Programs and applications won’t install in Windows? Fix it

Since the launch of Windows 10, one of the problems and concerns of users has been related to inconveniences when it comes to installing programs, something essential for the proper use of the PC. This is something that more commonly can arise when installing or updating to a new version of Windows.

Why can’t I install programs in Windows?

Among the different problems that we can find when using our Windows computer, the impossibility of being able to install anything makes it especially annoying. Few things can be so frustrating when application installers don’t run, throw an error code, or just seem to work properly but then crash.

Most of the problems include configuration changes, and parts of our system stop working, especially after a system update or simply the applications disappear without warning. The causes can be various, and may be related to the compatibility of the program, a storage problem if the hard disk is at the limit of its capacity or incompatibilities with previous versions of the software, among others.

That is why we are going to tell you what measures we can implement to solve a problem when installing applications in Windows 10.

Fix problems when installing programs

Next, we show you a series of practical utilities that we can carry out to be able to detect and solve the problem when installing applications on our Windows PC.

Restart Windows

Although it may seem like a fairly obvious solution, it can certainly be the simplest and most effective of all. Many of the problems that we encounter in Windows can be solved with just Restart the system. And the reason why the software is not installed on our PC may be due to a temporary problem, so before moving on to more specific solutions we must restart the computer so that it starts up cleanly.

While we are using the computer, there are always processes and applications that open and close constantly. Even when we close a program, there are processes that remain resident in memory and can conflict with others, producing errors such as the inability to install programs. Restarting the computer will memory is cleaned and any running processes are killed that may be causing the problem. In the event that after restarting, we are still unable to install any software, we will continue with other possible solutions.

Check the compatibility of the program

If we have problems when installing a program, it may be due to compatibility problems. Today there is a vast amount of software offered in 32-bit and 64-bit versions. However, 64-bit software is only compatible with 64-bit versions of Windows, while 32-bit versions can run on a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Windows.

If our PC is relatively modern, it is normal for it to be compatible with 64 bits, but otherwise we will have to check if it is compatible. To do this we press the «Windows + X» key and then select «System». In the new window we can see the specifications of the device. In the “Device type” section, we can see if the processor is 32 or 64 bits.

When downloading the software we must make sure to download the version compatible with our system, x86 being compatible with 32 bits, while x64 is synonymous with 64 bits.

Check the storage space on your hard drive

Another problem that can prevent us from installing programs and applications is that the hard disk is at the limit of its capacity. In the event that it is complete or with hardly any space, we will have to do cleaning. The fastest way is to uninstall programs that we have installed and that we can do without them temporarily.

Control panel Uninstall a program

Within the Windows Control Panel we have the option to “Uninstall a program”, from where we can see all the installed programs organized by name, publisher, installation date and size. By simply clicking on one with the right button we can proceed to its uninstallation. It is also convenient to empty the recycle bin and delete those heavy files that we do not need and are taking up space unnecessarily.

Uninstall programs

Verify the installer settings

Windows 10 allows us to install both traditional desktop applications and UWP applications from the Microsoft Store. The operating system itself has certain configurations that can restrict that we can only install applications downloaded from the Store, so we must verify it. To do this, click on “Windows + I” to access “Settings”. Later we click on «Applications» and «Applications and features».

Settings install apps from anywhere

At the top we can select from where to install applications. If we display the menu and have it configured as “Microsoft Store (recommended”) we will not be able to install applications from anywhere else.

Use the Windows Update troubleshooter

Microsoft’s operating system has a troubleshooter that can help us eliminate the problem. In the search box write “solve other problems” and select it. This will open a new window where we will see the »Windows Update» option. We select it and mark the “Run the troubleshooter” button.

Windows Update Run Troubleshooter

This will open a new window and Windows 10 will look for any problems, from missing updates to corrupted files, notifying us, in any case, so that we can apply the necessary solution. Once finished, it will offer us a list of the problems found and solved.

Run the installer as administrator

In general, when we try to install any program, they usually require administrator permissions for their installation, showing us a message when trying to install a new application. However, this may fail, and an error may appear stating that a particular folder cannot be written or cannot be executed. In this case we can try to perform the installation as administrator manually.

Run setup file as administrator

To do this, we must right-click on the installation file. This will bring up a context menu where we must select the option “Run as administrator”. Once the administrator rights are granted, we try to install the application again.

Check your antivirus settings

Sometimes the cause that we cannot install programs on our computer may be due to our antivirus software. And it may be the case that we are trying to install a program that is actually malware, so the antivirus will stop the installation. However, antivirus software sometimes also prevents legitimate programs from accessing necessary folders when they try to install themselves. In this case we can consider temporarily disabling the antivirus until the installation is complete.

Go back to the previous version of Windows

If we still have problems when installing any program, we can choose to go back to a previous version of Windows where it was possible to install programs without problems. This way we make sure to fix the problem.

To do this, we go to the Configuration section, pressing “Windows + I” and select the Update and security option. On the left side, click on the “Windows Update” option. Now we select «View update history».

Settings View update history

On the next screen, at the top, we find the option to Uninstall applications. Now you just have to select it and look for the update that is giving problems to uninstall it and check if this solves our problem when installing programs.

Uninstall updates from history

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