Issue: How to fix wsock32.dll missing or not found error in Windows?
I was trying to open a program I had been using for years, and all of a sudden, I got the “wsock32.dll not found” error. Any advice on how to fix it?
Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files, including wsock32.dll, are crucial components within the Windows operating system. These files house codes and resources that multiple programs can utilize simultaneously, thereby promoting memory efficiency and smoother functionality. In essence, DLL files are imperative for Windows applications to function correctly.
However, DLL files are not immune to errors, one of which is the “wsock32.dll missing or not found” error. The wsock32.dll file is a critical system file that facilitates Windows Socket 32-bit DLL, a crucial component providing network services to applications. These applications, which include various programs and games, rely on wsock32.dll to connect to the internet, send or receive data, or join a network. Therefore, the absence or corruption of the wsock32.dll file adversely affects these processes.
Users usually encounter the “wsock32.dll missing or not found” error when attempting to launch applications or games that require the aforementioned network services. This error typically appears as a popup notification, preventing the successful initiation of the application or game resulting in significant inconvenience for the user. Consequently, addressing this error promptly and effectively is essential for maintaining smooth and uninterrupted system operations.
Various solutions can be explored to rectify the “wsock32.dll missing or not found” error. These include reinstalling the application or game, registering the wsock32.dll file, conducting a system file check, or performing a system restore. Users may also consider running a virus or malware scan, updating Windows, or reinstalling Windows entirely if necessary. These methods either replace the missing file, fix the error within the existing file, or remove any external factors causing the error.
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Fix 1. Run SFC and DISM
System File Checker and Deployment Image Service and Management Tool are built-in utilities in Windows designed to repair corrupt or missing system files. SFC scans for and repairs issues in system files, while DISM fixes Windows corruption errors. These tools can help restore the wsock32.dll file if it’s missing or corrupted.
- Type cmd in Windows search.
- Right-click on Command Prompt and pick Run as administrator.
- User Account Control window will show up – click Yes when prompted.
- Then, copy and paste the following command, pressing Enter after:
- Wait till the scan is finished. If Windows finds system file integrity violations, it will attempt to fix them. After this, use the set of the following commands, pressing Enter each time:
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /CheckHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /ScanHealth
DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
- (Note: if you get an error executing this last command, add /Source:C:\RepairSource\Windows /LimitAccess to it and try again).
- Close down the Command Prompt and restart your computer.
Fix 2. Install all Windows updates
Keeping your system updated ensures you have all the necessary system files and security patches. Sometimes, simply updating Windows fixes missing or corrupted DLL files like wsock32.dll.
- Type Updates in Windows search and press Enter.
- When the new window opens, click Check for updates and wait.
- If there are optional updates available, install them as well.
- Restart your computer to implement the changes.
Fix 3. Re-register wsock32.dll file
Re-registering the affected file can resolve issues caused by the file not being properly registered in the Windows registry.
- Open Command Prompt as administrator.
- In the prompt, type in the following command and press Enter:
regsvr32 /u wsock32.dll
- After that, type the next command and hit Enter:
regsvr32 /i wsock32.dll
- Restart your computer to apply the changes.
Fix 4. Perform System Restore
A System Restore reverts your computer’s system files and settings to an earlier point in time without affecting personal files. This can resolve the missing wsock32.dll error if the file was accidentally deleted or corrupted recently.
- Type in Create a Restore point in Windows search and hit Enter.
- Go to the System Protection tab and pick System Restore.
- Click Next.
- Click Show more restore points (if available).
- Pick the time before the problem occurred and click Next.
- Follow the prompts to finish the process.
Fix 5. Copy wsock32.dll file from another computer
If another computer you have access to isn’t encountering issues with the wsock32.dll file, you can copy this file from that system to yours. This method assumes that the other computer is running a Windows version similar to yours, ensuring compatibility with the DLL file.
- First, locate and access a working computer with a similar Windows operating system version as the one facing the error.
- On the working computer, open File Explorer.
- Navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder (the default location for system DLL files).
- In the System32 folder, find and copy the wsock32.dll file onto a USB flash drive or any portable storage device.
- Eject the storage device safely from the working computer and connect it to the computer with the missing or corrupted wsock32.dll file.
- On the affected computer, open File Explorer and navigate to the C:\Windows\System32 folder.
- Paste the copied wsock32.dll file into the System32 folder. You may need to provide administrator permission to copy the file into this directory.
- Once the file is copied over, restart your computer.
Fix 6. Use antivirus software
Running antivirus software can detect and remove malicious programs that may have caused corruption or deletion of the wsock32.dll file. You can employ Microsoft Safety Scanner, a third-party security app, or simply rely on Windows Defender:
- Type Windows Security in the Windows search bar and hit Enter.
- Select Virus & threat protection.
- Pick Scan options.
- Choose Microsoft Defender Offline scan and click Scan now.
- Your computer will immediately restart and begin a deep scan.
Fix 7. Uninstall and reinstall the affected program
Sometimes, the program that’s showing the error may be the issue. Uninstalling and then reinstalling the software might solve the problem.
- Open the Control Panel from the Start menu.
- Navigate to Programs and Features.
- Find and select the program causing the error.
- Click on Uninstall and follow the prompts to remove the program.
- Restart your computer.
- Reinstall the program from the original installation source.
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