What Is A .dll File And Can It Harm My Computer?

There are so many computer terms out there that it is hard for people to know what to trust.

Sometimes you will see a file lying around that you will not be sure of what it is and you tend to have questions about it.

One of the types of files that you might run across is the .dll file.

If you are on a Windows based operating system then you know that you have seen this file at least once before.

Because Windows users are used to certain files when they are using the computer, when they see something out of the ordinary like a .dll file, they tend to get a little nervous.

what is a .dll file and can it harm my computer?

what is a .dll file and can it harm my computer?

What Is A .dll File?

A .dll file is also known as a Dynamic Link Library.

If you are a programmer for desktop programs on the Windows operating system then you are quite aware of what this type of file is but if you are not a programmer then you might have seen it but not know what it does.

When you run a program you have to click on an .exe file which is also known as an executable file.

Sometimes there are more resources needed by that executable file – this is where the .dll file comes into play.

The .dll file is filled with more computer instructions so that you are able to run the program uninterrupted.

If you erase the .dll file then you will not be able to run the program.

The .dll file allows you to also share that same code with other programs that might be on the computer.

When they are compiled they can link to the .dll file and use the same resources.

Of course, the .dll file has to be somewhere that they know about already.

The program must be able to find it to be able to use it.

So Can A .dll File Harm My Computer?

The answer to that is no, by itself it will not be able to harm your computer.

The .dll file by itself is not executable and cannot be run without hooking up to an executable file.

Now on the other hand, if the .dll file is hooked to an executable file that is meant to cause your computer harm then it is possible that it can be dangerous.

That is why usually when you see a new .dll file on your computer then there is going to be a .exe file somewhere around there.

Make sure that you scan the two together so that just in case you run them you will not have to worry about your computer becoming infected with something bad.

A .dll file by itself is not going to be able to harm your computer.

You must worry about other factors that go along with the .dll file, such as a malicious .exe file that is paired with it.

What other file types should you worry about?

About Lee Munson

Lee's non-technical background allows him to write about internet security in a clear way that is understandable to both IT professionals and people just like you who need simple answers to your security questions.

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