Q: How to read appcompat.txt?

After the program I am debugging crashes, I am left with heap dump *.dmp file & appcompat.txt. I understand that appcompat.txt is an error report. Is there a description of its format? My appcompat.txt lists a number of DLLs. Am I correct assuming that the reason for a crash could have only come from one of the listed DLLs? Can I limit my debugging effort to the DLLs listed in appcompat.txt?

Thanks in advance!

Hi Pavlo,


Thank you for reaching out to the Microsoft Community!


Based on the description, it appears that you are having issues with program crashes and need to read appcompat.txt file on the computer.


To guide you in the right direction, I need a few more information from the computer that has the issue. Please help me answer the following questions:


1.      Which program are you referring to?

2.      Were there any recent changes made on the computer prior to the issue?


Appcompat.txt is an error file generated by the compatibility mode of Windows XP when a program crashes unexpectedly.

Make note of the location of the file and open it in notepad. The contents may give you a clue as to what caused the crash.

As you see the number of DLL’s causing the issue, you may refer the following methods and update us with the results.


Method 1: Perform Clean Boot.


To help troubleshoot error message, you can start Windows Vista or Windows 7 by using a minimal set of drivers and startup programs. This kind of startup is known as a "clean boot." A clean boot helps eliminate software conflicts.


How to troubleshoot a problem by performing a clean boot in Windows Vista or in Windows 7


Please note: After the troubleshooting, make sure to boot your computer to normal mode by following the step 3.


Method 2: Perform a System File Checker (SFC) scan.


Perform a System File Checker (SFC) scan on your computer. SFC tool scans system files and replaces incorrect versions of the system files by using the correct versions.


Refer the following article for more information on using SFC tool to troubleshoot missing or corrupted system files:


How to use the System File Checker tool to troubleshoot missing or corrupted system files on Windows Vista or on Windows 7



Method 3: Run Online Scan and check.


A fast way to check for viruses is to use an online scanner, such as the Microsoft Safety Scanner. The scanner is a free online service that helps you identify and remove viruses, clean up your hard disk, and generally improve your computer's performance.


To run the Microsoft Safety Scanner:


a. Go to the Microsoft Safety Scanner webpage to download the scanner.


b. Click Download Now, and then follow the instructions on the screen.



Note: The Microsoft Safety Scanner expires 10 days after being downloaded. To rerun a scan with the latest anti-malware definitions, download and run the Microsoft Safety Scanner again.

Important: While performing scan on the hard drive, if any bad sectors are found on the hard drive when scanning tries to repair that sector if any data available on that might be lost.



If the issue persists or you have further questions on Windows, please do not hesitate to let us know. It is our pleasure to be of assistance.

K.Z. Sharief Khan
Ex-Microsoft Forum Moderator

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Sorry this didn't help.

Hey Sharief,
thanks for your reply. However, my question was how to read appcompat.txt, not how to avoid a program crash.
I already received a nice reply in StackOverflow and followed their advice.


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Sorry this didn't help.

1 person was helped by this reply

Question Info

Views: 6,753 Last updated: July 18, 2018 Applies to: