Applocale Was Unable To Launch The Specified Application Error

Running non-Unicode Installer with AppLocale in Vista

Whenever the language locale setting in any program’s interface/setup file/installer is incompatible with that of the system’s, the text may appear as complete gibberish filled with garbage characters. This problem can be resolved by using Microsoft AppLocale – a Windows utility that allows users to display foreign language character sets/codepages in a non-Unicode based application program different from current system locale.

AppLocale installs a program in a simulated localized language environment – enabling display of foreign language characters correctly. On selecting the language in the installer, AppLocale will launch ‘Add or Remove Programs in Windows XP or ‘Programs and Features’ in Windows Vista, in a corresponding system locale for code-page to/from Unicode conversions

However, if you use ‘Launch a Program’ command in Vista to run the setup file, the following error message comes up:

AppLocale was unable to launch the specified application.

Please make sure the application specified is valid.

This happens because, in Vista, an installer needs administrator privileges to write to the ‘Program Files’ directory, whereas AppLocale runs the installer with the same privileges as the current user profile. This is resolved by disabling User Accounts Control (UAC), or by running AppLocale as an administrator.

However, there is no ‘Run as Administrator’ option in the right-click context menu of Microsoft AppLocale in Vista. Thus, the workaround is:

  • Navigate to C:\Windows\AppPatch\ using Windows Explorer
  • Right click on AppLoc.exe
  • Select Run as Administrator

To always run AppLocale as ‘Administrator’:

  • Right-click on AppLoc.exe, and select Properties
  • On the Compatibility tab, check the Run this program as an administrator box

Click OK