sqlite3.dll was not found . . . try this fix

Having Problems With sqlite3.dll ?

I was trying to install the latest version of Webuilder on Vista, and kept getting the following message.

“This application failed to start because sqlite3.dll was not found. Re-installing the application may fix this problem.”

I contacted Webuilder support and they said I should try to re-install PHP. This didn’t make any difference. I don’t know if the problem is dependent on the way you install PHP, but I’ve found by discovering which of the DLL’s included in the PHP build was relying on sqlite3.dll, that the solution is to do the following.

The Fix

  1. Open your php.ini file
  2. Find the DLLs at the bottom of php.ini that have been included in the build and look for the section called [PHP_PDO_SQLITE_EXTERNAL], then comment out the line referring to the php_pdo_sqlite_external.dll as I have done below.
  3. Note that php_pdo_sqlite_external.dll relies on sqlite3.dll which is external to the PHP build so doesn’t exist unless you go looking for it and add it in yourself. As far as I know neither php_pdo_sqlite_external.dll nor sqlite3.dll are absolutely necessary so all they are doing is causing me and loads of other people headaches.
  4. So I commented it out the inclusion of the php_pdo_sqlite_external.dll. Once you comment it out, it will no longer screw up any application that wants to use the php.exe file. Which in my case is Webuilder. See below in red. A ; is placed in front of php_pdo_sqlite_external.dll.


xdebug.profiler_output_dir=”C:\Program Files\phpDesigner 2008\PHP\tmp”


  1. http://bernard%20k says

    Thanks for the try. Spybot is a freeware ap of a commercial product from Denmark (I think), widely used and highly recommended. I will probably delete the entire program, and re download it. most likely the sqlite is used by it and was cleansed. It is used by Mcafee,my paid for anti virus program, which is still active since it came up on the search of the system.
    Otherwise my machine is fine, so no major problem.

  2. http://Liz%20Jamieson says

    Bernard – I am afraid I do not know how Spybot works, and it looks a bit draconian for me anyway.

    I tried initially adding sqlite3.dll to my system (in various locations) in the hope whatever was looking for it (in my case a PHP DLL) would find it. As it never did, I killed off the thing that was doing the looking.

    Your situation is quite different so I can’t advise. So sorry.

  3. http://Bernard%20K says

    Liz, I just installed ms sp3, and now spybot won’t install updates or run. I got the “reinstall sqlite3.dll may help” message.
    did a search and there are three files on the machine with this designation. If they are there, why can’t they be accessed? Did sp3 delete a link for “security”. I am not very skilled, but hope you can give me some advice.

  4. http://Liz%20Jamieson says

    I did this some weeks ago and no problems at all have arisen on my PC. And if anything does happen, all you have to do is take out the comment line in the php.ini file to go back to the previous (unhappy) situation.

  5. http://Mark%20M says

    Since you did this today. Is it possible that this could cause some unforseen problems that haven’t become apparent yet?