So you just downloaded a software or a game, and when you try to run it, a window pops up with an error message stating that it can’t run because it is missing a .dll file. These dll errors are so common in Windows, and they can be really troublesome at times. The easiest way is to go download the .dll files from a random website and place them in your system folder. While this may patch the problem, it may be potentially dangerous for your Windows computer. In this guide, let us see why you shouldn’t download missing .dll files from external sites.
What are DLL Files Exactly?
A DLL (Dynamic Link Library) file is nothing but a set of instructions which can be called upon by any software installed in your Windows system to do certain things when needed. The main purpose of a DLL file is to modularize the code and re-use the code any number of times by any number of software. For instance, a software installed in your system may want to know the total physical memory (RAM) installed. To achieve this task, the software may call a specific DLL file in your system which has specific instructions to get the details on the total memory installed.
This greatly increases the software efficiency as the developers don’t need to write a whole set of instructions that the operating system already has. When a software want to access a DLL file but the system can’t find it in its library, it causes a dependency error and the program may not run as it should.
They may be Outdated and Infected
The first reason that you shouldn’t download DLL files from third-party websites or from unknown sources is because they are not approved sources. For software specific DLL files, they are usually integrated with the software, and unless you get it from the developers website, it is not a trusted source.
Another reason is that the DLL files from external sources may be outdated (as most software vendors don’t release updated dll files to the public). In the worst scenario, they are packed with malicious software and can infect your PC with viruses or trojans.
It’s not the Solution, It’s a Patch
Whenever you download a DLL file from the internet, you are just patching the problem you have rather than solving it. For instance, you can take the famous “Xinput1_3.dll” error which occurs when a game cannot find the “Xinput1_3.dll” file. At this point, most users tend to search for the reported DLL, will download it from the Internet and will place that DLL file where it should be.
Now the problem may seem to be solved, but in actuality, that DLL file is a part of the DirectX software package supplied by the Microsoft. So in order to properly install the DLL file, you need to download and install the DirectX software which is responsible for handling multimedia tasks in your PC.
All in all, consider this a fair warning and never trust the DLL files supplied by any unknown source. Sure, they may provide you a quick fix, but it might create more problems than before. Whenever you face a DLL error, try to find out the core problem rather than downloading individual DLL files.