How Do I Find Visual Basic Runtimes?

Frequently a program downloaded from the internet or obtain from other sources requires a file of the form VBRUNxxx.DLL in order to run. Sometimes these files are distributed with the program; sometimes they are not. This page attempts to address that topic.

What is VBRUNxxx.DLL?

VBRUN is a short form of Visual Basic Runtime. These files come in different versions, where the version number replaces “xxx” in the file name (e.g., VBRUN100.DLL, VBRUN200.DLL, and VBRUN300.DLL are the runtime libraries for Visual Basic 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 respectively — there are more versions). These runtime Dynamic Link Libraries (this is where the DLL comes in) do nothing by themselves. They, instead, support programs written in the Visual Basic language. By placing common program elements (e.g., file and screen management code) into a single file the need to duplicate these functions in every program written in Visual Basic is eliminated.

Programs requiring one of the VBRUNxxx.DLL files will usually say so in their documentation. You need to know the exact version needed as the program will not run without it. Also, later versions do not work with programs that need an earlier version of the DLL (i.e., VBRUN300.DLL will not service requests for items in the VBRUN200.DLL file). As indicated, some programs will install the DLL for you and others won’t.

If the new program does not install the proper version of VBRUNxxx.DLL there is still a good chance you already have it on your disk. The files are supposed to be in your \WINDOWS\SYSTEM subdirectory, so look there first.

If not found there, you can do a search starting in the C:\ directory with the Search All SubDirectories option activated. If found in another directory, move the VBRUNxxx.DLL file(s) to the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory so every program can find them.

How Do You Get VBRUNxxx.DLL?

If you do not have the proper VBRUNxxx.DLL file you can download it from many different sources. A few are linked below. Different sites maintain different versions so check each if you can’t find the version you need.

Where to Install VBRUNxxx.DLL

Once you have obtained the appropriate VBRUNxxx.DLL file (unarchive if necessary) move that file into the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory on your computer. (Note: Move only the DLL file into the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory, not the archive file; programs will not recognize the archive file you downloaded, only the DLL.) Also, later versions may require the DLL file to be in the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32 directory instead.

Once you have the VBRUNxxx.DLL file in \WINDOWS\SYSTEM you do not have to install the file again. All programs requiring this file should then find it there. (To save time, it might be useful to simply search for the VBRUNxxx.DLL files on your system now and, if not there, download and install them.)