How to Fix ‘This operation requires interactive window station’ Error

The error ‘This operation requires interactive window station’ is usually due to the permissions of the drivers directory found in the System32 folder. There have been reports submitted by users which state that they are not able to install or update drivers of their hardware using the Device Manager. This issue has troubled many users as specific hardware is not the cause, but it can occur to anyone with any driver.

This Operation Requires an Interactive Window Station

Some users have reported that they encountered the error while updating their video card driver, while some were presented with the said error during the installation of their mouse driver. Not only that, there have also been reports which state that the issue occurred out of the blue as the drivers were working perfectly fine prior to the error. Nonetheless, you can easily fix this issue by going through the solutions provided down below.

What causes the ‘This Operation Requires Interactive Window Station’ Error on Windows 10?

Well, this message appears while updating or installing a driver on your system. The error is often due to the following factors —

  • Insufficient permissions: In most of the cases, the error is due to the permissions of the Driver and DriverStore directories which are located in the System32 folder.
  • Third-party applications: The issue can also occur due to the interference of the third-party applications installed on your system — mostly the antivirus.

Now, before you jump into the solutions and apply them to your system, please make sure that you are using an administrator account. In the solutions down below, you will have to take ownership of certain directories which require administrative privileges. Also, we recommend implementing the solutions in the same order as given down below to get a quick and smooth resolution. With that said, let us get into the solutions.

Solution 1: Taking Ownership of Driver and DriverStore Directories

Since the error is mostly caused due to the permission restrictions imposed by the driver and driver store directories in the system32 folder, you will have to take the ownership over these files. There are two ways you can do this, modifying the Windows Registry manually or just running a .reg file. If you wish to do so manually by editing the Windows Registry yourself, you can refer to this article published on our site.

However, in case you are not confident and want an alternate solution, you can simply download this .reg file and extract it. After extracting the file, navigate to the extracted folder and run the ‘Add Take Ownership.reg’ file as an administrator.

Take Ownership Registry Files

Once you have done that, just navigate to the C:\Windows\System32\ directory, and locate the drivers and DriverStore folders. Right-click and select Take Ownership. After that, restart your system and try to install/update the driver again.

Solution 2: Performing a System Restore

If the error appears out of the blue, it can be due to any action that you have performed prior to the appearance of the error. In such a case, utilizing the System Restore feature can be really useful. System Restore is a feature that lets you restore your system to a point prior to the error. This usually comes in handy when a specific action of a user has caused an error to occur.

To know how to perform a system restore, please refer to this detailed article on our site.

Solution 3: Turn off Antivirus and Firewall

In some scenarios, the error can be due to your Windows Firewall or the third-party antivirus installed on your system. In such an event, you need to turn off the Windows Firewall and disable your antivirus to check if it fixes the issue.

Turning Off Antivirus

To turn off your Windows Firewall, do the following:

  1. Go to the Start Menu and open up the Control Panel.
  2. Set the View by to Large Icons and then click Windows Defender Firewall.
  3. On the left-hand side, click ‘Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off’.
  4. Make sure the ‘Turn off Windows Defender Firewall’ is checked under both Public and Private settings.
    Turning Off Windows Defender Firewall
  5. Click OK.
  6. Try installing the driver now.

Kevin Arrows

Kevin Arrows is a highly experienced and knowledgeable technology specialist with over a decade of industry experience. He holds a Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (MCTS) certification and has a deep passion for staying up-to-date on the latest tech developments. Kevin has written extensively on a wide range of tech-related topics, showcasing his expertise and knowledge in areas such as software development, cybersecurity, and cloud computing. His contributions to the tech field have been widely recognized and respected by his peers, and he is highly regarded for his ability to explain complex technical concepts in a clear and concise manner.