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TechNote #59: Last modified: 07/28/00
Last reviewed: 11/08/00

"Error #1264" Error Message when Inserting an Equation

The information in this document applies to:

MathType 3.5 (Win)

Microsoft Word 97 (Win)
Microsoft PowerPoint 97 (Win)
Microsoft Excel 97 (Win)


When attempting to insert a MathType object into Microsoft Word 97, PowerPoint 97, or Excel 97, some users receive the following error message,

"Error #1264 - Application, source file, or item could not be found."

and are unable to insert an equation.


This error message is the result of a conflict between Microsoft Office 97 and the Windows Desktop Update component that is distributed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0.


The simplest solution is to upgrade to a more recent version of Microsoft Internet Explorer. You can download it from Microsoft's website at no charge.

If you do not want to upgrade, you can disable or removing the Windows Desktop Update that is distributed with Microsoft Internet Explorer 4. This document will walk you through the process that is required to either disable or remove either Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 or the Windows Desktop Update component.

Disabling the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 Release Windows Desktop Update

To disable the Windows Desktop Update component, do the following:

  1. Choose Control Panel from Settings on your Windows Start menu.
  2. Choose Folder Options from the View menu.
  3. Choose Classic View from the Windows Desktop Update list.
  4. Click OK.
  5. Restart Windows.

After Windows restarts, we recommend that you double-check that the Classic View item is still selected. We have encountered numerous occasions when this setting did not save and the choice was back to the original item. Follow the instructions above once more to see if Windows saved the entry and is reporting it correctly. If not, set the option again and restart. If this problem persists, please contact Microsoft technical support regarding Internet Explorer.

If you are in Classic View, the problem that you were experiencing that was generating the "Error 1264" will no longer happen.

Removing the Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0 Windows Desktop Update

The instructions listed above should be sufficient to correct this problem. If you decide that you would rather remove the Windows Desktop Update components instead of disabling them, do the following:

  1. Quit all running applications.
  2. From the Windows Start menu choose Control Panel from the Settings menu item.
  3. Double-click on the Add/Remove Programs icon to display a dialog listing the programs that you have installed.
  4. Choose Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.0.
  5. Click Add/Remove to open the following dialog:

  1. Select "Remove the Windows Desktop Update component, but keep the Internet Explorer 4.0 Web browser".
  2. Click OK. You will see:

  1. Click OK.

After your system restarts, the Windows Desktop Update components will be removed and the problem will no longer occur.

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