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Error: ‘Unable to open ISO 3166 Country list’ after 21.2 update

Error: ‘Unable to open ISO 3166 Country list’


When opening the Employee Details window in Sage Payroll (v21.2 or higher), the following message may appear:

‘Unable to open ISO 3166 Country list.’

To close this message, click OK.

This error is a result of inadequate user permissions when the latest version of Sage Payroll was installed. The person that did the install had restricted access/permissions to the program and data directories of Sage Payroll – so some of the update’s components weren’t installed correctly, such as, the country list settings.

To resolve this issue, you must complete the following steps:

1. Log on to the computer as a user with administrative rights. If you need assistance with this, please contact your local IT support.

2. Download the latest update of Sage Payroll from our website.

  • After downloading the update; to install it, ensure you’ve closed all Sage software and run the file.
  • Please ensure you run the server update if you have a server client installation.

For help with installing a Sage Payroll update, please refer to our Installation Help Centre >

3. Once you’ve installed the latest version, open Sage Payroll and try to access the Employee Details window.


If the issue still occurs, please contact us on 051-395900.