Fix: Google Earth Freezes when Loading KML Files

Almost every one of us is familiar with what Google Earth is. Since Google Earth is really useful for a lot of people, it is available on Windows as well. And, we aren’t just talking about the web version. You can get the Google Earth app on your Windows. But, sometimes Google Earth will stop loading at the myplaces.kml step. This error will present at the loading map phase of the Google Earth app. Your app will either crash or you will see a message “Google Earth has encountered a problem and needs to close…” and this will repeat every time you try to run Google Earth.

There are basically two things that cause this issue. The first one is pretty obvious and it is the myplaces.kml file. Since Google Earth stops while loading the myplaces.kml file, the file might either be corrupt or damaged. There is an easy solution for fixing the issue with myplaces.kml. The other reason behind the issue might be related to your graphics. The app might be using Directx or OpenGL which might be causing the issue. Usually, switching to OpenGL or Directx, depending on which one is selected, will solve the issue.

So, let’s have a look at a couple of methods that will solve the issue.


Try to uninstall and reinstall Google Earth. If the problem is because of a corrupted or damaged file then this will fix it.

Method 1: Renaming myplaces.kml file

Since the problem is with myplaces.kml file, our first approach should be to check the myplaces.kml file. The problem is solved by renaming the myplaces.kml file. However, you will have to rename all the myplaces.kml files in order to solve the problem. There are a total of 3 myplaces files. So, rename all 3 of them.

Here are the steps for renaming the myplaces files

  1. Close Google Earth
  2. Hold Windows key and press R
    Opening Run Prompt
  3. Type the following and press “Enter”.
  4. Now, you will be in the Google Earth folder. Locate the files kml, myplaces.backup.kml and myplaces.kml.tmp. Right-click myplaces.kml and select Rename. Rename it to old.myplaces.kml and press Enter. Rename the other 2 files like this as well. Add “old” in the beginning. Once done, restart Google Earth and everything should be fine

Note: If you can’t see any one of these files then you need to turn on the “show hidden files” option. Follow the steps given below to do show the hidden files.

Windows 8 and 10

  1. Follow steps 1-3
  2. Click View
  3. Check the box Hidden items in Show/Hide section
    View Hidden Items option is checked

Windows 7

  1. Follow steps 1-3
  2. Click Organize (top left corner)
  3. Select Folder and search options
  4. Click the View tab
  5. Select the option Show hidden files, folders and drives
  6. Click Apply then select Ok

Once done, you should be good to go

Method 2: Switch to Directx or OpenGL

Switching to Directx or OpenGL has solved the issue for tons of users. These are the options available in Google Earth. Basically, this simply means that you will switch the default renderer that is used to render the graphics of the app. Sometimes the problem might be caused by the graphics. The select graphics mode might not be compatible with your graphics hardware or drivers. So, switching to either Directx or OpenGL is a good option.

Follow these steps to switch to a different renderer

Note: The steps might be hard to follow since your Google Earth is crashing. Some of the users were able to perform these steps before the error appeared. So, you can give it a shot. If you think you don’t have enough time then skip to the Alternative Way section.

  1. Run Google Earth
  2. Click Tools and select options once you see the tip window or as soon as Google Earth starts

  1. Look for the options Directx and OpenGL in the Graphics Mode Select the one that isn’t selected. For example, if Directx is selected then select OpenGL and vice versa.
  2. Click Apply then Ok

  1. Restart Google Earth

Alternative Way

This is the alternative way of changing the graphics mode of Google Earth. This is a bit quicker. So, if you couldn’t perform the above-given steps then you might be able to cover these before the error appears

  1. Run Google Earth
  2. Click Help then select Run Repair Tool

  1. You can close Google Earth once the Repair Tool opens. Repair Tool will keep working
  2. Click the option Switch between OpenGL and Directx. Look at the last word of the text under this option. Once you click the option, the last word will change. It should say “Google Earth is currently using Directx” or “Google Earth is currently using OpenGL”. This will give you an idea about which one is selected. Click the option to switch between the modes and select the one that wasn’t select before. Try both modes to see which one works.

Once done, close the window and run Google Earth again.

Method 3: Reducing Saved Places

In some cases, the large number of saved places can increase the amount of data that Google Earth has to load up during the launching process and it can prevent it from launching altogether if it exceeds the limit. Therefore, it is recommended to remove some saved places which you don’t navigate to often as it will help in getting rid of this error. This can also be done by editing the “myplaces.kml” file and removing saved places from there.


Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.