Sheryl Canter

Another Installation Already in Progress (But it’s Not)

I keep encountering an annoying error message as I try to set up my new 64-bit Vista laptop. Often when I try to install a program, I’m told that another installation is already in progress and I must complete that one first. But no other installation is in progress, and simply rebooting doesn’t help.

I googled this problem, and found some complicated advice about failed installations and the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. But I find that this error occurs when a program installs just fine in every respect except that it leaves the Windows Installer Service running.

There’s a easy way to fix this.

Right-click on the Computer icon, wherever it exists on your system, and select Manage. (I’m using the Classic Start menu, so the Computer icon is on my desktop. If you’re using the new Start menu, the icon is in the Start menu.) This opens the Computer Management utility.

Windows Installer Service

Select Services, right click on Windows Installer in the list and select Properties. If you’re having the problem, the Windows Installer service is started, and the Stop button is disabled. Simply rebooting doesn’t stop the service. Here’s how you stop it.

In the Properties dialog, change Startup type to “Disabled”, click OK, and reboot your computer. This stops the service. After your computer reboots, again open Computer Management (right-click on Computer and select Manage), open Windows Installer Properties, and change the Startup type back to Manual. Now you’re good to go and can start a new installation.


  1. Gaurav says:

    Great, you saved by day.

  2. Anthony Raj says:

    Thank you very much. It works fine now.

  3. dan says:

    I can’t change startup type???

  4. Katie says:

    madhu the best! Thanks!

  5. Kevin says:

    I can’t change the start up type.

  6. Isaac says:

    All options to change the start up type are disabled as per the comments above, yet the problem I am having is exactly as you have described while attempting to install various versions of Visual Studio on Windows 10..

  7. Bill says:

    Isaac! I am having an identical issue, visual studio and windows 10, its causing a huge headache, if you find a solution any chance you could inform me? and vica versa

  8. Robert says:

    I can’t change start-up type either. Mine is set on Manual but I can’t access the drop-downs to make changes.

  9. Are those who can’t access the options logged in as administrators?

  10. Richard says:

    I also can’t change the startup type. I’m running Windows 10 and did run Computer Management as an administrator. Aargh!

  11. patas says:

    What we should do people? i cant change the startup type, any way to do it?

  12. Michael says:

    im on windows 10 and when i get to the final bit when i have to change the startup type to diabled icant the box is greyed out and unaviable to change but i am an admin any ideas?

  13. Harsha says:

    I’m having the same trouble with windows 10, can’t stop the windows installer service and can’t install oracle virtual box and Microsoft office. Please update if any of you found a solution for this.

  14. Steven says:

    Same thing with me. I’m the administrator and everything is greyed out. Whatever the program is that is trying to install is keeping my AVG from updating. I started out as HP Support Assistant problem but for some reason I can’t uninstall that either. Help!!

  15. Ben says:

    The same thing has happened to me, I can’t update my AVG because it says it has detected running installation and that it need to be completed before the update can start. I tried doing what you have said however the box is also on manual and I can’t change it. Help please!

  16. Julie Watts says:

    I went in to Task Manager and ended the task of Windows Installer & Windows Installer (32 bit). It then allowed me to follow the directions above to stop the running application.

  17. James says:

    For Windows 10 >>> instead of looking for msiexec in the task manager, look for windows installer and end it

  18. Michael says:

    thank you sooo much!!! ^^

  19. Brian says:

    Thank You James. I was frantic because I had to uninstall AVG and then the reinstall wasn’t working. Thank you!!

  20. patas says:

    It was so easy lol. thnx a lot james

  21. Arul says:

    I found this thread because i encountered the issue with not being apple to run office products because an installation was in progress. When I force-ended all instances of ‘windows install’ my windows began to immediately install when i run an app. I’m running into another problem with installation rights, but at least it is closer than before.

  22. Drev says:

    I scrolled through every processes finding msiexec only, so I didn’t see windows installer because I focused on the msi process… lol Thx James I’m so blind 😀

  23. Robert Dicken says:

    Stopping “Windows Installer & Windows Installer (32 bit)” in the tsk manager did the trick. I managed to install what I was needing to do. Many thanks a great solution

  24. Mauricio Sanchez says:

    I could not disable the service (system didn´t allow me :() … however it is posssible just to stop the processes belonging the service (MSIEXEC.exe This will solve the issue even without a restart!

    Hope it helps!


  25. Emily Dickenson says:

    Im on Windows 10 and my start up type is on ‘manual’ which I cannot change. Hmmm

  26. ram says:

    hey i am usng windows 10 and can not select the startup type menu and nothingh is highlighted . if u can help .please do so

  27. Jordan says:

    Hey guys, I’ve been having the same problem as everyone else in this thread that has windows 10. My startup type dropdown menu is grayed out and I can’t change it. I’ve done everything people have suggested in this thread and it’s still grayed out, even though it worked for other people. If anyone is having a similar issue or has a solution, I’d greatly appreciate it. Thanks!

  28. kayil says:

    hey guys i had the same problem on windows 10. i opened up task manager and ended the process for windows installer and then the program installed straight away after that. hope it helps

  29. Hazel says:

    I had the same issue – but the stop tab became an option so I hit that – I didn’t even re boot -and managed to update AVG and then install my accounts package!!

  30. Mark says:

    Brilliant, thank you

  31. Luís Silva says:

    Hey guys,

    First I apologize for my English.

    I was having the same problems with Windows 10 and read all your posts / opinions.
    And I realized it because I have AVG Internet Security and it could not install updates to several days.

    None of them solved my problem, but I managed to solve it and I leave here the way I managed to do in case anyone still needs this resolution:

    When I acceded to the properties of the Windows Installer all options found themselves inactive. So I acceded to the Task Manager in Windows and in the Processes tab, I had two running processes with the following names: Windows Installer and Windows Installer (32-bit).

    So I acceded to the quick menu for each of the processes and used the option End Task and then acceded to Windows Installer properties and the same was already stopped and the Start button was no longer idle.Finally open the AVG Internet Security and initiated the search process and installation of updates that was not already run to the window several days due to this problem, and it was implemented normally and successfully.

    I hope it helped you!

    Many thanks to all who were giving suggestions as allowed me to arrive at the solution to my problem.

    Luís Silva

  32. Charles says:

    Thank you, Kayil (and Sheryl of course)! Thanks to your tips, I could finally update my virus scanner again…

  33. John says:

    Thanks Sheryl/James for helping solve this issue in Windows 10! What a joke. How many thousands of hits is this blog entry from 2008 getting because Windows 10 doesn’t work. What a joke. Microsoft are you listening?

  34. Mackarla says:

    Thanks James… Ending the Windows Installer in the task manager worked for me…. FINALLY SUCCESS!!

  35. Josiah says:

    This was my last hope and didn’t turn out too well. I’ve got a laptop i7 Dell 8gb RAM good HDD the user did a repair on Microsoft office pro 2013 due to programs crashing. It didn’t complete successfully and when opened any of the office programs it comes up with a box saying loading your new office products. But sits there for hours and hours. So I used the fixit to completely remove everything and then used this and restarted but still comes up with that error, even tried killing the processes as suggested in some of the comments. Nothing has worked. Fresh download from the web with the product key and it still does that. I think this is an odd one I’ve never had this much trouble with an install. Something in the process obviously has problem that need to be addressed by Microsoft. If you guys have any other ideas I’d love to hear them! Thanks

  36. C Gray says:

    Hey all, to those who are on Windows 10 and try to change the type of the service with it disabled – this is because your system is undergoing an active update by the operating system – if you wait for the update to complete (check settings…update & Security…Windows Update) you will see it is actively downloading/installing. When it is done, you can manually perform your installation. It’s a pain, but I wouldn’t change the start-up type as windows update rely’s on this service.

  37. Valleysboy says:

    Julie Watts says:
    September 24, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I went in to Task Manager and ended the task of Windows Installer & Windows Installer (32 bit). It then allowed me to follow the directions above to stop the running application.

    This did it for me. Well done and thanks Julie

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