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GnuCash on Microsoft Windows

This page collects various notes about running GnuCash on Microsoft Windows.

Q: Which Windows versions are supported?

A: Currently: Windows 7, 8 and 10 are supported. If you encounter any errors on Windows, please report them through Bugzilla.

The following were supported in previous versions but are no longer supported:
GnuCash < 2.7.0
Windows XP, or Windows Vista,
GnuCash < 2.3.4
Windows 2000,
Windows 3/95/98/Me and Windows NT3.5/4.0 have never been supported.

Q: Where is the binary installer?

A: The latest versions can be downloaded from the download page on the GnuCash website. Anyone who cares about their data should use the released version found there.

People looking to test new features - at the risk of running into extra bugs - could try a test version:
  • As it is not so easy to build GnuCash under Windows, a weekly build of the maintainer branch at is made available as well to test bugfixes.
  • To closely follow development on the developer branch, which contains new features - and bugs - there are the nightly builds. Expect data loss if you try these though !

Q: Is it possible to compile GnuCash on Windows?

A: Yes. It's cumbersome, but possible. See the instructions in Building on Windows.

Q: Are there nightly builds?

A: We run nightly builds for both the stable (maint) and development (master) branches, but it's configured so that it runs only if changes have been pushed since the last build and only if the build is successful; they do fail from time to time. You can find the last 6-12 month's worth of builds at

or, more specifically, for stable at and for master at Logs for all builds are at

The product of the nightly builds is a Windows installer that will replace your existing GnuCash installation. The unstable branch really is unstable: Be sure to have suitable backups and don't use it for your "production" books.

Q: Anything else?

To avoid making the installer file even bigger, some functionality is not available without further downloads and installations of software.

Preferences in GnuCash 2.6 and more recent

gconf has been replaced with another preferences system. On Windows you will find the preferences directly in the Windows Registry under the registry key


Pdf name for invoices

This name is controlled by two hidden preferences:

  • pdf-export/filename-format
  • pdf-export/filename-date-format

Both of them will reside in the registry under HKEY_CURRENT_USER/software/GSettings/org/gnucash/dialogs/general/report

These won't be there by default (only values that deviate from the default value will be effectively in the registry). To change it you will first have to create a sub key named 'pdf-export.

Under this key you can create two string type keys named filename-format and filename-date-format.

This is the definition of these two string keys:

This setting chooses the file name for PDF export. This is a sprintf(3) string with three arguments: "%1$s" is the report name such as "Invoice". "%2$s" is the number of the report, which for an invoice report is the invoice number. "%3$s" is the date of the report, formatted according to the filename-date-format setting. (Note: Any characters that are not allowed in filenames, such as '/', will be replaced with underscores '_' in the resulting file name.)
The default value is %1$s-%2$s-%3$s
This setting chooses the way dates are used in the filename of PDF export. Possible values for this setting are "locale" to use the system locale setting, "ce" for Continental Europe style dates, "iso" for ISO 8601 standard dates , "uk" for United Kingdom style dates, and "us" for United States style dates.


For the retrieval of Online Quotes, you will need to install Perl and Finance::Quote (F::Q). The way to do this is slightly different depending on the version of GnuCash.

GnuCash 2.5 and more recent

Everything is done for you by running the "Install Online Price Retrieval" command. You can find this in the Windows start menu under the GnuCash group. This will install Strawberry perl and all the perl modules required to run Finance::Quote.

No such file or directory error while installing Strawberry perl:

Turning of anti-virus software while installing perl may help. This issue was reported to McAfee as Service Request number 1446848354 16 Mar 2014.

GnuCash 2.4 and before

These GnuCash releases only work with ActivePerl, which you first have to install manually.

  • If you are upgrading from an earlier version of ActivePerl, uninstall the old version and delete its directory before installing the new one.
  • Download and install it from ActiveState. ActivePerl versions before 5.16.3 may not deliver the latest version of F::Q (1.18 as of this writing). The 32-bit version is recommended, even on 64-bit Windows, but success has also been achieved running the 64 bit version under Windows XP Pro x64 SP2 with both GC 2.4.11 and 2.4.12(YMMV). If prompted, you don't have to provide contact details, just choose the MSI installer for your system. It is strongly recommended to use the default installation directory.
  • Once perl is installed, use the start menu item "Install Online Price Retrieval" from the GnuCash group to install the necessary Perl modules for F::Q and verify the setup.

Because ActivePerl uses their own precompiled perl package manager (PPM) you should - in the case you need to update F::Q - not use the Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN). Instead you can use the PPM Index: Finance-Quote to see the state and download the latest ppmx they compiled successful.

GnuCash 2.2.6 and before

Installation is similar to the installation for GnuCash 2.4, except that these releases only work with ActivePerl 5.8 and the menu item is called "Install Finance-Quote".

You are advised to upgrade to a more recent version of GnuCash though, because it's unlikely you can get Finance::Quote to work still on these old releases. You will have a hard time finding a version of ActivePerl 5.8 (unless you pay ActiveState for it), and the version of Finance::Quote that comes with this perl version is outdated.


Error messages, Trace file

In the GnuCash application, all error messages are redirected to a trace file. There will be one trace file for each time GnuCash is run. For a user named "myname" these files are located in the folder

  • c:\Documents and Settings\myname\Local Settings\Temp (Windows XP) or
  • C:\Users\myname\AppData\Local\Temp (Windows Vista/7).

They are named

  • gnucash.trace.ABCDEF (GnuCash 2.2.9 and older) or
  • gnucash.trace.ABCDEF.log (GnuCash 2.4.0 and newer)

where the ABCDEF part is changed randomly on each start of gnucash. See also Tracefile.

If you experience crashes or unexpected behavior, check the latest of these files (or the one created when the problem started) and add all interesting-looking lines of that file to your error reports, at least the lines with the keywords WARNing and CRITical warning.

Determining the locale

When asked for the locale, take a look at the Regional Settings in your Control Panel and report the values found for "Standard and Formats", "Location" and "Language for non-Unicode programs".

Also, use this bug's attachment to determine the locale as used internally by gettext.

Problems, issues, comments

For any problem that occurs now, you should add a new section below.

Issues with older versions of GnuCash

In an effort to keep the information somewhat manageable this page will only gather issues with the current stable version of GnuCash. For historical reference, the older issues will be moved to a separate page.

If you experience issues with an older version of GnuCash, the first advice is normally to try again with the current stable version. There may however be situations where you need to revive an older version and in that case the information kept on the older issues page may be useful.

In addition, if you experience any of the older issues in the current stable release of GnuCash, please file a bug report or ask about it on the user mailing list.

Known issues

Here is a list of the most often mentioned Windows issues. If you experience this problem, please check the respective bugzilla reports for potential workarounds.

Windows 7 64-bit - GnuCash fails to run

This is with GnuCash 2.4.3:

Starting GnuCash shows the splash screen and the tip of the day for a brief instant and then it disappears. To fix the problem, I did:

  1. Right-click on the GnuCash icon and select 'Run as Administrator'
  2. GnuCash starts up as expected
  3. Close GnuCash

After doing the above once, I can start GnuCash normally and it starts up properly.

Hopefully this helps someone. --Sketch 05:05, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

Font problems

After upgrading to 2.2.1, people have reported font-related issues:

  • The tick/check mark in the Reconcile window may look like a "nondescript squiggle"
  • Register windows may open with all transactions scrolled out of sight (upwards)
  • Languages other than English show characters as a box of four zeros "0 0 0 0".

The reason appears to be that GnuCash is now referring to Windows to determine what fonts to use, and in both these cases is using the one specified for "Message Box", which defaults to Tahoma 8.

Changing to Tahoma 10 fixed both of these for me.

The procedure on WinXP is:

  1. Start -> Control panel or My Computer -> Control panel
  2. Appearance and Themes -> Display (or, if using the "Classic View", Display)
  3. Appearance
  4. Advanced
  5. Select "Message Box" from the drop-down
  6. Change as required (e.g. set to Tacoma 10 point)
  7. OK
  8. Apply

Fred 10:30, 22 August 2007 (EDT)

Is this still necessary when using GnuCash 2.2.2? andi5

I (piyo) confirmed that the above procedure is necessary for viewing Japanese on Windows XP with GnuCash 2.2.3 (2008-01-08):

  • Confirmed that working fonts are Arial UI Unicode, FixSys, System, Tahoma (including 8!), Terminal. Also for Japanese, MS P Gothic, MS P Mincho, MS UI Gothic, MS Gothic, MS Mincho fonts are working.
  • Confirmed that non-working fonts are Lucida Sans Unicode and Microsoft Sans Serif.

--Piyo 23:23, 5 February 2008 (EST)

Program hangs constantly

(GnuCash 2.4)

According to this bug report GnuCash can become unstable with some themes. The original reporter didn't remember which themes caused issues, but had no problems when using the "Unity" theme.

--GJanssens 18 October 2013

Gnucash fails to start with Failed to contact configuration server

(GnuCash 2.4)

Copied from this bug report:

I installed GnuCash on Windows 7 and at one point I received the following error message

 Failed to contact configuration server; some possible causes are that you need
 to enable TCP/IP networking for ORBit, or you have stale NFS locks due to a
 system crash. See for information.
 (Details -  1: IOR file
 'C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp\gconfd-Username/lock/ior' not opened
 successfully, no gconfd located: No such file or directory 2: IOR file
 'C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp\gconfd-Username/lock/ior' not opened
 successfully, no gconfd located: No such file or directory)

I do not know what caused this error message.

Uninstalling GnuCash, removing an empty gnucash folder in C:\Program Files (x86)\, and reinstalling Gnucash does not restore GnuCash. I.e., same error message was produced.

Cleaning up the windows registry did not help either.

What did work was to remove the folder C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Temp\gconfd-Username/ which did not contain the subdirectory + file lock/ior that is mentioned in the error message.

The folder AppData is hidden (for Windows 7) and needs to be explicitly typed in the folder browser.

And also note that 'Username' should be replaced with your real username in the path (it's in there two times).

--GJanssens 18 October 2013