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How to Fix Program can’t start because of api ms win crt runtime error


Programs not opening due to missing api ms win crt runtime is not the most common Windows problem one will encounter, but it sure posses an obstacle when it occurs. When this error occurs on your computer, there are 2 likely causes.

  1. The universal CRT, which is part of the Visual C++ Redistributable has failed to install properly or
  2. The api ms win crt runtime l1-1-0.dll file has gone missing or become corrupted

This problem often could occur while trying to open Adobe applications, Skype, Autodesk, XAMPP, SmartFTP software, Corel Draw, Microsoft Office but is not necessarily limited to these programs.

Why do we need DLL

I guess the acronym DLL comes up very often while troubleshooting some computer issues. DLL stands for Dynamic Link Libraries. They are external parts of applications that run on Windows or any other operating systems.

This simply will imply that some applications are not complete on their own.

Programming Code is stored in different files, and in the case of DLLs, the code is often stored in external files. Whenever this code is required, the relevant file is loaded unto the memory and the code is used.

Unfortunately, sometimes this associated DLL file may not be located, other times, it may just simply be corrupted.

Whichever is the situation, it triggers an error message and some features of the computer associated with the DLL file will cease to function properly.

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Fixing missing api ms win crt runtime DLL

Whenever you have a missing or corrupt DLL issue on your computer, the first thing to do is check that the OS is up to date and update it if it is not. If that does not work, run Windows file checker.

Updating Windows

To update Windows, open your setting from your start menu and select the “Update and Security” option.

From the options displayed in the left pane, select Windows update. Then click on check for updates. If there are any updates, you will be able to install them.

In my case, as shown in the image the computer is up to date.

You are often required to restart the computer after an update.

Running Windows file checker

This is an important fix in a case of missing api ms win crt runtime DLL. File checker helps one find out what files are missing or corrupt on a computer system. This could be equivalent to running a diagnostic test.

To run the file checker, open the command prompt with administrative privileges. In the command prompt window which opens, type sfc /scannow and hit Enter.

This service may take a while, but if any corruption are found they could be replaced on reboot.

If these two fixes do not work, one could try theses further fixes.

Read our guide Run SFC Command in Windows 10 to repair System files to run SFC / scannow in a proper way.

Repair installed Visual C++ 2015 Redistributable package

In control panel under programs, select uninstall a program.

Next, search for Microsoft Visual C++ 2017 Redistributable package. right-click on it and select change. In the Window that appears, click on the Repair button.

Update Microsoft Visual C++ Redistributable Update

Installing an update often helps repair this problem. To do this, download and install straight from Microsoft.


Fixing the missing api ms win crt runtime dll error, will help ensure those apps start opening. If after the issue is fixed and the apps still do not respond, please see a qualified technician.