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What is Appcompat.exe?

A Windows 2000 tool (supposedly no longer needed in Windows XP) that used to fake the version of Windows for some setup programs.

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Please note: appcompat.exe and appcompat.txt are two completely
different and unrelated things.

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Posted: June 14, 2004 in:
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I'm Leo Notenboom and I've been playing with computers since I took a required programming class in 1976. I spent over 18 years as a software engineer at Microsoft, and "retired" in 2001. I started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place to help you find answers and become more confident using all this amazing technology at our fingertips. More about Leo.

38 comments on “Appcompat.exe”

  1. Im using a winXP and alwayz getting an error on appcompat.txt everytime when i start yahoo messenger and/or Ineternet Explorer. The problem occurs a couple of weeks ago and i dont know what to do. i also scan for viruses and adwares but still the problem is the same. I also tried to delete the TEMP files on the TEMP folder but still doesnt work.

  2. appcompat *.txt* is simply a reporting file used when uploading error reports to Microsoft. The real issue is with whatever error message preceded it. Without more information it’s hard to say.

  3. In XP. Loaded Yahoo messenger 6.0. In chat for 2-3 min., and get shut down. Msg. is: C:\DOCUME~1\OWNER\LOCALS~1\TEMP\WER90.TMP.DIR00\APPCOMPAT.TXT. Uninstalled Messanger 6.0, and re-installed. Same problem. ?????

  4. When I tried to reinstall my scanner I got
    Also, my Picture It program “make array”
    and Webshot will not upload because it can’t fine the first file that I mentioned. Is there hope for this computer to ever work again

  5. i cannot get into anything on my start menu. i keep getting error messages. the detail is c:\windows\temp\wer11.tmp.dir00\appcompat.txt.

  6. Everytime I open my Paperport Application for my scanner I keep getting the same error “appcompat.txt” It wont let me click anything within the program and icons within the program will not show up. Sometimes my scanner will not scan because there is an error. Everytime I try to get it to work the same error comes up but sometimes it will have different file but it still has appcompat.txt in it. For example the last time I tried this error file came up: 1025_appcompat.txt. Also I have Windows XP and It works on certain user logins. Please help me!

  7. My attemt to install and use Yahoo Messenger 6 on Windows 2000 failed as I was getting error about YpAGER. I believe this is a compatibility problem.

  8. ( Before reading this post I will make you a cliff notes .. It is not fixable , dont even bother just move on it has todo with how crappy windows is )

    I figured since this was one of the first links posting up in google for appcompat.txt I would post about it to resolve peoples issues, or at least explain what is going on.

    App compat is obviously short for application compatibility. My issue came about when i had reinstalled warcraft 3 after a slew of bad game titles and boredom .. Unfortunately as soon as the INTRO movie was done playing and loading to the menu screen this happened.

    Alot of people seem to know exactly what this file does when in all actuality they have no idea. As I am sure if you are just looking or been looking you have seen no defined answer. Just a bunch of random “I know the fix” which it probably does not work for you , sometimes to turn off Error reporting in your services has seen to work. Some say log in as a different user. As in my case it has todo with video , unfortunately once i installed media player 9 i could not roll back to a previous version since i turn off the data saving for system restore ( only thing that could go wrong is windows screws up since i hardly ever make mistakes with my computer ) .. windows media player 9 imbedded into windows so i am screwed.

    As for your answer? and solution to stop it! There isnt one . The only thing you can do is FULLY format and reinstall windows .. and avoid microsofts horrible updates besides things like directx etc. You can spend the rest of the night reading on “its because of peer to peer programs or HOTTEXT etc etc” but to be honest it has todo with windows and that somewhere along the line it screwed up in its “space of things” and no matter if you clean your registry , try every virus remover ( which it isnt a virus ). You will never find a single solid answer on this subject nor will you find someone who knows what they are talking about , dont bother locating the file because it is just a temp file which holds the information of the error you are getting before it sends it to microsoft.

    As leo has stated it is almost impossible to find out the source of the error . but one thing is for sure it has todo more with windows than the application you are trying to run.

    My advice , format , dont get any uneeded updates , just critical ones.

    As for me I am going back to linux\windows98

    but if you want to waste your time and think you can find a solution by all means “search” appcompat away friends.


  9. This comment is in response to the one made by Brian on October 16.

    First of all, you seem to be implying that Windows Media Player 9 was the source of your Warcraft III problem, when the program itself was not. When Warcraft III crashes after the intro movie with the generic “send a report to Microsoft” Windows error message, that is an audio/video codec or hardware driver issue. I have been using Windows Media Player 9 and playing Warcraft III, and the game doesn’t crash. The codecs that come with the player by default will not cause a problem, however a third-party one that you download via WMP9 or from a website may cause a problem. If the problem really was caused by a codec you downloaded via WMP9, instead of formatting and reinstalling Windows, you could just have deleted the codec or bypassed the Warcraft III intro movie by renaming the “movies” directory in the Warcraft III directory.

    Second, you seem to be implying that because you did not know how to properly resolve your Warcraft III problem, anyone who has a crash problem that results in a file named appcompat.txt being generated will not be able to properly resolve it either. This is completely flawed logic and very poor advice.

    An appcompat.txt file is generated when two pieces of software (possibly one of them being Windows) have a conflict, and it is ridiculous to say that the conflict can only be resolved by formatting. I have encountered crashes that generate the file before, and in those cases it was always a non-Windows program I was using that was causing the crash.

    There is no magical solution to all of the possible causes of the file being generated, and what you need to do is contact the developer of the program you were using when the crash occurred (possibly Microsoft) and/or find someone who knows how to analyze the file’s contents.

    An appcompat.txt crash may have something to do with Windows, but to say it’s always Windows’ fault is simply wrong. I have been maintaining clean Windows installations since 1998, and every time I have had a problem, it has almost always been caused by a third-party driver or program. Windows XP is an exceptionally stable operating system if you know how to use it and maintain it, including all of its updates.

    You said that you won’t find someone who knows what they are talking about, and I think that that applies to you, Brian. Your generalizations indicate a lack of understanding about what’s really going on, and I hope that people don’t seriously consider your “advice”.

  10. What I want to know is… if we are all having the same problem, and we have a fairly good idea what it isn’t ( virus or spyware), who can we turn to? Do I have to drive over to the Redmond Campus of MS and wave a picket sign that says, “Solve the appcompat.txt Thing!”?

  11. Because you’re all having *different* problems. As Darkseid put very well, appcompat.TXT is a datafile that is generated when programs crash. And we all know that programs crash for many, many different reasons. Appcompat.TXT *IS NOT THE PROBLEM* and it is not a symptom of a single problem.

    And to be clear appcompat.txt and appcompat.exe are two completely different things. appcompat.exe is discussed by the article at the top of this page. appcompat.txt is what most of the comments have turned to.

  12. hi all, well with the advice brain i think it was a load of bull
    the reason i think this thing keeps coming up is because we are making files join together ewither by using that disk defragmenter or sum other dodgey anti-virus itried everything to get of that error nothin ever happens.
    i just keep deleting the files but they just keep coming bck.
    I think these files are clinging on to internet explorer and using there selves to stop you visting certain web pages with a shockwave player or sum sort.
    If anyone does have a resolution could you please tell me as i am completely lost!!!

  13. Sir,

    When i am accessing multiple excel files in windows XP Appcompat.txt Error message occurs and closes all excel application opened.

    Pls tell me the solution to solve this problem

  14. hi i am writting in about the acomppat.txt error i have been running xp pro for about 1 year now and the acomppat error is harrasing me its following me so i thought it was some thing i was putting in adware spyware or norton but as soon has i tried again it was back it seems to happen when my comp is straining download online games when not on internet its perfect i wont say the formatting thing dosent work but it didnt for me i must of formated 50 times ive tred home pro same with both got new home same friends home same so then i got new computer happy coz the old computer was gone and my acomppat.txt i was happy till the next dear when quess who knocked on my monitor waving at me the stalker acomppat please help ive got 40 gig hard drive with 20 gig slave nvidia riva tnt 2 graphics amd athlon xp thanx

  15. I was using IE6 windows xp to view a website and then poof the window closed sending me back to the desktop.what is causing this.this has been happening all week and is driving me says that”the following files will be included in this error report..c/docume/1/marym-1/locals-1/temp/8e43-appcompat.txt .can you help me.i have the sp 2 version with windows xp.

  16. error signature reads:
    AppName: explorer.exe AppVer: 6.0.2800.1106 ModName: kernel32.dll
    ModVer: 5.1.2600.1560 Offset: 00012875


    thats everytime i open a folder and RIGHT CLICK ON ANY FILE… anyway you can help me figure this one out??

    XP ALL updates (prior to SP2)
    any info would be appreicated… even a place to start thanks in advance… :)

  17. C:\DOCUME~1\LEWISC~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\WER38.tmp.dir00\appcompat.txt
    this pops up all the time when i open files, it so stressfull. i dont know much about laptops so could you help me as internet and files keep giving me error reports.

    Cheers bud,

  18. How do we fix these error messages?


    Thank you, Bill

  19. When i open Realplayer to listen to music,i get a message,a error message that it tell me Windows error and if the report about fault is send.
    Please tell me what to do .

  20. It does appear that “Appcompat.txt” is an indication that there is a compatibility problem and not the problem itself, which means that there is no specific solution. Each problem will have its own solution.

    I was unable to open WordPerfect and kept getting meesage ending in appcompat.txt but with differnt file names.

    Solved problem when I removed a recently loaded Microsoft speech recogniztion program.

    If you have problem, try removing any programs that were loaded right before problem occurred.

    plem itsel

  21. Hey I play allot online games and now my pc shuts down Call of Duty or Quake 3 with the Appcompat.txt what do i have 2 do to get rid of it?

  22. I got Star Wars Battlefront game today and i installed it but when i tried to open the game its said: error: C:\DOCUME~1\MARKKU~1\LOCALS~1\Temp\fea9_appcompat.txt well, i tried again but same thing but other name of file. how can i fix that? star wars battlefront is only program what does that…

  23. Hi Leo, I have a problem installing a program, it’s called Magic the Gathering Online, the first window appears and I press the “install” button, but then crashes and tells me that needs to close, i don’t know why, and a message tells me that the error has created a file “appcompat.txt” i don’t know what that really means and the file has the next text:

    I hope you can help me out. I don’t know what to do.

  24. I had the same problem with the “appcompat” message every time I right clicked on a file in explorer. After reading other articles on the web, I solved the problem by deleting the file, C:\Program Files\DivX\Dr.DivX\EncodeDivxExt.dll. This may not solve the problem for everyone, but it worked straight away for me. If you have Divx, this file is often the culprit.

  25. I get this error starting up after browsing pr0n. The solution: Download your favorite porn so you don’t have to visit the sites, then format C.


  26. I Bought This Webcam It Has An Application Asociated With It To Veiw Movie Clips that I Created But Every Time I Double Click On It An Error Report Comes Up Saying Appcompat .Txt, What Do I Do.

  27. Whenever I open a program such as Winamp and now Task Manager, it gets the appcompat.txt error. I’d enjoy your help.

  28. I cannot type into the aim text box. It tells me there is an error occuring in appcompat.txt, with a different file name each time… I have removed and downloaded all available versions of aim and I still have the same problem.
    What can I do to be able to type in AIM again?

  29. I play Stronghold 2.. then game mimize and show error(somthing about Stronghold.exe and about


    i cleen temp, check computer for spyware go into game but it still minimaze and show error.I reinstal game(saves dont uninstal)! but this too not help! what i need to do? forgive me about my bad english!


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