Issue: How to fix "apphelp.dll is either not designed to run Windows or it contains an error" in Windows?
Hello. When I try to open certain applications on Windows I get the “apphelp.dll is either not designed to run Windows or it contains an error” message. Is it possible to fix it?
Windows users frequently stumble into the error notice “apphelp.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error” when attempting to launch specific programs. The apphelp.dll file is a vital piece of the Microsoft-created Application Compatibility Client Library. Apphelp.dll's main goal is to make Windows apps function smoothly and without compatibility problems, especially when ACT is in charge of managing them.
This error message can drastically impair users' ability to use particular software or programs. Depending on the application that is impacted, this problem may have different effects. Crashing, freezing, or a complete failure to open the application are all possible user experiences. This issue may occasionally result in data loss or a diminished user experience, especially if the impacted application is essential for the user's job or everyday activities.
The error message “apphelp.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error” can be caused by a number of things. Corrupted or damaged apphelp.dll files are one common cause. Various factors, such as program conflicts, virus infections, or difficulties with the system during upgrades or installation, can cause this. This error may also be brought on by problems with the Application Compatibility Toolkit's compatibility.
Users have access to a number of different methods to deal with this problem. One typical solution is to swap out the defective or damaged apphelp.dll file for a fresh copy from a trustworthy source. Running Windows System File Checker (SFC) to scan and fix faulty system files is another troubleshooting technique. Taking care of any malware infections or software conflicts on the system may also help fix the problem.
In this guide, you will find 6 steps that should help you fix “apphelp.dll is either not designed to run Windows or it contains an error” in Windows. You can also run a system repair tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9 that can fix most system errors, BSODs, corrupted files, and registry issues. Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.
Solution 1. Fix Corrupted System Files
Use Command Prompt commands to repair system file corruption:
- Open Command Prompt as administrator
- Use the following command and press Enter:
- Reboot your system
- If SFC returned an error, then use the following command lines, pressing Enter after each:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
Solution 2. Install Windows Updates
- Click Start and select Settings.
- Go to the Windows Update section.
- Click Check for updates and wait.
- Go to the Advanced options and install optional updates.
- Reboot your system.
Solution 3. Scan for Malware
It is possible that a malware infection may be the cause of “apphelp.dll is either not designed to run Windows or it contains an error” in Windows. It is important to run a comprehensive security scan to rule out this possibility and ensure that the computer is not infected. This can help to prevent further issues with the Windows operating system and ensure that it is functioning properly.
If you have access to a security scanner, or if your organization pays for one, you can use it to scan your entire system to check for a virus infection. Otherwise, you can use Windows Defender to scan your system:
- Click on the Windows Start menu or press the Windows key on your keyboard.
- Type Microsoft Defender in the search bar and click on Microsoft Defender Antivirus to open the application.
- Click on the Virus & threat protection option in the left-hand menu.
- Click on the Quick scan or Full scan option, depending on your preference.
- If you choose Quick scan, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will scan the most vulnerable and commonly infected areas of your computer.
- If you choose Full scan, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will scan your entire computer, including all files, folders, and programs.
- Click on the Scan now button to start the selected scan type and wait for the scan to complete.
- The time it takes will depend on the size of your hard drive and the number of files being scanned.
- Once the scan is complete, you will be informed of any detected threats, and you can choose to quarantine or remove them.
- If no threats are found, Microsoft Defender Antivirus will inform you that your device is secure.
Solution 4. Try Clean Boot
- Open the Search menu, type in system configuration, and press Enter.
- Under the Services tab, tick the Hide all Microsoft services box.
- Click on Disable all button.
- Head over to the Startup tab and click on Open Task Manager.
- Select a third-party program and click on Disable at the top.
- Repeat this step to disable all third-party apps and programs.
- Restart your PC to enter the clean boot state and see if the issue persists.
- If the issue disappeared in the clean boot state, then you can be certain that a third-party app is causing it.
- Go through all recently installed apps or programs and remove them one by one.
Solution 5. Use System Restore
System Restore is a feature in Microsoft Windows that allows users to revert their computer's state to a previous point in time. This can be helpful if you have made changes to your system that are causing problems.
- Press the Windows key + R on your keyboard to open the Run box.
- Type SystemPropertiesProtection and press Enter.
- Go to the System Protection tab.
- You will see the System Restore… button. Click it to run System Restore.
- Follow the prompts until you can select a restore point.
- Select the one you want (ideally before the issue started occurring) and go ahead with the process.
Solution 6. Repair Install Windows
- Visit Microsoft's official website.
- Choose the desired product language and OS edition for Windows 11.
- Download the Windows 11 ISO file.
- Locate the downloaded ISO file and double-click it.
- In the prompt that appears, click Open.
- Run the setup.exe file.
- When the UAC (User Account Control) dialog box appears, click Yes to continue.
- Click Next to proceed with the installation.
- Accept Microsoft's license terms by clicking Accept.
- Make sure the setup option reads Keep personal files and apps.
- Click Install to begin the Windows 11 repair upgrade.
- Wait patiently for the repair upgrade to complete.
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