Can’t install anything on a Windows 10/11 PC [Quick Fix]

by Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Milan Stanojevic
Windows & Software Expert
Milan has been enthusiastic about PCs ever since his childhood days, and this led him to take interest in all PC-related technologies. Before joining WindowsReport, he worked as... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • Windows 10 is the latest OS developed by Microsoft, very well optimized, but still not an error-free operating system.
  • If you can't install any software, in this guide we will provide you simple steps on how to solve this problem.
  • For any other issues with your Window 10 system, check out our Window 10 troubleshooting hub.
  • Our Software troubleshooting section will help you to solve any software related issues that you can face.
Can’t install anything Windows 10

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Windows 10 is the latest operating software most Windows computer users are currently on. Also, it seems to be one of the most troublesome too with the numerous issues and concerns raised since its release.

Among the issues that affect users and that they find annoying is when they can’t install anything on Windows 10.

Most of the complaints from Windows 10 users over installations on the OS include configuration changes, and parts of their computers stop working especially after upgrading to the new operating system, while others say apps just disappear without notice – the list is endless.

However, this article looks at what to do when you can’t install anything on Windows 10, something that could be caused due to software conflicts, and other underlying issues.

Without further ado, here are some of the solutions you can try when you can’t install anything on Windows 10.

How do I install a software if Windows won’t let me do it?

1. General troubleshooting

The directory name is invalid [Fix]

As a first step, you can try to run a scan with Windows Security or Windows Defender, depending on your Windows 10 version. It is a great tool that is already included in Windows 10.

Windows Security acts like a built-in antivirus and antimalware software. It includes numerous options to keep your system safe from online threats, run periodic scans, and maintain your device health.

You can find it at the Update&Security option from the Setting menu.

Another great utility to use is System File Checker (SFC). It allows you to scan and restore corruptions in Windows system files. To learn how to use it, follow the steps in the SFC guide. 

2. Check security settings

  1. Log into Windows as administrator.
  2. Click Start and choose Settings.
  3. Click on Update & Security.
  4. Go to the last option on the left For developers and check the settings.
  5. Activate the option below Developer Mode.
  6. A notification message will appear, click on Yes.

3. Use Windows 10’s Fix It tool

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This helps automatically repair issues like corrupted registry keys that may block you from installing anything on Windows 10.

Note: If you’re not on the computer that has the install issue, save the Fix It tool to a flash drive or CD, then run it on that computer.

This fixes corrupted registry keys on 64-bit OS, or those that control update data, issues preventing new program installs or existing programs from complete updates or uninstalls, as well as problems blocking you from uninstalling a program from the Control Panel.

To run the Program Install and Uninstall troubleshooter, you have to download it and then double click to open it. Click on the Next button and follow the on-screen instructions.

4. Run Windows Update Troubleshooter

  1. Go to Control Panel and from the right upper corner, select to view small icons.
  2. Click Troubleshooting.
  3. Click View all..
  4. Click Windows Update and select Next then follow the instructions to run this troubleshooter.

5. Check if Windows Update services is running

  1. Right-click Start and select Run.
  2. Type services.msc.
  3. Find Windows Update service under the Services window and see if it is running.
  4. If it isn’t running, from the left side click Start to start the service.

6. Run DISM tool

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The Deployment Image Servicing and Management tool fixes Windows corruption errors that may be existing when you can’t install anything on Windows 10.

It is a great built-in tool in Windows 10 that will scan and fix your files. Additionally, you can use it when errors prevent SFC from running properly.

So, if SFC is corrupt and doesn’t work you can use DISM to restore it. To enable and learn how to use it, follow our complete DISM guide.

7. Turn off User Account Control (UAC)

  1. Type UAC in the Windows search box, and open it.
  2. To turn UAC off, drag the slider down to Never notify.
  3. Click OK.
  4. To turn UAC on, drag the slider up to the desired level.
  5. Click OK.
  6. Reboot your computer to effect the changes.

Note: Turn UAC on after checking, as it can help prevent unauthorized changes to your computer, and notifies you when changes are going to be made to your computer that requires administrator-level permission. These types of changes can affect your computer’s security or other people’s settings on your computer. Leave it to help make your computer secure.

The above solutions should help you to fix any corrupted files from your operating system. Once they are prepared, you can install any software you need.

Let us know if you have any further issues or if you found a solution among these listed here by leaving a comment in the section below.

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