How to Fix “This Installation Is Forbidden by System Policy” Error in Windows

Fix The Installation Is Forbidden By System Policy Error Windows

App installation on Windows, like any other system process, may encounter issues like “This installation is forbidden by system policy.” As if it weren’t terrible enough, it occasionally prevents several essential functions, such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connection, from working properly. While this may indicate a significant problem with your computer, the solutions provided below will help you effectively resolve the issue.

1. Enable the Windows Installer Service

If you accidentally disabled the Windows Installer, you will encounter various installation problems. You may even have difficulty removing programs from your PC if this feature is deactivated. To launch the Run command dialog box, follow these steps:

  1. Press Windows + R.
  2. Type services.msc and press Enter.
Installation Is Forbidden - Windows Services Manager
  1. Scroll down to the “Windows Installer” option and double-click it.
Fix The Installation Windows Installer
  1. In the new window, select “Manual” from the “Startup type” drop-down menu.
Installation Is Forbidden - Windows Installer Service
  1. To enable the service, press the “Start” button, then click “Apply -> OK.”

2. Tweak Local Group Policy Settings

If you are using Windows Pro, Enterprise, or Education editions, you can also solve the problem at hand using the Local Group Policy Editor (LGPE).

  1. Press on the Search button in Windows, enter “Edit group policy” and click on the best match.
  2. Go to “Computer Configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components.”
Installation Is Forbidden - Group Policy
  1. On the right side of the display, click on “Windows Installer.”
  2. Click the option that says, “Prohibit non-administrators from applying vendor signed updates.”
Installation Is Forbidden Prohibit - Non Administrators From Applying Vendor Signed Updates
  1. Tick the “Disabled” or “Not Configured” option in the top left corner of the window that opens.
Installation Is Forbidden -  Not Configured
  1. Apply the same configurations next to the “Prohibit user installs” and “Prohibit removal of updates” options.
Installation Is Forbidden - Prohibit Updates

Tip: switching to a new computer? Here’s how to back up and transfer Wi-Fi passwords from one Windows PC to another.

3. Run the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter

Microsoft offers troubleshooting software that could help solve this particular issue. Try running Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter, particularly if you suspect corrupted Registry keys are at fault here.

Note: try this fix is you’re running Windows 10, 8, or 7.

  1. On the Microsoft website, download the “Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter.” Double-click the file to launch it.
  2. Click the “Next” button, then select the “Installing” option.
Installation Is Forbidden - Installing Option In Troubleshooter
  1. Choose the malfunctioning app and click the “Next” button.
Installation Is Forbidden - Selecting An App In Troubleshooter
  1. If you cannot locate the app on the list, click the “Not listed” option and perform a manual search for the program.
Installation Is Forbidden - Selecting Not Listed To Browse Manually
  1. Wait for the troubleshooter to identify and fix the issue, then attempt the task again that prompted the error message.

4. Install Apps in Safe Mode

Another way to fix the “Installation is forbidden by system policy” error is by installing programs in Safe Mode.

  1. Right-click on the Start menu and select “Settings.”
  2. After choosing “Update and Security” (Windows 10) or “System” (Windows 11), go to “Recovery.”
Installation Is Forbidden - Recovery
  1. Go to the “Advanced startup” option and click the “Restart Now” button. The “Recovery Environment screen” will appear after your PC restarts.
Installation Is Forbidden Advanced Startup Restart Now Option
  1. Select “Startup settings” under “Advanced settings” on the following screen.
  2. To start your computer in “Safe Mode,” hit the “Restart” button and the F4 key simultaneously.
  3. It is safe to assume that a malfunctioning app or device driver is to blame if you are no longer experiencing the error in Safe Mode.

Good to know: protect your Windows PC from malware and only download software from reputable websites.

5. Isolate Problematic Programs

You can perform a clean boot if you believe some malfunctioning programs are the root of the problem. The programs generating this error and other system problems can be narrowed down using this method.

  1. Click on the Start menu, type “msconfig,” then choose “System Configuration” from the list of results.
Installation Is Forbidden - Msconfig In Search Results
  1. Switch to the “Services” tab at the top and tick the “Hide all Microsoft services” option at the bottom.
  2. Press the “Disable all” button, then hit “Apply.”
Installation Is Forbidden - Disabling Services
  1. Select the “Startup” tab and click “Open Task Manager.”
Installation Is Forbidden - Opening Task Manager From System Config
  1. Once again, click on the “Startup” tab, select each of the items in question, then hit “Disable” and remember these items to identify the problematic application.
Installation Is Forbidden - Startup Section In Task Manager
  1. Close the Task Manager.
  2. Choose “OK” in the System Configuration window. The computer will be in a clean boot environment when you restart it.
  3. If you no longer face the issue, then the startup application that you disabled was causing the problem.

6. Re-Register the Windows Installer Service

You can use Windows PowerShell by following the steps below to try re-registering the Windows Installer service and hopefully get rid of the issue plaguing your system.

  1. Right-click the Start menu and select “Windows Terminal (Admin)” or “Windows PowerShell (Admin).”
  1. The Windows Installer can then be temporarily unregistered by entering the following command and pressing Enter.
msiexec /unreg
Installation Is Forbidden - Unregistering Windows Installer
  1. Enter the command below and press Enter to re-register the Windows Installer.
msiexec /regserver

7. Change DisableMSI Value

DisablMSI can disable or restrict the use of Windows Installer. You can try changing its value to “0,” which means Windows Installer is fully enabled and users can install and upgrade software.

  1. In the Start menu search box, enter “Registry Editor” and click on the best match.
  1. Go to this directory:
Computer\ HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer

Then, on the pane on the right, double-click the “DisableMSI” value.

Installation Is Forbidden Windows Installer Registry

3. Set the “Value data” to “0” and click on “OK.”

Installation Is Forbidden - Data Value Set To 0

Tip: Windows Security not opening for you? Here’s what you need to do.

8. Check Local Security Settings

Because the software restriction policy may be the source of the problem, changing its settings may resolve the error at hand. Keep in mind that Microsoft removed this option in the most recent versions of Windows 11.

  1. First, click on the Start menu, type in “Control Panel,” and click the top result.
Installation Is Forbidden - Control Panel In Search Results
  1. Select “Small icons” from the drop-down option under “View by.”
Installation Is Forbidden - View By In Control Panel
  1. Choose “Administrative Tools” or “Windows Tools,” then select “Local Security Policy.”
Installation Is Forbidden - Windows Tools In Control Panel
  1. Right-click on “Software Restriction Policies” and select “New Software Restriction Policies” from the menu that appears.
Installation Is Forbidden Software Restriction Policies
  1. Choose “Enforcement.”
Installation Is Forbidden Enforcement
  1. Select “All users except local administrators,” then click “Apply -> OK.”
Installation Is Forbidden Choose All Users

The “This installation is disallowed by system policy” error can be resolved on a software level and isn’t hardware related. It is such a well-known error that Microsoft has developed software to fix problems of this type.

However, in the worst-case scenario, a clean Windows installation may resolve the problem if none of the other alternatives work for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are some alternate ways of installing and updating programs?

Microsoft’s Windows Package Manager is a worthy alternative when it comes to installing and updating Windows applications. It’s a command line tool that enables you to streamline the management of your applications. If you’re running Windows 11, this functionality is already available to you without having to install anything else. To get started with Windows Package Manager, check out our detailed guide that walks you through installing, updating and uninstalling apps.

What can I do if I can't uninstall a program?

There are three main reasons you can’t remove a program from your PC. First, you might be targeting one of the essential programs that your PC needs to work properly. Secondly, the program might be running in the background, so you must terminate the process via Task Manager first. Finally, it might be plagued by issues that can be solved by running Microsoft’s Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter (method #3).

Should I use third-party uninstallers?

We don’t recommend it. Even though these uninstallers claim to undo any registry changes made by the app in addition to removing it, your PC’s uninstaller does the same thing. You should also remember that using untrusted applications may cause additional problems for your PC and OS.

Image credit: Pexels. All screenshots by Farhad Pashaei.

Farhad Pashaei
Farhad Pashaei

As a technophile, Farhad has spent the last decade getting hands-on experience with a variety of electronic devices, including smartphones, laptops, accessories, wearables, printers, and so on. When he isn’t writing, you can bet he’s devouring information on products making their market foray, demonstrating his unquenchable thirst for technology.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Our latest tutorials delivered straight to your inbox