FIX: winmm.dll is missing

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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  • The winmm.dll file is a Windows Multimedia API module primarily for audio and joystick functions.
  • If the winmm.dll is corrupted or missing, a winmm.dll error message will pop up when you try to run some software.
  • Check out our dedicated hub for troubleshooting DLL issues for more similar articles.
  • For even more great guides, check out our Windows 10 Fix page.
fix missing winmm.dll i
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Winmm.dll is a Dynamic Link Library system file for Windows. When that file becomes inaccessible, some software will not run. Then an error message like this will pop up:

This application has failed to start because winmm.dll was not found.

To fix that DLL error, check out some of these potential resolutions for it.

How can I fix the winmm.dll is missing error?

1. Scan system files

  1. Users have confirmed that System File Checker scans fixed their winmm.dll errors.
  2. Press the Windows key + S keyboard shortcut for the search utility.
  3. Enter cmd in the search utility’s text box.
  4. Right-click Command Prompt and select Run as administrator to launch that command-line utility.
  5. First, run a Deployment Image scan by entering DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth in the Prompt’s window. Press the Enter key.
  6. Then type sfc /scannow in the Command Prompt, and remember to press Enter.System File Checker command winmm.dll is missing
  7. Thereafter, wait for the System File Scan to complete its scanning. Restart Windows if the SFC scan does repair something.

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. Check the Recycle Bin

  1. Check if the winmm.dll file has been mistakenly deleted (maybe by user) to the Recycle Bin.
  2. To do so, double-click the Recycle Bin icon on the Windows desktop.
  3. Select the winmm.dll file in the Recycle Bin if you find it there.
  4. Then click the Recycle Bin Tools tab.
  5. Press the Restore the selected items button.Restore the selected items option winmm.dll is missing

3. Reinstall the software the error arises for

  1. If the winmm.dll error occurs for a more specific program, reinstalling that software might just fix the issue.
  2. To open Run, press the Windows key + R at the same time.
  3. Input appwiz.cpl and press Enter to open the Programs and Features Control Panel applet.
    Windows uninstaller winmm.dll is missing
  4. Select the software the winmm.dll error arises for.
  5. Click the Uninstall option.
  6. Click Yes on any dialog box windows that might open.
  7. Restart your desktop or laptop after uninstalling software.
  8. Then download the installer for the latest version of the uninstalled software.
  9. Open the program’s setup wizard to reinstall it.

4. Restore Windows to an earlier date

  1. Restoring Windows to a time that predates the winmm.dll error on your laptop or desktop is another probable fix.
  2. To do that, open Run.
  3. Enter rstrui in Run and click OK to open System Restore.
  4. Press the Next button to proceed.
  5. Click the Show more restore points option if you can.
    System Restore window winmm.dll is missing
  6. Select a restore point that will roll Windows back to a time that predates the winmm.dll error on your PC.
    • If you’re not sure, your best bet is to select the oldest restore point listed.
  7. Software installed after a restore point gets deleted.
    • To check what software will get chopped, click the Scan for affected programs button.
  8. Press the Next and Finish buttons.

5. Get a new winmm.dll file from

If the winmm.dll has been entirely deleted, you’ll need a new one. Try entering the keyword winmm.dll in Windows’ search utility. It should find it as shown directly below.

The winmm.dll file

If you need a new one, is among the most reputable sources for DLL files. Open the winmm.dll page on that website to download that DLL. Then follow the guidelines at the top of’s FAQ page to extract and move the winmm.dll to the right folder.

6. Reset Windows 10

  1. Reinstalling Windows 10 by resetting the platform should restore a missing winmm.dll system file.
    • To reset Windows 10, click the Type here to search button.
  2. Input reset in the search box, and then click Reset this PC.
  3. Next, click the Get Started button.
    Get started button winmm.dll is missing
  4. Select the Keep my files option, and then click the Next button.
    Keep my files button winmm.dll is missing
  5. Press the Reset button to continue.

So, that’s how you can fix the winmm.dll is missing error. Note that the above resolutions can also fix similar errors for other DLL files.

FAQ: Learn more about DLL files

  • What does DLL mean?

DLL stands for Dynamic-Link Library.

  • What does a DLL file do?

A DLL file used for holding multiple codes and procedures for Windows programs. Unfortunately, issues with DLLs will almost always result in issues with those programs.

  • Can I delete DLL files?

In theory, you can delete any DLL file you want. However, this is not recommended since you never know which programs or system functions may be affected. However, if you want to recover them, simply follow this detailed guide.

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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