What is a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) File?

What is a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) File?

A Dynamic Link Library (DLL) is a file made up of programming code that contains functions which are called from executable programming code, such as an application or even another DLL. Programmers often use DLL files to develop reusable code and to build program modules that can be used over a wide range of products being developed. Unfortunately though, this sometimes results in code not being updated frequently enough to keep up with operating system changes and updates. Unlike an executable “.EXE”  file, a DLL file does not have the necessary code to enable it to be run by itself, it must be called either from executable code or accessed from another DLL file that is has executed.

In easier to understand terms, usually developers write DLL code in order to have it perform a specific function or to have it be part of another module.

As an example:

  • Kernel32.dll – Handles low-level operating system functions, such as those for memory management and resource handling.
  • User32.dll – Handles Windows management functions, such as those for message handling, timers, menus, and communications
  • GDI32.dll – Handles the Graphics Device Interface (GDI) library, which contains functions for device output, such as those for drawing, display context, and font management
  • Comctl32.dll – Handles portions of the Graphical User Interface, (GUI) such as toolbars, text boxes, scroll bars, etcetera.

The purpose of this section of our site:

  • When a program executes, and as part of that execution calls one or more DLL files in order to perform its function and that DLL file cannot be located, the program goes to an error and fails to run. Every program within the Windows operating system, including Windows itself, requires several DLL files in order to perform as it does. These pages will help you locate the DLL files you need in the event one or more is missing.
  • A note of caution! While the DLL files here apply to Windows 95 and Windows 98, there are several versions of the Windows 9x operating system, and there are several versions of DLL files with the same name. You can check what version a file is by using Find, Files and Folders, and locate the file. Then right click on the file and then choose properties. On most files there will be a version tab, however there have been a great number of files that do not provide this information. Never replace a new DLL file with an older one unless you have complete certainty that the newer files is the root of your problem.

Okay, you’re here to find a DLL file!

With the many versions of the Windows 9x operating system, it has become impossible to maintain a warehouse of every possible DLL file. Therefore, we have provide a search mechanism as well as a URL for a site dedicated to warehousing DLL files.

Try a World Wide Web search.

You can also try this URL: DLL Search.com

Searching for another type of system file? (exe, vxd, inf) follow this link: Search for other files.

Notice: If this search page does not develop or locate the specific DLL file you need, please do not write to us requesting files, as we do not have the facilities to comply with these requests.

Notice: Windows® 95, Windows® 98, Windows® NT and Windows® 2000
are registered trademarks or trademarks of the Microsoft Corporation.

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