How to make Windows Installer work in Safe Mode

Windows Installer will not work under Safe Mode, this means that programs cannot be installed or uninstalled in safe mode without giving a specific command using msiexec in command prompt. If you try to uninstall programs in Safe Mode, you may receive the following message:

The Windows Installer Service could not be accessed. This can occur if the Windows Installer is not correctly installed. Contact your support personnel for assistance.

This post will tell you how to make Windows Installer work in Safe Mode.

Make Windows Installer work in Safe Mode

To make windows installer to work under safe mode you need to create a registry entry for every type of safe mode you are login into:

Safe Mode

Type this in a command prompt and hit Enter:

REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Minimal\MSIServer" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"

Then start the Windows Installer service by typing net start msiserver

Safe Mode with Network

Type this in a command prompt and hit Enter:

REG ADD "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\SafeBoot\Network\MSIServer" /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D "Service"

Then start the Windows Installer service by typing net start msiserver.

See this post if your Windows Installer keeps popping up randomly.

How to uninstall programs in Windows Safe Mode easily using Safe MSI, How to directly reboot in Safe Mode and How to boot in Safe Mode in Windows 10 may also interest you! 
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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.


  1. soralols

    wrong syntax please change code

  2. soralols

    REG ADD “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSafeBootNetworkMSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service” THIS IS THE CORRECT CODE GUYS USE THIS

  3. Oops, space in the wrong place. Thanks for pointing it out. Corrected.

  4. Rod

    That and the curly quotes.
    Commands should go in a code block rather than a quote to preserve the syntax. Or you could copy and paste from the post

  5. ndlovut

    You can also add the keys manually, from the registry editor.

  6. Tom S

    net start msiserver

    This service cannot be started in Safe Mode

  7. banbairish

    After listening to the words of a friend , i bought a windows 8.1key,it’s easy to use ,go and see it ,search for it “windows 8.1 key sale” from bing.

  8. Eelco

    Or use REG ADD “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSafeBootMinimalMSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service” if you booted in safe mode without networking

  9. Stuart Conroy

    Thank you, it work for me

  10. Kamodi

    thanks your safe mode with network code helped me start windows installer!

  11. Adele Van Biljon Bronkhorst

    Thank you so much worked, I’ve posted your link on the Command prompt settings on HP. Thank you

  12. linda lella

    Excellent! safe mode with networking code worked for me, wish I had thought to search for this a long time ago. Thank you

  13. Anirban

    How would this work under Windows 10

  14. Ashwani Kumar

    Thanks a lot

  15. Ashwani Kumar

    this one worked

    REG ADD “HKLMSYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlSafeBootNetworkMSIServer” /VE /T REG_SZ /F /D “Service”

  16. Denis

    ERROR: Access is denied.

    What I need to do ? :/

    EDIT: I solved it, I oppened command prompt as administrator and command work but windows installer still not working

  17. Faslane

    Thank you, worked for me like a charm uninstalling crap as I type this….+1

  18. Alex A.

    Hello ! I have windows 10 and opened in safe mode with networking. After entering the code I get : ERROR: The system was unable to find the specified registry key or value.
    Please help…

  19. aamu ranta

    I wish article had an explanations of /ve /t /f and /d

  20. Kai B.

    When I did this and tried to install something I got the error:This installation package could not be opened. Contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer package.

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