How to Fix OpenAL32.dll Missing Error Message on Windows


By Jack

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Many Windows users have reported that OpenAL32.dll is not found on Windows error messages while trying to open a program.

It is frustrating to encounter an error when opening an application. It reduces the efficiency of the work and creates an unwanted headache. 

Before solving any problem, you must have a basic understanding of the error. Read on to learn how to fix the OpenAL32.dll missing error on your Windows. 

What Is Openal32.dll Missing Error on Windows?

OpenAL is an acronym for Open Audio Library. It is a cross-platform audio application programming interface (API) used in many programs like audio applications and games to improve user experience. OpenAL32.dll file works as a component for API.

If the OpenAL32.dll file or the program that requires OpenAL32.dll gets corrupted or missing, you get OpenAL32.dll not found on the Windows message.

There are many error messages that you might get after OpenAL32.dll gets corrupted. Below are some common errors that you should know.

  • The program could not start because OpenAL32.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem.       
  • The application failed to start because OpenAL32.dll was not found.
  • Error loading OpenAL32.dll.
  • OpenAL32.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or contains an error.
  • There was a problem starting OpenAL32.dll.
OpenAL32.dll missing error on Windows 10

Furthermore, many reasons can cause OpenAL32.dll missing error. This problem can also be due to a virus attack, registry problem, faulty application, and many others. 

If you struggle to fix this error, this article will make your work easy. Now that you know what OpenAL32.dll missing error is. Let’s dive straight into the methods of fixing this error.    

Method 1: Reinstalling the Problematic Program

When you receive the missing error message OpenAL32.dll not found on Windows, you always get the troubleshooting suggestion from the system saying, ‘Try installing the program to fix his problem.’

So, the first method is quite simple and accessible; you just need to reinstall that problematic program in your system again. First, please uninstall the program and then reinstall it again.

However, if this method is not working and you’re still unable to open and run a program, please move on to the next method.

Method 2: Registering the File Manually

Once you install the program that needs the OpenAL32.dll file to run it, the file is automatically registered in your computer system. If the file did not register in your system, the application shows an OpenAL32.dll missing pop-up error message. 

Therefore, if the file is not registered properly, you need to register it on your PC manually.

Follow the Below Guide Step-by-step to Carry out This Process. 

1: Press Windows and R keys on the keyboard to open the ‘Run’ window.

2: Type cmd in the dialog box and press Ctrl, Shift and Enter together to run Command Prompt as administrator.

3: Input the below command and press ‘Enter’ to register the OpenAL32.dll file.

  • regsvr32 /u OpenAL32.dll

4: Now, type in another command (mentioned below) and hit ‘Enter’ to register the OpenAL32.dll file.

  • regsvr32 /i OpenAL32.dll

After properly registering the file in your computer system, restart your PC to check whether the missing error persists.

Besides, let’s figure out how to fix the libcef.dll that is missing.

Method 3: Scan for Malware or Virus

As mentioned above, besides the missing or corrupted OpenAL32.dll file, many other reasons can cause OpenAL32.dll missing errors. A malware and virus attack could be one of them.

The unwanted programs or viruses in your computer system prevent your program from running properly, thus, causing OpenAL32.dll missing error. To remove the virus, you need to scan your whole system and detect the problem.

Therefore, you can either use third-party antivirus software or Windows Defender. The below steps will help you to carry on the process.

1: You can scan the error using Windows built-in tools. To do that, please go to ‘Windows Settings’ and click on ‘Windows Security.’

2: Select the ‘Virus & threat protect’ option and click on the ‘Run a new advance scan.’

3: Lastly, choose the ‘Full Scan’ section to detect and remove viruses from your system.

Scan malware or virus to fix OpenAL32.dll missing error on Windows 10

After successfully scanning and removing the virus, restart your computer system to take effect. Now, re-launch your program again and check whether the error persists.

Method 4: Use the System File Checker Program

Windows users can use one of the most efficient file checker software, System File Checker, to scan and fix problems related to system files. It helps you to scan all the system files and replace corrupted and missing ones with a cached copy.

You can run System File Checker for most DLL errors, including the OpenAL32.dll missing error. If you don’t know the process, the following steps will help you run the System Checker Program.

1: Press Windows and R keys together to open the ‘Run’ window. 

2: Type in cmd and press Ctrl, Shift, and Enter to open Command Prompt as an administrator window. 

3: Type the command sfc /scannow and hit ‘Enter.’

sfc /scannow

4: The scanning process takes some time. So wait patiently till the system completes the scanning process. 

If the process of fixing the error is successful, restart your computer system to take effect. Run your problematic program again to check whether the OpenAL32.dll missing persists.

Method 5: Update Device Drivers

The outdated or corrupted device driver can also lead to the OpenAL32.dll missing error. Therefore, you need to update your device driver, especially the sound and video card drivers.

Problematic drivers are pointed with a yellow exclamation in the ‘Driver Management’ section. The yellow exclamation mark indicates that there are some problems with the device.

The old versions of device drivers are vulnerable and easily get corrupted. That is why updating your drivers from time to time is important. If you don’t know how to do it, the following guide will help you to update device drivers.

1: Press Windows and R keys together to invoke the Run dialog box. Type devmgmt.msc and click on the OK button to open the Device Management window. 

2: Now locate the yellow exclamation device driver or the targeted driver. Right-click the driver and select the Update driver option from the drop-down menu. 

Update Device Driver to fix OpenAL32.dll missing error

3: In the new window, navigate Search automatically for driver software and click on it. Windows will automatically start searching your PC and the Internet for the new version of the driver.

After updating your device driver, restart your computer system to take effect. Now launch the problematic program again and check whether OpenAL32.dll missing persists. 

Method 6: Perform System Restore

The improper changes in the settings or files also lead to OpenAL32.dll not being found on Windows error.

If you cannot find the exact file or configuration problem, you can run the System Restore program on your computer. This program helps bring the configuration or file setting back to the original.

Following the below steps will help you to learn the process.

1: Press Windows and S keys together to open a Search window.

2: Type ‘restore’ in the search box and select the Create a restore point option from the search result. 

3: Now, go to the System Properties section and search for the System Restore option located under System Protection, and click on it. Then click ‘Next’ on the welcome page to continue the process. 

System Restore on Windows 10

4: A new window containing the lists of created restore points will open. If you want to check previous restore points, click on Show more restores points.

Now, highlight the targeted restore point and click Scan for the affected program. This will detect all the uninstalled programs. You need to install all uninstalled programs.

Scan for affected program

5: After that, click the ‘Next’ button to restore the selected program.

6: A confirmation message will pop up. Remember that once the restore system is confirmed, you cannot undo it. Therefore, check that you have followed all the steps properly, and then click on the ‘Yes’ button to confirm the process.

Restore system to fix OpenAL32.dll missing error

Once the system restores, the process is completed successfully, restart your computer system and run the program.    

Method 7: Surface Test Your Computer’s Hard Drive

If the above methods are not helping you fix the OpenAL32.dll missing error, you need to check your computer’s hard drive. Hard drive issues cause the loss of certain files, which results in errors.

Before taking any actions to remove bad sectors from your hard drives, you must perform a surface test to check whether there is a bad sector or not.

Use MiniTool Partition Wizard to perform a surface test on your computer’s hard drive. This safe and reliable software allows you to test your hard drive simply and quickly.

1: Please go to the official site of MiniTool Partition Wizard and download and launch the software. Now you can access the main interface of the software.

2: Right-click on the ‘Target hard drive’ option and select ‘Surface test’ from the context menu. This will activate the feature.

MiniTool Partition Wizard

3: In the new window, click on the Start Now button to start the process.

Test Hard driver to fix OpenAL32.dll missing error on Windows 10

This will allow the software to read the data from the sector and scan each sector’s status. The scanning process takes some time.

Wait patiently until the process is completed. If there is a bad sector in the disk, the message will pop up in red color. Otherwise, a message in green color will appear.

Surface test your computers hard drive

Method 8: Perform a Clean Boot

If all the above solutions are not working for you, the last option left is reinstalling the Windows system. It is risky; however, if you follow the steps properly, you can perform a clean installation of Windows to fix OpenAL32.dll not found on Windows.  

Important Note: Before reinstalling Windows, you must back up your computer system’s data on another hard drive. Windows reinstallation process will delete all your pre-stored data from your PC. You can store the data in another hard drive and continue the process.

Follow the Below Steps to Reinstall Windows.

1: Press Windows and I keys together to open Windows Settings. 

2: Search for the Update & Recovery section and click on it. Then click on the Recovery option.

3: Search for the Get Started button under Reset this PC in the right pane.

Clean boot windows 10 to fix OpenAL32.dll missing error

4: You will see two options whether you need to keep your files or remove them. Select the option of your preference. 

keep your files or remove them

This will reinstall your Windows, and the OpenAL32.dll missing error will also be removed. 


Q1. Can I manually download and replace the OpenAL32.dll file?

Yes, you can manually download the OpenAL32.dll file from reputable sources and replace it in the program’s installation directory. However, exercise caution and ensure you download the correct version compatible with your system.

Q2. Why does the OpenAL32.dll error only occur with specific games or applications?

Different games and applications utilize different versions of OpenAL32.dll. If the installed version doesn’t match the requirements of a particular program, you may encounter the missing error.

Q3. Are there any alternative audio libraries I can use instead of OpenAL?

Yes, there are alternative audio libraries available, such as FMOD and XAudio2, which you can explore if you encounter issues with OpenAL or want to try different audio solutions.

Q4. How can I identify if the OpenAL32.dll file is corrupted or missing?

When the OpenAL32.dll file is missing or corrupted, you will typically see an error message mentioning the DLL file, such as “OpenAL32.dll not found” or “The program can’t start because OpenAL32.dll is missing.”

Q5. Will reinstalling my operating system fix the OpenAL32.dll missing error?

Reinstalling the operating system is usually not necessary to fix the OpenAL32.dll missing error. Try the methods mentioned in this article first, as they are less intrusive and often resolve the issue.


These are the eight methods that will help you to fix the OpenAL32.dll missing error. If you know another method of removing the error, comment below and let us know.  


Ten years of experience in information and computer technology. Passionate about electronic devices, smartphones, computers, and modern technology.