Trying to open a program or a file on your Windows computer, but seeing this error?: The program can’t start because api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem 

No need to panic; you’re not the only one. It’s usually pretty easy to fix. Read on to find how…

IMPORTANT: Do not download dll file from any dll download website! It may not be up-to-date, and the source isn’t approved. If you’ve already downloaded one, please remove it completely.

Why is api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll missing?

The api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll file is included in Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015. If don’t have this software, or your existing software is missing, incompatible or corrupted, you may encounter this problem. 

How do I fix the api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll missing error?

The fix for this problem varies, depending on whether you currently have Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 installed on your computer.


If you DON’T have Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 installed

There are 2 ways you can install Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015:

  1. Install it with Windows Update
  2. Download it from Microsoft directly

1: Install it with Windows Update

Microsoft has built Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 in Windows Update KB2999226. So you can install it through Windows Update.

  1. Type Update in the search box from Start. Then click Check for updates (Windows 10) or Windows Update (Windows 7) from the result.
  2. Click Check for updates .
  3. Windows should then check for updates automatically.
    If you use Windows 10, Microsoft will install the detected updates automatically;
    If you use Windows 7, click Install Updates.

  4. Restart your computer. Then repeat the steps above again until no more updates are available.

  5. Open the same program or the file to see if successfully.  If you open the program successfully, great! If the error still exists, don’t worry, there’s something else you could try…

2: Download it from Microsoft directly 

You could choose to donwload the software directly from the official Microsoft website. Here’s how you can do it:

  1. Go to Microsoft Download website.
  2. Click Download.
  3. Select your system type x64 or x86(x32), then click Next.
    NOTE: If you’re not sure what system type your Windows runs, check like these: type system in the search box from the Start menu, then click System (Windows 10) or System Information (Windows 7) from the result. You should then see your system type on the pop-up window.

  4. It should then start to download the file.

  5. When it’s done, double-click the downloaded .exe file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete installation.
  6. Open the same program or the file to see if successfully.  If you open the program successfully, great! If the error still exists, don’t worry, move onto Way 3.

If you DO have Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 installed

If you already have Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 installed, then you need to repair it, or replace your copy of the api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll file.

Repair Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015

If you already have the Visual C++ Redistributable for Visual Studio 2015 on your computer, you can try to repair it to solve this problem.

Follow these steps:

  1. Type control in the search box from the Start menu. Then click Control Panel.
  2. Click Programs and Features under the Small icons pane.
  3. Click Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable, then Change.
  4. Click Repair.
  5. Click Yes when prompted by User Account Control and continue to follow the on-screen instructions to complete the repair.

Copy api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll from another PC

If unfortunately, all the previous methods fails to help, you can copy the api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll file from a PC that runs the same Windows system as yours.

Part 1: Check your Windows system type and find a computer that runs the same system with yours.

Here’s how you can check Windows type of a computer:

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key to bring up the Search box.
  2. Type system information and then select System Information from the result.

  3. You should then see the system type of the computer.

Part 2: Copy the api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll file from the working computer and then paste it to the problem computer.

Here’s how you can find the dll file:

  1. On the keyboard of the working computer, press the Windows logo key and E at the same time to bring up the File Explorer. 
  2. Go to C:\Windows\System32, then type api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll and press Enter. If it shows no results, go to C:\Windows\SysWOW64 instead and search api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll again.

  3. Copy the api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll file if found and paste it into the same location as where you copy the file in your problem computer.

Note: Keep in mid that not every computer with the same system type has the dll file you want to restore, so this method is not always successful either.


If you’re tired of dealing with this problem: Switch to ChromeOS

Windows is a very old technology. Sure, Windows 10 is relatively new, but it’s still just the latest iteration of a decades-old operating system, designed for a bygone era (pre-internet).

Now that we have the internet, fast connection speeds, free cloud storage, and endless web apps (like Gmail, Google Docs, Slack, Facebook, Dropbox and Spotify), the entire Windows way of doing things – with locally installed programs and local file storage – is totally outdated.

Why is that a problem? Because when you’re constantly installing uncontrolled third-party programs, you’re constantly opening the door to viruses and other malware. (And Windows’ insecure permission system compounds this problem.)

Plus the way Windows manages installed software and hardware has always been a problem. If your computer shuts down unexpectedly, or a program installs, uninstalls or updates incorrectly, you can get ‘registry’ corruptions. That’s why Windows PCs always slow down and become unstable over time.

Also because everything’s installed and saved locally, it doesn’t take long before you run out of disk space, and your disk gets fragmented, which makes everything even slower and more unstable.

For most people, the simplest way to solve Windows problems is to ditch Windows altogether, and switch to a faster, more reliable, more secure, easier to use and cheaper operating system…

Google ChromeOS.

ChromeOS feels much like Windows, but instead of installing heaps of programs to email, chat, browse the internet, write documents, do school presentations, create spreadsheets, and whatever else you normally do on a computer, you use web apps. You don’t need to install anything at all.

That means you don’t have virus and malware problems, and your computer doesn’t slow down over time, or become unstable.

And that’s just the start of the benefits…

To learn more about the benefits of ChromeOS, and to see comparison videos and demos, visit GoChromeOS.com.


If none of the fixes above worked, or you just don’t have the time or confidence to troubleshoot the problem for yourself, get us to fix it for you. All you need to do is buy a 1-year subscription to Driver Easy (just $29.95) and you get free technical support as part of your purchase. Then you can contact our computer technicians directly, explain your problem, and they’ll investigate to see if they can resolve it remotely.

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