Fix: Msiexec.Exe Access Is Denied Error When Installing Programs

When you encounter the “Msiexec.exe Access is Denied Error”, it’s impossible to install any .msi applications or remove the program from the Programs and Features section. This is very common on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 systems.

The problem can occur if the Windows Installer files on your computer are damaged or missing or if you install or remove a program like Microsoft Office that uses the Windows Installer Software Installation (MSI) package file with the .msi extension.

In this guide, we’ll try to solve the problem by re-registering the Windows Installer, reinstalling the Windows Installer, and starting the Windows Installer service, which may have been inactive. As a temporary workaround, you can use RevoUninstaller to remove programs until you’re finally able to use Windows Installer.

Method 1: Re-registering the Windows Installer

This method involves modifying your registry. Make sure you follow the steps carefully.

  1. Determine the location of the Msiexec.exe on your computer. Keep note of the location as you’ll need soon.
  2. Press the Windows + R Key, type “%windir%\system32” and then click OK. This opens the directory where the Msiexec.exe is located.
  3. Take note of the address bar. The location of the Msiexec.exe file is a combination of the current location and the Msiexec.exe executable file. In most cases, it should be c:\Windows\system32\Msiexec.exe.
  4. Press the Windows + R Key, type “regedit” and then click OK. This will open the Windows Registry Editor.
  5. Expand the tree on the left pane and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SYSTEM > CurrentControlSet > Services > MSIServer.
  6. In the right pane, right-click ImagePath, and the select Modify.
  7. Type the location of the Msiexec.exe in the Value data box followed by the value of “/V”, and then click OK. For example if you the location of the file is C:\Windows\system32\Msiexec.exe, then type “C:\Windows\system32\Msiexec.exe /V” in the box.
  8. Exit your registry and boot your PC into safe mode. For Windows 8/10 users, follow this guide. If you’re using Windows 7 and lower, keep pressing the F8 key immediately the Windows starts up and the select Safe Mode with your keyboard.
  9. Press the Windows + R Key, type “msiexec /regserver” and then click OK for 64-bit operating systems, you also have to type “%windir%\Syswow64\Msiexec /regserver”.
  10. Restart to leave the safe mode and check if the issue still persists.

Method 2: Reinstalling te Windows Installer

To reinstall the Windows Installer, you have to rename the corrupted Windows Installer files, and then reinstall the Windows Installer.

  1. Press the Windows Key, type “cmd”, right-click on the command prompt application and then “Run as Administrator” you should accept the Administrator prompt when it comes up.
  2. In the cmd window, type the following commands:cd %windir%\system32
    attrib -r -s -h dllcache
    ren msi.dll msi.old
    ren msiexec.exe msiexec.old
    ren msihnd.dll msihnd.old
  3. Restart your computer and download Windows Installer 4.5 Redistributable and then install it. However, this applies to Windows XP, Vista, Windows Server 2003 and 2008.
  4. Restart Windows and check if the issue still persists.

Method 3: Enabling the Windows Installer Service

If the Windows Installer Service is disabled or stopped, you may not be able to install application.

  1. Press the Windows + R Key, type “services.msc” and then click OK.
  2. In the services list, scroll to Windows Installer, right-click and then select Properties
  3. Set the Startup type Manual. to Leave it if it’s greyed out and set to Manual. If the service is stopped, click on Start. You should be able to install .msi applications now.