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– Unable to Install Apps or Software on Windows? Here’s What to Do
You could be presented with a list of files to delete right away, one of which is “Previous Windows Installation s “, or if that option is not visible, you will need to select the “Clean up system files” option on the bottom left. If this happens when using Windows 11, try restarting your PC. Then restart the device:. Most Popular. If you cannot update Windows after running Disk Cleanup try these steps:.
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In these cases, you should run the installer as an admin manually. To do this, close the installer dialog if it’s open, then right-click on the installer file and choose Run as administrator. After granting admin rights, try the installer again and see if it succeeds. In case you don’t have admin rights on your current machine, ask someone who manages the computer or check our guide to getting admin rights on your computer for more help.
A lot of software offers both bit and bit flavors. However, bit apps will run on both bit Windows and bit Windows, since bit Windows is backward-compatible. Most of the time, the software will automatically pick the right version to install on your system, or will just install as bit if that’s the only option available. If you have a modern computer, it’s likely bit, meaning this isn’t a problem. But if you’re not sure, you should find out if you have bit Windows.
Once you know which version of Windows you have, keep an eye out on software download pages and make sure to download the version that’s compatible with your system. Don’t download bit software on a bit system, as it won’t run. Windows 10 and 11 include several built-in troubleshooting tools that try to detect and fix common problems. They don’t always work well, but they’re worth a try when Windows won’t install programs for some reason.
Here, run the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter and see if it fixes any problems. You can also run the Windows Store Apps tool if you’re having trouble installing a Store app. If this doesn’t work, you should try the Program Install and Uninstall troubleshooter , available to download separately from Microsoft. Most of the time, installing an app update even if it’s a new major version goes smoothly.
But sometimes, having an old version of a program installed can cause issues when you try to install the latest release. This shouldn’t erase any of the data you had saved in the app, but you may want to back up any settings or other important info first, just in case. In some cases, you’ll need to uninstall other components to fully remove a program. For instance, Apple’s instructions on how to completely uninstall iTunes from Windows will guide you through removing Bonjour and other related bits of software.
It’s a good idea to reboot after uninstalling, then make sure the software in question is truly gone, before reinstalling. Sometimes, your antivirus or anti-malware software can prevent software from installing on Windows. This can be helpful or a pain, depending on the circumstance. In one case, you may be trying to install a program that’s actually malware. When your antivirus detects this, it will hopefully block you from installing that app. But if you’ve disabled notifications from your antivirus, you might not see this warning.
Try opening your security suite and checking for recent alerts to find out if this is the case. If you suspect that a program you want to install contains malware, you should scan it with an online virus scanner. Avoid installing anything that’s infected, of course. If it’s a tool you once trusted, it’s possible that the app has been hijacked, or that you downloaded a bad copy from a shady website. However, your antivirus can also become overzealous. It may prevent legitimate programs from accessing necessary folders when they try to install Malwarebytes Premium has been known to do this.
If this is the case, you’ll need to temporarily disable your antivirus to let the installation complete. How to do this depends on your installed antivirus—see how to turn off Microsoft Defender if you use the built-in solution.
Most security apps have an option to temporarily suspend protections for a few minutes so you can install as necessary. Just make sure you trust the software before doing this! Some programs simply aren’t compatible with modern versions of Windows.
Apps made for Windows 7 that were abandoned years ago, for example, were likely never updated to work on Windows 10 and When this is the case, Windows has some compatibility tools to help you get such apps running, but they still might not work properly afterward. First, you should check the app provider’s website to see if the software supports your version of Windows.
Most of the time, you will see this information on the download or support page. Even if it’s not compatible, you can download the installer file and try to run it anyway, but knowing what platforms are officially supported is useful.
If the app installs properly, perform the below steps on the app’s executable file once installed to improve compatibility for your version of Windows. You can find the executable file by searching for the app in the Start menu, then right-clicking on it and choosing Open file location to jump to it in a File Explorer window.
You could be presented with a list of files to delete right away, one of which is “Previous Windows Installation s “, or if that option is not visible, you will need to select the “Clean up system files” option on the bottom left.
Windows will do some more calculations and give you another a remarkably similar looking box, this time with the option to delete previous windows installation s.
You might have to scroll down to find it, but it should be taking up a sizeable bit of drive space, in our case, 5GB. Tick this option and click OK. In the separate message box that appears asking if you’re certain you want to send this, click Delete Files, and you’re done. Many people have reported issues with Windows Update in Windows Check first that you’ve upgraded to the Windows 10 Fall update see above, number 2. If you’re still getting problems, download and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter, then reboot and try to update again.
If the problems remain, you might need to get a bit more stuck in. First, check that System Restore is configured see below, number 7 and create a restore point. You should see confirmations that each service was either stopped or wasn’t running.
Delete its contents including any sub-folders. Now reboot, open Windows Update, and click Check for updates. If you’re anything like us, you set up previous Windows releases so that they wouldn’t install updates automatically – one forced reboot is one too many. Double-click Configure Automatic Updates in the list, select the Enabled radio button, and in the left-hand box select 2 – Notify for download and notify for install.
Now click OK, and you’ll be notified whenever there are updates – unfortunately, they’ll be a daily irritation if you’re using Windows Defender.
The Group Policy Editor isn’t available on Windows 10 Home, but we’d recommend you at least open Windows Update, click Advanced options, and select Notify to schedule restart from the Choose how updates are installed list.
While you’re here, all Windows 10 users might want to click Choose how updates are delivered and ensure that Updates from more than one place is either off or set to PCs on my local network. Windows 10 introduced Action Centre, a panel positioned to the side of the display which aggregates all the notifications your system makes so you can deal with them all at once.
It’s a handy feature but it can also become clogged with notifications quickly if they’re not frequently addressed. Notifications can vary from the incredibly important systems messages to miscellaneous social media of software updates. There is, however, a way to filter out the messages you have no interest in. You can also just head straight to the settings screen by searching ‘notification and actions’ in the search bar.
We’re not a fan of some of the data-sharing defaults in Windows 10, and we’d recommend all users review them periodically. Use the Start Menu to search for and run the Settings app, then click Privacy. In the left-hand pane, you’ll see many areas where your computer might be sharing data. It’s worth spending time checking that you’re comfortable with allowing apps to use your computer’s camera, microphone, account information and so on, and where you are, checking that no surprise apps appear in the lists.
Check that you’re happy with the default behaviour, which is to enable Cloud-based detection and Automatic sample submission. Many people are uncomfortable with the idea of Wi-Fi Sense, which is designed to get you onto wireless networks more quickly. We’d strongly recommend turning off Connect to suggested open hotspots, connect to networks shared by my contacts, and disabling the button under Paid Wi-Fi services if it’s present.
Additionally, Wi-Fi Sense might result in the sharing of your network’s wireless credentials among devices you don’t control and allow a guest to log in and their contacts – and potentially theirs in turn – may also be able to. We’d recommend confining guests to a guest wireless network, configuring your own devices not to use Wi-Fi Sense, and asking staff to do the same before allowing their Windows 10 devices onto the main wireless network.
Safe Mode can be a life-saver in many system-critical problem situations, especially when your device is finding it difficult to start correctly. What you can try is to boot into Windows first, and then restart the device by pressing the left Shift key. If you ever want to get rid of the Safe Mode entry, you can do it easily by returning here and deleting it. To turn this on, it must be enabled manually using Control Panel.
Search for Create a restore point and click on the first result to open the System Properties page. Click the Apply button and then the OK button. Once this is done, Windows 10 will always create a restore point when applying a new update or when particular system changes are carried out.
Windows 10’s localisation options seem needlessly convoluted, and we’ve had multiple reports of incorrect localisation even in computers that were upgraded from correctly localised Windows 7 or Windows 8 installations.
Check that the United Kingdom is selected under Country or region, and check that your chosen language s appear under Languages. Select your primary language, click Options, and click Download under the language pack, and speech options if they’re present. Check on this page that the keyboard is also correct – if it isn’t, add the correct one, then select the wrong one and remove it.
Under Language, click Change input methods, select your chosen language, move it to the top of the list if it isn’t there already, and click Options. Under Windows display language you might see either Enabled or Available – if the latter, click Make this the primary language.
If you don’t see either, download and install the language pack, then make it the primary language. Click the back arrow to return to the language preferences, and in the left-hand pane click Change date, time, or number formats and check that the format is set to the correct language. Check the Home location on the Location tab, and finally use the Administrative tab to check the System locale and use the Copy settings button to apply the settings to the Welcome screen and new user accounts.
Like Windows 8 before it, Windows 10 uses a hybrid boot to enable fast boot times. When you shut the system down, apps and app processes are terminated, but the Windows kernel itself is hibernated to allow for a faster restart. In theory, it’s great, but it still is terribly slow for some Windows 10 users. Disable it by searching for Power Options in the Start Menu and running the matching Control Panel applet, then in the left-hand pane click Choose what the power buttons do.
Click Change settings that are currently unavailable, scroll down and un-tick Turn on fast start-up, then click Save changes. This should prevent a very slow start on affected PCs. Some users report that if they subsequently reboot, re-trace their steps and re-enable fast start-up the problem remains cured.
If you’re dual booting between Windows 10 and Windows 7, switching fast startup off will also fix the problem where Windows 7 checks the disks each time you boot it: With fast start-up enabled, the earlier operating system doesn’t recognise that the disks have been properly shut down by Windows Return to a locked Windows 10 device and you’ll see a pretty picture.
That’s nice, but it’s a needless obstacle in the way of logging in. If you’re as impatient as we are, disable the lock screen by searching the Start Menu for regedit, and running the Registry editor. After a reboot, the lock screen will be gone.
Windows 10 shipped without an app to play DVDs on. Which isn’t great if you like to watch movies on your PC. Luckily, Microsoft has released an app as a download. Trouble is it costs It also has garnered an overall rating of just two stars. Alternatively, you can download VLC , which is free and works just as well if not better.
On certain Windows laptops and tablets with SIM card connectivity, Windows 10 is able to make use of mobile internet when it is unable to access a Wi-fi connection. Unfortunately, unless configured correctly, it can do this without you realising, which can play havoc with your data allowance, especially if you’re using a portable hotspot.
The only workaround is to open the web page in Internet Explorer 11 which is still included as standard with Windows 10 and save from there.
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Next, open a File Explorer window and navigate to C:Windows\Software\Distribution. Delete all the files. Press Windows Key + R, type services. If you are prompted for an administrator password or for a confirmation, type the password or click Continue.