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The application has failed to start because wininet.dll was not found

Earlier this afternoon I had to help a student with a typical spyware/ virus issue. At least that’s what I initially thought the service call would entail. Boy was I wrong. The problems started with the error message “The application has failed to start because wininet.dll was not found” and led to the Task Manager not loading and various Windows XP services not loading.

To work around this problem I had to find a copy of WinInet.dll (The file contains components for Internet related operations) and then re-register the file to ensure that Windows XP would recognize the new file.

Below is a summary of the steps I took to resolve the problem:

1) Download WinInet.dll from an online source or computer. Thanks to the wonderful service of Dll-files, I was able to find a compressed version of WinInet.dll However, part of the problem is that the shell extensions for Compressed Folders was also disabled.

2) From another computer I extracted the WinInet.dll file and then saved the file to an external disk. The extracted WinInet.dll file was then copied to \Windows\System32\

3) Press Ctrl+Alt+Del and select Task Manager.

4) Click on File and then on New Task and then type regsvr32 C:\Windows\System32\WinInet.dll

After running the above steps I was able to restart the computer. Obviously, the above error was caused by some variant of spyware. After further research the problem appears to be fairly common and various removal tools such as SmitRem can help with the removal of the spyware and also replace the WinInet.dll file.

16 thoughts on “The application has failed to start because wininet.dll was not found”

  1. thank u so much man i really needed that help. my computer was so loced up i couldnt do anything it was kinda scary. thanks man

  2. Well this is what I was looking for unfortunately I cannot say if works or not at the moment causee I am at a public Pc.

    Thanks anyways


  3. Everything worked great until regsvr32C:\Windows\System32\WinInet.dll

    I got the response: LoadLibrary(“C:\Windows\System32\WinInet.dll) failed – the specified procedure could not be found.

    My programs now all respond:

    The procedure entry point SHRegGetValueW could not be located in the dynamic link library SHLWAPI.dll

    Anyone have a clue?

  4. Hey i did everything you said for the Wininet.dll file. but once i went to register it, i hit ok and this came up. c:\windows\system32\wininet.dll was loaded, but the DLLregisterserver entry not found. This file can not be registered. Please email me and help me?

  5. Thank very much you for your support.
    The operation above was successful.
    Note for “laynen on Aug 31st, 2006”.
    You must install only WININET.dll from the website:
    Delete your wininet.dll you have already install which cause your problem above, then install mentioned wininet.dll and restart computer several time (twice maybe). Try it.
    I solve that problem on that way.

    Good luck !

  6. Thank you for your support.
    The operation above was successful.
    Possible help for Laynen on Aug 31st, 2006 and Jon on Oct 29th, 2006:
    You must put WININET.dll from the website:
    Remove the WININET.dll which cause your problem, then put mentioned WININET.dll from the website follow the same procedure from the beginning, restart computer several times (twice for instance).
    I solve the same problem on that way.
    Try it. Good luck

  7. I tried this and I think it worked until entering the code in the new task box where it said: “windows cannot access the specified device, path or file. you may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item” Anything I can do about this??

    Thanks, Holly

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