How to Fix Runtime Error Atibtmon.exe on Windows?

The Runtime Error atibtmon.exe is typically encountered when users log into their Windows computers. This issue is confirmed on every Windows version. You’ll most commonly see this error occurring when unplugging your laptop from the cable or booting directly on battery life.

Atibtmon.exe Windows 10 Runtime Error
Atibtmon.exe Windows 10 Runtime Error

Note: The Atibtmon.exe is an executable belonging to ATI Brightness Monitor software. This tool lets users access their brightness options for their display directly through the Windows System Tray. It is generally safe to terminate or remove, but doing so will likely mean that you will no longer have any control over the brightness of your monitor in case you’re using a laptop. 

The Runtime Error atibtmon.exe usually occurs due to a conflict between the built-in Windows Power saving settings and the ATI display car settings.

1. Set ATI Graphics Power Settings to Maximum Performance

There’s an easy fix if you are experiencing this issue due to a conflict between the built-in Windows Power saving settings and the ATI display card set.

All you have to do is make your way to the ATI Graphics Power settings and set both behaviors (plugged and unplugged) to Maximize Performance. After you do this and reboot your PC, you should no longer experience this problem. 

Here’s what you need to do to apply this fix:

  1. First, make sure you plug your laptop or ultrabook into a power source.
  2. Next, type ‘powercfg.cpl’ inside the Run program, then press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to open up the Power Settings on your Windows PC. 
    Access the Power Option settings
    Access the Power Option settings
  3. Click Yes to grant admin access at the User Account Control (UAC). 
  4. Once inside the Power Settings, click on the Change plan settings hyperlink associated with the active power plan.
    Changing the Plan Settings
    Changing the Plan Settings
  5. From the next screen, click on Change advanced power settings.

    Change the advanced power settings
    Change the advanced power settings
  6. Under the Advanced Settings screen, scroll to the bottom, and you should find the ATI Graphics Power Settings. 
  7. Click on the ‘plus’ icon to expand the ATI Graphics Power Settings. 
  8. Expand the ATI Powerplay Settings.
  9. Next, make sure both On battery and Plugged in settings are set to Maximum Performance.

    Adjusting the settings
    Adjusting the settings
  10. Click Apply to save the changes. 
  11. Reboot your PC and see if the problem is now fixed. 

If the problem is still unresolved, move to the next method below.

2. Perform a security scan

If the first method above didn’t work for you, you should consider a possible security problem. Malware will often pretend to be a real process to avoid being found.

If the atibtmon.exe file isn’t in its usual place, that should be the first sign that something is wrong. If Atibtmon.exe is not in the C:\Windows\System32 folder, you should use a powerful scanner to do a deep security scan.

Malwarebytes is the best software to use in this case because it has a history of dealing with viruses that have the ability to pose as system processes. It is free and will find most malware that acts like this.

Follow this article to learn how to use the free version of Malwarebytes to do a deep scan and get rid of the virus. This will make things easier for you.

Deploy a Malwarebytes scan

If the scan is successful and the virus is gone, restart your computer and check to see if the Atibtmon.exe Runtime Error is still happening.

If the Atibtmon.exe is still giving you problems at startup after you’ve made sure it’s real, move on to the next method below.

3. Rename atibtmon.exe

If none of the solutions featured above have helped you, one unconventionally approach is to navigate to the location of the atibtmon.exe file and rename it.

This will serve the purpose of forcing your OS to disregard the atibtmon.exe file completely. If you do this, you’ll most likely stop getting the startup runtime error at the next system startup since there is no longer a atibtmon.exe to be called. 

Note: This method assumes that you’ve already followed the method above to ensure that you’re not dealing with a virus infection. If you end up enforcing this method, know that display brightness changing will be handled by the built-in Windows component (this is generally a good thing).

Follow the instructions below to rename the atibtmon.exe file:

  1. First, ensure that you are signed in with an administrator account. You won’t be able to rename or edit system files with a standard Windows account. 
  2. Next, open File Explorer (Windows key + E) and navigate to the following location:
  3. Once you arrive at the correct location, locate the atibtmon executable, right-click on it and choose Rename from the context menu that just appeared. 
    Renaming the file
    Renaming the file
  4. Name the file to something different or add the ‘.old’ extension at the end before saving the changes.
  5. Reboot your PC and see if the runtime error is now fixed.

If the Error atibtmon.exe is still occurring, move down to the next method below. 

4. Disable Vari-Bright in Catalyst Control Center (if applicable)

If you’re using the AMD Catalyst Control Setting, you should know that one setting is almost certain to conflict with the atibtmon executable (Vari-Bright). 

Note: Vari-Bright will adjust the screen’s brightness level automatically even if the laptop has no built-in ambient light sensor.

This feature is enabled by default and will automatically limit the maximum brightest of the screen when not on AC power. Because of this, you can expect it to conflict with every recent Windows version’s built-in brightness control process.

Fortunately, if you have this feature enabled, disabling it won’t produce any unintended consequences, as all the auto-adjustment functions can be carried on by the built-in Windows component. 

Follow the instructions below to disable Vari-Bright (if you have it enabled on your system):

  1. Open the RadeonSettings menu by right-clicking on your desktop and clicking on AMD Radeon Settings from the settings menu that just appeared. 
    Open the AMD Radeon Settings menu
    Open the AMD Radeon Settings menu
  2. Once inside the AMD Radeon Settings, click on Display, then toggle Vari-Bright Off. 
    Modify the varibright settings
    Turning vary-bright off
  3. Save the changes, reboot your PC and see if the problem is now fixed.

If the same issue is still occurring, move to the next method below. 

5. Create a new Windows account

This problem can also be caused by a problem with your Windows account’s system files. On both Windows 10 and Windows 11, this is known to cause runtime errors.

To fix this problem, create a new user account and check to see if the problem is still there. To do this, go to the Other accounts tab of your Windows installation and create a local account with administrative rights.

Important: This action will eliminate any broken dependencies linked to your user profile.

If you haven’t already tried this, follow the steps below to make a new user account and see if that fixes the atibtmon.exe runtime error:

  1. Press the Windows key + R to open the Run box.
  2. Type “ms-settings:otherusers” in the text box and press Enter to go to the Family & Other People tab in the Settings app.
    Access the Other Users tab
    Access the Other Users tab
  3. In the Family & other users menu, scroll down to the Other user’s tab and click “Add someone else to this PC.
    Adding someone else to this PC
    Adding someone else to this PC

    Note: Depending on your windows version, you will need to select a local account and assign the username, password, password hint, and recovery options before clicking Next. 

  4. Finish the remaining steps to create a new account, then restart your PC and sign in with the newly created Windows account to see if the runtime error is now fixed.

If the problem still happens after you switch to a different account, move on to the next method.

6. Update AMD Graphics Card drivers

If you’re already using AMD’s dedicated drivers and you’re still getting the runtime error every time you start your computer, it’s likely that there’s a conflict between the drivers and the built-in adjustment function.

Note: This often happens with DELL laptops and a few other laptop models from OEMs that use dedicated AMD GPUs.

Fortunately, this will be auto-resolved if you update to the latest AMD driver version. 

To fix this problem, go to Device Manager and uninstall the current AMD drivers. Then, use the official AMD channels to install the latest version of the driver that works with your computer.

Important: After uninstalling the current AMD drivers, you will experience screen flickering as your OS migrates to the generic drivers. Don’t freak out; this is completely normal. 

Here’s what you need to do to update your AMD drivers to the latest:

  1. Press the Windows key + the letter R to bring up the Run box.
  2. Next, press Enter after typing “devmgmt.msc” to open Device Manager.
    Opening up Device Manager
    Opening up Device Manager

    Note: If you are prompted by the User Account Control (UAC), click Yes to grant admin access. 

  3. Once you’re in Device Manager, scroll down through the list of installed devices and open the drop-down menu for Display Drivers.

    Open up the Display drivers
    Open up the Display drivers
  4. Right-click on the entry for your AMD GPU in the Display Adapters menu and choose “Uninstall Device” from the new menu that pops up.
  5. Then, follow the instructions on the screen to finish installing the driver, and close the Device Manager window.
  6. Press the Windows key + R again to open a second run box.
  7. At the next prompt, type “appwiz.cpl” and press Enter to open the Programs and Features menu.
    Open up the Programs and Features menu
    Open up the Programs and Features menu
  8. Once you’re in the Programs and Features menu, click on the Publisher column to make it easy to find all of the software that belongs to your GPU.
    Order items by publisher
    Order items by publisher
  9. Next, uninstall all of the drivers that are signed by AMD Corp. This includes the main Catalyst software as well as any other software you may have installed to help it work.
    Uninstalling the AMD software
    Uninstalling the AMD software

    Note: After you uninstall the drivers, your computer should switch to the generic versions on its own.

  10. Once every important part has been removed, restart your computer and wait for it to finish starting up.
  11. After your computer starts up again, go to the official AMD driver download page, use the Auto-Detect feature, or choose your GPU model manually. Then, download and install the latest version of the compatible drivers.
    Download the latest version of a compatible AMD driver
    Download the latest version of a compatible AMD driver
  12. Follow the instructions on the screen to finish installing the latest AMD driver, reboot your PC and see if you’re still experiencing the atibtmon.exe runtime error.

If the problem is still not fixed, move to the next method below. 

7. Update Visual C++ Dependencies

This runtime error can also occur due to a missing Visual C++ Redistributable 2013 pack. Remember that the AMD suite (ATI Brightness Monitor) utilizing the atibtmon.exe might require certain Visual C++ dependencies that your system is currently missing.

Note: This is much more common on Windows 11, where certain dependencies are from Visual C++ Redist. Visual Studio 2013 Packages used primarily by legacy programs have been deprecated. 

If this is the case, you can fix this problem by going to the Microsoft website and downloading and installing the most recent packages.

You can do this and install any missing Visual C++ system requirements by following these steps:

  1. To get started, go to the Microsoft website and download the compatible version of Visual C++ (x86 or x64).
    Download Visual C+ Redist Packages
    Download Visual C+ Redist Packages

    Note: Please remember that you must confirm that you want Chrome to let you download more than one file simultaneously since you will likely need to download both the 32-bit and the 64-bit executable simultaneously. 

  2. When both installers have finished downloading, double-click to install the missing Visual C++ requirements (in either order).
  3. After the installation is done, restart your computer.
  4. Wait to see if the problem is still there after the computer has been turned back on.

If you still get the same runtime error, move on to the next method.

8. Perform a clean boot

If none of the methods featured above have allowed you to fix the runtime error triggered by the atibtmon executable, ensure the issue is not caused by 3rd party process or service by achieving a clean boot state.

This will help you determine what’s wrong and see if interfering with atibtmon.exe triggers the runtime error.

Note: This is primarily reported to occur with lesser-known security suites. In some documented cases, this issue started appearing due to an overprotective security program inhibiting the ATI Brightness Monitor software. 

The best way to fix this problem is to do a clean boot and see if the startup runtime error appears when no 3rd party service or process is running in the background. 

If it’s not, it becomes a matter of discovering the responsible 3rd party process or service. 

Important: When you do a clean boot, only the necessary starting services and processes will be allowed to run. You will lose a lot of functionality, so make sure this change is just temporary.

Follow this article to do a clean boot operation

Perform a Clean Boot
Perform a Clean Boot

Note: If you clean-booted your Windows installation and no longer see the Runtime Error atibtmon.exe during startup, start re-enabling every service and process you previously disabled until you figure out the culprit. 

Try the next fix if getting to a clean boot state doesn’t solve the problem.

9. Deploy SFC & DISM Scans

If you haven’t been able to find a workable solution up to this point, you might want to investigate if a potential file corruption is causing this runtime error.

If you don’t want to use third-party tools, it would be smart to use a few tools that come with the program (SFC and DISM).

Note: System File Checker and Deployment Image Servicing and Management are two built-in tools that can be used to fix corrupt system files that may stop your OS from addressing dependencies used by Windows Update.

System File Checker is the best place to start because it can be run without an internet connection.

Follow this article to deploy an SFC scan.

Note: The SFC tool will swap out broken parts of system files with healthy ones by using a cache that is stored locally. This scan shouldn’t be stopped until it’s finished to avoid making more logical mistakes. If you use an old HDD instead of a modern SSD, expect this operation to take several hours.

Deploy an SFC Scan
Deploy an SFC Scan

Important: If the System File Checker scan stops working while running, DO NOT CLOSE THE WINDOW until the procedure is done. It’s perfectly fine.

When the SFC scan is done, restart your computer to see if the runtime error stops occurring.

Run a DISM scan if the problem is still there.

Deploy a DISM scan
Deploy a DISM scan

Note: Since DISM uses a part of Windows Update to replace corrupted files with ones that aren’t, ensure your Internet connection is stable.

After the SFC and DISM checks, you should restart your computer to see if the runtime error is now fixed.

If the problem keeps happening, move on to the last fix below.

10. Perform a clean install or repair install

If none of the solutions in this article helped you solve your problem, there is still one more option. You might be able to fix the atibtmon.exe startup error once and for all by refreshing every Windows component. 

At this point, the best thing to do is replace every system file with a copy that you know is healthy and not corrupted since many system files fit the description of the offender.

Either of these two ways will work:

  • Clean install: Try this if you need a solution right away. The biggest problem with a clean installation of Windows is that if you don’t make a backup of your data first, it will delete all of your files and apps that are currently on the same disk as your operating system. This is because a fresh installation of Windows lets you change every system file without using installation CDs.
  • Repair install (in-place repair): If you have extra time, we suggest using an in-place repair instead of a repair install. This method’s main benefit is that all your files, games, and programs are kept even though it takes a little longer, and you need the right Windows 11 installation DVDs.

Kamil Anwar

Kamil is a certified MCITP, CCNA (W), CCNA (S) and a former British Computer Society Member with over 9 years of experience Configuring, Deploying and Managing Switches, Firewalls and Domain Controllers also an old-school still active on FreeNode.