Shell32.dll is an important “Windows library” file that’s used by the Windows Shell API to open webpages and files. It is an integral part of your system, so any fault in it will cause your PC to produce a lot of errors. For this error to surface, the “Searchbar” registry value in the registry is incomplete, or you have malware causing the file to act erratically.
What Are Shell32.dll Errors?
You will have the Shell32.dll errors if you receive these error messages:
- This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down.
- You may also receive this error: There was an internal error and one of the windows you were using will be closed.
If you click on details, it will then show:
- IEXPLORE caused an invalid page fault in SHELL32.DLL.
There are two main problems which cause this error to show. Firstly, there could be an incomplete “Searchbar” registry value in the registry. This means that the data that the operating system holds for the “Searchbar” of Internet Explorer in the registry (the central library of all data stored on your PC) is incomplete. The system cannot use the settings it requires to use this feature of your browser, causing it to crash with the above error messages.
It could also be that you have, or have had, malware on your PC. This is dangerous as it can corrupt files and leave them damaged. This means Windows cannot read them properly and thus causes the Shell32.dll error.
Can You Delete Shell32.dll From Your PC?
Not under any circumstances should you delete this file. It is an important part of the operating system, providing basic functions for the OS to open windows and files. Without it, Windows cannot operate properly and your system would be error ridden.
- File name: Shell32.dll
- Location: C:\Windows\System32
- Size: 10,247 KB (Depending on OS)
How To Fix Shell32.dll Errors
Step 1 – Edit The “Searchbar” Registry Value In The Registry
The registry stores all data about files and applications on your system, including Internet Explorer. Sometimes, some of its data is not stored correctly which can lead to conflicts & errors inside your PC. In the case of Shell32.dll, the “Searchbar” registry value can sometimes not be entered correctly, which causes this error. To fix this, you are going to need to edit the registry. Therefore it is paramount that you follow the instructions as closely as possible to avoid causing other errors.
To fix this:
- Click Start > Run
- Type regedit and press Enter
- In the left hand pane, look for HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
- Select the Main subkey
- In the right-pane of the Registry Editor window, right-click the Search Bar value and click Delete.
Step 2 – Manually Replace Shell32.dll On Your System
Replacing the Shell32.dll file is probably the surest way to get your system running as smoothly as possible again. You can do this very easily by following the guide below:
2) Unzip the Shell32.dll file onto your computer’s hard drive
3) Browse to c:\Windows\System32
4) Locate the current Shell32.dll on your system
5) Rename the current Shell32.dll to Shell32BACKUP.dll
6) Copy & paste the new Shell32.dll into C:\Windows\System32
7) Click Start > Run (Or search”run” on Vista & Win7)
8 ) Type “cmd” in the box that appears
9) Type “regsvr32 Shell32.dll” on the black screen
10) Press enter
This will replace the Shell32.dll file on your PC with a fresh, new copy that your PC should be able to access again. However, if this does not solve the error, you may wish to try using Steps 3 and 4 below:
Step 3 – Clean Out Viruses
One of the main reasons why shell32.dll (and other DLL errors) appear is because of a virus infection blocking / corrupting the file. Because viruses are extremely common on Windows computers, it’s highly recommended that you use an antivirus tool to determine exactly what infections (if any) you have on your PC. By removing any of the viruses on your system, you will allow your computer to run much smoother again, and possibly without the errors you’ve been seeing.
Step 4 – Clean Out The Registry
Cleaning out the registry of your PC with a “registry cleaner” is also highly recommended if you want to fix the shell32.dll error on your system. The registry is a central database which stores all the files, settings & information which Windows uses each day to help it run as smoothly as possible. This database is where everything from your desktop wallpaper to even your latest emails are kept, and is crucially where a list of DLL files is stored for your system. This list allows your programs to read the various files that are required whenever they run – giving your computer the flexibility it requires to run smoothly. It’s often the case that this database gets corrupted, leading the various DLL files on your system to become damaged, and to fix this – you should use a registry cleaner tool to repair any of the problems that are inside it. You can download our recommended registry tool below: