Top 6 Ways to Fix Unable to Install Programs or Software in Windows 11


Although Microsoft Store offers you a version of the most popular applications, it does not contain all the programs or software. You may need to download and install programs from the Internet. Although this shouldn’t be a problem, sometimes Windows 11 may refuse to install your favorite software.

If Windows 11 won’t allow you to install new programs or encounters errors, you’ve landed on the right page. We will share some troubleshooting tips to help you fix the problem in no time.

1. Check program compatibility

Compatibility issues can often lead to such installation failures on Windows 11. Programs and games that worked perfectly on Windows 10, for example, are not necessarily compatible with Windows 11. In such cases, you will not be able to not install the program no matter what you do. Typically, you can find this information on the app provider’s website.

Therefore, before trying the solutions below, check if the program you are trying to install is compatible with Windows 11.

2. Run the installer as administrator

Most third-party app installations on Windows require administrative approval. Ideally, you should see a User Account Control (UAC) prompt when you run the installer. But if that doesn’t happen, you can manually run the installer as an administrator. Here’s how.

Right-click on the installer file and select Run as administrator. Then follow the on-screen prompts to see if the program installs successfully.

3. Run the program install and uninstall troubleshooter

If the problem persists, you can turn to one of the Windows troubleshooters for help. Microsoft offers a program installer and uninstaller troubleshooter that can automatically detect and repair any corrupt registry keys that may be preventing programs from installing on Windows. Here’s how you can use it.

Step 1: Get Microsoft’s dedicated troubleshooter.

2nd step: Double-click the troubleshooter to run it.

Step 3: Click Next.

Step 4: Select Installation on the next screen. The tool will automatically start scanning for any issues with the registry files.

Step 5: Select the program you are trying to install. If you can’t find it, select Not Listed. Then press Next.

From there, follow the on-screen instructions to complete the troubleshooting process. After that, try to install the program again.

4. Check the Windows app installation settings

Windows 11 allows you to restrict the installation of applications from sources other than the Microsoft Store to improve security. Windows will block all installations of third-party apps from unknown sources if you have already enabled this setting. Here’s how you can change that.

Step 1: Right-click on the Start menu and select Settings from the list.

2nd step: In the Apps tab, click Advanced app settings on your right.

Step 3: Use the drop-down menu next to “Choose where to get apps” and select “Anywhere, but let me know if there’s a comparable app in the Microsoft Store.”

After making the change, try running the installer to see if it works.

5. Uninstall the previous version of the program or software

Another reason Windows may fail to install a third-party program or software is if an older version of that program is already available on your PC. If this appears to be the case, you will need to remove the old version of the program before running the installer again.

Step 1: Press Windows key + R to launch the Run dialog box, type controland press Enter.

2nd step: Change the display type to large or small icons using the drop-down menu in the upper right corner. Then click on Programs and Features.

Step 3: Select the program you want to remove and click Uninstall/Change at the top.

From there, follow the on-screen instructions to remove the program. Once removed, try running the installer again.

6. Enable Developer Mode

Enabling Developer Mode on Windows allows you to download apps from almost any source. As the name suggests, the setting is for developers to install and test their apps. However, if you are sure of the credibility of the software you are trying to install, you can enable developer mode in Windows to install this program. Here’s how.

Step 1: Press Windows Key + I to launch the Settings app. Go to the Privacy & Security tab on your left.

2nd step: Under Security, click For Developers.

Step 3: Enable the switch next to developer mode.

Try running the installer one more time and see if it works. Remember to disable developer mode after installing the program.

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If the app or program you are trying to install is available on the Microsoft Store, you still need to download it. However, using the troubleshooting tips mentioned above should help fix the problem if that’s not an option.


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