How To Fix Population Incompatible Error In World Of Warcraft

How To Fix Population Incompatible Error In World Of Warcraft
Images via Blizzard

Written by 

Dave McAdam


2nd Feb 2023 13:14

A population incompatible error in World of Warcraft can quickly slam the brakes on your gaming plans. World of Warcraft is one of the biggest online games ever made, and as such it can have its occasional issues. A population incompatible error can appear when trying to log in to either the current or classic version of the game. For when that happens, here is how to fix a population incompatible error in World of Warcraft.

WoW Population Incompatible Error: How To Fix It

World of Warcraft Population Incompatible Error: a raid group fighting a dragon
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Typically, World of Warcraft should install updates automatically whenever one is available. This population incompatible error appears when this fails to happen, so we need to make sure the game is updated in order to fix the error.

The first thing to do is close everything manually. That means you need to turn off the game, and then force to close. To do so, open the Task Manager. You can search for it in your taskbar, or press ctrl+alt+delete to bring it up. likes to run in the background, even if you close it down. So, we need to do a force stop. To do this, locate the program in Task Manager under the Background Processes heading. It will show up as agent.exe. This is the Update Agent, and it is supposed to update your games when you turn on your PC.

When you find the process, click on it then click End Task. Once this is done, run as you normally would. This should trigger the update. Once World of Warcraft installs the update, you will be able to play the game again.

WoW Population Incompatible Error: What Is The Cause

World of Warcraft Population Incompatible Error: A large group of skeletons outside of a large wall
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The reason a population incompatible error occurs is actually quite simple, so much so that you wouldn't expect it to be a thing in this day and age. These errors generally only happen in the hours or days after a new update goes live in the game.

What happens is, for one reason or another, your game has not been updated to match the new version. As a result, when the game and the servers communicate, the servers recognise that something is wrong and this is why the population incompatible error appears. The wording could be a little clearer, but otherwise, it is a simple issue with a simple fix.

That is it for our World of Warcraft population incompatible error guide. For more on the game, check out the World of Warcraft Dragonflight update 10.0.5 patch notes.

Dave is a Senior Guides Writer at GGRecon, after several years of freelancing across the industry. He covers a wide range of games, with particular focus on shooters like Destiny 2, RPGs like Baldur's Gate 3 and Cyberpunk 2077, and fighting games like Street Fighter 6 and Tekken 8.

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