While attempting to use a program, you see an error message on the screen which indicates that there is a problem with the User32.dll file. This can occur for a number of reasons, but User32.dll is an important file, as it is fundamentally involved with the functioning of Windows. Thus, if the file is damaged, deleted, or removed, the system will no longer work correctly, and therefore it is extremely important that this problem is resolved as soon as possible. Similarly, if a program is reliant on the file, it will no longer function as it should, if at all.

Error messages common to User32.dll errors will offer read similarly to the following:

“program Illegal system DLL relocation”


The first thing to try with this issue is simply to run a Windows update. This should be done automatically, but this process can occasionally go awry. Open the Start menu, and then click Run. Type “wupdmgr” into the Run box, and then press enter. Follow the on-screen prompts to run Windows Update.

If this doesn’t work, the next thing to try is to attempt to reinstall programs, hardware and drivers that are causing the User32.dll errors. This can often correct the problem. It is extremely difficulty to give step-by-step instructions for this process, as it could be any number of programs / devices, but assistance on installation can usually be provided by manufacturers, or within the troubleshooting section of Windows. The latter can be accessed via Start > Help and Support > Troubleshooting.

If this doesn’t work then the next option is to use Windows’ system restore function. This will reset your machine to a time before the User32.dll error caused your machine to malfunction. You can then re-install any devices or programmes that have been removed by this virtual step back in time. System restore can be accessed through the Start menu, by simply typing “System Restore” into the search box.

If the system restore utility will not run correctly then you can attempt to activate safe mode. To run Windows in Safe Mode, restart your computer and press F8 (if you have Windows installed). Once you’ve reached the desktop in Safe Mode, type ‘System’ into the Start search box and press Enter once ‘System Restore’ is highlighted. You should then be able to run the system restore utility.

It is also sometimes possible to restore the original User32.dll file by using your Windows CD. The process can vary very slightly depending on which version of Windows you are using, but the following method relates to Windows XP.

Firstly, insert the Windows CD. When prompted, answer that you do wish to start the computer from the CD drive.

When the opening screen shows, press R to open the Recovery Console.

Next you will see a command prompt. Type the following into the box:

cd %systemroot%\system32
Next you can rename the corrupted file in order to prevent its deletion when the new file is copied. In order to do so, type the following command:


You are now ready to restore the User32.dll file from the Windows CD. This requires the following command to be typed and entered into the Recovery Console very carefully:

expand D:i386\USER32.DLL %systemroot%\system32 /Y

This should alleviate the problem.