How to Fix the Windows Shell DLL Not Working Error

The “Windows Shell DLL Not Working” error can appear out of the blue and cause all sorts of problems. When it appears, it means that there is a problem with the Windows Shell – the part of Windows that is responsible for displaying and managing Windows Explorer. Sometime this error can come and go without causing too much harm. But if you don’t fix it, the “Windows Shell DLL Not Working” error may result in computer crashes. It can also make Windows Explorer disappear, which means that all you’ll have is a blank screen without the Start button, the taskbar or anything else.

How to Repair the “Windows Shell DLL Not Working” Error?

The “Windows Shell DLL Not Working” error message is often displayed when there is a problem with your device driver. Unfortunately, the error message won’t always say which device driver is a problem. So you will have to find out for yourself. Here is what you need to do:

  1. Open the Device Manager by going to the Control Panel and clicking on the System and Security link
  2. In the Device Manager, expand all entries and see if any of them has a yellow exclamation mark. If you see any, this means that there is a conflict and you need to either update, downgrade or reinstall the driver for that device.


The best way to ensure that you have the correct driver is to go to your PC manufacturer’s website, go to the Downloads section and find the driver for your particular model. This way you can be pretty sure that there won’t be any compatibility issues.

If you can find the driver you need to fix the “Windows Shell DLL Not Working” error on your computer’s manufacturer’s website, try checking out the device manufacturer’s website.

Another way to get the correct driver and fix Window Shell DLL is to use a driver scanner program to find and download the right driver. It’s a lot quicker than trying to find the driver that needs to be updated and trying to download it from a website.

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Most DLL errors are caused by the "registry database" of Windows.
This is a storage facility for all the files, settings and options that Windows uses to help it run. The problem is that there is a large list of DLL files your software uses to run - this list is highly important but is continually being damaged, causing the errors you're seeing. You can easily fix this problem by using a "registry cleaner" program to repair any registry errors your system has.