Personal Computer Fixes

How to Repair Shell32.dll Errors on Windows

Shell32.dll is a Windows library file that consists of Windows Shell API (Application Programming Interface) functions that are needed to open Web pages & files on the system. This error message can occur when a user is running a version of Plug-In for Windows (Plugin.exe) which is earlier than version 2.5. Versions of Plug-In for Windows earlier than version 2.5 are not compatible and often cause a number of errors. To fix this particular problem, you should follow the steps below:

What Causes Shell32.dll Errors?

Two of the most common shell32.dll errors are:

  • “This program has performed an illegal operation and will be shut down”
  • “IEXPLORE caused an invalid page fault in SHELL32.DLL

However when you press the Close button on the message, another error message appears like this.

  • “There was an internal error and one of the windows you were using will be closed

This error message is usually brought about due to the existence of an incomplete search bar value in the registry. To fix this problem follow these steps:

How To Fix Shell32.dll Errors

Step 1- Repair The Damaged Registry Keys

The first thing to do is to change the various registry keys that are causing the problems for your PC. Specifically, the keys which point to a “search bar” in Internet Explorer are the ones which cause most shell32.dll errors, and should be fixed using the steps below:

  1. Press Start > Run
  2. In the run box, type ‘regedit‘ (without quotation marks), this will open the registry editor.
  3. Find this registry key: 
  4. HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Internet Explorer\Main
  5. You must then create a backup of this key, this can be done by selecting the Main subkey, then Open the File menu, and select the Export command.
  6. Look for the location of where you want to export the key to, make sure the correct path is listed in the Selected to text box.
  7. Give a name for the export file in the File Name box.
  8. Once this has been done, delete the Search Bar value from the Main key.

This should remove the largest cause of the shell32.dll error – which is where your computer continually causes problems and errors. This should fix the error you’re seeing, but if it does not, you should follow the steps below:

Step 2 – Clean Out Viruses

– Download This Virus Scanner

Antivirus programs are software tools which scan through your PC and remove any of the viruses or malware infections that are on your system. It’s often the case that viruses will infect various DLL files on your computer and then cause them to be unreadable to your PC. To ensure this is not happening on your computer, you should try using an antivirus program to scan through your system and remove any of the infections that cause all these errors. You can download our recommended antivirus program from the link above, but there are a large variety of programs available.

Step 3 – Clean Out The Registry

– Download This Registry Cleaner

It’s often the case that registry errors cause the shell32.dll error to appear. The “registry” is a central database which stores all the settings, information and options for your computer, and is where Windows keeps a 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:

» Download DLL Repair Tool


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