I play Age of Empires II (no expansions installed on this machine), and something weird happens very often on my old Windows 7 PC.

After a few minutes of gameplay, AOE II auto reverts to the desktop without any user input. First, the screen turns black for around a second, then it shows my desktop. In an hour's time, this happens around 20-something times, and can get annoying. The game continues to play in the background. Then to go back you have to click on the icon.

Please help. I have dealt with this bug (?) for about 4 years.


2 Answers 2


I ran into this issue myself a while back except that my desktop got nasty colors in the process. So it's a compatibility issue rather than anything else.

You can either fix it by installing Userpatch or preferably install the latest version of AoE2Tools then press "1. scan" and once the scan is done press "2. Start".

You will be asked to apply a hotfix just do that and finally there is a little alert text "Fix Userpatch" just click that and hit yes to apply it. Done. (ignore Wololokingdoms alert as it's for users that own aoe2 on steam with all dlcs)

At first your game will start in window mode which is totally fine but once the actual game starts it should go full screen (in case it doesn't Press F10 > Options > Opt your preferred resolution. From now on it always goes full screen)


Usually this problem occurs in pirated copies of the game. If your copy is one of those, then unfortunately the problem cannot be solved. Make sure you buy only authentic copies of the game from authentic sources.

  • My dad bought a copy of this game from a store quite some time ago (for my sister). I believe it is authentic and will ask my father if it is. If it is not, then off to Steam.
    – HyperDraco
    Commented Jul 21, 2019 at 13:18
  • 2
    Do you have a reason to believe this is the cause; any source to verify this?
    – Joachim
    Commented Aug 20, 2019 at 10:25

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