How to fix "netutils.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error"?

Issue: Hello. When I try to open certain apps on Windows I get the “netutils.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error” message. Is there a way to fix this?

Solved Answer

One issue users run into while trying to open some applications on their Windows PCs is indicated by the error message “netutils.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error”. This error is caused by problems with the netutils.dll file, a dynamic link library[1] file that is required for some Windows applications and processes to operate correctly.

When consumers encounter this issue, it might seriously hinder their capacity to use and gain access to necessary apps. A variety of tools and utilities that depend on the functionality offered by netutils.dll may be among the impacted apps. Regular workflows may be disrupted as a result, especially if the malfunctioning programs are essential to the user's daily activities or professional obligations.

There are several possible reasons for this error, such as corruption or damage to the netutils.dll file, Windows version incompatibilities, or issues with the application itself. Consequently, users could experience annoyance and decreased productivity when they are unable to launch certain programs.

Fixing the netutils.dll file's underlying issues is usually the first step in fixing this issue. Users might have to think about fixes like updating the impacted apps, making sure the file is compatible with the Windows version, or fixing or replacing the damaged file. The goal of these fixes is to get the netutils.dll file back in working order so that the related apps can run without errors.

In this guide, you will find 7 steps that should help you fix “netutils.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error” message when launching apps. You can also try running a maintenance tool like FortectMac Washing Machine X9 that can fix most system errors, BSODs,[2] corrupted files, and registry[3] issues. Otherwise, follow the step-by-step instructions below.

How to fix netutils.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error

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:
    sfc /scannow

Fix Corrupted System Files

  • 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. Troubleshoot in WinRE

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  • Restart your laptop.
  • From the login screen, click Shutdown.
  • Hold down the Shift key while selecting Restart.
  • Enter WinRE.
  • Allow your device to fully restart.

Troubleshoot in WinRE

  • In the WINRE menu, go to Troubleshoot > Advanced options > Command prompt.
  • Type BCDEdit.
  • Note the drive letter next to osdevice in Windows Boot Loader.
  • Type the following commands one by one and press Enter after each:

CHKDSK /f [drive letter]:

DISM /image:[drive letter]:\ /cleanup-image /restorehealth

SFC /scannow /offbootdir=[drive letter]:\ /offwindir=[drive letter]:\windows


bootrec /fixmbr

bootrec /fixboot

bootrec /scanos

bootrec /rebuildbcd


  • On Advanced options, select Startup repair.
  • Restart the system.

Solution 3. Install Windows Updates

  • Click Start and select Settings.
  • Go to the Windows Update section.
  • Click Check for updates and wait.

Install Windows Updates

  • Go to the Advanced options and install optional updates.
  • Reboot your system.

Solution 4. Scan for Malware

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It is possible that a malware infection may be the cause of “netutils.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error”. 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.

Scan for Malware

  • 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 5. 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.

Try Clean Boot

  • 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 6. Use System Restore

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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.

Use System Restore

  • 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 7. 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.

Repair Install Windows

  • 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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This patented repair process uses a database of 25 million components that can replace any damaged or missing file on user's computer.
To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Fortect malware removal tool.To repair damaged system, you have to purchase the licensed version of Mac Washing Machine X9 malware removal tool.

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About the author
Ugnius Kiguolis
Ugnius Kiguolis - The problem solver

Ugnius Kiguolis is the founder and editor-in-chief of UGetFix. He is a professional security specialist and malware analyst who has been working in IT industry for over 20 years.

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