The “Win32u.dll not found” error usually appears when starting an application that cannot find it by accessing the file. Such a message, and similar ones, are encountered when a user installs a third-party program downloaded from the network. Win32u.dll is a dynamic link library file that acts like an exe (executable), although it cannot be run without a “shell”.
In other words, the dll contains code that gets called whenever needed, but it can’t work without running the exe file. Simply put, these data files are extremely important to any Windows operating system, and if something happens to them for one reason or another, the OS is bound to crash. Typically, an error with win32u.dll is caused by a damaged system file. Below you will find several solutions, one of which should fix this problem.
Solution 1: Run SFC and DISM scan
System file corruption is one of the root causes of missing dll errors, so running the System File Checker tool should help.
- Right click on the Windows icon and select Command Prompt (Admin).
- In the system window that opens, type the command sfc / scannow and press Enter.
- Next, it will start scanning the system and fixing damaged files.
- When the process is complete, reboot the system.
- If SFC was unable to repair system files, you should run DISM to repair Windows image files. To do this, paste the following commands, pressing Enter after each one:
- Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / CheckHealth
- Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / ScanHealth
- Dism / Online / Cleanup-Image / RestoreHealth
- After running these commands, run the SFC scan again to make sure all issues have been resolved.
Solution 2: manually re-register win32u.dll
How to do it:
- Open Command Prompt as administrator as described above.
- Enter the following command:
- regsvr32 win32u.dll
- Hit Enter.
- Reregister the DLL file.
- Restart your computer and see if that fixes the problem.
Solution 3. Reinstall the related application
If you encounter the error “Win32u.dll could not be found” only when you try to open a specific application, you can try reinstalling it.
- Right click on the Windows icon and go to Control Panel.
- Select the Programs and Features section.
- Find the problematic program in the list on the right, and select it.
- At the top, click Delete.
- Then go to the official website of the application in question, download and install it again.
Solution 4. Temporarily suspend or remove third-party antivirus
Norton and McAfee security programs are known to prevent certain programs from working properly. Therefore, it is recommended to temporarily disable them. If this solves the problem, then it is worth considering installing an alternative antivirus software. You can also permanently disable it when launching the desired application.
Solution 5. Install all available Windows updates
It is imperative to make sure that Windows is running on the latest version as the developers regularly update and fix bugs. If the bug is related to the system and not to a specific program, chances are good that one of the latest patches fixes this problem.
- Go to the Control Panel again by right-clicking on the Windows icon.
- Select the Windows Update section.
- Click Check for Updates.
- Install all available patches.
- Wait for the process to finish and reboot the system.
Solution 6. Use System Restore
If none of the above solutions helped, then you should use System Restore. After completing this process, you will need to reinstall some programs without losing any personal files.
- Go to the Control Panel again and select the Recovery section.
- Select Run System Restore, and click Next on the next window.
- Check the box next to Show other restore points.
- Select the date that suits you from the list, and click Next.
- Follow the prompts from the system.
This process can take about ten minutes, after which the computer will reboot, and the system will return to the state of the selected date, when everything worked without errors.