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How To Fix The api-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-1-1.dll Is Missing Error During Windows 10 Upgrade

Windows 10 has a never ending slew of bugs but they’re rare enough to not effect too many users. That doesn’t mean they’re not a problem. In fact, the more rare a bug is, the harder it is to resolve and Microsoft is less likely to fix it. One bug that users who are still on Windows 7, trying to upgrade to Windows 10 via the WIndows 10 Upgrade app are seeing is the “api-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-1-1.dll Is Missing Error”. This is a fairly recent bug that appears to have surfaced after the last major build of Windows 10, the Fall Creators Update was released. Here’s how to resolve it.

The Error

When upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10, the upgrade fails and you get the “api-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-1-1.dll Is Missing” error. The error is basically telling you a DLL file is missing and without it, the upgrade cannot proceed. It doesn’t tell you where you can download said DLL file.

The Fix

The fix for the “api-ms-win-core-libraryloader-l1-1-1.dll Is Missing” error comes by replacing the DLL file on the following location;

C:\Windows10Upgrade\wimgapi.dll

with the DLL file found in the directory given below;

C:\Windows\System32\wimgapi.dll

Once you’ve replaced the file, run the upgrade again and this time, it ought to work. This error only appears if you’re upgrading from Windows 7 to Windows 10. If you’re doing a clean install of Windows 10, you won’t see it.

It seems that when packaging the latest updater, Microsoft accidentally had it look for the wrong file. The DLL file that’s missing isn’t supposed to be on your Window 7 machine to begin with. The real fix is probably going to have to come from Microsoft whereby they have the update app look for the correct DLL file. This could take awhile because although the fix is simple enough, it will require a change to the Windows 10 update app which Microsoft is unlikely to make unless there is a major new build that has been released.

The problem has been documented on Microsoft’s TechNet forum and that’s where the viable solution comes from.

Clean Installs Are Better

We should also mention that this is hardly the only problem with Windows 10, and the upgrade process. In fact, if it’s possible you should try doing a clean install of Windows 10 instead of an upgrade. Most errors that users see on Windows 10 are on machines that were upgraded from 7/8/8.1 to Windows 10. The upgrade process is not all that smooth and ends up breaking quite a few things. In fact, users who upgrade from one build of Windows 10 to the next encounter problems too. A clean install is the best way to avoid bugs and broken features.

Leave a comment

  • Doug

    This worked for me!!! I tried a dozen different fixes and this one worked. Thank you so much.

  • Oleg

    Thank you. This method helped me.

  • This post also helped from tearing my hair out. It’s ridiculous that a huge company such as Microsoft has untested app distributed to users.
    The windows 10 upgrade app is the one who downloaded this wimgapi.dll, yet it rejects it.

  • Alex Lecurieux

    Thank you so much! It works for me too! I tried even to reinstall Win 7!… What a shame on MS! Their haste makes so much waste of time for other people!..

  • Aunt Betsy

    This was easy to implement and it worked. Thank you.

  • Walter Person

    after I replaced the ddl the permission page to start is so huge I can’t click accept, it’s off screen and I can’t scroll over to it
    I rebooted and got it before it went huge
    freaky

  • Mustafa Ortabaş

    this solustion worked for me! i have lost 2 days to fix this problem, even in Microsoft official website you couldnt find right solution. thank you very much.

  • Bendeguz Veres

    Worked for me also!

  • parita talati

    Worked for me too. Thank you Fatima

  • cpw 2k17

    did not work for me

  • Ross Taylor

    Thanks mate, Your fix worked like a treat. I loved the clear way you described the problem and the fix. It gave me confidence to trust you. Both my Win 7 computers encountered the problem.

    • JP

      how do i replace it? sorry im not really clued up with this?

      • Copy the dll file named “wimgapi.dll” from here “C:WindowsSystem32wimgapi.dll” and paste it here “C:Windows10Upgrade”

  • Anthon

    Thanks for your help 🙂

  • siusun

    Thanks for your help 🙂

  • Salahudeen Pgdi

    Thank you….this is working

  • Ian Vetter

    oh my god thank you soooo much i havee been troubleshooting this for hours THANK YOUUU!

  • Ibrahim Aboredwan

    Thank you very much ……

  • 007india

    Thank you very much. It worked for me too.

  • Duncan Wanjohi

    Fatima! You are a star. Thank you, this sorted me out.

  • jack

    great, but I did not find the wimgapi.dll in windows/system32-no such file

  • Donny Chau

    Thank you very much. Your tip works great to fix this issue.

  • Danny

    Thanks so mush, otherwise it took several hours for me to find the problem. It works for me.

  • boop

    how do you do it?
    what do you go to?!
    please tell me!

  • Lasy

    Finally the solution!!!! Thank you, you mister have made my day!!!

  • Ron

    worked like a charm I highly recommend this fix it’s simple and quick.