How To Fix: “Windows Shell Common DLL has stopped working” Error

Have you ever gotten Windows Shell Common Dll has stopped working error on your PC? If you have, then you must know how irritating it can be! The error prevents you from using basic Windows features and, therefore, can be quite troublesome to deal with. 

In this post, we will discuss all possible fixes that can be used to eliminate Shell Common Dll error. 

Method 1: Check Whether Time Service Is Running

Disabled services on Windows could be one of the reasons. Sometimes Windows Shell Common  DLL has stopped working error comes up after System Restore. Also, it might not let users change the time and date, but you can do that by following the steps below: 

  • Press Windows and R key to get a Run window and type Services.msc. Hit Enter or press OK.
    Run Services
  • On the Services window, Navigate to Windows Time service, right-click it and select Start from the context menu.
  • Once the service is up & running, you will be able to change the time and date on your computer.

If this doesn’t work and you still see that Shell DLL error, proceed to the next one. 

Method 2: Corrupted or Outdated Drivers 

You can either update the drivers on your computer manually or install software such as Advanced Driver Updater. With the tool, you don’t have to worry about searching for the driver online and keep them updated. Advanced Driver Updater checks on all the drivers and keeps them updated. 

If you want to update your driver manually, follow these steps: 

  • Press the Windows and X key together to get the Start Context menu. 
  • Select Device Manager.
  • From the Device Manager window, locate all the drivers to check if they are updated. Usually, you can see a yellow triangle near the driver icon if it needs to be updated. 
  • If any driver needs to be updated, right-click and click Update.
  • You need to follow the onscreen instructions to update the driver and repeat the steps for all the outdated drivers.
    If you don’t want to take too much pain to update drivers, install Advanced Driver Updater, and the rest will be taken care of. This driver updater can scan your computer for outdated drivers and update them without hassle.

If updating drivers doesn’t help the cause, proceed to the next step.

Method 3: Make Changes To UserChoice Key’s Security Permissions: 

Usually, Windows Shell Common DLL has stopped working error appears when users try to open .txt files on their computer. This could be happening due to missing security permissions for the key. To resolve the issue, you need to follow these steps:

Step 1: Press Windows and R key to get the Run window and type regedit. Press Enter.

Step 2: On Registry Editor, on the left side of the pane- follow this path: 


Step 3: Right-click the key and select Permissions from the context menu.

Your security permissions are missing if you can’t see any username or Group name in the section. Therefore, you need to add them again. 

Step 4: To add missing permissions, click Add.

Step 5: Enter the object names to select, type Administrators, and click Check Names. If everything works fine, click OK.

Now Administrators group will be added to the usernames or Group list. Choose Administrators from the list and check Full Control in Allow column. Now click OK and Apply to let the changes take effect.

Once these changes are done and applied, the common DLL error could have gone entirely. 

Note: This will only work if you have the common Shell DLL error while opening .txt files. 

Method 4: Copy necessary files To the System32 directory: 

Windows Shell Common DLL error could also appear while configuring gamepad settings. To get rid of the error, you need to copy a single file to the System32 directory. Follow these steps: 

Go to C:->Windows->System32 directory. Locate joy.cpl file and copy it to your Desktop.

DL11Right-click joy.cpl and select Properties from the context menu.

Locate the Security tab and click Advanced. Now go to the Owner section->Change.


Enter your username beside Enter the object name to select field, click Check Names. Once done, click, OK. Click Apply and OK to let the changes take effect. Take the ownership of joy.cpl, and then delete it.

After deleting the file, Navigate to C:>Windows>SysWOW64 directory. Locate and copy joy.cpl to C:\Windows\System32 directory.

Once done, the issue should be resolved, and you can now access the gamepad settings from Windows.


Method 5: Disable Antivirus 

We always recommend having an antivirus installed on your PC, but sometimes the tool might take a toll on your computer and mess up a bit, causing a DLL error. Therefore you can disable your antivirus and check if the error is fixed. You can also try and uninstall the antivirus tool to try and check if the issue is resolved. 

If all of this doesn’t resolve your issue, then install the tool again, or you can try another antivirus software such as Advanced System Protector, as it goes well with Windows operating system and protects your computer against all malicious threats. 

Method 6: SFC scan: 

The Windows Shell Common DLL error could come up as system files might be corrupted. You should perform the SFC scan to know more and resolve the issue. 

To run the SFC scan, follow these steps: 

  • Type Cmd in the search box, right-click on the Command Prompt and choose Run as Administrator. DLL16
  • On the Command Prompt window, type SFC/scannow and press Enter to execute the command.

Note: You need to wait for 10-15 minutes to let the scan get completed, so be patient. 

Once the scan is completed, you can check if the issue is resolved. 

You can also run DISM to try and fix the issue. 

On the command prompt window, type DISM /Online /Cleanup-Image /RestoreHealth
 Press Enter to execute the command. 

This will also take another 10-15 minutes, so let the scan gets completed. Move to the next method if this doesn’t work! 

Method 7: Powershell

Windows Powershell can resolve the Windows Shell Common DLL error; however, it is advised not to use the tool recklessly as it could corrupt your computer. So, if you know what you are doing, then follow these steps: 

  • Press the Windows and X key to get a context menu and select Windows Powershell (Admin)


  • Type Set-ExecutionPolicy -ExecutionPolicy Unrestricted -Scope CurrentUser command and press Enter to execute the command.

  • Once the command is completed, restart your PC to fix the issue altogether.

Method 8: System Maintenance

You can run System Maintenance Troubleshooter to fix system issues such as Shell Common DLL error. To use this tool, follow these steps: 

  • Press Windows and R to get the Run window and type %systemroot%\system32\msdt.exe -id MaintenanceDiagnostic and press Now Enter to run it:
  • On the System Maintenance tool, click Next and follow the onscreen instructions.

Once the scan is complete, the issue will be fixed. However, if not, you need to move to the next method. 

Method 9: Register Your DLLs Again: 

If you see a Windows Shell Common DLL error on your computer, there might be missing DLL files, specifically shell32.dll. To fix the issue, you need to register DLL files again. Follow these steps to do so:

  • Go to Taskbar’s search bar, type cmd, and select Run as Administrator to launch Command Prompt with administrator rights.
  • On Command Prompt window, type the regsvr32 /i shell32.dll command and press Enter to execute.

Once the command is run, the shell32.dll file will be registered again, and you will not get the error. 

Method 10:  Clean boot

If none of the methods worked for you, there could be an app that is hindering your system’s functioning. To fix the problem, you should disable startup items and services: 

  • Press Windows and R key together to get the Run window, type MSConfig, and press Enter.
  • Click the Services tab and put a checkmark Hide all Microsoft services. Once done, click Disable all.

  • Go to the Startup tab and click Task Manager.

  • Locate all the unwanted startup items one by one and select Disable.

  • Click Apply and OK.
  • Restart your PC and check the issue is fixed. 

Method 11: Install Windows Updates

The Windows Shell Common DLL error could be caused due to pending Windows updates. Some of the issues could get resolved by installing Windows updates. To get a Windows update Installed, follow these steps: 

  • Press Windows and I to get the Settings app and locate Update & Security.

  • Click Check on Updates, and you will see if there are any pending updates.

Download updates, and your PC will restart to install those updates. See if the issue is resolved. If not, proceed to the next method. 

Method 12: Reset Windows 10

If nothing has worked for you, you should try and Reset your PC. You need a Windows 10 installation disc or.ISO file on your USB drive. You should back up all your data before resetting Windows. Once done, follow these steps: 

  • Go to the Start menu, click the Power button, press & hold the Shift key. Select Restart.
  • Select Troubleshoot->Reset this PC->Remove everything. 
  • To start the process, you must insert the Windows installation CD or USB drive.
  • Choose the version of Windows and select Only the drive where Windows is installed > Just remove my files.

You will get a list of the changes during the Reset. Once you are ready, click the Reset button.

Now follow the onscreen instructions to reset your computer. 

Once done, the Windows Shell Common Dll has stopped working error message would be gone. Now you must install all the other required applications on your computer. 

So, these are the possible fixes for Windows Shell Common DLL not working. Try these methods and get rid of the issue without any hassles. Liked the article? Which way worked for you? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below. For more tech updates, follow us on social media. 

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