System administrator has set policies to prevent this installation

Last week while installing an application, I got an error – The system administrator has set policies to prevent this installation. The application installation failed, and I wasn’t sure what polices were preventing the installation.

On my Windows 10 virtual machine, I got this error when I was installing a software that was a .msi installer. The installer wasn’t corrupt, and I downloaded the installer again, but I got the same error.

First of all check if the antivirus is blocking the installation. This could occur because some antivirus software programs set very strict rule when it comes to installing applications. Therefore, temporarily disable the antivirus software running on the computer and check if you can install the software.

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In my case, my initial suspect was an antivirus that could prevent this installation but no, it wasn’t the antivirus. Furthermore, the .msi installer was downloaded from a trusted source and I also made sure that UAC was off.

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

If you are also experiencing the same error, then I hope the steps mentioned in this post will surely help you.

The system administrator has set policies error can also be encountered while installing VMware Tools on Windows computer.

According to VMware KB, this error may occur twice if you are logged in twice as the same user on system. For example, you may see this error twice if you are logged in locally from the console and logged in through a Remote Terminal Service session.

In my case, I resolved this issue by enabling the Windows installer setting in the Windows Software Restriction Policy. In addition to that I also created a new software restriction policy and applied it to All users except local administrators.

System administrator has set policies to prevent installation

To fix the error System administrator has set policies to prevent this installation:

  • Login to the system with an administrator account.
  • Click Start > Run. Enter gpedit.msc.
  • This brings up the Local Group Policy Editor.
  • Expand Computer Configuration > Administrative Templates > Windows Components > Windows Installer.
  • On the right pane edit the policy setting – Turn off Windows Installer.
Enable turn off windows installer

On the Turn off Windows Installer setting box, click Enabled. Under Options > Disable Windows Installer – Click the drop-down and select Never.

Click Apply and OK.

Enable turn off windows installer

In the group policy editor, expand Windows Settings > Security Settings > Software Restriction Policies. Right click Software Restriction Policies and click New Software Restriction Policies.

System administrator has set policies to prevent installation

On the right pane, right click Enforcement and click Properties. In the Enforcement properties box, look for Apply software restriction policies to the following users.

Select All users except local administrators. Click OK.

Close the group policy editor.

System administrator has set policies to prevent installation

Launch the command prompt as administrator and run gpupdate /force. Finally once the policy gets updated, re-run the installer.

In my case after performing the above steps, I did not see the error again.

Fix System administrator has set policies – Registry Method

To fix “The System administrator has set policies to prevent this installation” error by tweaking the registry.

Here are steps for editing the registry:

  • Click Start > Run and type regedit and click OK. This opens the registry editor.
  • Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer.
  • Right click DisableMSI and click Modify. Change the value to 0.
  • Close the Registry Editor.
  • Log off and login back to the machine.

Note: If you are running Windows operating systems that are Home versions, the Group Policy Editor is not available.

27 Comments

  1. so like im trying to download fortnite on my school laptop and its giving me the same error but when i tried using he registry method they said that tht was also blocked how can i get past this and play fortnite???????????????????????

  2. Avatar photo Christina says:

    Hello, Thank you very much for your solutions.
    I am trying to install work VPN .msi, but it doesn’t work.
    1) I’ve already changed the Local Group Policy Editor, and checked, it remains changed; and
    2) I also changed the Registry with your method, and also restarted my PC and checked it, it remains changed too.
    Now I’m fresh out of ideas. Never changed much on my vanilla PC (Windows 10 LTSC version 1809 on a pretty good ROG/intel/nvidia/windows-only laptop), aside from stopping updates and disabling some windows bloatware.

    Any idea how I can get it to work? Without the VPN, I can’t do my home office…

  3. Avatar photo Luciano Abreu says:

    You rock!!! You are the best of the bests. 🙂

    Worked perfect!

    Thank you again.

  4. i cant find the patch” Click Start > Run and type regedit and click OK. This opens the registry editor.
    Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer.
    Right click DisableMSI and click Modify. Change the value to 0.”
    It just doesnt exist.
    disableBrowse 0
    disablePath 0
    alwaysInstallElevated 0
    no disableMSI
    please help/

  5. Avatar photo Michael Firsov says:

    Thank you so much for the help!

  6. Thanks! This was a lifesaver right before a significant migration effort.

  7. You are a lifesaver!! Amazing!
    Was having problem installing UiPath on remote windows server!!
    Setting Installer to Never worked for me!

  8. Avatar photo Sumit Sharma says:

    Sir
    i follow first step (i.e. System administrator has set policies to prevent installation) but when i reach at second step “Fix System administrator has set policies – Registry Method” my regedit not working. it shows “system detected an overrun stack-based buffer in this application. besides this, my network icon disappear, sound gets off, and neither Command Prompt not other application run as an administrator. kindly help as my PC is official.

    1. Seems like something wrong with your PC. Try using another PC and see if that works.

  9. Avatar photo Charlie Siswick says:

    Brilliant – thank you, worked like a charm.

  10. it didn’t work for me, i tried the third method > HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer

    But I don’t have a “installer” file or folder under Windows.

  11. I tried the first safe solution but it did’t work

  12. Hi, Prajwal ! Thank You very match ! It’s work ! ) I sincerely wish you good luck and happiness in such a difficult time ! ))

  13. This does not work for me. There is no registry key:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\Installer

  14. Avatar photo HaRi Singh says:

    I have tried out both methods, but the solution was not in my favor. I’m not sure If I’m supposed to update the windows to get rid of it.

  15. How to reverse this I uninstalled the software and now no more internet. Blocked everything.

  16. thanks.. it works for me..

    1. Avatar photo Websterd13 says:

      Worked for me as well. I’m a local admin on a 2016 server, but I could not install a Skype plugin.

  17. small typo… or BIG
    the command line should be “gpupdate /force” not gpudpate /force

  18. I see a lot of people getting fired for messing with group policy. There is a reason why it was set. Regular people should not be installing anything. People are the weakest link. On your own PC, that’s fine. On a company PC sure if you want to risk losing your job.

    1. That’s right. As a system admin, you won’t do anything without the approvals.

  19. Avatar photo Marek Belan says:

    Just small thing you dont need run elevated cmd for gpupdate 🙂

    But question is how this setting go to your systems.

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