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How do I resolve my problem with appcompat.txt?

Question: How do I resolve my problem with appcompat.txt?

This is another case of Windows being particularly obscure. You see (and I’ll say this several times), appcompat.txt is not the problem.

I can hear a crowd of people saying, “Yes it is! It’s right there in this error message!” That’s what I mean by Windows being obscure. Read the error message carefully and you’ll see what I mean. Appcompat.txt is not the problem, it’s not the error, and it’s not the cause of the error … it’s information about the error.

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Appcompat.txt is simply a reporting file used when uploading error reports to Microsoft. You’ve seen the message asking you if you would like to report this error to Microsoft. Appcompat.txt is a file that is uploaded if you say yes.

Appcompat.txt is not the problem. It contains information about the problem. Open it up in Notepad and you’ll see what I mean. When you get an error message that references appcompat.txt, it’ll usually give you the full path to the file. So click on Start, Run and enter:

Notepad C:\DOCUME~1\username\LOCALS~1\Temp\WER7b4e.dir\00appcompat.txt

Where “:\DOCUME~1\username\LOCALS~1\Temp\WER7b4e.dir\00appcompat.txt” is replaced with the actual information that was presented in the error message.

You’ll see a lot of technical information that begins with this:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-16"?>

Followed by information about the program that was running at the time an error occurred. Note: It’s not meant for you to understand this. It’s meant for the engineers back at Microsoft to use to analyze failures and hopefully provide fixes over time. I point it out here, simply to drive home the point:

Appcompat.txt is not the problem. It contains information about the problem.

So what do you do when you get an error message that references appcompat.txt? In my opinion, a) allow Windows to report the error to Microsoft, if it asks you to, and b) forget about appcompat.txt. Unless you’re technical enough to understand what’s inside of it, it will not help you. Focus instead on what you were doing when the problem happened. We all know that programs can crash for many, many different reasons. The problem could be due to a bug in an application, a problem with your machine, a bug in Windows, a security issue, or any number of other things. Just saying “it’s appcompat.txt” tells you exactly nothing about the problem.

The steps to take then will depend on what you were doing and what applications were involved. A fix could be as simple as a configuration change, a virus scan, a system file check, or as complex as a complete rebuild and reinstall of Windows. But without more information, there’s simply no way to know.

As a final note, I want to be clear that appcompat.txt and appcompat.exe are two completely different things. Appcompat.exe is discussed in this other article: Appcompat.exe – What is Appcompat.exe?.

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49 comments on “How do I resolve my problem with appcompat.txt?”

  1. After 40 comments on the other article, closed previous to this new article, you explained you closed it because comments did not relate to the article? Hmm, well. The article was based around Appcompat.exe. And in no disrespect, I find that all questions had or lead on to the same problem.


    Yes, you’ve explained that Appcompat.txt is infact NOT the problem. That’s understood.

    So now, after hearing that, WITHOUT formatting my computer, how do we take action to get the error from occuring?

    I and i hope everyone understands you are not in debt to help us. Though, you created this site to help us. And you blew the other article off and created a new one to explain the error itself.

    I do not pose a stance against you, and no agression is intended. However, I just think everybody wants the simple questoin answered –


  2. There is no single answer. It depends entirely on what you were doing at the time. Appcompat.txt is a single symptom that can result from hundreds, if not thousands, of different causes.

    So without know a LOT of specifics, there simply is no answer to your question.

  3. I took the advice to notepad C:DOCUME~1OwnerLOCALS~1TempWERF4.tmp.dir00appcompat.txt in regedit.

    It said The system cannot find the specified path.

    Any suggestions?

  4. I don’t understand the use of regedit in your comment.

    Just run:

    notepad C:DOCUME~1OwnerLOCALS~1TempWERF4.tmp.dir00appcompat.txt

    Assuming that path is the exact one from the error message.

  5. I think I can illustrate what Leo is trying to say.
    If you have a flat right driver’s side tire, your car will pull left. However, your car pulling left is not the problem- the problem is a flat tire.
    If you get an error message in Word, it can have the appcompat.txt message. If you have an error message in Front Page it can have the appcompat.txt error. The SOLUTION is to find the real error- the appcompat.txt error is just a messgae to Microsoft techs and not meant for people that have to ask “What is an appcompat.txt error?”

  6. appcompat.txt is application compatibility
    whatever program you are running is not compatible with another program that is running

    so if you open word and get an error
    then word is not jiving with another running program

    for example
    i had an appcompat.txt with blaze dvd
    because the codec it used did not work with one of the windows media player codecs that windows was trying to use

    the best bet is to figure out which program is causing the imcompatibility and uninstall and reinstall
    if this doesnt work
    find a new program

  7. “appcompat.txt is application compatibility”

    That is INCORRECT. It’s a misleading name, and has nothing to do with compatability – other than some program crashed. PLEASE read the article you just commented on, where this is explained.

  8. I have just installed palm software for treo 650 and cannot open palm software – following is message forwarded to microsoft

  9. Actually the appcompat.txt isnt much use at all either.

    The .mdmp file is the file which is actually useful when fixing the problem. Unless the application is a Microsoft one, or its MS dlls that are at fault, or from a major company who have an agreement with MS, I doubt MS would do anything with the files you submit.

    If anyone ever gets a crash with one of my apps, I would like them to send me the .mdmp as I can probably fix the problem given that file, but wont ever see it if they send to MS.

    Before doing that, check with the author of the software you’re using though, as they’re not small and they may not know what to do with it.

  10. Suddenly, every single time I turn on my computer, the first thing that pops up is a window that says ildosac.exe has encountered a problem, and to email MS, which doesn’t seem to do anything because I haven’t opened up my internet yet.
    If I “click here” I get a file name C:windowstempwer16.tmp.dir00appcompat.txt
    I can’t find the C: file or ildosac.exe anywhere on my computer. The popup is annoying.
    Do you have any suggestions to get rid of it?

  11. Try to test your PC memory with some System utilities like Microscope Diagnostic Software. I have the same problem and then use that software and run a full test FROM THE FLOPPY DISK and it found a hardware memory error. I need to replace my memory chip… That’s all.

  12. Leo,

    I just want to thank you for the enlightenment. I’ve had this error numerous times, and while I’m not much closer to understanding what’s wrong, I can at least cross xxxx_appcompat.TXT off my list.

  13. I have been experiencing random & unwanted crashes on my Windows XP Pro SP2 computer. The error report ALWAYS returns the files sysdata.xml and mini080106-02.dmp. Any idea as to what this means and how it can help me troubleshoot these unexplained crashes? I think its an OS bug.
    Posted by: Anthony at August 5, 2006 08:01 AM

    You can solve this problem by recreating the pagefile. To re-create the pagefile, follow these steps: 1. Click Start.
    2. Right-click My Computer.
    3. Click Properties.
    4. On the Advanced tab, in the Performance section, click Settings.
    5. In the Virtual Memory section, click Change.
    6. For Paging file size for selected drive, click No Paging File, and then click Set.
    7. Click Yes after the following warning appears:
    If the paging file on volume X: has an initial size of less than xx megabytes, then the system may not be able to create a debugging information file if a STOP error occurs. Continue anyway?

    (X is the drive letter and xx is the amount of RAM installed on your computer minus 1 megabyte.)
    8. Click System Managed Size.
    9. Click OK four times, and then restart the computer when you are prompted.

    Now i just have to get the other hard drive started lol.
    Im going to install a different winxp pro sp2 on anther hard drive ,just to see if its the disc iv been using. Cant do anymore damage

  14. Leo is right !
    PLease READ your appcompat.txt file. In my case it shows several files, some in English and some in French ( local language here) so I guess I have a problem of compatibility – that correct Leo ?

    more clearly ( I hope)
    each file has a kex “Ver_language” at the end of its description

    but the first sentence mentions a certain “GRABMI_FILTER_SYSTEM”$

    Could THAT be the source of problem ???

    thanks for your advice


  15. Kindly inform me on how to deal with the following:

    <?xml version=”1.0″ encoding=”UTF-16″?>

    and cc7_appcompat.txt

    Thanks in advance,

    Hash: SHA1

    Quoting the article: “forget about appcompat.txt. Unless you’re technical
    enough to understand what’s inside of it, it will not help you. Focus instead
    on what you were doing when the problem happened.”

    My guess us you were doing something in internet explorer, and thus I’ll send
    you here:

    Good luck,

    Version: GnuPG v1.4.6 (MingW32)


  17. THANKS LEO! I would have been plagued by this for so long it would have been ridiculous! I was thinking about patches and fixes, (and I still am). It only occurs with media player on my system. But, thanks for putting my mind more at ease with this tasty bit of info!


    p.s. Got any info on how to streamline a home system running XP Pro to where you have fewer hang-ups and more fun? Drop me a line when you do.

  18. I had the problem with the appcompat blah blah deal and i fixed it…her is how i did it. I went to restore my orginal computer settings and it gave me the option of a time frame of how far back i want to go with it….so i went 2 days 1 day prior to the annoying messeges and once the comp rebooted everything was fine…hope that helps

    All i did was go to Resore Settings and it gave me an option of how far back i wanted to restore so i went one day prior to the error message…it worked…hope that helps

  20. Hi;
    I just subscribed to your Newsletter and, while scrolling down and reading what you said about the appcompat errors, I noticed that the word “application” was lit up in dark blue. I clicked on it and it took me to some job application website and I could not get out of it. Thought you might like to know. I recently ran into a trojan smart worm which caused me to actually get another PC (this one) from a friend who no longer used it. She said that it “crashed” which is a nebulous term and she had stuck it into a closet and was going to throw it away. She purchased a $1200 laptop to use and gave me this one. The PC with the worm, I dismantled and removed the HD, used a powerful magnet all over it and tried to reinstall an OS but I could not even get it to format or petition. Anyway, I have been getting these Blue Screen Stop errors and cannot figure out why. I do notice that when it is booting up and the screen is black with the red Compaq logo, the logo quivers noticeably until the monitor clicks and then it stops. While it is going farther in the boot process, the black screen has a few rapid flashes. I wonder if it is a bad video card or whatever that card,board is that the monitor plugs into on the back of the tower. If it is symptomatic of that, I will use the board and plug from my other PC since it did not have that problem.
    A few of the Blue Error screens led off with Page_Fault_IN_NONPAGED_Area and it ended with Physical Dump complete. All of the Blue Errors ended with the physical dump. One or two errors led off with Driver_IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL and went on to say something about atapi.sys with an address and a date stamp. This stuff is all new to me and I have never had to deal with it before. I recently downloaded IE7 and tried to download the SP3 but the service pack refused to load for some reason. Perhaps it has something to do with whatever is causing the Blue Errors.
    Anyway, this is a good site and I have added it to my favorites so I can look for other peoples’ fixes. The article above is instructional. I’d never have guessed. The testimonials/others’ problems are strange. I do not have any games. I have a new HP printer. That is all.
    Dr. Tony Thannisch

  21. in regard to tony and his/her post.

    Just because a computer crashes, or you get a trojan virus, does not mean you should throw away your computer, or go out and buy a new one. Problems such as viruses are only software related and OS related. They do not ruin hardware such as RAM, processors, hard drives etc. It is absolutely asinine to throw away a computer because it’s OS crashed, you can tell your friend she needs to get a professional standpoint before throwing away a perfectly good piece of machinery.

  22. That’s what I mean! Window XP and Windo Vista PAIN IN THE bUtt. I can’t open or close many programs and system errors and messages about errorrs and when I call Dell for tech support my call goes to Lindia:)


  23. hi again;
    i just want to say this i fixed itunes(connection) my computer between problem.i am so glad.i fixed my myself. i used to assembling codec(ace mega codec) (windowsmedia player,winamp,quick time and other media players)but now i won’t use problem’s source is this codec.this codec was hindering data way my computer with itunes.anyway i couldn’t help me but i resolved…Despite everything thank you…
    dear user..
    if you happen same problem like me.first you must look 2 coincidence programs then you should remove this programs..second you must look a codec in your will see it works…take care

  24. I have spent a day or two fixing a computer that was infeted with the “Brontok” virus.

    The PC is now free of the virus, but it stillgives a thousand and one errors, always saying appcompat.txt or with a variation with numbered files. These files do not exist. I was getting Dr. Watson errors – eventually I put a weight on the enter key, to hold it down for about half an hour so it could clear all the “appcompat” errors so windows could come up.

    The problem is that the brontok virus makes changes to your registry so it can hook into anything you run at all. This is so it can see if you are running an antivirus program or starting a command window – if you try to do any of these then it will reboot your PC. After the virus is removed, some of these hooks into the system remai.

    I have removed manually all the Run keys under registry keys software/microsoft/windows/current version/run and also some from the explorer key in the same place, which were hooks preventing explorer from running. Then I reinstalled windows (a repair install so I don’t lose all the printer settings, isp settings and so on) and now it is up and running.

    But I am going to run a bunch of antivirus programs against it first, before I give it back to the owners.

  25. Simply put, the only real solution to this problem is to dump Windows and buy a Mac. This problem isn`t fixable because Microsoft doesn`t want it to be fixable… It`s the same thing technique they`ve been using for years in order to push products, patches and faulty OS` on the unsuspecting public… “appcompat.txt” is pretty much just a file that tells you what they`ve successfully managed to break on your PC so that they know how well their bugs and viruses affect different applications on different PCs and systems.

    Once you Send the “Error report” to them, they use this information to make patches and fixes for whatever product or OS they are currently trying to push so that it works properly enough for a short enough time that people will buy it. Then a few years later, they use this same information to break the new product again so that you`ll have to buy an even newer model. Microsoft could easily roll out a patch or an update of some kind to fix an issue like this. They do it all the time and within days of “worm” and ” big virus infections”. They just choose not to do so with this because it keeps people right where they want them to be… Trapped and completely reliant on them.

    You`ll notice the trend whenever they announce that they will no longer be providing support for a previous product (like Windows XP). A few months later something like this happens or a “virus” breaks out that requires extensive troubleshooting (with little promise of a permanent fix other than “buying the newer / upgraded version”). Of course they don`t want it to look like it`s completely their own OS`s fault so they write code to sabotage other applications on your PC which they roll out on via Internet Explorer and Windows Upgrades or whenever you visit the Microsoft homepage for troubleshooting tips. Take a look back through time and you`ll see that the same thing happens over and over again. If Microsoft DIDN`T want this to happen all the time, then that@s still a good reason for you to consider switching to a Mac because that basically means that they have no control or security over their own products (much less your personal information submitted to them via various means)….

    This is all staged so Microsoft can make more money off of you with their defective products. Witch to Mac and your life will be a whole lot easier with less application crashes and more reliable performance. Or… you can keep posting blogs like this 5 years from now when they`ve decided to “discontinue support of Windows Vista”.

    That`s my conspiracy theory of the day!

    • Sounds more like paranoia to me. Microsoft is a business. Their job is to sell their product. A lot of people get a new car when the one they have starts to get old, and the new car builders promote this. Just like MS promotes their product. You can keep using your old car or your old operating system. Just don’t expect to get updates(parts) as easily after a few years.

  26. Hi, I wanted to ask you about the appcompat.txt. What would cause this error report to appear instead of the standard application mini dump created when an app crashes? Thanks, because as you say, this file is useless. At least I can look into a crash dump and establish which thread caused the crash!

    To be honest, I’m not sure. It’s related to exactly what component of Windows detects the error, but I don’t know the rules.

    I disagree that it’s useless. If people would simply look inside appcompat.txt – even in a text editor – there is information therein that can often help identify the source of the error.


  27. I get the following error message when I open my computer, an Asus netbook: C:DOCUME~1AsusLOCALS~1Temp1c93_appcompat.txt. I’m asked to report to Microsoft about it. I find no such file in my computer (I have searched both C and D drives). Why am I getting the error? Do I just ignore it, as you seem to say in your article “How do I resolve my problem with appcompat.txt?”?

  28. So…the solution is, live with it, or buy myself a MAC. Hmmm, Tough call.
    I am not a patient guy, pretty stupid to and getting old as well. Not the richest around, either. Not much of a choice, if You ask me. A. L

  29. I have a game called SPORE, and sometimes, when the computer gets slower, it gives an error. But then I open it and it gets ok. Well, yesterday I’ve turned it off and today I’ve turned my computer on. When I clicked SPORE, I waited for it to charge, but instead of appearing the menu with the galaxy and the planets, it appeared an error with this thing on the final report: C:DOCUME~1ADMINI~1DEFINI~1Temp6219_appcompat.txt

    What is the problem??

  30. C:DOCUME~1ADMINI~1LOCALS~1Temp4b82_appcompat.txt How To Solve This An Error

    Thanks & Reg.

    Please read the article you just commented on. It answers this question.


  31. i m nitin i got msg when i m click on my my game foloder C:DOCUME~1NITINT~1LOCALS~1Tempd14d_appcompat.txt how do resolve this problem

  32. I am using a urdu typing software ( inpage) that gives me same error ….Temp4b82_appcompat.txt and program suddenly close as he open.How I solve it

  33. Kamal: It’s difficult to diagnose the problem from the information you give. Dr Watson is not an error, it’s an problem diagnostic tool. If you still can, make a back-up of all of your data and if your computer becomes unusable you can retrieve the data from the back-up.

  34. I’ve run into this issue as well, in conjunction with having MS Flight Sim 2004. The sim starts fine, but aircraft textures grey out, then finally the sim locks. I ctrl-alt-del out. I then get an error text box saying two files are involved – fs9.exe.mdmp and appcompat.txt. Appcompat.txt is merely the reporting mechanism used by MS. I’m trying to find out what’s wrong with the FS9.exe file.

  35. This is flight simulator 2004

    Erorr signature: the program is not responding.

    szAppName : fs9.exe szAppVer : szModName : hungapp
    szModVer : offset : 00000000

    my computer not have internet and i need copy a file on the notepad to send my email.

  36. I have got the error on application server where all the website have been host.Please any body resolve the issue..Thanks..Please find the error:-


  37. This is regarding my Spider man 3 game which has all the configureation but still is showing this message after installing…..please help me!!!!

    AppName: spider-man 3.exe AppVer: ModName: spider-man 3.exe
    ModVer: Offset: 0000344a

  38. I know, it’s an old thread but I just happened to see it and thought I’d leave some info, thanks for all the help with these kinds of problems Leo, I know it can’t be easy seeing so many odd responses when you’re trying to help.

    Anyway, like everybody I see this problem often, and typically it happens for me and customers with games mainly (and some utilities but mainly games).

    For most things, I am either very lucky with this obscure type of error, or I just found a workround that well, works often. This relates to Windows XP, all versions, but may help with others.

    Find the start file for the game/program (call me fussy but i don’t usually trust making this adjustment on the desktop link to a file, I go find the file itself – I don’t trust Windows much with these things – after all it shouldn’t be allowing the problem in the first place!.

    Right-click on the file and go to Properties. Click the Compatibility tab. Now change the settings to Run Program In Compatibility mode for Windows 98/ME. Next tick the Turn Off Advanced Text Services (very rare this is needed), and if you wish you could tick the Disable Visual Themes box. I don’t bother with that last one but if you run software handling themes etc then it could help on some things.

    Click Apply (DONT forget that, many people just forget or dont think it matters!!) , then click OK.

    And try starting the software up again. I hope that helps somebody, it’s worked for me for several years now on all kinds of things.

    Another thing to note on this article is, many people are looking for a file which often isn’t even there :-( For many copies of XP once it crashes the thing stops and doesn’t even get around to making the appcompat.txt file like it should of. Very odd, but it’s what I see many times a year at work.

    Good luck with it all everybody.

    • It worked !!! I was tearing my hair out trying to fix Galciv2 that worked well for me in the past. My optical mouse had developed static problems ( from hair that had worked its way into it LOL) Then I started to get crashes and the appcompat error message. i fixed the mouse, but the problem just got worse and worse. Following your instructions
      fixed it. Thank you, Thank you

  39. C:\DOCUME~1\Home\LOCALS~1\Temp\9a2c_appcompat.txt

    please sir,
    i have a problem on win xp sp3 and whenever i open E: drive it automatically error shows to close a,please tell me how to fix it?

  40. Hi I was wondering how I can edit system files using notepad to make changes such as showing up different texture files on a variety of aircraft in Flight Simulator X

    Regards Graeme

    • Short answer: I don’t know. Longer answer: I think it’s unlikely to be that simple. Windows programs often don’t use simple text files that can be edited with Notepad. And regardless, it all depends on the specific programs involved. Many will react poorly (i.e. crash) to changes not made in a way that they explicitly support.


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