How to fix the Windows 10/11 Error applying transforms issue

by Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
Matthew is a freelancer who has produced a variety of articles on various topics related to technology. His main focus is the Windows OS and all the things... read more
Affiliate Disclosure
  • 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 what you intend to do.
  • We looked into the issue and found the most common fixes for it, so use this guide to help you through it.
Error applying transforms issue

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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.

How can I 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

  1. Reregistering the Windows Installer can fix numerous software install errors. You can reregister the Windows Installer by pressing the Windows key + X hotkey.
  2. Select Run to open the window in the snapshot directly below.
  3. Input ‘msiexec /unregister’ in Run’s text box, and press the OK button.
  4. 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 updating 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 updated Java version.

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Keeping leftover files and old versions of software may interfere with the functionality of the up-to-date version of that same software.

Uninstall the software with the help of a third-party PC cleaning and optimization utility. This is to make sure that no trace of your app remains on your PC to take up space and cause other errors.

  1. Download CCleaner from the official page.
  2. Open the program and open the Tools menu, then the Uninstall subsection. Select the programs you want to remove and click the Uninstall button.
  3. Head to the Registry submenu and scan your registry. Review all issues found.
  4. Restart Windows before installing the required software.

We would also recommend creating a system restore point before uninstalling in case you accidentally uninstall something else.

This utility is proven to be completely safe. It can also help you optimize your computer by removing unnecessary junk.

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.

  1. Open Run with the Windows key + R hotkey.
  2. Enter ‘regedit’ in Run’s text box and press Return to open the Registry Editor.
  3. Go to HKEY_CLASSES_ROOTInstallerProducts in the registry.
  4. Next, right-click Products in the Registry Editor and select Find to open the search window in the shot directly below.
  5. Select the Keys, Values and Data check boxes on that window.
  6. Then enter the title of the software that you’re getting the Error applying transforms error message for in the search box.
  7. Press the Find Next button. That will find the registry key for the software entered as below.
  8. Double-click Transforms to open the Edit String window.
  9. Then delete all info in the Value data box, and press the OK button.
  10. If the applying transforms error message opens when uninstalling the software, delete Transforms instead by right-clicking it and selecting Delete.
  11. 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.

If Windows Installer lets you down in the process, check the Windows Installer Error section to see what you can do about it to return it to a pristine state.

Squash Windows problems by following any guide from the Windows 10 Errors Troubleshooting Hub found here on our website.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Click Start->Run-> type in msconfig and hit OK. In the Services tab, Deactivate Windows installer, save and return and activate it again if necessary and restart your computer. Then follow the steps in the article for more guidance.