How to fix the Windows 10 “Error applying transforms” issue

By: Matthew Adams
3 minute read
Error applying transforms

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The “Error applying transforms” error message is one that can pop up in Windows when you attempt to update installed software or uninstall a program. The full error message states: “Error applying transforms. Verify that the specified transform paths are valid.

Consequently, you can’t install a software update or remove a program when that error message pops up. These are some of the potential fixes for the transforms error.

Fix ‘Error applying transforms’ in Windows 10

  1. Reregister the Windows Installer
  2. Open the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter
  3. Uninstall the Previous Software Version
  4. Edit the Transforms Path

1. Reregister the Windows Installer

  • Reregistering the Windows Installer can fix numerous software install errors. You can reregister the Windows Installer by pressing the Windows key + X hotkey.
  • Select Run to open the window in the snapshot directly below.

  • Input ‘msiexec /unregister’ in Run’s text box, and press the OK button.

  • Then enter ‘msiexec /regserver’ in the text box, and click the OK option again.

2. Open the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter

The Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter is one that fixes software that isn’t installing or uninstalling. As this is a troubleshooter that fixes registry keys for update data, it might also resolve the “applying transforms” error.

The troubleshooter isn’t included in Windows 10, but you can save it to a folder by clicking the Download button on this page. Then click MicrosoftProgram_Install_and_Uninstall.meta to open the window in the snapshot below, and press the Next button to go through the troubleshooter.

3. Uninstall the Previous Software Version

If the “applying transforms” error message pops up when updating software, uninstall the previous version first. For example, you would uninstall the currently installed Java software if the error message pops up when installing the most update Java version.

Uninstall the software with a third-party uninstaller, such are Revo Uninstaller, to remove all registry leftovers. This is how you can more thoroughly remove software with Advanced Uninstaller PRO 12.

  • Open this website page, and press the Download Now button.
  • Open Advanced Uninstaller PRO 12’s setup wizard to add the software to Windows.
  • Click Uninstall Programs on the Advanced Uninstaller PRO window to open the window shown directly below.

  • Select the previous software version of the program that isn’t installing, and press the Uninstall button.
  • Select the Use the leftover scanner option.

  • Press the Yes button to remove the software.
  • An Application uninstall window shows you the software’s leftovers. Select to delete all the leftover entries and click Next to erase them.
  • Restart Windows before installing the required software.

4. Edit the Transforms Path

The “Error applying transforms” issue is usually due to an invalid transform registry path for the software. The error message states, “Verify that the specified transform paths are valid.” That’s a big clue for fixing it. You can fix the “applying transforms” error by editing the transforms path as follows.

  • Open Run with the Windows key + R hotkey.
  • Enter ‘regedit’ in Run’s text box and press Return to open the Registry Editor.

  • Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products in the registry.

  • Next, right-click Products in the Registry Editor and select Find to open the search window in the shot directly below.

  • Select the Keys, Values and Data check boxes on that window.
  • Then enter the title of the software that you’re getting the “Error applying transforms” error message for in the search box.
  • Press the Find Next button. That will find the registry key for the software entered as below.

  • Double-click Transforms to open the Edit String window.

  • Then delete all info in the Value data box, and press the OK button.
  • If the “applying transforms” error message opens when uninstalling the software, delete Transforms instead by right-clicking it and selecting Delete.
  • Then close the Registry Editor window.

One of those fixes might fix the “Error applying transforms” error so you can install or remove the required software. If you have any further resolutions, please share them below.


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