Fix: Windows Encountered a Problem Installing Driver Software

This is an error which appears after your computer tries to install a driver on your PC. The process of driver installation is usually triggered when you plug in a certain device into your computer for the first time and the error has appeared with several devices: iPods, cameras, headsets, etc.

Windows Encountered a Problem Installing Driver Software
Windows Encountered a Problem Installing Driver Software Fix

The path of solving the problem is pretty much similar in all of these scenarios and there are several useful methods you can use to solve the problem. We have created this article in order to help you so make sure you try out these methods!

Solution 1: Run the Troubleshooter from Control Panel

This is probably the easiest way of troubleshooting the problem as it consists of running a troubleshooter which should identify and resolve the problem automatically. This method did help several users but don’t be upset if it doesn’t work out for you as there are other methods as well. It’s definitely worth giving this one a shot!

  1. Start up Control Panel by searching for the utility in the Start button or by clicking the Search button (Cortana) button at the left part of your taskbar (bottom left part of your screen.
  2. You can also use the Windows Key + R key combo where you should type “control.exe” and click Run which will also open Control Panel directly.
Running Control Panel
Running Control Panel
  1. After Control Panel opens, change the view to Category and click on View devices and printers under Hardware and Sound in order open this section. Note that you will have to solve the problem using Control Panel and not Settings on Windows 10.
  2. Under the Devices section, locate the problematic device, left-click on it once, and click the Troubleshoot button at the top menu. If you don’t find your problematic device, click on your computer’s icon.
Troubleshooting a device
Troubleshooting a device
  1. Wait for the troubleshooter to finish trying to detect and solve the problem and follow the instructions on-screen to allow it to fix the problem. Check to see if the “Windows encountered a problem installing the driver software for your device” error still appears.
  2. If you have chosen to troubleshoot your computer in the Step 4, you should see a list of errors after the troubleshooter gathers the data. Choose the problematic device by clicking its radio button and choose Next. Follow the instructions on-screen.

Solution 2: Specify the Path for Driver Installs

This is probably the most popular method used to troubleshoot and solve this problem. This includes manually installing the driver for the device after plugging it in. This can be performed using Device Manager with the device plugged in. This has helped countless users and we highly recommend you don’t skip this method when troubleshooting!

  1. Click the Start menu button at the lower left part of your screen, type in Device Manager, and click its entry from the list of results at the top.
  2. You can also use the Windows Key + R combination by clicking both of these keys simultaneously in order to bring up the Run dialog box. Type in “devmgmt.msc” in the box and click OK.
Running Device Manager
Running Device Manager
  1. Locate the problematic device you want to troubleshoot under the proper menu, right click on in, and select Properties. After the Properties window has opened, navigate to the Driver tab and check for the Update Driver button.
  2. Click on it. From the new window which will appear, choose the “Browse my computer for driver software” option. Navigate to the C:\Windows\WinSxS location on your computer under the “Search for driver software in this location” option.
Changing the driver location folder
Changing the driver location folder
  1. Now your computer will check under this location for driver installation and it should hopefully prevent the ““Windows encountered a problem installing the driver software for your device” error from appearing

Solution 3: Repeat the Process using the Hidden Administrator Account

If the solution above does not help, you can try and use the hidden administrator account to resolve the problem as it will give you more hidden advantages. This profile can be accessed easily and you can login without a password. Try installing the device’s driver this way!

  1. On the login screen of your computer, when the computer boots or after you log out, click on the Power icon and hold the Shift key while clicking restart.
  2. Instead or restarting, a blue screen will appear with a couple of options. Choose Troubleshoot >> Advanced Options >> Command Prompt.
  3. Of course, you can open Command Prompt simply by using the Windows Key + R key combination and typing “cmd” before clicking OK or by searching for it.
Running Command Prompt
Running Command Prompt
  1. Copy and paste the following command in Command Prompt and click Enter. You should be able to see the “The command completed successfully” message in no time.
net user administrator /active:yes
  1. Log into this admin account and wait for a couple of minutes before everything is ready.
  2. Now you can try restarting your computer, logging into the new administrator account without a password and plugging in your device in order to install it.
  3. After you are finished with the hidden administrator account, you can disable it again by opening an administrative command prompt and typing the following command:
net user administrator /active:no

Solution 4: Provide Full Control to TrustedInstaller

The TrustedInstaller account on your computer needs to have full control over the System32 and SysWOW64 folders on your computer and you should definitely provide it. This can be done easily but you will have to repeat the same process for both of these folders!

  1. Open your Libraries entry on your PC or open any folder on your computer and click on This PC option from the left side menu. Double-click to open your Local Disk C: and navigate to the Windows folder inside.
  2. Right-click the System32 folder and choose Properties from the context menu. Navigate to the Security tab and click the Edit button. Make sure you grant administrator permissions if prompted.
System32 Security Properties
System32 Security Properties
  1. Under Group or user names, look for the TrustedInstaller entry. If it’s present in the list, click on it to select it and check the box next to Full control under Permissions for TrustedInstaller.
TrustedInstaller Full control access
TrustedInstaller Full control access
  1. If it’s not present in the list, click the Add button and locate it in order to add it. After that, grant it full control as well. Repeat the exact same process for the SysWOW64 folder in the Windows folder.
  2. Restart your computer in order to apply the changes and check to see if the “Windows encountered a problem installing the driver software for your device” error still appears after you try to install or plug in your device.

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.