File extension database

Open DLL File

File extension DLL is used by Microsoft Windows to store Dynamic-Link Library. DLL files contain executable code in "Portable Executable" format. This code can be designed to run on either 16, 32 or 64 bit systems. 16-bit systems are long time obsolete. 64-bit systems are still uncommon while 32-bit systems are mainstream. Attempting to run code on the wrong type of system will cause a failure.

DLL files usually contain code that is shared by many different applications. A good example would be wsock32.dll that contains code for sending data over the Internet. This DLL is used by browsers, email clients, instant messenger programs etc.

DLL is a binary file. That is why it is impossible to open DLL file and view it using regular text editors. Some useful information could be extracted from DLL file using Dependency Walker which shows dependencies between DLLs. Also, you can use HEX editors to open DLL file and view its content, but to extract any useful information you should use dumpbin.exe tool.

Another common usage of DLL files are "plugins". Plugins are mini-programs that extend features of other programs. For example, DLL that is responsible for drawing nice psychedelic graphics when you listen to music in your favorite player is a visualization plugin.

Please note that it is common for DLL files to contain trojans and viruses. We strongly recommend having an up-to-date antivirus software running on your PC at all times.

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Open DLL file article translations

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