Shlwapi.dll is a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) file that is assocaited with the Microsoft Windows Shell Program (which controls what you see on screen). The Windows User Interface provides users with access to a wide variety of objects necessary for running applications and managing the operating system, and it’s the “shell” of your system which manages to control all of this graphics wizardry. Unfortunately, the shlwapi.dll error will emerge when you have pre Windows XP SP2 files but use Windows SP2 settings. This causes the operating system to become confused and the shlwapi.dll error to appear.
Info On Shlwapi.dll – What Is This File?
- Filename: Shlwapi.dll
- Location: C:\Windows\System32
- Typical Size: 500kb
- Job: Part of the Windows UI which allows users to interact with the operating system. Is not Malware.
What Causes Shlwapi.dll Errors?
The error messages this particular error may display are:
- Explorer.EXE – Entry Point Not Found – The procedure entry point SHCreateThreadRef could not be located in the dynamic link library SHLWAPI.dll
The error is essentially saying that Explorer.exe (the program which Windows uses to control what you see on screen), and the shlwapi.dll file that controls all of the basic Windows GUI functions, cannot load due to a particular protocol that is missing in the file shlwapi.dll.
This problem can arise due to a number of reasons, such as the file itself is corrupt or damaged, or that it is missing. You will want to fix this as quickly as possible to prevent any further system disruption. Follow the steps below.
How To Fix Shlwapi.dll Errors
Step 1 – Remove Windows XP Hotfix – KB834707
When you install XP SP2 and the installation fails, it attempts to roll back the system to its original state, before the service pack was installed. If there was a power failure or other interruption, it can cause some files to remain in the SP2 state, whilst they are registered as pre SP2 state. This is a major cause of the shlwapi.dll error.
To resolve this, you are going to need to remove the KB834707 hotfix, as this contains some SP2 material. Once you have removed this, you can remove SP2 and attempt the installation again. To do this:
- Press Ctrl + Alt + Del
- Click File > New Task
- Type control appwiz.cpl and click OK
- Select Windows XP Hotfix – KB834707 in the Add/Remove window and click Remove.
- Follow the wizard to remove the hotfix
- When Finish appears, click it to let the system restart
- After the restart, click Start > Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs
- In Add/Remove Programs, select Windows XP SP2 and click Remove
- After you have removed it, you can install SP2 again by going to Windows Update
This will remove the issue with SP2 only being partly installed and some files not registered correctly.
Step 2 – Manually Replace Shlwapi.dll On Your System
Replacing the shlwapi.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 shlwapi.dll file onto your computer’s hard drive
3) Browse to c:\Windows\System32
4) Locate the current shlwapi.dll on your system
5) Rename the current shlwapi.dll to shlwapiBACKUP.dll
6) Copy & paste the new shlwapi.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 shlwapi.dll” on the black screen
10) Press enter
This will replace the shlwapi.dll file on your PC with a fresh, new copy that your PC should be able to access again.
Step 3 – Clean Out The Registry
One of the main causes of the shlwapi.dll errors is the registry database of Windows. The “registry” is a central database which stores all the settings, information and options for your computer, and is where Windows keeps many vital settings that it requires to run. It’s often the case that a lot of registry settings become damaged and corrupted, leading your PC to take longer to run, making it run slower and with a lot of errors. To fix this problem, you should use a ‘registry cleaner’ to scan through your PC and fix any of the damaged or corrupt settings that are inside it. You can see our recommended registry cleaner below: