What is “vulkan-1.dll was not found” error

When trying to launch certain games or programs, users may encounter a message stating that the system is unable to find the vulkan-1.dll file, or that it is missing from the computer. Here are some real examples of error messages that you may receive:

“The program can’t start because vulkan-1.dll is missing from your computer”
“There was a problem starting vulkan-1.dll. The specified module could not be found.”
“Error loading vulkan-1.dll. The specified module could not be found.”
“The code execution cannot proceed because vulkan-1.dll was not found. Reinstalling the program may fix this problem.”
“vulkan-1.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again using the original installation media or contact your system administrator or the software vendor for support.”

Vulkan-1.dll is part of the Vulkan Runtime Libraries, which can be used in various games for Windows 11, 10, or 7. Usually, games containing this file are based on engines from Valve. Thus, it is more common to see this error while launching games from Steam. Below, we will show you a couple of ways to potentially restore the missing vulkan-1.dll file and remove the error respectively.

vulkan-1.dll was not found error

Download Windows Repair Tool

Download Windows Repair Tool

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There are special repair utilities for Windows, that can solve problems related to registry corruption, file system malfunction, Windows drivers instability. We recommend you to use Advanced System Repair Pro to fix the “vulkan-1.dll was not found” in Windows 11 or Windows 10.

1. Manually download drivers for your graphics card

As a rule, the Vulkan Runtime Libraries package is supplied and installed with video card drivers by default. However, if the drivers were automatically installed by the system, it is recommended that users manually download-install the latest drivers from the official websites of Nvidia GeForce, AMD Radeon, and Intel. After doing so, the missing file should be restored to the correct locations to start the problematic game/program. Here are short instructions for how to download and install drivers for your graphics card:

To download drivers for Nvidia:

  1. Go to Nvidia’s Driver Download page.
  2. Select your graphics card model, operating system, and type of driver. We recommend picking Game Ready Driver (GRD) if you are going to play video games.
  3. Once the right driver is found, click Download and wait until it ends.
  4. Then, open the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions.
  5. During the installation setup, you may also be offered to install GeForce Experience. This is a cool tool by Nvidia, which offers many gaming features and also allows you to download new driver updates in a more convenient way. Install it if you feel like you need it.
  6. Wait until the driver gets installed and restart your computer.

To download drivers for Intel:

  1. Go to this Intel page in order to download Intel® Driver & Support Assistant. This is an official Intel utility that helps identify your graphics card and download updates for it.
  2. Click on Download now to download it.
  3. Open the downloaded file and install the utility by following the on-screen instructions.
  4. Once done, open the Intel® Driver & Support Assistant application.
  5. Go to Support on the left pane and choose Download Graphics Driver.
  6. This will redirect you to the main screen of the Intel webpage. Click on the Get started button.
  7. You will now see a list of all drivers that are available to you. Choose which one you need or simply click Download all to download all of them.
  8. After the download is finished, click Install and follow the on-screen instructions to complete installation.

To download drivers for AMD:

  1. Go to AMD Drivers website.
  2. Select your graphics card model and click Submit.
  3. Choose the necessary driver for your operating system and click Download.
  4. Open the downloaded file and follow the on-screen instructions to complete the installation.
  5. During the installation setup, you may also be offered to install Radeon Software. This is a useful tool by AMD, which allows you to maintain your graphics card with new updates in a more convenient way. Install it if you feel like you need it.
  6. Wait until the driver gets installed and restart your computer.

After successfully downloading and installing drivers, try to launch the problematic application again. If the error persists, try to check the integrity of files in Steam (or another platform). In the worst case, you can also try to reinstall the application again.

2. Download Vulkan Runtime Libraries (VulkanRT) separately

If you do not want to try the previous method or it simply did not work, you can also try to download the installers for Vulkan Runtime Libraries directly from the official website. Here is how:

  1. Go to the official download page.
  2. For Windows, click on Latest Runtime/ZIP and choose Download Latest Runtime.
  3. Once downloaded, open the installer and follow the setup to finish the installation.
  4. After finishing, restart your computer, and vulkan-1.dll should be placed into C:\Windows\System32 and C:\Windows\SysWOW64 directories and registered by Windows.

After installing, you should be able to open the problematic program or game. If the program shows the same error again, try to reinstall it again. Please note that Vulkan may have limited support or be not supported at all on very old video cards.

These two solutions should be just enough to resolve the problem associated with vulkan-1.dll. We hope they fix the issue for you. However, if, for some reason, the error remains unfixed, you can also give a try to more general solutions from further below.

3. Reinstall/Repair Visual C++ Redistributables

A number of other problems with DLL files can result from improperly installed Visual C++ software. To try and fix it, users can go to the official Microsoft page and download Visual Studio installers from it. While performing the instructions below, you will be able to first try and repair the already installed packages or reinstall them from scratch if the former does not pay off.

  1. Open this Visual Studio page.
  2. Click on the download links for vc_redist.x86.exe and vc_redist.x64.exe.
  3. Execute both of these files and start the process by clicking Install. If you have Visual Studio already installed, the setup will offer to either Repair or Uninstall it. Choose Repair and close the window once finished.
  4. In case it turns out some Visual C++ Redistributables are not installed, the setup will offer to do it.
  5. Follow on-screen instructions and finish the installation.

4. Check integrity of system files

Another great way to check whether your system files are in order is to use in-built scanning utilities like SFC (System File Checker) and DISM (Deployment Image Servicing and Management), which will detect and restore absent components, if any will be eventually found. Make sure to use both utilities as they may have a different impact on solving the problem. This is how:

Using SFC

  1. Open Command Prompt by typing cmd into the searching box next to the Start Menu button.
  2. Right-click on Command Prompt and choose Run as administrator.
  3. Once the console is opened, type the sfc /scannow command and click Enter.
  4. When the fixing process is done, restart your computer.

Using DISM

  1. Open Command Prompt as we did in the previous step.
  2. Copy and paste this command DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth.
  3. Click Enter and wait until Windows ends the scanning and fixing.
  4. Once done, restart your PC and install the update again.

After performing both of these scans, attempt to boot the application you struggled with again. If this does not work, get down to the other solutions presented below.

5. Download Vulkan-1.dll manually

There is also another to download the missing file separately and install it yourself. However, this method may not be as effective as running the installation of Vulkan Runtime Libraries or Visual C++. Nevertheless, you can open this page and follow the instructions written on it. It will guide you towards a replacement of the Vulkan-1.dll file to remove the error.

6. Reinstall the problematic application

As we already mentioned in the first two methods, reinstalling the problematic application may help you remove the error. Even after restoring the necessary DLL file, certain programs may not recognize it regardless. Thus, reinstalling may help. Alternatively, you can also check the integrity of game files in Steam if you know where it is and how to use it (searching up on Google might help).

  1. Left-click on the magnifying glass right next to Start menu and search for Control Panel.
  2. Open it up and choose Uninstall a program under Programs.
  3. Select the program dealing with the error and click Uninstall.
  4. Finally, install it again and check if the error is fixed.

7. Scan your system for malware

If your system got accidentally infected with malware or some unwanted program, it could cause damage to critical system settings, including DLL files. If none of the previous methods worked, we recommend you give a full scan using either in-built Windows Defender or advanced anti-malware software that will combat threats that Windows could miss. We advise you to use Malwarebytes – an antivirus getting constantly improved to effectively combat both minor and global threats. It is now available for Windows 11 as well. You can download it now using the link below and try a 14-day trial of the ultimate antimalware experience for free.

Download Malwarebytes

8. Use System Restore Point

If you are sure all the solutions above were performed correctly and still did not give you any positive result, then System Restore may be a thing to help you. If the problem with Vulkan-1.dll did not exist before with the same piece of software, you can try and find the restore point when the error was not present. Let’s see if such is available roll your system back to exactly that point using these steps:

  1. Open Control Panel as we did in the steps above.
  2. Set View by to Large icons and choose Recovery. You can also find it using the search box.
  3. Click Open System Restore and select Next.
  4. Choose a restore point you want to you from the list and click Scan for affected programs to see what programs will be deleted upon restoration. If there are no Restore points visible, try to choose Show more restore points.
  5. Click Next again and Finish to finalize the process and let Windows restore your system from the selected backup.
  6. We hope this finally helped you forget about this annoying issue.


Restoring DLL files, such as Vulkan-1.dll is not as hard as many believe. We hope this was your case and you managed to resolve the issue using the first couple of solutions in our guide. If you need any help with other errors or even malware threats, feel free to search for relevant topics on our websites. Chances are, there will be an article dedicated to your concern.

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James Kramer
Hello, I'm James. My website Bugsfighter.com, a culmination of a decade's journey in the realms of computer troubleshooting, software testing, and development. My mission here is to offer you comprehensive, yet user-friendly guides across a spectrum of topics in this niche. Should you encounter any challenges with the software or the methodologies I endorse, please know that I am readily accessible for assistance. For any inquiries or further communication, feel free to reach out through the 'Contacts' page. Your journey towards seamless computing starts here