[Solved] The installer has insufficient privileges to access

Milan Stanojevic
by Milan Stanojevic
Deputy Editor
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  • Installing new apps on Windows 10 is usually a no-fuss process but, certain errors can occur once in a while.
  • The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory is one of those pesky issues and here all the fixes.
  • Secure yourself a bug-free installation experience with the help of our Windows Installer Guides.
  • Don't be shy to explore our Windows 10 Troubleshooting Hub as well.
installer insufficient privileges access directory

Installing new applications on Windows 10 is pretty simple, and while the installation process usually goes without any problems, certain errors can occur once in a while.

Users reported The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error that occurs while installing certain applications, so let’s see how to fix this error.

How can I fix error 1303: the installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory?

1. Check your permissions

Sometimes this error can be caused if you don’t have the necessary permissions over the installation directory. According to Microsoft, in order to install certain software SYSTEM group or Everyone group needs to have Full control over the installation directory.

You can change these settings easily by following these steps:

  1. Locate the installation directory that is giving you problems. Right-click it and choose Properties. Keep in mind that sometimes you might have to change the security permissions for the parent folder as well in order to fix this problem.
  2. Go to the Security tab and click Edit.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-security-1
  3. In Group or user names section select SYSTEM or Everyone and click the Full control in the Allow column. If you don’t have SYSTEM or Everyone available, you’ll need to add it. To do that, click the Add button.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-security-2
  4. Select Users or Groups window will now appear. In the Enter the object names to select field enter Everyone or SYSTEM and click Check Names button. If your input is valid, click the OK button.
  5. SYSTEM or Everyone group will now be added. Select it and check Full control in the Allow column.
  6. Click Apply and OK to save changes.

After making the necessary changes, try to install the application again and check if the problem is resolved.

As we already mentioned, sometimes you might have to change the permissions of the parent folder, so if you’re trying to install an application to Program Files/My_Application directory, you might have to change the permissions for Program Files directory.

2. Check the third-party software

Third-party applications can sometimes interfere with your setup process, but you can fix this problem simply by closing them. One common cause for this error can be your security software, therefore we advise you to temporarily disable it and check if that solves the issue.

Users reported that tools such as MyWinLocker can also interfere with the setup process and cause this error to appear, therefore if you have this tool installed, be sure to remove it.

Now you can do this the old-fashioned way or by using specialized uninstaller software to make sure no software traces are left behind to tamper your activity.

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There is even a lightweight, portable version that does not require any downloading, and you can simply store it on a USB flash drive and use it directly from there on any PC.

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3. Change the owner of the parent directory

If you’re getting The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error, you might be able to fix it simply by changing the owner of the parent directory.

For example, if you’re getting this error while trying to install a certain application in your Program Files directory, you just need to take ownership of the Program Files directory.

Bear in mind that you might have to take ownership of a different directory depending on where you want to install the desired application.

  1. Locate the parent folder, right-click it, and choose Properties.
  2. Go to the Security tab and click Advanced.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-advanced-1
  3. Next to the owner’s name click the Change link.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-advanced-2
  4. In the Enter the object names to select field enter Administrators and click Check Names. If your input is valid, click OK.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-advanced-3
  5. Owner should now be changed to Administrators. Check Replace owner on subcontainers and objects and click Apply and OK to save changes.
  6. You’ll get a message to close the current window and open it again. Be sure to do that.
  7. Once the window opens again, check if Administrators and SYSTEM group have full control over this folder. If these groups aren’t available, you’ll have to add them.
  8. Click Select a principal.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-advanced-6
  9. In the Enter the object name to select field enter Administrators or SYSTEM and click Check Names. If your input is correct, click OK to save changes. You might have to repeat this step to add both Administrators and SYSTEM group.
  10. Select Full control and click Apply and OK.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-advanced-7
  11. Check Replace all child object permissions entries with inheritable permission entries from this object and click Apply and OK.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-advanced-8

Keep in mind that changing ownership over certain folders such as Program Files can be potentially dangerous, therefore create a backup and System Restore point before starting this process.


Need a helping hand? Check out these best bootable backup software for Windows 10 to prevent data loss.


4. Run the setup as administrator

Users reported that The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error appears if you don’t have administrator privileges while installing certain software.

You can easily fix this problem simply by right-clicking the setup file and choosing the Run as administrator option. After doing that, you should be able to install the application without any problems.

5. Check if Windows Install Service is running

In order to install applications on your Windows 10 PC, you need to have Windows Install service running. To enable this service, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter services.msc. Press Enter or click OK.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-services-1
  2. When the Services window opens, locate Windows Installer, right-click it and choose Start.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-services-2

After starting this service, you should be able to install all applications without any problems.

6. Uninstall all previous versions of Cisco AnyConnect VPN

According to users, this error can sometimes appear if you’re trying to install a newer version of the Cisco AnyConnect VPN software. To fix this problem, you need to completely remove all previous versions of Cisco AnyConnect VPN software.

After doing that, you should be able to install this application without any further errors. According to users, the install process starts before the uninstallation process finishes, therefore you need to manually remove the Cisco VPN software before you try to install the new version.


Unable to use the Cisco VPN client? Get the app back on track with a few easy steps.


7. Stop the TSVNCache.exe process

Sometimes the installation process will try to replace certain files even if they are still running, and that will cause The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error to appear.

Users reported this error while installing TortoiseSVN. According to them, the installation was trying to replace TSVNCache.exe file with a newer version, but it couldn’t complete the process because the TSVNCache.exe was still running in the background.

To fix the issue you need to stop this process from Task Manager by doing the following:

  1. Press Ctrl + Shift + Esc to open Task Manager.
  2. In the Details tab locate TSVNCache.exe, right-click it and choose End Task option.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-task-1
  3. After the process stops, try to perform the installation again.

Keep in mind that this problem can occur with any application and any file related to that application can cause this problem to appear.

TSVNCache.exe affects only TortoiseSVN, but if you’re installing a different application you need to find out on your own which file is preventing the installation process.

8. Perform a level-three uninstall

This problem can occur when you try to install HP printer software, and to fix it you need to perform the full uninstall of your HP software by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R, enter %temp% and press Enter.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-temp-1
  2. When Temp folder opens, open the 7zXXX.tmp folder. XXX will be replaced by a number that represents the driver version.
  3. Navigate to Util > ccc directory.
  4. Run Uninstall_L3.bat or Uninstall_L3_64.bat.
  5. Click OK and follow the instructions on the screen to complete the uninstall.

After the uninstall is completed, try to install the software again.

9. Use MSfixit tool

The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error can prevent you from installing applications on your Windows 10 PC, but you can fix this problem by running MSfixit tool.

This tool is designed to automatically fix problems with corrupted registry keys and many other installation problems with just a single click. Simply download and run this tool and it should fix this problem for you.

10. Clean your Temp folder

Third-party applications often store files in the Temp folder, but sometimes these files can interfere with the installation process and cause The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error to appear.

To fix this problem, you need to clean your Temp folder by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + R and enter %temp%. Press Enter or click OK.
  2. When Temp folder opens, delete all files from it.
  3. Close the Temp folder.
  4. Press Windows Key + R again and enter TEMP. Click OK or press Enter.
  5. Delete all files from the Temp folder.
  6. After deleting all files from both Temp folders, try to install the application again and check if the problem is resolved.

11. Delete all Autodesk folders

This problem can occur if you’re trying to install Autodesk software but you still have Autodesk folders on your PC.

Before trying to install Autodesk software, be sure to uninstall all Autodesk programs from your PC. After that navigate to the following folders and delete any Autodesk directories that you can find:

  • C:Program Files\Autodesk
  • C:Users\All Users
  • C: Users\YOUR USERID\AppData\Roaming\Autodesk
  • C:Users\YOUR USERID\AppData\Local\Autodesk

12. Disconnect your Google Drive

Google Drive is a great cloud storage service, but sometimes Google Drive can interfere with the installation process of certain applications.

To fix this error, users are suggesting to disconnect Google Drive from your PC and check if that fixes the problem. If you don’t want to do that, you can create a new Windows 10 administrator account and try to install the application again.

13. Turn off User Account Control

User Account Control is a useful feature designed to alert you whenever you perform an action that requires administrator privileges.

This feature can protect you from malicious software, but it can also interfere with the installation process and cause certain errors, therefore you might want to disable it.

To disable this feature, do the following:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter user accounts. Select User Accounts from the menu.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-uac-1
  2. Select Change User Account Control settings.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-uac-2
  3. Lower the slider all the way down to Never notify.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-uac-3
  4. Click OK to save changes. After that, restart your PC.

You can also disable User Account Control options by following these steps:

  1. Press Windows Key + S and enter group policy. Select Edit group policy from the menu.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-group-1
  2. In the left pane navigate to Computer Configuration > Windows Settings > Security Settings > Local Policies > Security Options.
  3. In the right pane locate all User Account Control settings and disable them. To do that, you’ll have to double click each User Account Control setting and select Disabled option if available.
    installer-has-insufficient-privileges-to-access-directory-group-2

After turning this feature off, try to install the same application again.

Fix: The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory iTunes

1. Unblock the setup file, disable UAC and run the setup as administrator

According to users, you can fix The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error with iTunes simply by unblocking the setup file.

To do that just right-click the setup file and choose Properties from the menu. After that click UnblockApply, and OK to save changes.

Now you need to disable User Account Control and run the setup as administrator. We already explained how to perform this in our previous solutions, so be sure to check them out.

2. Change the installation directory for iTunes

According to users, you can fix this problem simply by changing the installation directory.

Apparently the problem appears while trying to install iTunes to Program Files (x86) directory, but if you change the installation directory from Program Files (x86) to Program Files the issue should be resolved.

Fix: The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory Skype

1. Check if any services are using Skype folder

If you’re getting The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error while installing Skype, it might be because certain services or processes are using Skype folder.

To see which services are using this directory, simply use procexp tool from Sysinternals, press Ctrl + E, and enter Skype and you should see which processes are accessing this folder. After that, simply disable those processes and check if that solves the error.

2. Use the portable version of Skype

If you can’t install Skype at all due to this error, but you need to urgently use Skype, you can use the portable version of Skype as a workaround.

You can easily download the portable version of Skype from third-party websites, and after downloading it simply double click it in order to run it.

The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error can prevent many applications from installing, but as you can see, this problem can be solved simply by taking ownership of the installation directory or by changing your security permissions.

Let us know if any of these solutions worked for you by reaching for the comments section below.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2016 and has been since revamped and updated in July 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.

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  • DELL has tons of stuff under its control and it wont let go. Skype will not install, Google Earth will not install, can’t run a util to keep the other drive from sleeping, I can’t get near a permission change. Ownership means nothing. What do I have to run my own comp as a “Guest”????