TortoiseSvn %1 is not a valid win32 application

Recently I upgraded Visual Studio and somehow in the process when I went to use SVN I started to get ‘%1 is not a valid win32 application’ displayed whenever I tried to view the history of a file, or, do a diff. After a quick Google, I couldn’t find anything relevant so I thought I’d quickly share the resolution.

The issue was down to the custom diff tool I had Tortoise set to use. In my case WinMerge. I hadn’t uninstalled WinMerge, or changed anything. Reverting Tortoise to use the default editor got it back up and running.


On a folder, right click to bring the Windows context menu up and select ‘TortoiseSVN’ -> ‘Settings’


open the ‘Diff Viewer’ tab. In my instance, I had the ‘External’ option selected with WinMerge. After I changed this to ToroiseMerge, the error stopped.

Jon D Jones

Software Architect, Programmer and Technologist Jon Jones is founder and CEO of London-based tech firm Digital Prompt. He has been working in the field for nearly a decade, specializing in new technologies and technical solution research in the web business. A passionate blogger by heart , speaker & consultant from England.. always on the hunt for the next challenge

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