Some Windows 10/11 users have reported encountering an error with a message winmm.dll is missing, or winmm.dll is not found.
This post will explain what winmm.dll is missing means, what causes it, and how to fix it.
What Is Winmm.dll Is Missing or Not Found Error?
DLL stands for dynamic link library. The winmm.dll file is a Windows Multimedia API module primarily for audio and joystick functions. These are essential files for your computer system’s optimal functioning located in the SysWOW64 folder or System32.
Usually, the complete winmm.dll error message is:
“This application has failed to start because winmm.dll was not found. Reinstalling the application may fix this problem.”
DLLs are executables files and hold vital data used by multiple OS applications. Windows users experience common issues due to a missing DLL file, such as:
- The system fails to load software.
- The system abruptly ends a program or an installation process.
The error messages may appear while installing or using programs, during a Windows installation or when Windows starts or shuts down.
The winmm.dll error could surface in any system or program that uses the file on Microsoft’s operating systems, including:
- Windows 10/11
- Windows 8
- Windows 7
- Windows Vista
- Windows XP
- Windows 2000
What Causes the Winmm.dll Error?
The error is caused by programs or situations that result in the removal or corruption of the winmm.dll file.
The Windows 10/11 error can also be caused by incomplete or aborted Windows Updates and malware in your PC.
To avoid having problems with the winmm.dll file, don’t download it from third-party sites or a “DLL download” website. If you need to download, you should obtain it from its legitimate source.
How to Fix Error Winmm.dll Is Missing or Not Found on Windows 10/11
If you encounter the winmm.dll missing error, here are the best solutions to clear the error:
Take note that if the error prevents you from starting Windows normally, start Windows in Safe Mode first. And then, proceed with any of the following solutions:
Fix #1: Restore the deleted winmm.dll file
If the winmm.dll file is “missing,” there is a chance that you’ve mistakenly deleted it. If you didn’t delete it permanently, or up to a month ago, it could be in the Recycle Bin.
When this happens, you can restore it by following these steps:
- Open the Recycle Bin.
- Search for the “winmm.dll.”
- If you find it there, right-click on it and hit Restore
That simple process should bring the file back to its original directory. However, if you’ve already emptied the Recycle Bin and it went with the other emptied files, you will need to use a quality file recovery program.
Fix #2: Reinstall the affected program
If you notice that the winmm.dll error occurs when you’re trying to use a program, you should reinstall the program to replace it.
- First, uninstall the program and restart your PC (from programs and features/applications).
- Download (from the official distributor) and reinstall the application.
Fix #3: Run a Malware scan
Run a full malware/virus scan of your system. Some malware infections can damage the DLL files and cause the error.
The error may be a hostile entity camouflaged as the file. The scan should identify it and remove it.
Fix #4: Disable antivirus temporarily
If the malware/virus scan does not generate results, disable your antivirus temporarily. Some antivirus software programs may list DLL files as malicious software and stop them from running.
If you notice that your antivirus has an issue with the DLL files and causes the problem, disabling it temporarily is the right move. If the file works without an error message, you should whitelist the particular DLL directory from the antivirus.
Fix #5: Run a System File Check (SFC) and DISM Scan
Running a System File Check scan will check the corrupted files and updates or replace them. To run an SFC scan, follow these steps:
- Press the Win + S keys.
- Into the search box, type cmd and open Command.
- Choose Run as Administrator (or right-click on it and choose run as Administrator).
- Type (or copy-paste) the sfc /scannow command, and press ENTER to run an SFC scan.
- Once it’s complete, restart your PC and see if it solves the problem.
If the SFC does not help, you can run a DISM scan to repair the potentially corrupted system image.
- Open the Command Prompt as Administrator (as elaborated above).
- Into the command line, type the DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth command.
- Press ENTER to run it.
Once it is completed, restart your PC and see if it solves the problem.
Fix #6: Restore your system to an earlier date
If the error persists, a System Restore may solve the problem. But you may need to have a restore point created first that precedes the DLL error message. Otherwise, this may not be possible.
We believe this guide has helped you know how to fix the winmm.dll is missing or not found error in Windows 10/11. If you have any PC repair queries, you can always browse our site and be sure to get help. If you have any feedback or question, kindly leave us a message in the comments section.