1. What is a DLL?
DLL stands for Dynamic Link Library and refers to any file containing procedural instructions (such as hardware and software settings) an application may need to know upon execution. DLL files are often shared amongst multiple applications and, rather than being bound directly to any particular application, are called upon on-demand by a related application at run-time and unloaded once their function has been served.
2. Why should I register DLL files?
It is possible to have DLL files in your hard drive that your operating system (Windows) does not recognize. This is because a DLL file must be registered in order for Windows to know it exists. By the same token, if you delete a DLL file without first unregistering it, your computer is still going to look for it until and unless you notify it that the DLL file in question no longer exists on the system. All DLL files have the same extension: “.dll”.
3. How do I register a DLL file?
1. Click your Windows Start Button
2. Click Run
3. Enter into the run field the following: regsvr32 “LOCATION AND NAME OF DLL FILE” (for example: “C:\Windows\System32\DLLFILENAME.dll”
4. Click OK
If the action was successful, you will then see an alert box confirming that the DLL file has indeed been registered.
4. How do I unregister a DLL file?
Perform the same steps as listed above for registering a DLL file, except between “regsvr32” and the location and name of the DLL file in question, insert “/u”.
For example: ” regsvr32 /u C:\Windows\System32\DLLFILENAME.dll”
As with registering a DLL file, if the action performed properly, an alert box will confirm it.
5. But I’m running Windows Vista, and I don’t see a “Run” command anywhere!
Windows Vista leaves the “Run” command off of its start menu by default. To replace it, simply follow these steps:
1. Click your Start button
2. Click onto the Control Panel
3. Click on Appearance and Personalization
4. Click on Taskbar and Start Menu
5. Click on Start Menu
6. Click on Customize
7. Scroll down until you see the Run command
8. Enable the Run command
9. Hit OK
10. Hit OK again
That should do it. Now, whenever you boot up your computer, the Run command should be part of your start menu options.
6. How do I edit a DLL file?
To edit a .DLL file, you need to run some form of DLL Decompiler Software. A good example of this is PE Explorer by Heaventools. DLL Decompilers take the .dll file in question and break apart into its component elements. Once it’s disassembled you can then view it and manipulate as you need to. The exception to this is if you simply wish to extract icons from a DLL file, in which case you would instead use DLL file Icon Extractor software.
7. How do I delete a DLL file?
The first thing to do before attempting to delete a DLL file is to find its location and then make a backup copy of it (the desktop and you My Documents folder are two great choice of where to save it). This way, if there’s a problem with the deletion (such as it turning out some application on your PC actually requires the DLL file you just deleted), you can easily recover it.
Once that’s done, make sure that you unregister the DLL file that you wish to delete (see #4 above). Otherwise, Windows will keep looking for it and probably return you some form of Missing DLL error.
Next, right-click on the .DLL file and hit “Delete”. This will move the file to your Recycle Bin. The next time you empty your Recycle Bin, the deleted DLL file will be erased completely from your system.