UPDATE: March 2017: If the easy command line path solution does not solve your issue, check out http://www.urtech.ca/2016/02/solved-how-to-fix-error-2503-2502-on-windows-10-when-installing-software/

I was recently working on a Sophos encryption install on a Surface Pro 3 but was presented with “Error code 2502” followed by “Error code 2503” .  Sophos was not helpful with thisinstallation-error-code-is-2502-2503-internal-error-2503 but I found that the problem is not unusual in Windows 8.1 machines and it has an easy work around.

You need to not use, or to elevate EXPLORER.EXE.  The two easy ways to do this are:

Don’t use Explorer.exe

  1. Click Start and find CMD
  2. Right click on and RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR
  3. Type in the path to your MSI and press enter

Elevate Explorer.exe

  1. Click Start and find CMD
  2. Right click on and RUN AS ADMINISTRATOR
  3. Type TASKMGR
  4. End Task on EXPLORER.EXE
  5. Click FILE, NEW-TASK (RUN)
  6. Enter EXPLORER.EXE
  7. Using COMPUTER or THIS PC, find the program you want to install and double click on it

10 Comments

Albert · January 14, 2021 at 9:30 pm

Worked after using admin cmd just put “C:\”where ever file is located”\name of application
For me it was “C:\Users\nothi\Downloads\ Cloudflare_WARP_Release-x64.msi” It launched and needed no UAC activation afterwards. Easy.

    Ian Matthews · January 19, 2021 at 3:47 pm

    Good to hear Albert!

cyanohydrax · May 22, 2020 at 11:09 am

These 2502 and 2503 errors are because a program needs to install using the temp folders and they do not have permission to do so. I have been doing IT for 35+ years and my son wanted to install Minecraft the Java Edition and didn’t want the Windows 10 version. After all, he paid for it.

These next steps give permissions to the temp folder to fix not having those errors. “Game Over” computer! Hi Score, me, cyanohydrax.

Press the Windows key on the keyboard and while holding that key down, press the letter “R”
The Run command will display
type cmd
Hold the control key + the shift key and while holding both of those keys, use the mouse to click the OK button
Answer Yes if you are prompted with a Yes/No question

copy and paste these commands

takeown /f “%systemroot%\Temp” /R /A /D Y
icacls “%systemroot%\Temp” /inheritance:r /grant:r Users:(OI)(CI)F /T
icacls “%systemroot%\Temp” /inheritance:r /grant:r Everyone:(OI)(CI)F /T
icacls “%systemroot%\Temp” /grant Administrators:F /T
icacls “%systemroot%\Temp” /grant Users:F /T
icacls “%systemroot%\Temp” /grant SYSTEM:F /T
icacls “%systemroot%\Temp” /grant Everyone:F /T

takeown /f “%temp%” /R /A /D Y
icacls “%temp%” /inheritance:r /grant:r Users:(OI)(CI)F /T
icacls “%temp%” /inheritance:r /grant:r Everyone:(OI)(CI)F /T
icacls “%temp%” /grant Administrators:F /T
icacls “%temp%” /grant Users:F /T
icacls “%temp%” /grant SYSTEM:F /T
icacls “%temp%” /grant Everyone:F /T

Done. No reboot necessary.

– cyanohydrax

    qasim A Khawaja · October 9, 2020 at 3:14 pm

    this worked like a charm! thank you so much good sir.

Jose Acosta · February 15, 2019 at 1:00 pm

I was able to install this thru the cmd line as administrator with no problems.

tommy lopez · July 31, 2018 at 1:17 am

This did not work. Any other help would be appreciated.

    Ian Matthews · August 28, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    What happened why you elevated Explorer? What was the specific error?

Tqke0 · November 17, 2017 at 7:44 pm

thank you so much, really helpful

yoav · October 5, 2017 at 6:50 am

thank you so much, really helpful.

Ramona Miller · May 8, 2017 at 4:26 pm

I just performed the “elevate explorer.exe”. I was able to install the program!!! Thank you so much. Microsoft should visit your website, as they offered no viable solution.

Sincerely,
Ramona Miller
Virginia Beach VA

Questions or Comments?