d3dx9.dll is missing or not found or installed

So this error message has been doing the rounds lately.

This application has failed to start because d3dx9_32.dll was not found.

Or other error messages around d3dx9.dll, dxdx9d.dll, d3dx10.dll, xinput.dll, xact.dll, d3dx10_33.dll, d3dx9_40.dll and other variations being missing, not being found or installed.

These are all optional components to DirectX that may not be installed with the version of DirectX you already have on your system.

Typically these will be installed when the game installs DirectX, however for historical reasons a lot of gamers, knowing they had the latest version of DirectX didn't bother (I never do either). Microsoft a couple of years back provided these optional components in the SDK, and as such may not be installed with the version of DirectX present on your system.

Games I've come across with this happening range from

Age of Empires III (3).
Battlefield 2.
Battlefield 2142.
BioShock (unconfirmed)?
Caesar IV (4).
Civilization IV (4).
The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter.
Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2.
Hitman Blood Money.
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth
The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-Earth 2.
Lost Planet.
Need For Speed Most Wanted.
Virtual Skipper.

I'm sure there's probably a couple of dozen more games, feel free to list any additions in the comments below.

The solution is to either install the version of DirectX on the game's disc, or download the latest DirectX End-User Runtime from Microsoft (at the moment this is being redirected to the Games for Windows website), or from the Download Center.

66 comments

Comment from: Arcus Arcanus [Visitor]  
Arcus Arcanus

Never had that particular problem, but when I tried to play Age of Mythology, the igfx display driver kept crashing and being fixed. The Windows support people were worthless, only saying that the game "is not supported" on Vista, but I found an update from Intel for the driver and the problem is gone, or at least better; the game still runs slow, but that could just be my system. It seems that Vista is not compatible with an annoying amount of other older games too.

08/20/07 @ 04:17
Comment from: Catherine [Visitor]  
Catherine

I had a problem like this with playing a demo of broken sword the angel of death game, for some reason there was a direct x file that apparetly I didn't have and the demo didn't either so I had to update my direct x from the website.

08/20/07 @ 08:39
Comment from: mdcrl [Visitor]  
mdcrl

Just finally got round 2 gettin RE-4 (Resident Evil 4) and of course the d3dx9.dll issue pops up.... guess I wasn't as up to snuff as I thought....

just one more 4 the list

09/28/07 @ 02:22
Comment from: Tobias DeLuna Wolfe [Visitor]
Tobias DeLuna Wolfe

Having a similar issue myself with Eve Online now that they've released the Trinity expansion. Not sure exactly which file it is, but I'll continue huntin' Google.

12/06/07 @ 04:08
Comment from: Michael [Visitor]
Michael

Thanks, I had no idea what that my error message meant, but your comments allowed me to realise what the problem was and after downloading the latest directx it worked perfectly. Thanks again.

12/13/07 @ 20:49
Comment from: sharanu [Visitor]
sharanu

ctracer game can't rune becus it's asking d3dx9-dll file fund . so what i willdo

12/14/07 @ 08:02
Comment from: Henri [Visitor]
Henri

Thanks for the tip :)

I got this error on Civilization 4 after I downloaded an upgrade for Civ 4-Warlords (upgrade from 1.0 that's on the disc to 2.13).

The disc comes with DirectX 9. After reading your comments, I managed to figure out that the upgrade needs DirectX 10. The installation process did not mention this at all.

So thanks again, I can finally start playing my game now.

12/28/07 @ 10:55
Comment from: john [Visitor]  
5 stars
john

i had a problem with black and white2

01/13/08 @ 21:44
Comment from: Oscar [Visitor]  
3 stars
Oscar

Error apears in Bioshok wen you istall for first time not apear when you open for secontime apear reistall fix this proble temporary

01/16/08 @ 19:43
Comment from: Great, now what... [Visitor]
1 stars
Great, now what...

Great you managed to compile a list of problems, now how about you tell us how to fix them, now that would be something worth reading

01/29/08 @ 08:05
Comment from: matkorommel [Visitor]
matkorommel

I have this problem with Sherloch Holmes vs. Arsen Lupin.

02/12/08 @ 16:09
Comment from: Liam [Visitor]
Liam

my autorefresher/banlist application doesnt work due to not being able to find d3dx9.dll and same with dxhook.dll, i dled dxhook.dll directly, now it says it cant find d3dx9.dll, can anyone help? or should i just keep downloading these .dlls till i have all of them and no more problems?

03/08/08 @ 19:39
Comment from: paul [Member]
Paul Smith

Liam: Install DirectX.

03/08/08 @ 19:45
Comment from: Lady D [Visitor]
5 stars
Lady D

my brother have a game "Kane & Lynch: dead man" . but this game doesn't run because of d3dx9_34.dll missing. directX has been set on my computer. what's the problem?

03/21/08 @ 10:17
Comment from: Mizen_Da_Cat [Visitor]
Mizen_Da_Cat

I had the same problem with GTA_SA :(

04/01/08 @ 13:18
Comment from: christof [Visitor]
christof

i had this problem with sim city societies, just downloading latest DirectX to see if it works !

04/13/08 @ 11:16
Comment from: Alex SDU [Visitor]
Alex SDU

Most important thing, anybody know how to install 'em?! Should we just paste it in the game's folder or what?

04/25/08 @ 16:13
Comment from: mark [Visitor]
5 stars
mark

comand and conquer 3 tiberm wars has the same issue

05/25/08 @ 06:08
Comment from: PlasZeb [Visitor]
PlasZeb

Europa Universalis: Rome

06/24/08 @ 15:04
Comment from: Francisco [Visitor]
1 stars
Francisco

Che alguien sabe donde puedo bajar el file que se llama así ::: "d3dx9.dll"
gracias saludos

07/29/08 @ 18:36
Comment from: zach [Visitor]
5 stars
zach

your a lifesaver! i got in on COD4

08/05/08 @ 23:43
Comment from: sardnyx27 [Visitor]
sardnyx27

hi! tnx for this article...i'm having problems with need for speed most wanted..currently downloading the directx from microsoft..hope this solves the problem.. :)

08/26/08 @ 05:47
Comment from: conner [Visitor]
5 stars
conner

im having this problem with CALL OF DUTY 4 MODERN WARFARE.

i cant figure out how to fix it. help!

This application has failed to start because d3dx9_34.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.

d3dx9_34.dll

08/31/08 @ 15:33
Comment from: Justin [Visitor]
5 stars
Justin

I had this problem as well for "Hitman : Blood Money" but after fixing it I was hit with another problem. Trying to sort this part out now.

09/14/08 @ 14:19
Comment from: Asim [Visitor]
3 stars
Asim

Well i too am facing this problem and thanks to you i have solve it..

Appreciate your help..

10/02/08 @ 14:33
Comment from: Brian [Visitor]
5 stars
Brian

Thanks -
My CoD:WaW (World At War) BETA has the error: "d3dx9.dll has not been found". This post helped me find out what to do and were to go... Thanks.

10/31/08 @ 21:24
Comment from: Sherif [Visitor]
Sherif

I have a problem running bioshock after installing it. when I run the program it message that I was missing a d3dx9_33.dll. Now I not sure what to do.

11/15/08 @ 23:47
Comment from: blake [Visitor]
5 stars
blake

dont forget about call of duty 5 world at war beta :(

11/19/08 @ 13:17
Comment from: Consindo [Visitor]
5 stars
Consindo

Command and Conquer Red Alert 3 has this problem

11/20/08 @ 03:36
Comment from: Oleath [Visitor]
Oleath

to fix it re-install directX.

12/01/08 @ 16:31
Comment from: Tomas [Visitor]
4 stars
Tomas

Thanks i had da same problem with
Fable: The Lost Chapters but what do i do know im downloading directx 9 but then wat do i do

12/02/08 @ 07:33
Comment from: Atzaz Shah [Visitor]
Atzaz Shah

i m having a problum to install the game there is file missing d3dx9_26.dll so tell me what i do

12/03/08 @ 20:52
Comment from: DracoFlare [Visitor]
DracoFlare

I got this problem on Lord of the Rings Online also straight after patching to the version just before the new expansion.

01/06/09 @ 16:58
Comment from: Itsamee [Visitor]
Itsamee

I am using Visual C++ (Express) 2008 on a Vista Home Premium (SP1) system with a non-DX10 GFX card. Applications that I previously built on VC++ Express 2008 on an XP Pro (SP3) system cannot find the relevant DirectX DLLs (d3dx9_38.dll).
I have installed the latest DX SDK, but a search of the system indicates that the file has not been installed.
Any ideas ?
Cheers.

01/07/09 @ 06:14
Comment from: snedden [Visitor]
snedden

same problem with europa 3 !! tells dxdiag_35.dll missing,I uninstalled directx manually and reinstalled it (by using the game cd),but still the problem persist!!!

01/13/09 @ 14:47
Comment from: Juggalo-Rex [Visitor]
3 stars
Juggalo-Rex

my Resident Evil 4 has that too It dident before i had to nuke.

02/02/09 @ 20:13
Comment from: andy [Visitor]
4 stars
andy

thanks it helped with my game geometry wars

05/17/09 @ 00:51
Comment from: uptimus [Visitor]
uptimus

I searched my C-drive through and found files from d3dx9_24.dll to d3dx9_32.dll, yet the game required d3dx9_33.dll.

I shall try to get newer version of direct X (bundle) from:
http://www.filehippo.com/download_directx/

I'll bet that will do the trick.

07/13/09 @ 14:12
Comment from: paul [Member]
Paul Smith

Get the DirectX installer directly from Microsoft.

07/13/09 @ 14:14
Comment from: Mac Gruber [Visitor]
4 stars
Mac Gruber

Trying to run SB 3 on a regular system was a chore, but this helped me through one of the steps.

Thanks.

09/12/09 @ 06:38
Comment from: Valvar [Visitor]
5 stars
Valvar

Warhammer online had this issue.
Ty.

10/17/09 @ 07:15
Comment from: ShaneO [Visitor]
5 stars
ShaneO

Thank you very much. I have just had this issue with Anno 1404

10/29/09 @ 22:34
Comment from: mie [Visitor]
mie

duirng downloading i'm having prob due to missing d3dx9.dll

11/01/09 @ 09:47
Comment from: Beans [Visitor]
Beans

found this it might help.
http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?FamilyID=2da43d38-db71-4c1b-bc6a-9b6652cd92a3&displaylang=en

12/11/09 @ 03:46
Comment from: ghgh [Visitor]
ghgh

dragon age: origins...fail

01/04/10 @ 11:31
Comment from: Izzy [Visitor]
5 stars
Izzy

Rainbow Six Vegas 2 missing d3dx9_36. So I read a little on here, went to game cd, found the directx folder, hit exe. file, install files, game works, thanks people for making life a bit easier

01/20/10 @ 05:12
Comment from: scamperator [Visitor]
5 stars
scamperator

What is going on? I have to reinstall Direct x nearly every day now. That d3dx9 file disappears every day.
After reinstalling it works great, wait a day and it is gone again.

01/30/10 @ 18:53
Comment from: christerrobert [Visitor]
3 stars
christerrobert

i have similar problem with the game call of jureaz what i have to do. your suggestion is not solving my problem

02/23/10 @ 03:02
Comment from: Trinity-r3v [Visitor]  
5 stars
Trinity-r3v

Ahh, Vancouver 2010 messing me up. Thanks for pointing out, worked after an update and re-installation~

03/06/10 @ 00:29
Comment from: Quantum714 [Visitor]
Quantum714

Games I've had it happen with:

Flashpoint: Dragon Rising
Rainbow Six Vegas 2
Gears of War
Farcry 2
Fallout 3

04/01/10 @ 18:32
Comment from: LordChar [Visitor]
3 stars
LordChar

I have this problem with saints row 2 but i installed DX 9 it works but now wit crashes after some cutscenes

04/08/10 @ 12:21
Comment from: ernest boamah [Visitor]
ernest boamah

when i try to run bioshock game,it tells me that d3dx9_33.dll is missing.

04/13/10 @ 11:44
Comment from: sarah [Visitor]
sarah

pls help.. can someone help me on how to install D3dx9 38.dll

04/30/10 @ 12:36
Comment from: David [Visitor]
5 stars
David

I had the problem with borderlands, and had it again on my friends computer and had to remember how i fixed it hahaha... Installing directx is the fix both times now.

06/10/10 @ 22:38
Comment from: Martin Malgand [Visitor]
5 stars
Martin Malgand

I had a problem with COD4, the same error popped up but it was fixed when i installed the newest Direct X

07/02/10 @ 10:43
Comment from: ankit [Visitor]  
ankit

I've got directx 10 on my computer. when i run the game (NFSMW), it says that it needs d3dx9_26.dll. so i downloaded it, and its working, but there's a major lag, and i think its because of this file. because when i ran the game earlier, it worked fine.
i checked on the microsoft site for updates, but its got updates for 9.0c or earlier versions. any suggestions?
cheers

08/25/10 @ 04:32
Comment from: Danielle [Visitor]
5 stars
Danielle

I had this problem with Sim City Societies and then I went to the Microsoft's downloads links in this post and downloaded and installled the lastest DirectX. Now it works perfectly. ;) Thank you very much.
And for those who said the post doesn't give a solution, that's the one it gives: installing the Direct X, you should read it all before commenting.

09/25/10 @ 22:34
Comment from: vedant [Visitor]
5 stars
vedant

it cannot be started bcoz d3dx9_26.dll was not found

11/14/10 @ 05:59
Comment from: dishant dewit [Visitor]
5 stars
dishant dewit

wow

02/18/11 @ 06:47
Comment from: sana [Visitor]
5 stars
sana

i have installed NFSU and it also give same error :(

03/25/11 @ 18:33
Comment from: GETOUTAHERE [Visitor]
GETOUTAHERE

YOU PEOPLE ARE FULL OF RUBBISH!!!!!! Everyone is talking about their own fricking problem. NO SOLUTIONS!!! I WASTED MY TIME!!!

03/31/11 @ 19:06
Comment from: hellaluya [Visitor]
5 stars
hellaluya

thanks a lot! i wasted 30 bucks on some program that was suppose to fix this but it didn't even show up in the scans. well at least i can play now, again thank you.

05/04/11 @ 08:13
Comment from: andrew [Visitor]
andrew

i am can haz the same problem.... with my BLACKOPS!!!! noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

05/25/11 @ 19:32
Comment from: xD [Visitor]
5 stars
xD

Wtf I CAN PLAY CALL OF DUTY D: My life had been runed

10/07/11 @ 12:33
Comment from: Duncedog Dillan [Visitor]
Duncedog Dillan

I got a problemo with Call Of Duty 4 and can't find the file that I need which is d3dx9... NEED HELP!

10/05/12 @ 22:59
Comment from: Gopi [Visitor]  
Gopi

Far cry gaming error..

the error displays when i download and install directx as, "A cabinet file necessary for installation cannot be trusted. Please verify the cryptographic services are enabled and the cabinet file certificate is valied". I even checked the settings from cyptographic settings from control panel that it is enabled and started automatically only..but i cant get out of this problem.please help me out.

06/06/13 @ 05:39