Solution to comdlg32.dll Error

Comdlg32.dll is an important system file, and its main purpose is to help in running programs and creating graphical user interfaces, such as file open, save, or print dialog boxes on Windows 98/XP computers.

Error 1

When loading an application in Windows 98/95/XP, you see the error below:

“Error starting program. The Comdlg32.dll file cannot start. Check the file to determine the problem.”


Typically, the error arises when some other program replaces comctl32.dll with another version of the file. When this happens, Windows is unable to read the file. Other programs that use this file are also unable to access the file.


Windows 98

Use any of the following methods to repair the error in Windows 98:

  • Run System File Checker command

    System File Checker is an inbuilt command-line utility in Windows that scans all protected files to verify their version. In case the utility finds that a version of a protected file is incorrect or a protected file is missing, it copies the correct version file from either the Windows Cache folder or the installation files.

    To run System File Checker in Windows 98, perform the following steps:

    1. Click Start>Programs>Accessories>System Tools>System Information.
    2. Select Tools.
    3. Select System File Checker.
    4. Under the Settings tab in the System File Checker Settings dialog box, select Always back up before restoring, Check for changed files, and Check for deleted files.
    5. Click OK.
  • Copy Commdlg.dll file from Windows\Sysbckup folder

    Copy the file commdlg.dll located in the Windows\Sysbckup folder to the Windows\System folder. You will be unable to copy the commdlg.dll from the Windows\Sysbckup folder to the Windows\System folder if:

    1. The program that has replaced the comdlg32.dll with another version has changed some of the file’s settings
    2. -Or-

    3. The copy of the file present in the Windows\Sysbckup folder is corrupt.


      If you are unable to copy the commdlg.dll file, then use the following workarounds sequentially.

      1. Reset the file’s attributes
        Undo any changes made to the file and copy it to the folder Windows\System.
      2. Extract a new file from the Windows installation CD
        Copy the file from the file to the Windows\System folder and change the filename to Commdlg.dll.

For Windows XP

Windows XP users can resolve the comdlg32.dll error updating their system to the latest service pack.

Error 2

The save as and open dialog boxes fail to display files according to the filter that has been set.


To fix this issue, you can download the hotfix released by Microsoft. Please note this hotfix is only for PCs running Windows XP Service Pack 2.