Vulkan-1.dll is a DLL(Dynamic Link Library) file which is the essential system file of Windows OS. This file is required by the applications/games to operate properly. Vulkan-1.dll is also known as Vulkan Loader and it is associated with Vulkan Runtime. This file is a component of Vulkan API.

Vulkan is an API and modern cross-platform 3D graphics with a low-overhead. This is intended to attain high performance in real-time 3D applications and games. Vulkan is more powerful and provides higher performance than OpenGL and Direct 3D graphics applications. Vulkan has optimal performance with balanced CPU/GPU usage.

Khronos Group developed the Vulkan in 2015. It is derived from and built by the help of AMD(American Micro Devices Inc.)’s Mantle API. As Khronos Group is a non-profit API and 3D graphics company, AMD donated its API(Application Programming Interface) to this group for developing low-level API. Vulkan API design works efficiently on different platforms which covers a wide range of mobile and desktop hardware as well as across operating systems.

OpenGL is considered as a predecessor of Vulkan. Vulkan offers low overhead with lower CPU usage than the OpenGL. The graphics look nice and games run faster without any lags in Vulkan and also it has a little more edge over Microsoft’s platforms because of its cross-platform API capability.

This is not the case with the DirectX 12 which is exclusive to Microsoft’s Windows ecosystems. Vulkan code is portable which means it is independent of the platforms. You can easily move the code from PC to smartphone or video-game console. Vulkan is efficient to divide work amongst multiple CPU cores.

If you don’t have much knowledge about graphics processing and its update, then you must have seen unfamiliar files and drivers popups. These pop-ups are ‘Vulkan Runtime Libraries’. These are the driver packages collection of GPU manufacturers like AMD and Nvidia. If you are using Nvidia drivers, then it’s quite frequent that Vulkan Runtime Libraries automatically get installed in Windows without asking your permission. We know that Graphics APIs interact directly with a GPU(Graphics Processing Unit) for hardware acceleration which provides a seamless 3D graphics experience for us.

Is Vulkan better than OpenGL?

Vulkan was considered the next-gen OpenGL. But later on, with the help of AMD’s Mantle API, Vulkan has become more powerful and efficient. Vulkan is designed for better performance and uses multiple cores efficiently than OpenGL. It remains as a low-level multi-platform graphics library whereas OpenGL remains as a high-level graphics library. Another advantage of Vulkan is that it allows the headers of API requests to optimize for the generation of graphics. It supports the elimination of non-essential components at the final development stages such as debugging and validation.

Vulkan is optimized for the better management of parallel processing on the graphics cards, and thus, reducing the extra loads on the CPU. For the development of video games, shaders for creating special effects and transformations are the most complex stages. Thus, Vulkan simplifies the shaders’ development and also manages different elements like smoke, fire, or shadows very efficiently.

It’s frequent that while opening games and some applications, you may encounter an issue saying the vulkan-1.dll file is missing or not found.

You will see the error like the below diagram.

But don’t despair. There are quick fixes that you can try to fix the issue:

#1. Reinstalling the application:

If you find the issue that the Vulkan-1.dll file is missing, it’s time to uninstall the games/applications clearly. Then, again install those applications/games, this way the error should go away.

#2. Update the outdated Drivers:

Sometimes, you will notice that your video card driver software is out of date. There can be a compatibility issue. So, you can easily fix the issue by updating the drivers either manually or automatically.

#3. Reboot the PC:

Sometimes, cache files or some system files trigger this issue. In that case, simply rebooting the PC can solve your issue.

#4. Perform Windows Update:

You need to perform the Windows update if the above troubleshooting fixes don’t work for you. Check for the Windows update and reboot the computer. This should fix your vulkan-1.dll error issue.


Vulkan-1.dll is a common error issue while opening the games/applications. This is a component of Vulkan API 3D graphics multi-platforms. Shortly, Vulkan’s graphics cards will be abundant. It will leverage the hardware acceleration for the better performance of 3D games/applications, and it is independent of the platforms.