What is Ws2_32.dll?

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Isn’t it annoying to always get an error when you open an application that you use all the time? Well, you’d probably feel temporary relief knowing that it happens not only to you but to many others, too. So, at least, frustration has company.

But why does this happen? In most cases, such an error shows due to problems with a .dll file.

There are plenty of .dll files that exist on your Windows computer. One is ws2_32.dll. In this post, we aim to answer some of the most common questions you can ask about the Ws2_32.dll file, including the following:

  • Is ws2_32.dll a safe file?
  • What does ws2_32.dll do?

About the Ws2_32.dll File

To establish and handle network connections, your system loads the Ws2_32.dll file that contains the Windows Sockets API, an important software that is used to run most network and internet applications. This means the Ws2_32.dll file is an important system process that must not be removed.

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Simply said, the Ws2_32.dll file is an executable file that contains a machine code. Once the Windows Sockets software is started on your PC, the Ws2_32.dll file is loaded into the RAM and runs the WinSock 2.0 process.

Is the Ws2_32.dll a harmful file?

The Ws2_32.dll is a safe and important system process, meaning it must not be stopped or removed.

However, just because the Ws2_32.dll file plays a crucial role in your system that does not mean it cannot cause problems. Although it’s a tiny file, it has the power to communicate with applications and other important components of a certain parasite – Trojan horse.

That said, it is vital that you know to identify whether or not the file is malicious. Stopping a legit Windows file from working can only compromise your computer and keep it from launching correctly.

If the file is associated with Trojans or other malicious entities, it is likely to trigger abnormal activities and cause your PC to slow down. In this case, you have to get rid of it right away using a reliable third-party anti-malware tool.

Now, there are times when people think of the Ws2_32.dll file to be malicious because it is CPU-intensive. Well, it is natural for the file to consume a huge chunk of your CPU’s resources. After all, it’s a system process. What you can do is manage it properly by regularly scanning your computer with a trusted PC repair tool. Otherwise, you will most likely encounter these error messages:

  • Cannot register ws2_32.dll.
  • Cannot start MSDN Disc 1550. A required component is missing: ws2_32.dll. Please install MSDN Disc 1550 again.
  • The file ws2_32.dll is missing.
  • dll not found.
  • dll Access Violation.
  • Cannot find C:\Windows\System32\ws2_32.dll.

How to Fix Errors Associated with the Ws2_32.dll File

If the Ws2_32.dll file is causing errors on your computer, you can do any of the following:

Fix #1: Install Windows Updates

If a Windows update is available, install it right away. Many patches and service packs are released to update some faulty DLL files on your computer. It is possible that a fix for the problematic Ws2_32.dll file is included in the update.

Fix #2: Run a malware scan

Sometimes, Ws2_32.dll errors surface because of malware infection or viruses that have damaged the file itself. To fix these errors, run a malware scan, quarantine any detected malware entities, and apply the suggested fixes.

Fix #3: Use System Restore

If you suspect that the error was caused by a recent change applied to an important configuration or file, System Restore may resolve the problem.

Fix #4: Reinstall the problematic program

If the error appeared while running a certain program on your computer, try to reinstall the program. Doing so will replace the Ws2_32.dll file with one that is working.

Fix #5: Update the drivers

For Ws2_32.dll errors like “The file Ws2_32.dll is missing”, updating the drivers should fix the problem. For instance, if the error appeared when playing a video game, updating the video card driver will do the trick.

Wrapping Up

The Ws2_32.dll file is a system file that plays a vital role in network communications. Even with its critical role, there are times when it triggers error messages to appear, especially when it becomes CPU-intensive. If you encounter any errors associated with it, simply install any available Windows updates, run a malware scan, update the drivers, or reinstall the problematic program.

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