Debugging Revit Error Messages and Reinstalling the Application If Needed

Step 1: Reading the Revit Journal file

As you work in Revit, the application records a log of the commands you use and the response from the software. When Revit displays an error, this log can be useful for seeing what’s going on behind the scenes. Here’s how we can use this:

  • Open the Revit application and perform the step that creates the error message.
  • Quit the Revit application.
  • Locate the newest Revit Journal file
    • You’ll find it on your computer at:
      • C:\Users\YourUserName\AppData\Local\Autodesk\Revit\Autodesk Revit 2021\Journals
      • You may need to turn on the Hidden Items checkbox in Windows Explorer to see the AppData folder — it’s typically hidden.
    • Sort the list of files by Date Modified and choose the newest one. It’ll have a name like:
      • Journal.0107.txt
  • Copy this file to another location on your computer
  • Open the Journal file using any text editor, and look for error messages at the bottom of the log.

Please run the Revit application to create the error, then share a copy of the Journal file, so we can see if the log file reveals any useful info about what’s causing the problem.

Step 2: Repair or Reinstall Revit using the Installer Files on Your Computer

You can do a complete reinstall of Revit — not by redownloading again, but using the Revit installer files that you’ve already got on your computer.

To do that:

  • Open the Start Menu > Settings dialog
  • Click the Apps button
  • Scroll down the list and click on Autodesk Revit 2021
  • Click the Uninstall button (sound intimidating, but it takes you to choices)
  • Click the Repair or Reinstall button
  • Choose Reinstall, then click the Reinstall button

This will perform a complete factory-fresh reinstall of Revit using the installer files already on your computer. So, if any of the software has gotten corrupted, this process will replace it with a fresh copy.

Note that this reinstall does not delete the Revit-related Windows Registry keys and temporary files from your computer. If this Step doesn’t fix the problem, you’ll remove those files in Step 3.

Step 3: Perform a Clean Uninstall then Reinstall Revit

If a full reinstall of Revit using the installer files on your computer doesn’t solve the problem, the final step is to perform a Clean Uninstall (which deletes all traces of Revit from your Windows Registry and your file system — including the temporary files). This recreates the state as if Revit was never installed on your computer.

After you’ve performed a Clean Uninstall, you can reinstall Revit from scratch.