Adobe Illustrator can sometimes develop errors for some people. One common error is when DLL files required by Illustrator to run go missing. In such cases, you see error messages indicating that – The program cant start because DLL file is missing from your computer. If you face this issue, then this post will help you.
What is a DLL file?
Dynamic Link Libraries (DLL) is a library that contains a set of code and data for carrying out a particular activity in Windows. Apps call on those DLL files when they need that activity performed. DLL files are a lot like executable (EXE) files, except that DLL files cannot be directly executed in Windows. That means you can’t double-click a DLL file to run it the same way you would an EXE file. Instead, DLL files are designed to be called upon by other apps. DLLs are designed to be called upon by multiple apps at once. The “link” part of the DLL name also suggests another important aspect. Multiple DLLs can be linked together so that when one DLL is called, several other DLLs are also called at the same time.
DLLs can be made to perform tasks across apps so that developers do not have to spend time writing codes for certain tasks. Many of the DLLs that are used by apps are built into Windows. The advantage of this is that developers can save valuable time. The disadvantage of this is that one missing DLL can affect a large number of apps. That is why many apps may display the same DLL missing error.
Fix Illustrator DLL missing errors on Windows 11/10
When launching Illustrator you may get a DLL missing error. The error usually states that the specific DLL is missing and the software needs to be reinstalled to fix the missing DLL. If VCRUNTIMExx.dll, MSVCP110.dll, Aires.dll, Asklib.dll, amtlib.dll, etc. DLL files are missing in Adobe Illustrator, here’s the right way to resolve such errors on your Windows computer:
- Uninstall all instances of Microsoft Visual C++ and Install Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable latest version
- Copy the DLL file from another system and restore it on your PC, followed by re-registering the dll file
- Run the built-in System File Checker tool to replace missing or corrupted operating system files
- Perform System Restore
- Reinstall Illustrator
Now let us see these steps in detail.
1] Uninstall all instances of Microsoft Visual C++ and Install Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable latest version
This step requires you to uninstall all the instances of Microsoft Visual C++ and install Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable latest version. It may seem weird that the step says to uninstall all instances of Microsoft Visual C++. You are seeing right, when you go into the Program and features section of Windows you will notice multiple versions of Visual C++ installed. This is so because different apps will use a certain DLL available in different versions of Visual C++. This means that the app will install the version of Visual C++ that has the DLL that it needs to function.
Uninstall Visual C++
To uninstall all the instances of Visual C++ click start then search for Control panel, when it appears in the search, click it.
The Control panel window will appear showing the items, click Programs, and features.
You will see a window showing the list of installed programs. Scroll down and look for the Visual C++ instances installed.
Click on the one you want to uninstall then look at the top of the window and choose Uninstall. You may also right-click on each program that you want to uninstall and click Uninstall.
You will be asked to confirm that you want to uninstall the selected program. Click Yes to continue the uninstall or click no to close without uninstalling. The program will be uninstalled. Repeat this process for all the instances of Visual C++.
Reinstall the latest version of Visual C++ Redistributable
To install the latest version of Visual C++ redistributable, go to the Microsoft website, and search for Visual C++ redistributable. Follow the instructions to download and install. Another way to find the DLL is to go to the software manufacturer’s website and check if they have Visual C++ available for download.
2] Copy the DLL file from another system and restore it on your PC, followed by re-registering the DLL file
This step makes it easy to get the DLL file, you can copy it from another system. When the DLL is copied from another system, you will need to register it on the system that it was copied to. Different software may require different versions of Visual C++ to run correctly. The software may require an older version of Visual C++ with an older DLL file. This means that an upgrade of Visual C++ may not help. In this case, finding the older DLL on another system or storage media would be the best way. In this case, you know that the VCRUNTIME.dll is the one that is causing the issue so you can search for it on the other PC or storage media. When you have found it copy it and paste it to the location on the device with the issue.
Re-register copied DLL
When you have copied the DLL from another PC or storage media, the DLL will need to be registered. If the DLL is not registered you may find that the issue with Illustrator will still be present.
3] Run the built-in System File Checker tool to replace missing or corrupted operating system files
Another way to fix the DLL missing error is to use Windows built-in System File Checker. This file checker will check for and restore missing or corrupt windows files. This post will show you how to run the Windows System File Checker.
4] Perform System Restore
If all the previous steps to fix the missing DLL error with Illustrator are unsuccessful, you may need to perform System Restore. System restore will help you travel back in time to a point when Illustrator was working. Try to remember the point when Illustrator was working and run System restore to that date. This post will show you how to perform System Restore.
5] Reinstall Illustrator
When all fails, you will have to reinstall Illustrator to fix the issue. Your installation options may be from a media or from the Adobe Creative cloud.
Adobe Illustrator and adobe products are available for download from the Adobe Creative Cloud website. To reinstall IIlustrator and keep the previous version, preferences, and settings, do the following:
If you want to keep the previous version of the Illustrator app, you will have to uninstall it first before installing it. This allows you to get the option to keep aspects of the old installation.
How to uninstall Illustrator using Creative Cloud
- Open the Creative Cloud desktop app
- Click and open the All apps page and select the More action button (***) beside the app you want to uninstall.
- A drop-down list will appear, select Uninstall
- Select Cancel, Remove, or Keep based on your preference.
- Cancel: Cancels the uninstallation
- Remove: Removes the app notifications, alerts, interface settings, plugins, and other preferences
- Keep: Retains the app notifications, alerts, interface settings, plugins, and other preferences
- Your app begins to uninstall. Once uninstalled, you can find it in the Available in your plan section.
How to install the previous version of Illustrator with Creative Cloud
To install Illustrator and keep the previous version, settings, and preferences, do the following:
- Open the Creative Cloud desktop app.
- Look for the Ilustrator app and select the More actions icon beside it (***).
- A drop-down list will appear, choose Other Versions.
- In the list that appears, find the Illustrator version that you want to install and select Install.
When you are finished restart the computer. When the computer is back on, open Illustrator. The DLL missing error should be fixed and Illustrator will open without issues.
How to install or reinstall a version of Illustrator from a media
Click Start then All apps then look for the Adobe folder, click to open, right-click on Illustrator then choose Uninstall. You will be taken to the Programs and Features window. you then click on Illustrator and choose Uninstall. You will be asked to choose Yes, remove or No, Keep notifications, and settings preferences. Click Yes, remove to remove, or No, keep to keep. When the uninstall is completed, restart the computer. Note that some versions of illustrator will ask if you want to uninstall or repair it. You can choose to repair if all you want to do is fix an issue.
To install Illustrator, find the installation file on your computer or storage media. Double-click to bring up the instructions.
- It will initialize then you will be asked if you want to Install (Have a serial number) or Try, (if you want to just install for a trial period).
- Click on the option that you want and you will be taken to a User Agreement screen for you to read and Accept or go Back to the previous screen.
- When you click Accept, you will be prompted to enter a serial number if you had chosen the serial number option in the previous screen.
- When you have entered the serial number you will be taken to the screen to connect to the internet, you can choose to connect later.
The next screen is where you will choose if you want to install the 32-bit or 64-bit version of Illustrator or both. You will also be able to choose to install or not install other features. When you have chosen, press Install to continue. When the installation is completed restart the computer.
Related: How to fix Missing DLL files errors on Windows
What is VCRUNTIME.dll?
The VCRUNTIME.dll is a DLL that is a component of the Visual C++ Redistributable package. If any of the components of the Visual C++ redistributable package is deleted or corrupted, it will cause Illustrator to throw the error.
Why are there so many different Visual C++ Redistributable installed on my PC?
When you go to Add/remove apps, you may notice more than one installation of Visual C++ redistributable installed. They will have different years and version numbers. There are many installations of the Visual C++ redistributable because different apps may use DLLs that are available in different versions of the Visual C++ redistributable. These apps would have been packaged with the version of the Visual C++ Redistributable that has the DLL that it needs. Deleting any of the Visual C++ redistributable will affect different apps installed.
How can I get a copy of Visual C++ Redistributable if I have one with a corrupt missing DLL?
Visual C++ Redistributable is located for download from the Microsoft website. If you are unable to download it from the Microsoft website, you may also try to find an app that has the Visual C++ redistributable as a part of its package. You can try to install only Visual C++ redistributable or try to reinstall or repair the app. Repairing or reinstalling the app may fix the missing DLL error.