Windows startup issues

No error, but app does not appear

Recently there have been some reports of Anki failing to appear, without any error message showing up. If you run into this situation, you can either:

  • Some users reported that the problems stopped after they disconnected multiple/external displays.
  • Install the latest Anki version (try both qt6 and qt5)
  • Or you can try adjusting your decimal separator if it is not a period.
  • Or you can try the old 2.1.35-alternate build of Anki.

Windows updates

When starting Anki, you may receive a message like the following:

  • Error loading Python DLL
  • The program can't start because api-ms-win.... is missing
  • Failed to execute script runanki
  • Failed to execute script pyi_rth_multiprocessing
  • Failed to execute script pyi_rth_win32comgenpy

These errors are usually because your computer is missing a Windows update or Windows library.

Please open Windows update, and ensure your system has all updates installed. If any needed to be installed, please restart your device after installing.

Windows 7/8

On Windows 7/8, you may need to manually install extra updates. Please try:

Video driver issues

Please see display issues.

Multiple displays

If you get a LoadLibrary failed with error 126, this may be caused by the toolkit Anki is built on having trouble with multiple displays.

Antivirus/firewall software

Third-party software on your machine may prevent Anki from loading. You can try adding an exception to Anki, or temporarily disabling your antivirus/firewall to see if it helps.

Admin access

Some users have reported that Anki did not run for them until they right-clicked on the Anki icon and chose "Run as administrator". Anki stores all of its data in your user folder, and should not need administrator privileges, but it's something you can try if you've exhausted other options.

Multiple Anki installations present after updating

If the update process leaves you with multiple Anki installs (such as within C:\Program Files\Anki and C:\Program Files (x86)\Anki), they may be left in a non-working state, and Anki may refuse to start without showing an error message.

Try uninstalling all copies - you may be able to do so with the Windows Apps & features settings menu, or by running uninstall.exe in each Anki program folder. Afterward, install Anki again.


Starting Anki from a terminal may reveal a bit more information about some errors. After installing the latest Anki version and ensuring all Windows updates are installed, instead of running Anki directly, use Start>Run and type cmd.exe. When a console window appears, type

cd \program files\anki & anki-console

Presumably Anki will fail to open like before, but it may reveal something about what is causing the problem.

If all else fails

If you are unable to start Anki after trying the above workarounds, you have two remaining options:

  • You can try running from Python.
  • You can try an older Anki version built with an older toolkit, such as 2.1.35-alternate, and 2.1.15.