You Might Want to Keep those Shared Files

Sometimes when uninstalling a program a message comes up telling you that there are shared files that may not be needed on your system, “Would you like to remove?”

All of us want to conserve space on our hard drive, so of course, the natural impulse is to click “yes”. Guess what? You may have actually removed files that another program does need. I get so many calls from readers who experience “***.dll file not found” errors after uninstalling software.

Shared files are “general purpose” files that more than one program can use. They usually come in the form of DLL files , and should be automatically installed with the software that needs them (assuming the setup program for the software includes them—most good setups will).

So, if you are asked if you want to remove a shared file, it may be best to click “no”. Going through and deleting the ones you *think* aren’t being used anymore is a lot like getting under the hood of your car and yanking wires that don’t look important.

What happens if one of those shared files gets deleted or corrupted and one of your other programs will no longer run? Easy—just re-install the program in question and you’ll be back in business. No big deal. If this still doesn’t put back the missing .dll file, check out this site…

Simply type your missing file name into the search box to find if it is available, then download it. You can also go to the “dll-files downloads” page and scroll down the alphabetical list to find the file you need. After downloading the most likely place to put the .dll file is in the Win32 folder, if that doesn’t work, try the program’s folder.

~ David