Open DLL File Extension: How to open it?

If you are a Windows user, especially who is familiar with the older versions, then you might have probably seen a DLL file error whenever Windows detects that this file is missing. Now, this error is just an indication that the DLL file has been modified by some program, and needs to be opened up in order to be edited. But do you know how to open DLL file extension?

Well, if you are not sure about that then don’t worry, and follow this article till the end.

What is DLL File?

DLL stands for Dynamic Link Library. It is a library that includes the code and the data, which can use by several applications simultaneously. For example, in Windows OS, the Comdlg32 DLL will be executed as the common dialog box related to the functions. Thus, every single application uses the functionality which is included in the DLL to implement an Open Dialog Box. DLL file also helps to promote code reuse and the efficiency memory usage.

dll file

Using a DLL file, an application can get modularized into separate components. For instance, an accounting program gets sold by the module where every single module can get loaded in the main program at run time if that particular module gets downloaded in the system. As all modules are separate, the loading time of the application becomes faster. And the module will get loaded only if the functionality of it will request.

In addition, updates become easier to apply to each module without affecting the other parts of the application. For example, if you have a payroll program, the tax rates change each year. When these modifications get inaccessible to the DLL file, user can then apply an update without any requirement to build or download the complete program again.

Steps to Open DLL File

To open DLL File, you need to follow these defined basic steps, and that’s it your work gets done.

Step 1: Establish the use of DLL Files

These files generally run in the background while using Windows applications. Each DLL File often has numerous functions which they can execute that the programs can access to perform those functions. Some of the functions that DLL files contain:

  • Drawing Graphics
  • Managing Fonts
  • Displaying Text
  • Making Calculations
open dll file

Step 2: Search for an appropriate program that opens the DLL file and follow these steps.

Some programs are available to open the DLL files. Windows computers already have an existing registry application where you can register your DLL files. Visual Studio or Decompiled are the two programs that should get downloaded to read the DLL file extension. In contrast, Visual Studio online will let you look at the DLL without downloading or searching the program. To describe this process of opening DLL files in detail, you can follow these four methods to open DLL Files


Microsoft Windows 7 and Fresh Registry

Some steps listed below that can help you to open the DLL file on Microsoft Windows 7 computers and the new one:

  • Open the Prompt Command: open the Prompt command by clicking on the Windows Start Menu or simply holding the Windows Key+R and typing “cmd” in the prompt bar, which displays on the screen.
  • Open Folder holding the DLL file: once you get the folder, hold Shift Key and then right-click on the folder to open the prompt command directly in that folder.
  • Type “regsvr32 [DLL name]. dll” and hit Enter Key: This command adds on the DLL file into your Windows Registry, that helps you to access the DLL file. You can also use this function to add the new DLL files to your system.
  • Type “regsvr32-u [DLL name].dll” and hit Enter: This function will remove the DLL file from the registry. Users can also use this function to remove the DLL files that do not behave properly.
dll file format

Microsoft Windows Visual Studio

It is a program that permits you to view, edit and build the code into a DLL file. When you import the code into Visual Studio, it will automatically convert it into the programming language C# even if it gets written in another programming language earlier.

  • Install Microsoft Visual Studio: Before downloading the program, ensure that your system meets the requirements to run that program. After confirming this then only install the program in your system.
  • Open the folder that contains the DLL file and click on the “Export to Project” button: To view the code and find something that requires any change, you can use another program. While in another application, you can right-click on the DLL file to get it export to the Visual Studio. It would take the DLL file from the application you are using and move it into the Visual Studio.
  • Edit code: Using Visual Studio, you can edit the code to run the functions you need. Visual Studio can also use to read the DLL file without editing the code.
dll file error

Visual Studio Online

It is a method that you can use if your system does not have the Windows Visual Studio installed. Look at the steps below to open the DLL file using Visual Studio Online Version:

  • Open Web Browser: As we all are already aware and pretty much familiar with the web browsers to date, it has become very convenient to reach Online Visual Studio.
  • Enter Web Address for Visual Studio: Search the term “Visual Studio Online.”
  • Login or Create New Account: You may require a registered Microsoft account to use online visual Studio. If you already have a Microsoft account before, you can log in or Sign In. If you don’t have an account earlier, then create a new account by clicking on “Create an Account.”
  • Upload DLL File: Once you reach online Visual Studio, you will find the DLL file in the File Explorer and then upload it into the application to read and edit it.
view dll file

Decompiler Application

Another method to open the DLL file is by using the Decompiler. It is a program used designed to take the functional code and then create a usable file that can adjust the code and redesign it as the functional code. Decompiler is the safe option as with Decompiler, you can look at the code without changing it, and it won’t affect your system.

  • Search Decompiler and Install it: Among the few Decompiler choices, select the one you feel is the most suitable and comfortable for your system.
  • Open DLL files in Decompiler: This stage varies from different programs, but still, you will surely find the button named “File” that can open the list of all DLL files you require.
  • Use Assembly Explorer to search the DLL file: DLL files save the information as the “Nodes” and “Sub nodes” that can explore in a decompiler. Thus, by clicking on a single node, you can see all the subnodes included within it.
  • Double-tap the node to read the code within it: when you view the code, you can scroll throughout to review and ensure the different aspects will execute the functions you require.

Why is it important to use a DLL file on a PC?

Till now it is clear that a DLL file is one of the most important elements inside a PC as they help a certain program to execute certain things. In this way, programs can share the abilities that are programmed into a single file. 

However, if you are still questioning the existence of the DLL files, then let us give you some more rock-solid reasons.

  • Code Reusability:

DLL files contain codes that can be used by multiple programs without needing the code to be loaded over and over again. Which in fact results in a reduced percentage of identical files and improved efficiency.

  • Modularity:

DLL files make it possible to separate codes into smaller, manageable, units. Thus, making it easier to maintain and update code.

  • Versioning:

Different programs use various versions of a DLL file, which allows multiple programs to use the same code, while still maintaining compatibility with different versions of code.

  • Resource sharing:

DLL files can contain various resources like images and sound files. Now due to this reason, the file can be shared by multiple programs, thus reducing the size of each program.

  • Security:

DLL files can contain code that can be executed with higher privileges than the calling program. This allows for improved security by separating privileged codes from non-privileged ones.


Now that we have discussed what is a DLL file and how to open it using different applications, it should be of less concern when anything goes wrong while working with your Windows machine.

However, if anytime you feel like you are still not able to get hold of the situation, then we suggest you contact an expert as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can DLL be encrypted?

No, DLLs are not protected by encryption, instead, they are obfuscated.

Can DLL files be hijacked?

Yes, the DLL files by the Microsoft operating system are more susceptible to hijacking.

In which language is the DLL file written?

The DLL files are generally written using the C or C++ language.

Is DLL static or dynamic?

As the name suggests Dynamic Link Library, so it can be easily said that DLLs are dynamic files.

Why do my DLL files suddenly disappear?

If your DLL files have suddenly disappeared, then there are possibly three reasons for it.

  • You have uninstalled a program using an uninstall utility that removes each and every file that is associated with the program, including the DLL files.
  • There is an incomplete upgrade or installation of the program.
  • You have manually copied program files from one location to another without using a proper setup process.

How do I register my DLL files with my license key?

To register the DLL files with your license key, all you need to do is;

  • Go to “REGISTER LICENSE KEY” inside the DLL files client.
  • Now, all you need to do is insert your license key inside the vacant box, and then click on “Register.”

You can also go to “Settings” > Insert your license key at “My license” and then click on “Register License.”

Is DLL self-contained?

No, DLL is not self-contained but depends on the existence of a separate DLL module.

Is DLL related to SQL?

Yes, DLL is related to SQL server as it contains extended stored procedure functions that act as an extension to SQL.

Are DLL and Exe files the same?

No, DLL and Exe files are not the same because DLL requires dedicated software to run, while the Exe files are easily executable. 

What directory can be used to hijack the missing DLL files?

You can use the following directory to hijack the missing DLL files: