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How to Fix Windows Installer Errors

Microsoft’s Windows Installer is a component of the Windows operating system that installs, maintains, and removes software on a Microsoft computer. You may get an error message such as: “Windows Installer Service couldn’t be started” or “The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed” when you try to install or uninstall an application. The error message may also contain an error code of 1000 or higher.

Windows Installer errors usually occur because the Windows Installer Service has been accidentally disabled, or because of the failed installation of an MSI package. If you get a Windows Installer error, one of the following methods should resolve your problem.


The Windows Installer may need to be reregistered. Go to Start and then click on Run. In the box, type in: msiexec /unreg and press Enter to unregister the Installer. Go back to Start and Run and type in: msiexec /regserver and press Enter.


You may need to upgrade to Windows Installer version 2 or newer. Go to the Microsoft website at https://msdn.microsoft.com/downloads. On the left side, you will see “Setup and System Administration”. Click on Settings and choose Windows Installer. You will then need to choose the correct operating system, and then choose Download to install the Installer. The program will automatically be downloaded onto your computer.

Check Enabled

You should check to make sure that Windows Installer is enabled on your machine. Very often, just enabling the installer will solve your Windows Installer errors. Go to Start and then Run. In the box, type in: services.msc and press Enter. Double click on Windows Installer. Look at “Startup Type”. If it is set to “Disabled”, change it to “Manual”. This will enable the Windows Installer Service on your computer and should solve the problem.

Temp Folders

Emptying the Temp folders can often stop Windows Installer errors. Go to Start and then Run. In the box, type in: %temp% and press Enter. Find and empty the following folders.

"%systemdrive%\temp", "%systemdrive%\%windir%\temp" and “%systemdrive%\Documents and Settings\%username%\Local Settings\Temp"

In Progress Installations

Sometimes, an installation that is hung up partway through will clog the process. This fix involves going into the registry keys, so if you are not confident about this solution, you may want to call a professional. Altering the registry keys incorrectly can severely damage your system, so make sure that all of your data is backed up and that you have set a restore point before starting.

Go to Start and Run. Type in: Regedit in the box. Find the following key:

HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Installer\InProgress. Clean any entries that you find there.
Find this registry key: HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\Session Manager\PendingFileRenameOperations and clean out any entries here as well.

Windows Installer Cleanup Utility

The Cleanup Utility can remove all traces of an application so that a new version can be installed. Go to the Microsoft website and download the program. Select the programs that are affected and use them to uninstall the files. Once they have been completely uninstalled, go back to the Microsoft website and download the newest version.

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