What are DLL files in Windows and how do they work

The percentage of users who do not know what DLL files are is very high, although it is true that they have heard of them or have ever seen an indication of a file of this type on the screen, usually to indicate an error . Well, today we are going to see what they are, what they are for and what advantages and disadvantages these files have.

DLL files are one of the great unknown within the Windows operating system, since the few times in which we usually warn of this type of files is when a program or task within a tool gives an error due to lack of one of them or because it doesn’t work properly.

It is then that many of us wonder what these DLLs are and what they are for exactly, although if the error disappears, curiosity usually goes as fast as the startup of the program that did not work.

Well, for all those who are still curious and want to know what these files are for and what exactly they are, they have the rest of the article to solve such doubts.

What is a DLL file?

The meaning of a DLL type file is Dynamic Link Libraries Or what is the same, Dynamic link library.

To better understand these types of files we must be clear that a library in computer terms is a collection of reusable codesIn other words, they are a kind of independent programs that can be used by different programmers when creating a program.

These programs will refer to the different libraries in which they have taken part. DLL files are implementations of this type of libraries and, therefore, they contain a lot of information that can be used by different types of software, not just one in particular.

These types of files can be share between programs. For example, if you intend to print, but have no information about it, you can always absorb that data from a DLL file that contains a library where the print functionality is.

All this is part of what is called the modular programming, a concept of software development where some programs can be used as parts of others and vice versa.

This also means that if a file that is referenced by various programs for their operation changes and is updated, this will affect the entire software, causing everything is much more agile.

Although it may also be the case that, if it gets erased or corrupted, programs that need this information to perform certain actions will fail and will not be able to execute all the tasks assigned to them.

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Advantages and disadvantages of DLL files

According to what we are telling you, some of them are already clearthe advantages which have the DLL files, although there are also drawbacks.

These files are clearly very important parts for the proper functioning not only of the software that we install in the operating system, but also for Windows itself, since it uses the information from these libraries to perform many of its tasks, although it does which is true that they are usually their own DLL files.

In what are the advantages we can highlight:

  • Performance improvement: This is due to the operation of the software, which does not need to save so much information, since it already has a lot of it in these files that they share with each other.
  • Increase storage: as is normal, storage is also affected, since, in this way, the programs do not have to create some files, since all this data is stored in the DLLs. If these files are not there, the storage volume will be reduced considerably.
  • Smaller executable files: even in the executables that we use to install a program or to run it, they take up much less space, since a lot of information is extracted directly from the DLLs.
  • They are sharing: Something that we have already told you is that they are shared with each other, which means that several programs can read the same file, which greatly simplifies the process.
  • Memory: they reduce memory consumption, since it is not necessary to open several files for a task, one can be enough.
  • They can be modified: Another advantage is that these files can be modified or updated to offer an improvement in their operation or to house more interesting libraries for this task.

As you have been able to read, there are many advantages that DLL files offer, but not everything is positive with this type of files.

There are some disadvantages, much less than the positive parts, but, even so, you should know them:

  • Compatibility issues: Earlier we discussed that DLL updates or modifications were good because they kept them up to date. But they can be counterproductive and form an incompatibility with some type of software that is not yet at the height of said evolution.
  • Uninstalling programs: It can happen that, when uninstalling a program, it deletes all the DLLs that are associated with it, causing those that used that library to run out of the reference and now not work properly.
  • Files with problems: If one or more DLLs are having problems, this can lead to a series of continuous errors in different programs. This could become a very serious problem.

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Why can DLLs fail?

Surely more than one has happened to you that the software you were running has given you problems because a certain DLL is not there or does not work. This is something that unfortunately happens from time to time in Windows and can be due to various causes, causing in the most serious cases even problems to start the operating system.

The most common reasons why a DLL can fail or disappear are:

  • For some kind of malware installed on the computer, since many of these malicious programs know that one of the most effective ways to spoil the proper functioning of the system is by removing DLL files.
  • It may be the case that the file has been opened by some program and when closing it a mistake was made and became corrupt.
  • Another situation that may occur is that the user or even some software, has delete one or more files, which would imply that the associated programs are not going to work quite well.
  • On the other hand, it is also sometimes the case that a updating a DLL file it becomes a problem, since it can be damaged or not be compatible with certain programs, as we explained above.

Now that you know what they are, what they are for and all the good things that DLL files have, you will understand much better when an error occurs because of one of them. It will also help you if you find a folder with several that you were going to delete, you may think twice if you are not sure that this will not cause some kind of failure.

They are extremely important files that do essential work for the proper functioning of the software on our computer with the Windows operating system.

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