[FIX] Merge Plugins ‘Access Violation’ Error

Some users are encountering the ‘Access Violation‘ error when trying to use Merge Plugins utility in Skyrim or Fallout. Typically, this problem appears when the user clicks on Resolve Issues, and the operation starts. This problem is often reported to occur when users attempt to merge game patches or mods.

Merge Plugins Access Violation Error

After investigating the issue and looking at various user reports, it turns out that this problem can occur due to multiple different reasons. Here’s a shortlist of confirmed potential culprits:

  • Missing Admin access – As it turns out, one of the most common reasons that will spawn this error is an instance where the main Merge Plugins executable (MergePlugins.exe) doesn’t have admin access. If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by forcing the main executable to run with admin access.
  •  The current Windows account is missing ownership – Another instance that might produce this error is an ownership problem caused by the Windows account that you’re currently connected to. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by taking ownership of the game and mod folders involved in this operation.
  • Enabled Read-Only attribute – As it’s been confirmed by several affected users, this problem can also occur in the instance where some files involved in the operation are read-only, so the utility is unable to modify and override the files. In this case, you should be able to fix the problem by disabling the read-only attribute.
  • 3rd party antivirus interference – According to some affected users, this problem can also occur due to an overprotective firewall or antivirus. In this case, you will be able to fix the problem by disabling the real-time protection of your 3rd party/built-in firewall or antivirus.

Method 1: Running Merge Plugins with Admin Access

If you didn’t try this already, your first attempt at fixing this issue should be to run the main executable of the Merge Plugins utility with admin rights. This fix was confirmed to be successful by a lot of users that were previously encountering the Access Violation error.

To do this, use File Explorer (My Computer on older Windows versions) and navigate to the location where you previously installed the Merge Plugins utility. Once you get there, look for the main MergePlugins.exe executable.

When you see it, right-click on it and choose Run as Administrator from the newly appeared context menu.

Run the MergePlugins.exe as administrator

When you’re prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant admin access.

Once you have successfully opened the Merge Plugins utility with administrator access, repeat the action that was previously causing the Access Violation error and see if the problem is now resolved.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 2: Taking Ownership of the Game and Mod folders

According to some affected users that managed to fix the Access Violation error, this problem can very well be caused by an ownership problem. As it turns out, the game folder where you’re trying to do the modification on or the mods files might not be owned by the account you’re currently using, so the process fails.

If this scenario is applicable, you should be able to fix the problem by taking ownership of the involved folders and making sure that your account has the rights to modify them before retying the plugin merging operation.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

Note: The instructions below assume that the game & mod files are present inside the temp folder. If the location is different in your case, adapt the steps below accordingly.

  1. Open File Explorer (or My Computer on Windows 8.1 and older) and navigate to the location of the involved game file.
  2. Once you finally arrive at the correct location, right-click on the game folder and choose Properties from the context menu.
  3. Inside the Properties menu, click on the Security tab, then click on the Advanced button (under Permissions for System).
  4. Once you’re inside the Advanced Security Settings for the game folder, click on Change hyperlink (associated with Owner).
  5. Inside the Select User or Group window, type ‘everyone’ and press Enter, then hit the Apply button to save the changes.
  6. Next, backtrack all the way to the Properties screen, then click on the Edit button (under the Security tab) to change the permissions.
  7. Once you successfully backtrack to the previous window, click on Add, then create a new account called Everyone, then go ahead and give full permissions by checking each Allow box before clicking Apply to save the changes.
  8. When you are prompted by the User Account Control prompt, click Yes to accept the modifications and grant admin rights.
  9. Once you get this far, you have successfully granted the required ownership. Now repeat the steps above with the mod files that you want to load inside the Merge Plugins utility.
  10. Repeat the action that was previously causing the Access Violation error and see if the problem is now resolved.
Granting the ownership to the involved folders

If you already took ownership of the involved folders and you’re still seeing the same Access Violation error when trying to use the Merge Plugins utility, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 3: Disable the Read-Only Attribute

As some affected users have confirmed, this problem can also occur in instances where some of the files you end up loading inside the Merge Plugins utility are actually restricted via the read-only attribute. As long as this attribute is enabled, the utility will be prevented from modifying and updating the files.

Several affected users that were previously dealing with the same problem have reported that the issue was finally resolved once they have gotten rid of the Read-Only attribute. If you ensure on how to do this, follow the instructions below:

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the location where you previously saved the files you’re trying to load inside the Merge Plugins utility.
  2. Once you get to the correct location, right-click on the file/s in question and choose Properties from the newly appeared context menu.
  3. From the insides of the Properties screen, select the General tab at the top, then uncheck the box associated with Read-Only and click on Apply then save the changes.
    removing the Read-Only Attribute

    Note: If this box is already unchecked, move directly to the next potential fix below.

  4. Next, repeat step 2 and step 3 with the remaining files that are involved in the operation, then save the changes.
  5. Repeat the operation inside the Merge Plugins utility and see if the problem is now fixed.

In case you still end up encountering the Access Violation error, move down to the next potential fix below.

Method 4: Disable Antivirus & Firewall (if applicable)

As it turns out, this problem can also be caused by some type of antivirus interference that is preventing the Merge Plugins from completing the operation. If this scenario is applicable in your particular scenario, you should be able to fix this problem by disabling the real-time protection while using the Merge Plugins utility.

This problem is mostly reported to occur with Kaspersky and Avira antivirus and most affected users have reported that they managed to fix this problem by disabling the real-time protection of your antivirus before repeating the operation.

In most cases, you’ll be able to do this directly from the tray-bar icon of your antivirus suite. To do this, simply right-click on it and look for an option that will allow you to disable the real-time protection.

Right Click Avast Icon From System Tray To Disable Avast Temporarily

If this is not applicable to your particular scenario since you’re using the default security suite (Windows Defender), you will need to temporarily uninstall the real-time protection from the Windows Security menu in order to avoid the Access Violation error.

Here’s a quick guide on how to do this:

  1. Press Windows key + R to open up a Run dialog box. Next, type ‘‘windowsdefender’ inside the run box and press Enter to open up the Windows Security menu.
    Opening Windows Defender
  2. Once you’re inside the Windows Security menu, click on Virus & threat protection, then click on the Manage settings hyperlink (under Virus & threat protection settings).
    Manage Virus & Threat Protection Settings
  3. Once you get to the next window, go ahead and disable the toggle associated with Real-time protection and save the changes.
  4. Go all the way back to the first Windows Security window, then click on Firewall & Network Protection.

    Accessing the Firewall and Network Protection menu
  5.  Once you get to the next screen, click on the network that is currently active, then disable the toggle associated with Windows Defender Firewall.

    Disabling the Firewall component of Windows Defender
  6. Once you have disabled both components, restart your computer, retry the operation in Merge Plugins that was causing the issue and see if the problem is now resolved.

In case the same problem is still occurring, move down to the next potential fix below.

Kevin Arrows


Kevin is a dynamic and self-motivated information technology professional, with a Thorough knowledge of all facets pertaining to network infrastructure design, implementation and administration. Superior record of delivering simultaneous large-scale mission critical projects on time and under budget.

Expert Tip

[FIX] Merge Plugins ‘Access Violation’ Error

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