How to Fix Spotify Installation Error Code 53 on Windows?

Spotify is a platform which provides access to over 50 million tracks of every genre. Users can find the right music or podcast by browsing through their favorite artists, albums, radio station or even collections of their friends on their phones, tablets, laptops and more.

Spotify Application Interface

To enjoy Spotify, users must install its application on the platform they are using. Installation problems have been reported several times via community or technical support. One of the most high-end reported error is Error Code 53 with “The installer encountered an unknown error”.

Error Code 53

This error arises when the user tries to install Spotify from the official Spotify website (Web Installation). The user runs the downloaded web installer file named SpotifySetup.exe. This action begins downloading the core installer file (SpWebInst0.exe) and saves it to %AppData%\Spotify by default (since Spotify developers do not allow the application to be installed in the desired user directory). Once the core installer file has been downloaded, SpotifySetup.exe tries to run this file but fails with an error notification (as shown in the picture above). As soon as the user hits OK, the web installer deletes %AppData%\Spotify (which deletes the Spotify folder and hence everything in it).

What Causes Spotify Installation Error Code 53 on Windows?

After reviewing users feedback via community support, we concluded that this error may arise due to many reasons. For example, anything that may cause changes to system folder permissions or it can be any program that asks the user to make changes to the system like antivirus or even Windows Update itself but technically speaking, it is not the case most of the time.

Thus, the utmost cause the error can be one of the two (maybe both):

  • Permission Restrictions: The permissions restrictions and group policies of windows for %AppData% can cause this error since it is a Hidden Folder for run-time data for windows applications and system files. The restrictions may include everything from location permission to read-and-write permission.
  • Out-storage: Having not enough space in the C: drive (which is the default directory for windows operating system) can cause this error.

Let us be honest? Out-storage cannot be the issue you might be facing since hard disk drives are cheap nowadays, but it has been listed down even with least probability. Both issues could be resolved easily if Spotify would enable the user to install its application in the desired location, but since it cannot be the case due to their policy, therefore, solutions with positive feedback have been provided down this thread.

Note: Before proceeding any further, make sure you do not have Spotify pre-installed somehow. Check it beforehand by following:

  1. Click Start and type Control Panel on the search bar.
  2. Click on Control Panel from the results.
    Searching Control Panel
  3. Under Programs and click Uninstall a program.
    Uninstall Programs Navigation
  4. On the top right of the control panel window, type Spotify in the search bar. If you find any results, then deal with it by simply double-clicking on it. If not, then you are good to head towards the solution. (You should not find any result for Spotify as shown in the image)
    Searching for Pre-installed Spotify

Solution 1: Moving the Hidden Roaming Spotify Folder

This is the first recommended method since it has helped a lot of users with error 53 issue. This works for windows 7 to windows 10 pro. It tackles the problem by simply enabling ‘SpoilerSetup.exe’ the permission to make changes in the %AppData% directory. This solution will not cause any effect on system applications and files.

  1. Download the web installer file from the official Spotify website.
  2. Run SpotifySetup.exe normally. The installation will fail with the ‘Error Code 53’ as it has been failing as shown above. That is alright, do not worry. Do not close the launcher yet.
    Downloading Spotify Web Installer
  3. Click Start or Windows button on the keyboard and type ‘show hidden files’ in the search bar.
    Searching Hidden Files Settings
  4. Click on show hidden files from the results. This will open a settings window, scroll down and click on Show Settings in line with Change settings to show hidden and system files.
    Showing Hidden Files Settings
  5. This will open a new window with many options whether to tick/un-tick. Under Hidden files and folders, choose Show hidden files, folders and drives Hit Apply and OK afterward from the same window (It will shut down).
    Showing Hidden Files
  6. Open windows explorer by pressing Windows + E and type the following code in the search bar:

    Locate the folder named Spotify and cut it (Make sure to cut, not paste).

    Cutting Spotify Folder
  7. Now type the following code in the search bar:

    and finally, paste the Spotify folder in here. (In our case, the username is Office)

    Pasting Spotify Folder
  8. Now go back to the launcher with the error, hit Retry and now it should be working. In case, it doesn’t do anything then navigate back to the Spotify folder, open it, Right-click on SpotifyLauncher.exe and click on Run as Administrator. Hit Yes next and it should be working now.

Clarifying something since one in the ten users didn’t find this solution helpful so, in that case, download the full offline Spotify installer. Run it from your download location. The locations for this installation will be the same, just follow the steps given above, same as before.

Solution 2: Moving AppData directory to Program Files directory for Spotify Installation

If the above solution has not worked for you, do not worry. The probable reasoning to this is that the group policy of Windows is preventing ‘SpotifyLauncher.exe’ to make changes. This can be tackled by completely changing the directory control from %AppData% to any other directory such as %ProgramFiles%, as instructed below:

  1. First two steps are the same. Download the Spotify web installer and run. Once you get the error notification, follow the instructions below. Again, don’t close the launcher.
  2. Press Start (Bottom Left Corner) and search cmd.
  3. Run cmd with Admin Privileges (Right Click on it and click on Run as Administrator).
    Searching Command Prompt
  4. Once the command prompt (black screen window) opens, type:
    cmd /k move "%AppData%\Spotify" "%ProgramFiles%" (for 32-bit windows)
    cmd /k move "%AppData%\Spotify" "%ProgramFiles(x86)%" (for 64-bit windows)

    Hit Enter on the keyboard after typing this

    Typing Command in CMD
  5. Check the command prompt window (black screen window) for any errors or warnings. If everything looks good, close the window. Retry the installation from the launcher. It should be working now.

Solution 3: Installing in the Windows Safe Mode

If the problem still exists, the simplest way to get rid of it is by installing it in windows safe mode. Safe mode was made to allow the user to troubleshoot windows to find out what is causing it to not function properly. In our case, we will use its advantage of troubleshooting to install the Spotify application in a safe debugged environment.

  1. Run the windows in safe mode by following our thread and run the Spotify web installation as you have done in the previous methods.
    Safe Mode Selection
  2. After complete installation, restart your computer (following the same procedure) and run it in normal windows mode. Your problem should finally be fixed this way.

Solution 4: Resetting your Windows

If the problem can’t be resolved by any of the above methods (which is very less likely since all the methods have been reported to be working absolutely), it might mean that there is some miscellaneous activity going on in your system which is preventing the installation. Maybe some virus is preventing it, or some pre-installed programs are mingling with your system permissions is causing the problem. Anyhow, this solution will simply fix your problem, but it will cost you reinstalling all your applications. Read our thread for resetting your windows by following simple steps.

Resetting PC

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.