Is it safe to delete DLL files?

14. Find and delete unnecessary DLL files

Stefan Forster

With almost every software installation, new DLL files are anchored in the system. The problem with these dynamic link libraries: When a program is removed, residues are all too often left behind. These DLL corpses slow down the system because Windows often starts them even though the associated application is no longer available and no other program is accessing it.

To check which unnecessary DLL files are spreading on your computer, you should take a look at the registry at regular intervals. Caution: Be careful when deleting DLL files so as not to accidentally remove an important system component.

1. In the registry editor, switch to the key "Hkey_Local_Machine \ Soft ware \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ SharedDLLs".

2. In the right half of the window you can now see all the DLL files used by several programs, along with their storage locations. The information in the "Value" column is relevant for you. If the number "(0)" can be seen in a DLL, this means that the file can no longer be used by any program and can therefore be safely deleted. However, since no files can be deleted from the registry, you must make a note of the filenames and storage location of the DLL files in question.

3. To delete a DLL file that is no longer required, start Windows Explorer and change to the directory in which the file is saved. Highlight the file and press the Delete key to move the highlighted file to the trash. Following this pattern, remove all unnecessary DLL files from your system. If a file cannot be deleted, it is currently being used by Windows or another application. Try again after restarting the system.