Where are DLL files stored in Windows


DLL files are executable files that are used by operating systems to run most essential services and system tasks. These files are loaded into the memory during booting by the operating system itself. When a DLL files goes missing or becomes corrupted, Windows will fail to load the services dependant on that DLL file. In worst cases, Windows may fail to boot up altogether.

You cannot view DLL files under normal circumstances. These are regarded as critical system files and the operating system will keep these hidden from view. If you wish to view the files anyway, do the following:

  1. Open up My Computer.
  2. Click on Tools in the top menu bar.
  3. Click on Folder Options.
  4. In the window that opens, click on the tab named View.
  5. Scroll down the list till you come to the option “Show hidden files and folders”. Click on this option to select it. The option just above this option (Do not show hidden files and folders) will become deselected automatically. Relax, it is normal.
  6. Uncheck the box below these options which says “Hide file extensions for known file types”. This will display the extensions of all files in your PC, allowing you to easily identify the DLL files.
  7. Click on Apply, and then on OK.
  8. Now navigate to the drive partition where Windows is installed.
  9. Open the Windows folder. Inside it you will find a folder named System32.
  10. Open the System32 folder. You will be able to see all DLL files of your Windows OS.
  11. If you cannot spot the DLL files at first sight, right click on an empty space inside the System32 folder. A small menu will pop up. Select the option “Arrange Icons By”, and then click on the option “Type”.
  12. Now Windows will arrange the DLL files in the folder side by side, allowing you to view those more comfortably.
  13. You are free to view the DLL files as much as you want. It will not harm your PC in any way. You can also open the DLLs using a text editor like Notepad. However, do not attempt to modify any DLL file, unless you know what you are doing. Modifying DLL files may corrupt the files, rendering Windows inoperative.

Software utilities and computer games that you install in your PC may also have DLL files of their own. Usually, you can find these DLLs within the folders of those software utilities and games.

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Posted in Microsoft Windows

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