The Windows error message "The program can't start because api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll is missing" can be a frustrating one to resolve.
The error message suggests to reinstall the program "Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem", but this is usually not the solution that fixes the issue.
The following guide provides you with information on the system error that you may experience on Windows PCs, and how to fix it so that the error is not thrown anymore.
Plenty of programs can throw the "can't start" error on Windows including Skype, Adobe Premiere, Adobe, Autodesk, XAMPP, Corel Draw, Microsoft Office, and others.
The error indicates that the Dynamic Link Library api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll is not available on the PC. This DLL is part of the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable, and usually not installed alongside the software program that throws the error.
While some installers may check for the availability of the DLL or the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable, and install it if it is missing, many don't.
The error is caused when the following is true:
The solution is therefore to install the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable again so that the api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll is registered on the PC and usable by software.
This applies to all supported client and server versions of Windows prior to Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016.
The Windows 10 Universal CRT is a Windows operating system component that enables CRT functionality on the Windows operating system. This update allows Windows desktop applications that depend on the Windows 10 Universal CRT release to run on earlier Windows operating systems.
Microsoft Visual Studio 2015 creates a dependency on the Universal CRT when applications are built by using the Windows 10 Software Development Kit (SDK). You can install this update on earlier Windows operating systems to enable these applications to run correctly.
It is recommended that you follow the guide to the letter. While you may be able to skip some steps, for instance by installing the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable directly, it is usually better to proceed with caution.
First thing you may want to do is check if the Microsoft Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable is installed on the Windows PC.
Note: A missing Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable may be the cause as well. I suggest you try and remove the 2015 Redistributable first to see if it resolves the issue after reinstallation. If it does not, you may want to repeat the process with the 2017 Redistributable.
If you run into errors, for instance that Windows can't uninstall the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable, then you may want to use programs like Revo Uninstaller to forcefully remove leftovers.
I highly recommend that you create a backup of your Windows partition first before you do so, as things may break.
Once that is done, hopefully without errors, you may want to check Windows Updates for updates. This step may not always be necessary, and some users may not want to run Windows Updates because they update their Windows machines in a different way.
Last but not least, you need to install the Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable again on the Windows machine.
If you try to load the program that threw the error "The program can't start because api-ms-win-crt-runtime-l1-1-0.dll is missing" afterwards, you should notice that the program starts up fine and without throwing that error message.
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.