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Fix for “The system administrator has set policies to prevent this installation” error.

By Jesse | March 9, 2009

Several times I have encountered the error:

“The system administrator has set policies to prevent this installation”

The solution to this is to fix the local security policy.

  1. Open control Panel and go to Administrative Tools.
  2. In Administrative tools open Local Security Policy.
  3. In Local Security Policy right click Software Restriction Policies and click “New Software Rectriction Policy”.
  4. Now Left click on software restriction policies and in the right-hand window you should see enforcement.
  5. Double-click on enforcement and set the policy to apply to “ALL USERS EXCEPT LOCAL ADMINISTRATORS”

Now approve the changes and see if you are now able to install software.

Alternately several people recommended the following but I’ve found the above steps fix the problem in 98% of cases.  If you are unfamiliar with the registry…. stop reading.

  1. Browse the registry to HKLM\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer
    Create: DisableMSI       Type: REG_DWORD  value = 0   (0 should allow you to install it was originally 1)
  2. Browse to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\
    Search the list for the product that is causing the error.. delete the folder in the products folder…  this may also correct your error…

If you have any additional comments or pointers they are welcome.

***** UPDATE ******
I’ve gotten alot of comments that they cannot find secpol.msc.  This is because it is not included on Home versions of vista. However, I now believe I have an answer even to this.  I have spent the last hour reviewing the registry changes that are made and have narrowed down the value that is changed when you set the above policy.  The Value changed is a dword value :

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\{A541BD3D-1A70-4D7B-BC99-CF1ADFC0DE9F}Machine\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Safer\CodeIdentifiers\PolicyScope

It is changed from 0 to 1 when you set it not to apply to administrators.  When you set “new software restriction policy the following tree is populated:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\{A541BD3D-1A70-4D7B-BC99-CF1ADFC0DE9F}Machine\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Safer

I am not sure if you need the whole tree to get it to function or just the value I have included 2 Registry files to run.   The first includes just the policyscope value of 1 the second includes the entire “Safer” tree that was created on my machine when I added the software restriction settings.

Click here to download just the PolicyScope setting.  (download and run first to see if it fixes your problem.)

Click here to download the entire “Safer” tree that manually adds the fixed software restriction settings. (try this if the above reg file does not fix your problem.)

[] [Digg] [StumbleUpon]

Topics: Uncategorized | 88 Comments »

88 Responses to “Fix for “The system administrator has set policies to prevent this installation” error.”

  1. Sam Says:
    April 27th, 2010 at 4:39 pm

    Fix #2 worked for me. Thanks a lot!

  2. Techman Says:
    April 27th, 2010 at 11:47 pm

    I tried everything on this page for my Windows Vista Home Basic, and this is what finally worked.

    I created the AlwaysInstallElevated under local user since it did not exist and turned set both to a value of 1. Create a restore point prior to messing with the Registry and using REGEDIT.

  3. A Says:
    April 28th, 2010 at 12:15 am

    Good Recommendation. Thanks.

  4. rencourt Says:
    May 4th, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    Hi, I am having the issue with “The system administrator has set policies to prevent this installation” error.

    This happens in safe mode while logged in as administrator with most any exe file!

    In regular mode I am getting ‘windows can not access the specified device path…’

    While in safe mode, I am logged in as administrator.

    I have windows xp 64bit version… so the vista fix wont work for me.

    There are many conversations going back and forth, so Im not sure I have seen an answer for those requesting help on the xp problem… please forgive me if I am wrong… any help would be MOST appreciated!

  5. Brian Says:
    May 10th, 2010 at 9:21 pm

    Neither reg fix worked for me :( Still can’t install update to Open Office which is very odd since the original installed just fine. Odder still is this mischievous ‘Administrator’ who has been setting policies behind my back.

  6. tron Says:
    May 12th, 2010 at 12:16 am

    thank you very much to help me from problem

  7. tron Says:
    May 12th, 2010 at 12:35 am

    i can open installer windows internet explorer plat form preview version 1.9.7766.6000 but i can’t open installer adobe 9.3 and flash player 10
    can you help me plzz

  8. tron Says:
    May 12th, 2010 at 12:42 am

    i tell you about can’t open installer it in the flashdrive

    can you tell me what happen in my flash drive

  9. Jesse Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

    I dont think you can install stuff in safe mode….

  10. Mark the Mackem Says:
    May 20th, 2010 at 4:17 pm

    Windows 7 solution (worked for me anyway) that needs you to be logged in as administrator – i.e. the main account on the computer:

    Right click the program and select “run as administrator”.

    **If that option is not available** . . .

    go to
    Start/All programs/Accessories
    and right click on the command prompt, then select “run as administrator”.

    From within the command prompt, navigate to the folder containing the program you want to run, then type the file name to run it.

    if your program is abc.exe in c:\folder1\folder2, you would type
    cd folder1\folder2
    and then type

    Good luck!

  11. Tubbs Says:
    June 9th, 2010 at 4:13 pm

    to Mark the Mackem –

    u must be a genius

    I don’t know your average joe would figure this out.

    I seriously regret updating from XP to Windows 7.


  12. kyaw Says:
    June 24th, 2010 at 12:55 am

    thanks million
    i solved with that.

  13. will Says:
    June 28th, 2010 at 6:26 pm

    I cant find Local Security Policy .

  14. ss Says:
    June 30th, 2010 at 4:12 am

    thanks millions

  15. mauricio Says:
    July 19th, 2010 at 2:29 pm

    Thanks man!!!!!!!!!!

  16. jacquelyn Says:
    August 2nd, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    i tried every single suggestion but it did not work finally i tried this i removed my antivirus first which is norton then uninstall the software that i am having trouble removing and everything starts to work.

  17. Abdullah Says:
    September 3rd, 2010 at 10:26 am

    Thanks to you alot, But still that error appare
    so i can’t updata itunes ):

  18. Brokk Says:
    October 11th, 2010 at 4:54 pm

    Nothing in the original or update worked for me (tried both registry files). Using Vista Home edition. However, the fix from comment #52 – Techman seems to be working. At least that message hasn’t popped up yet, and it usually happens pretty quickly.

  19. ray Says:
    October 20th, 2010 at 3:10 am

    i tried the update on my hp laptop with win xp and still no luck. cant run cmd prgm or run administrator however, i am logged on as admin? did the regedit with no luck as well. any ideas?

  20. razl Says:
    November 30th, 2010 at 9:30 pm

    Hallelujah (sp?) – it worked for Windows XP home edition!!!

  21. Aron Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

    Okey.. I’ve been sitting here for days trying to figure this one out. I’ve tried every single solution posted here, from the original article to each and every one of the posts. Still there is no change in the error-message :/

    I’m running on Windows Vista Home and I’m trying to install a Driver called “MobilePre” for an m-audio soundcard. But as soon as I in any way try to start the installation the error pops up. (Both from the CD and a .exe driver that I downloaded)

    Quite positive that I haven’t made any mistakes working through all of the solutions, I’ve lost a bit of hope ^^’ Anyone know some other possible way of getting around this? Or maybe I should just give up and try getting hold of windows 7 or xp.. since Vista always has these impossible problems O.o

  22. Aron Says:
    December 24th, 2010 at 7:33 pm

    Oh, and Merry Christmas! Thanks to all or anyone for trying fix these things =) Many smart solutions above.. just don’t get why none work in my case :/

  23. Angelo Says:
    October 20th, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    The first solution worked for me (Editing the Local Security policy).

    I was unable to install ESET Smart Security v5 on a Win7 Pro 32bit machine.

    Following your help it worked. Thanks.

  24. Natarajan Says:
    December 15th, 2011 at 2:53 am

    Editing the Local Securitu Policy worked for me. Thanks a lot. :)

  25. peter Says:
    January 27th, 2012 at 2:51 am

    It can done thank you very very… much

  26. SAMI Says:
    February 28th, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Jesse you r realli a genius. The second step about reading the registry to HKLM and disabling MSI worked for me, but hey about the HKEY CLASSE_INSTALLER_PRODUCT and find the product that is causing the problem
    how can I find the product that is causing the problem when nothing shows that a product is faulty

  27. Donald Says:
    March 17th, 2012 at 1:12 pm

    Awesome fix on option one for windows 7.

  28. Kim Leng Says:
    April 7th, 2012 at 1:18 am

    thks Wendy,

    i follow your steps, and it works.

  29. gary Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    I did step 1 and didnt work. I have windows 7 64 ultimate.
    I tried step 2 and there is no Installer listed in the windows folder to do the step.?? Please help. Trying to install Itunes.

  30. gary Says:
    May 11th, 2012 at 9:58 pm

    ohh my GOD. Here it is people.

    Goto User accounts.
    Change user account setting to never notify then it will want you to reboot.
    After reboot, install your software, then go bach and put setting as it was. Ta Daaaaaaaa

  31. Heidi Says:
    November 30th, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Thanks! I had to edit the registry as well, but then it worked :)

  32. Deb Says:
    January 4th, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    your suggestion work!! thank you so much!!!!!!
    so simple for me to do.

  33. Jerald Fox Says:
    March 8th, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    This post still active jesse?

  34. Ned Says:
    April 28th, 2015 at 3:20 am

    This was very help. Thanks!

  35. Gustavo Ribeiro Says:
    June 17th, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Fix 1 funcionou muito bem, estava tentando instalar o Sony Vegas 10 e deva o erro quando instalava o Microsoft Visual C++ e correu tudo muito bem.

  36. Bob Says:
    September 26th, 2015 at 6:12 pm

    Worked, thanks!

  37. abdi Says:
    February 5th, 2016 at 11:08 am

    I hv been finding solution for this error several years but ur topic solved.


  38. Y Says:
    February 25th, 2016 at 5:29 am

    fix#1, and Install through the CMD (run as administrator) worked for me. thanks.