Here is a pretty frustrating situation: you are sitting at your desktop, pounding away on the keys. You need to install or update a certain application or program. You put in the necessary information and send a request to your computer to begin the installation process. Suddenly, you are faced with a dialog box that says the file “WindowsCodecs dll” isn’t “designed to run on Windows” or that the file “contains an error”. What on earth does that mean? What exactly is this error, anyway?
What Are “DLL” Files?
Before you learn how to fix this kind of error, you must first understand what a DLL file is, what it does, and what causes it to encounter errors. All Windows computers come with these files. These are dynamic link library files shared between various computers. This file can be used only on Windows operating systems. This kind of file enables the programs on your PC to simultaneously access and use certain codes or data. These files help your PC perform faster and better, all the while reducing used disk space. They also aid in the reusing of program codes for related functions. They usually appear as system or hidden files and must never be erased from the computer registry, unless you have determined that they are acting like viruses or “malware”.
Most of these files are usually used by the system to “modularize” and optimize the performance of programs like the calendar, the programs located in the Control Panel, and the programs that connect your computer to remote drivers and other devices.
Why Do These Errors Occur?
Some of the most common dynamic link library errors for Windows occur because of misplaced or deleted system files. However, in some instances, the occurrence of such errors could point to issues such as data corruption, malware or viruses in the computer registry, or even hardware malfunction. Your PC will notify you if it encounters dynamic link library errors by sending you a dialog box like the one used in the situation above.
If you ever find yourself reading notifications such as: “WindowsCodecs dll” ‘missing’ or ‘bad image’, the following are some of the steps you can do to fix the problem.
Restart Windows in Safe Mode.
Before attempting to adjust or run any programs to help you locate missing or deleted “DLLs”, be sure to run your system in safe mode to protect any documents and other data.
Check the Recycle Bin.
As was mentioned in one of the previous paragraphs, the most common cause of encountering a dynamic link library error is that you unknowingly deleted it. Check your Recycle Bin as soon as you receive notification of missing DLLs. If you find them in the Recycle Bin, simply restore them to their original folders, and run the program again. You should be able to install, start, or shut down the program without further inconveniences.
Run or Update your Antivirus Program.
In the event that the missing files have been corrupted due to a virus or malware, be sure that your system is protected by a strong antivirus program. Run a quick or full scan of your system and wait for the results. Fixing or isolating the virus or malware should allow you to find or restore the missing DLLs.
Check for Windows Updates and Patches.
It is also possible that you are encountering missing WindowsCodecs.dll files because your operating system has not been updated. Connect to the Internet and search for the most recent Windows updates or patches. Should you find any, install these updates and patches before re-running the problematic program.
Delete and re-install the program that requires the DLL file.
If there are no viruses, malwares or even updates to be installed on your PC, the quickest solution for dynamic link library errors is to delete and re-install the program in the first place. This should give both your computer and the program another chance to install properly.
Look for a reliable computer registry cleaner.
If you think that your disk is overcrowded and has affected your PC’s performance, search the Internet for a reliable computer registry cleaner. This will help you sort out the unused or duplicate files in your PC without accidentally deleting files that may be stored in hidden folders.
Finally, you can download a repair tool to do the job for you.
Should you still have problems locating or properly installing any DLLs, consider downloading a dll error repair tool from the Internet.