Learn how to fix the frustrating World of Warcraft server population incompatible error on both Classic WoW and Retail expansions.

World of Warcraft is the most popular MMOs globally, and one of the most frustrating things to happen as you start to play for the day is to be hit with the “server population is incompatible” error. This is a common error that occurs in both World of Warcraft Classic and World of Warcraft Retail, including the Dragonflight expansion. Here’s how to solve the WoW incompatible server error in Classic and Retail.

WoW Classic population incompatible server error fix

(Image via Blizzard)
(Image via Blizzard)

The population incompatible error occurs after logging into World of Warcraft following a patch. As a result, your game might be out of date with the version that’s on the live servers. Most of the time, you client will update automatically. However, if it doesn’t, restart Blizzard Battle.net program and try again. Next, click the cogwheel next to the Play button and selecting “Check for Updates.” If it still isn’t working, try the following:

  • Close the Blizzard Battle.net app
  • Press Ctrl+Shift+Delete to open Task Manager.
  • Force quit the Battle.net process. It’s usually called Agent.exe and will have a Battle.net icon
  • Restart Battle.net

If there’s still no update, it’s time to run the Scan and Repair tool. Click the cogwheel next to the “Play” button and select “Scan and Repair.” This should fix any errors in Battle.net

WoW Dragonflight server population is incompatible error fix

(Image via Blizzard)
(Image via Blizzard)

In most cases, following the above directions that work with WoW Classic will also solve the error in WoW Dragonflight. However, you can also try resetting your UI to default. This will usually solve most problems. You’ll also need to uninstall any add-on management software you are using. 

Then your World of Warcraft folder and navigate to the folder for the game version you're troubleshooting (_retail_). Rename the Cache, Interface, and WTF folders to CacheOld, InterfaceOld, and WTFOld. Relaunch World of Warcraft, and reinstall any add-ons.

But, if all else fails, it's time to head to the official Blizzard forums to try and get things fixed!

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