How to Delete a Dll File

By Josh Baum

Windows relies on several .dll files, also known as Dynamic Link Library files, to perform common functions. From time to time, you may need to delete a .dll file because of a software conflict or because you're updating an older .dll with a newer version. When you do this, you must be careful to not only move the file to the Recycle Bin, but also to unregister it from Windows.

Step 1

Click the "Start" button in Window,s and select "Search" from the Start Menu.

Step 2

Click the "All files and folders" link in the Search window, and type the name of the .dll file you want to delete into the empty field. Click the "Search" button to begin the search.

Step 3

Locate the file in the search results and take note of the file path, which indicates where the file is stored. This is very important, because you will need to know the file path for the last steps, so you may want to write it down. Typically, .dll files will be found in "C:\Windows\System32," but this can vary depending on the specific type of .dll file and the version of Windows you're using.

Step 4

Right-click on the .dll file in the search results, and select "Delete" from the options that pop up. This will move the file to the Recycle Bin.

Step 5

Click the "Start" button in Windows, and select "Run" from the Start Menu. Type "cmd" into the empty field, and click the "Run" button.

Step 6

Type "regsvr32 /u C:\filepath\filename.dll" into the command line, substituting the specific file path and name of the file for "filepath" and "filename," respectively. For example, if you wanted to delete the file "windows.dll" from the file path "C:\Windows\System32," you would type "regsvr32 /u C:\Windows\System32\windows.dll." Press "Enter" after typing this line to unregister the .dll file from your system, completing the process.

Tips & Warnings

  • Deleting certain .dll files may cause system instability and may diminish functionality. Make sure you know what you're doing before deleting or unregistering a .dll file.