What is the Kernel32.dll?

The Kernel32.dll file, also known as Windows KT BASE API Client DLL, is a 32-bit dynamic link library file used in Windows operating system. The Kernel32.dll file handles memory management, input/output operations and interrupts. So it’s an important file which makes sure your Windows programs running properly. If it’s missing or corrupted, it may impact the programs in a negative way.

Causes of Kernel32.dll errors

In simple term, the Kernel32.dll errors are caused by a conflict between one or more programs trying to access the memory protected area occupied by kernel32.dll. This error can be caused by a specific program, multiple files or programs. The reasons for the error are various. Here are some of the causes of the error, but not all.

  1. Windows temporary files are damaged
  2. Loaded corrupted or incorrect version of the kernel32.dll file
  3. The registry file is damaged
  4. Computer hardware problem (CPU overheating, overlocking .etc)
  5. Corrupted hardware drivers
  6. The driver is not installed correctly
  7. Your device has infected with a virus
  8. Insufficient disk space

How to fix Kernel32.dll errors?

Because the reasons for the error is various, there are many ways to fix the error. You may not have to try them all; just work your way down the list until you find the one that works for you.

  1. Restart your computer
  2. Run a virus scan
  3. Check Windows Update
  4. Repair system files
  5. Update your drivers
  6. Check your system memory
  7. Repair hard disk errors
  8. Perform a clean installation

Method 1: Restart your computer

Sometimes the could be simply fixed by rebooting your computer. The kernel32.dll error could be a fluke. Restart your computer always a good option to try when you meet problems.

Method 2: Run a virus scan

If your device has infected with a virus, the error may appear and cause trouble. So run your antivirus software to do a security scan and clear existed viruses or malware. Be sure that your antivirus software has been updated to the latest version.  Also, run a virus scan regularly can keep your computer safe.

Method 3: Check Windows Update

Microsoft keeps releasing new updates and related patches to provide service to users. The latest Windows updates can fix existed errors and outdated Windows installation might be the reason for Kernel32.dll error.

For example, if you run Skype in Windows XP without installing SP3, you might get the kernel32.dll error message. So remember using Windows Update to update your computer when you meet kernel32.dll errors.

  1. Press the Windows Key + I and click Update & Security.
  2. Click Check for Updates.

Method 4: Repair system files

If your kernel32.dll file is missing or corrupted, it’s not surprising to see the kernel32.dll error. To fix it, you need to run SFC (System File Checker) to restore the corrupted or missing file.

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R key at the same time to invoke the Run box.
  2. Type “cmd” and press Shift+Ctrl+Enter together to open Command Prompt in the administrator mode.
    Note: Do NOT click OK or just press the Enter key as that won’t allow you to open Command Prompt in the administrator mode.
  3. Type “sfc /scannow” in the window and press Enter. Then wait for the verification is 100% complete.
  4. Restart your computer to check the blue screen error is fixed or not.

If the result indicates that there are broken files exists but SFC can’t fix it, you can turn to Deployment Image Servicing and Management (DISM) Tool for deeper examine and repair.
Click here for a tutorial on how to use the DISM Tool.

Method 5: Update your drivers

The kernel32.dll error may be caused by corrupted hardware drivers. Updating drivers not only fix the error but also improve your computer performance.
There are two ways you can get the right drivers: manually or automatically.

Option 1 – Manually – You’ll need some computer skills and patience to update your drivers this way, because you need to find exactly the right the driver online, download it and install it step by step.


Option 2 – Automatically (Recommended) – This is the quickest and easiest option. It’s all done with just a couple of mouse clicks – easy even if you’re a computer newbie.  

Option 1 – Download and install the driver manually 

Devices keep updating drivers. To get them, you need to go to the manufacturer website, find the drivers corresponding with your specific flavor of Windows version (for example, Windows 32 bit) and download the driver manually.

Once you’ve downloaded the correct drivers for your system, double-click on the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to install the driver.

Option 2 – Automatically update drivers

If you don’t have the time, patience or computer skills to update your drivers manually, you can do it automatically with Driver Easy.

Driver Easy will automatically recognize your system and find the correct drivers for it. You don’t need to know exactly what system your computer is running, you don’t need to risk downloading and installing the wrong driver, and you don’t need to worry about making a mistake when installing.

You can update your drivers automatically with either the FREE or the Pro version of Driver Easy. But with the Pro version it takes just 2 clicks (and you get full support and a 30-day money back guarantee):

  1. Download and install Driver Easy.
  2. Run Driver Easy and click the Scan Now button. Driver Easy will then scan your computer and detect any problem drivers.
  3. Click the Update button next to the selected driver to automatically download the correct version of that driver, then you can manually install it (you can do this with the FREE version).
    Or click Update All to automatically download and install the correct version of all the drivers that are missing or out of date on your system. (This requires the Pro version which comes with full support and a 30-day money back guarantee. You’ll be prompted to upgrade when you click Update All.)
  4. Restart your computer and check the error will appear or not.

Method 6: Check your system memory

One of the reasons for the Kernel32.dll error is poor contact, defective or mismatched RAM (Random Access Memory).
You can physically or use the Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool to check your RAM.

Physical Check

  1. Plug your RAM in and out to make sure it has been installed properly and steadily.
  2. Clean your RAM if it’s dusty. And don’t forget the RAM slot
  3. Reboot your computer to check whether the problem exists.

Use Windows Memory Diagnostics Tool

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key + R together to open the Run box.
  2. Type “mdsched.exe” and click OK.
  3. Click Restart now and check for problems.

The result can lead to two situations:

A: You RAM has no problem. Then move to the next method.

B: The test result indicated that the computer is suffering from a bad memory. You should replace your RAM with a new one.
Then restart your computer and check to see the Kernel32.dll error will appear or not.

Method 7: Repair hard disk errors

In some cases, the kernel32.dll error could be attributed to hard drive corruption.
Check Disk Utility(chkdsk.exe) is a useful tool offered by Windows that can be used to check the hard drive for bad sectors and fix them if possible.

  1. On your keyboard, press the Windows logo key and R key at the same time to invoke the Run box.
  2. Type “cmd” and press Shift+Ctrl+Enter together to open Command Prompt in the administrator mode.
    Note: Do NOT click OK or just press the Enter key as that won’t allow you to open Command Prompt in the administrator mode.
  3. Type the following command line and press the Enter key on your keyboard.
    chkdsk x: /f
    Note: The letter “x” means the disk drive that you want to scan and repair for. The tool is often used for the Windows installation drive which is usually C drive. If you want to scan and repair C drive, replace “x” with “c”.
  4. After the scanning and repairing process is done, restart your PC and check to see if the error is resolved.

Method 8: Perform a clean installation

This should be your final solution. Do a clean installation will completely remove everything from your PC. So if you think that the kernel32.dll error is not caused by a single program and it’s really bothering you, you can perform a clean installation to solve the issue.
Click here and follow the guide to do a clean installation step-by-step.

Note: You can back up important files in another device to prevent important files from being lost.

We hope you find these techniques useful. You’re welcome to leave comments and questions below.

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