Removing a Shared File

I had a reader write in to ask: “Is it safe for me to remove shared files?”  This post covers this for my reader, and anyone else who may be wondering the same thing. 🙂

When you remove programs from your computer, using the Add/Remove Programs system, should you answer “Yes” or “No” to the question, “Do you want to remove a shared file?”

Shared files have the file extension “.DLL” on them. That means they’re a Dynamic Linked Library file. All this means is, the file in question can be used by different programs. A word processor (like MS Word) and another program may share a DLL file. So removing that file COULD cause another program to malfunction.

You may have seen a message stating that a certain file cannot be found. That file is needed in order to open the program you’re trying to use. Why is it missing? Could be that you removed it when you uninstalled another program and said YES to the question “Do you want to remove the shared file.”

The bottom line: If you aren’t familiar with a filename, and you’re asked if you want to delete it, don’t. Just answer “NO” to the question. It won’t do any harm if it’s not actually needed. But watch out if it *is* needed – and you’ve removed it!


Add/Remove Programs System?


Click on Start

Control Panel

Add/Remove Programs

Select the program you want to uninstall

Select Change/Remove


DLL files are tiny files, but it’s like a having a tiny fuse blowing in your car. When that tiny bit of power blows, all that sophisticated technology grinds to a halt.

Sometimes a .dll file disappears or is damaged, or is removed accidentally. And suddenly you find that one of your programs no longer works. The answer?

Download another one from the Internet and install it.

Sounds easy enough, right?

Just go to Google and type in dll in the search box. You’ll see a ton of links to sites that let you download the .dll file you’re missing from their .dll library. If you don’t find the file you’re looking for at one site, just go to another one until you do.

Some sites may try to charge you, but don’t pay for a .dll file… because there are other sites that will offer you the same file for free.

Be sure to write down the number of the .dll file you need, then type it into the search box of the download site. Also look for a site that gives you instructions on how to install it. Print out those instructions and follow them to a t… and everything should return to normal for you when you open that program that is missing a .dll file.

Until next time…


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