  • Shell32.dll Not Found
  • This application failed to start because shell32.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.
  • Cannot find [location]\shell32.dll
  • The file shell32.dll is missing.
  • Cannot start [program name]. A required component is missing: shell32.dll. Please install [program name] again.
  • Cannot register Shell32.dll.

The Shell32.dll file is missing, or the Shell32.dll not found error could be caused by a corrupt registry, corrupt system files, malware or virus infection, incorrect installation, etc.

How can I fix the Shell32.dll missing error?

In this article

1. Use a specialized tool

Since the Shell32.dll file is a Windows system-related important DLL, you need to replace the DLL inside the Windows system folder.

However, that isn’t a viable choice for users who aren’t that professional because any wrong move could corrupt the OS or brick their PCs. In such a case, we suggest you use one of the best DLL fixing tools.

This a professional tool that will help you fix system-related DLL issues 100%. Apart from this, it can also help you fix third-party DLL errors and system crashes, remove malware from your PC, clean up junk files, and boost the performance of your PC.

2. Register the DLL

  1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Win key.
  2. Open Command Prompt as an admin.
  3. Type the below command and press Enter. regsvr32 SHELL32.DLL
  4. This will register the Shell32.dll file on your PC.

Chances are, because of a third-party application or program, the Shell32.dll file was unregistered or replaced. You can apply the above command, re-register the Shell32.dll file, and fix the error associated with the DLL file.

3. Fix corrupt system files

  1. Press the Win key to open the Start menu.
  2. Open the command prompt as an admin.
  3. Type the below command and press Enter. sfc /scannowSFCSCANNOW CMD
  4. Wait for the SFC scan to fix corrupt files.
  5. Type the below commands and press Enter after each one. DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Scanhealth DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth DISM.exe /online /cleanup-image /startcomponentcleanup
  6. Wait for the process to complete.
  7. Restart your PC.

Corrupt system files are often the reason behind several DLL file errors on your Windows 11 PC. You can easily resolve it by using the SFC and DISM commands.

This solution was suggested by one user on the Microsoft forums and has helped several users resolve the Shell32.dll was not found or Shell32.dll is missing error.

4. Repair the damaged registry key

Damaged registry keys can also cause the Shell32.dll was not found error. Because residual files can often conflict with the actual important files and cause multiple issues on your PC.

So, we suggest you look at our guide, which lists some of the best registry cleaners to use on Windows 10. All the listed registry cleaners are tested and tried by our experts to provide you with the correct information about the tools.

For Windows 11 users, we also have a similar guide that lists some of the best registry cleaning tools that you can opt for to fix Shell32.dll errors.

5. Scan your PC for virus

  1. Open the Start menu by pressing the Win key.
  2. Open Windows Security.Windows Security open
  3. Click on Virus & threat protection.
  4. Select Quick Scan.
  5. Alternatively, you can also click on Scan options and select Full scan for an in-depth scan.Full scan
  6. Apply the prompted fixes to remove the virus or malware from your PC.
  7. Restart your PC.

If your PC is infected with a virus or malware, then not only will you come across Shell32.dll not found or associated with errors, but your PC performance will also go down.

You should run a scan frequently to check if your PC is protected. We have a list of some of the best antivirus tools to use to safeguard your PC.

That is it from us in this guide. For users facing the DLL missing error on Windows 11, you can refer to the solutions in our guide to quickly resolve the problem.

Feel free to let us know in the comments below which one of the above solutions fixed the Shell32.dll not found and other errors.

Still experiencing issues?


If the above suggestions have not solved your problem, your computer may experience more severe Windows troubles. We suggest choosing an all-in-one solution like Fortect to fix problems efficiently. After installation, just click the View&Fix button and then press Start Repair.

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