- Whenever you are installing or removing something from the computer, multiple things happen. Files are copied in different locations, settings are changed, registry changes etc.
- In some cases, messages such as Error applying transforms show to inform of conflicts between what is on the computer and you intend to do. Use this guide to help you through it.
- If Windows Installer let's you down in the process, check the Windows Installer Error section to see what you can do about it to return it in pristine state.
- Squash Windows problems by following any guide from the Windows 10 Errors Troubleshooting Hub found here on our website.
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.
How can I fix Error applying transforms in Windows 10?
- Uninstall the Previous Software Version
- Reregister the Windows Installer
- Open the Program Install and Uninstall Troubleshooter
- Edit the Transforms Path
1. 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 IOBit Uninstaller, to remove all registry leftovers, bundled software and more. This is the advantage of using IOBit Uninstaller.
- Download IOBit from the official page.
- Open the program, let it scan and then go through the list of all programs installed. Check the ones that you want to uninstall and click the Uninstall button afterwards.
- In the confirmation window, make sure you enable Automatically remove residual files. We would also recommend creating a restore point before uninstall in case things go wrong. So have the other box checked as well.
- Click Uninstall again.
- Restart Windows before installing the required software.
2. 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.
3. 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.
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_ROOTInstallerProducts 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.
FAQ: Learn more about uninstall problems
- How do I uninstall a program that won’t uninstall?
If searching for Add or remove programs in the Start Menu and using it to uninstall a program won’t work, you can use a third party uninstaller to force uninstall any software.
- How do I uninstall a program that’s already deleted?
Perform a quick manual uninstall cleanup process by exploring the Program Files folder and deleting the folder associated to it. Then remove the shortcuts from the Desktop and from the Start Menu. You should also do a registry scan and do some cleanup.
- How do I restart Windows Installer service?
Click Start->Run-> type in msconfig and hit OK. In the Services tab, see the checkbox next to Windows Installer. Deactivate it and click OK. Return and activate it again if necessary and restart your computer.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2018 and has been since revamped and updated in May 2020 for freshness, accuracy, and comprehensiveness.