How to Fix Msiexec.exe Error [5 Easy Methods]

When you install or uninstall some programs on your computer, you receive this error message:

“C:\WINDOWS\system32\msiexec.exe

Windows cannot access the specified device, path, or file. You may not have the appropriate permissions to access the item.”

What is msiexec.exe?

Msiexec.exe is part of Windows Installer utility. It’s used to interpret and install MSI and MSP packages on Windows systems. So it’s required for some program installation and uninstallation.

For some reason, the msiexec.exe file can’t be accessed, for example, the Windows Installer files are damaged or are missing. To fix the error, you can try the methods below.

Try these methods

Method 1: Ensure you’re using an Administrator account
Method 2: Run Program Install and Uninstall troubleshooter
Method 3: Check for the status of the Windows Installer service
Method 4: Re-register Windows Installer
Method 5: Fix that a program wasn’t uninstalled successfully

Method 1: Ensure you’re using an Administrator account

To install or uninstall some programs, you might need to have administrator rights. So first, determine if you’re using an account that has administrator rights. That is to say, ensure that you’re logged on to your computer as an administrator.

If you’re an administrator, move on to try other methods.

Method 2: Run Program Install and Uninstall troubleshooter

Microsoft offers the Program Install and Uninstall troubleshooter, which can automatically fix program installation and uninstallation issues. Since the msiexec.exe error occurs when you install or uninstall a program, to fix the error, you can try running that troubleshooter.

Firstly, click this link to download the troubleshooter from Microsoft official website.

Secondly, double-click on the downloaded file and follow the steps provided by the troubleshooter. The steps are easy to follow.

run program install and uninstall troubleshooter

If Method 2 doesn’t help, continue to try Method 3.

Method 3: Check for the status of the Windows Installer service

If the Windows Installer service is disabled, the msiexec.exe error can occur. So check for the status of the Windows Installer service, and make sure that the service is not set to Stopped. Follow these steps:

1) On your keyboard, press Win+R (the Windows logo key and the R key) at the same time to invoke the Run box.

2) Type “services.msc” into the Run box and then click the OK button to open Services.

3) Right-click on Windows Installer, and then click Properties.

open Windows Installer service properties window

4) Check if the Service status is Stopped. If it’s stopped, click the Start button and then set the Start type box to Manual.

make sure windows installer service is not set to Disabled.

5) Click OK to close the Properties window.

6) Try to install or to uninstall the program again.

If Method 3 doesn’t help, continue to try Method 4.

Method 4: Re-register Windows Installer

To fix the msiexec.exe error, you can try re-registering the Windows Installer. To do this, follow the steps below:

1) Click Start, type “command prompt”, right-click on Command Prompt and select Run as administrator.

2) At the Command Prompt, type the following commands. Remember to press Enter after each command.

%windir%\system32\msiexec.exe /unregister
%windir%\system32\msiexec.exe /regserver
%windir%\syswow64\msiexec.exe /unregister
%windir%\syswow64\msiexec.exe /regserver

3) Once done, restart your computer and check if the msiexec.exe error persists.

Method 5: Fix that a program wasn’t uninstalled successfully

To ensure uninstalling a program successfully, you can do it via the Control Panel. Here’s how:

1) Click Start, type “control panel” and then click Control Panel.

2) Click Add and Remove Programs or Programs and Features.

3) Select the program, and then click Uninstall. Then follow the instructions to finish installing the program.

uninstall a program via control panel

Hopefully you find this article helpful. If you have any questions, feel free to drop a comment below. I’ll get back to you ASAP.

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