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Fatal exceptions occur when software programs encounter errors that prevent them from continuing. A fatal exception error message indicates that one of the applications you are using has attempted an operation that cannot be carried out. Exceptions do not necessarily stop programs from executing since programmers are able to build the ability to handle exceptions into the application code. However, a fatal exception is one that the program can't cope with. Exceptions · In programming, lots of operations can go wrong, particularly where input and output processing is involved. One example is reading from or writing to memory. When developers work on software applications, they can build coding structures to deal with such unforeseen problems. An exception is a coding object that is said to be "thrown" when such a problem occurs. Programmers can create code structures to "catch" such an exception, handling the problem and letting the application continue to execute. This is known as exception handling. Control · If the execution of a program causes an exception that is not handled by the application, a fatal error may occur. This means that the program is unable to continue, so processing control is handed back to the computer's operating system, such as Windows, for example. This process means that you can continue to use your computer when a fatal exception occurs, although the user interface may freeze for a few seconds or even several minutes before this happens. In some cases, an error may stop your computer from responding to any input until it is restarted. Causes · Fatal exceptions can be caused by many different types of programming instruction. Examples include when the programming code attempts to carry out an illegal process or an operation that the application does not have permission for or where the code attempts to read from or write to an invalid location in memory. Whenever a program uses data sourced external to it, there is a possibility of these types of errors since the programmers cannot know about the state of the user's computer outside of the application itself at the time of developing it. Solutions · If you encounter a fatal error as a user of a program, there is a limit to what you can do other than waiting for your operating system to take control back and end the application. If the problem relates to a program you use often, you could try checking if there are updates available for it in case the problem has been addressed by a new version. The only people who can really fix a fatal error are the application developers. However, sometimes these errors are isolated incidents, so when you run the program again, you may find that the error does not recur.