Mailbag: What version of the .NET Framework is included in what version of the OS?


Question:

I recently installed Windows Vista.  When I looked in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel, I didn’t see the .NET Framework 2.0 listed.  Therefore I decided to install the .NET Framework 2.0 by downloading it from this location.  However, running that setup displays an error message stating that it cannot be installed because it is already a part of the OS.  Why does this happen?

Answer:

Over the past few months, I’ve received several variations on this question for other operating systems and all of the released versions of the .NET Framework.  When the .NET Framework is installed as a part of the OS, it does not appear in the Programs and Features (or Add/Remove Programs) control panel.  The following is a complete list of which version of the .NET Framework is included in which version of the OS:

  • Windows XP Media Center Edition (Windows XP SP1) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 as an OS component
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition (Windows XP SP2 and higher) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 as an OS component.  On Windows XP Media Center Edition, the only way to get the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 is to install Windows XP SP2 or higher.  There is not a standalone 1.0 SP3 installer for this edition of Windows XP.
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (Windows XP SP1) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 as an OS component
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (Windows XP SP2 and higher) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 as an OS component.  On Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, the only way to get the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 is to install Windows XP SP2 or higher.  There is not a standalone 1.0 SP3 installer for this edition of Windows XP.
  • Windows Server 2003 (all x86 editions) includes the .NET Framework 1.1 as an OS component; 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 do not include a version of the .NET Framework as an OS component
  • Windows Vista (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 as OS components  3.0 can be added or removed via the Programs and Fatures control panel.
  • Windows Vista SP1 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1 as OS components.  3.0 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 SP1 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1 as OS components.  The .NET Framework 3.0 SP1 is not installed by default and must be added via the Programs and Features control panel though.
  • Windows Server 2008 SP2 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 as OS components.  The .NET Framework 3.0 SP2 is not installed by default and must be added via the Programs and Features control panel though.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 3.5.1 as an OS component.  This means you will get the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 plus a few post 3.5 SP1 bug fixes.  3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows 7 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 3.5.1 as an OS component.  This means you will get the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 plus a few post 3.5 SP1 bug fixes.  3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows 8 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.5 as an OS component, and it is installed by default.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.5.1 as an OS component, and it is installed by default.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows Server 2012 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.5 as an OS component, and it is installed by default except in the Server Core configuration.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Server Manager.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.5.1 as an OS component, and it is installed by default except in the Server Core configuration.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Server Manager.
  • Windows 10 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.6 as an OS component, and it is installed by default.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows 10 November 2015 Update (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.6.1 as an OS component, and it is installed by default.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.6.2 as an OS component, and it is installed by default.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.

Note – for the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5, you can see a graphical view of the above information in this blog post.

In addition, the .NET Framework shipped with the following versions of Windows but not as truly integrated OS components:

  • Windows XP Home and Professional SP1 includes the MSI-based .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 in the Additional Components folder on the installation CD.  It is not an OS component on this OS.
  • Windows XP Home and Professional SP2 includes the MSI-based .NET Framework 1.1 + SP1 in the Additional Components folder on the installation CD.  It is not an OS component on this OS.
  • Windows XP Home and Professional SP3 includes the MSI-based .NET Framework 1.1 + SP1 in the Additional Components folder on the installation CD.  It is not an OS component on this OS.
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 includes the MSI-based .NET Framework 2.0.  It appears in Add/Remove Windows Components as an OS component, but selecting it simply invokes the MSI-based installer.  The MSI can be repaired and removed using Add/Remove Programs regardless of whether it is installed via the standalone MSI or via the Add/Remove Windows Components UI.

You can see a table of what version numbers are associated with each version of the .NET Framework in this blog post.

<update date=”3/27/2008″> Added a note that the .NET Framework 1.1 is not included in 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003.  Added information about Windows Server 2008. </update>

<update date=”7/29/2008″> Added a note about Windows XP SP3. </update>

<update date=”8/14/2008″> Added a note about Vista SP1 and the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1 </update>

<update date=”1/12/2009″> Added a note about the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 for Windows XP Media Center and Tablet PC editions. </update>

<update date=”4/1/2009″> Added a note about the .NET Framework versions available on Windows 7 </update>

<update date=”8/26/2009″> Added a note about Windows Server 2008 SP2. </update>

<update date=”8/29/2009″> Added a note about Windows Server 2008 R2. </update>

<update date=”2/5/2010″> Added a link to a blog post with a graphical view of the versions of Windows that include the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5. </update>

<update date=”4/27/2010″> Added a link to a blog post with a list of the exact version numbers for each .NET Framework version and service pack level. </update>

<update date=”9/8/2012″> Added a note about Windows 8. </update>

<update date=”11/18/2013″> Added a note about Windows 8.1. </update>

<update date=”3/5/2014″> Added a note about Windows Server 2012. </update>

<update date=”9/22/2015″> Added a note about Windows 10. </update>

<update date=”9/22/2015″> Added a note about Windows 10 November 2015 Update. </update>

<update date=”11/7/2016″> Added a note about Windows 10 Anniversary Update. </update>

 

Comments (44)

  1. Since the Windows Vista public launch in January 2007, I have been receiving questions about how to repair

  2. As I previously described in this blog post , the MSI-based .NET Framework 2.0 is included as an optional

  3. As I previously described in this blog post , the MSI-based .NET Framework 2.0 is included as an optional

  4. My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it

  5. anony.muos says:

    Hey, I want to know what version of .NET Framework comes with:

    1. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 clean install

    2. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 clean install

  6. Hi Someone – The only version of the .NET Framework that ships as a part of the OS on any version of Windows XP Tablet PC or Media Center Editions is 1.0.  There may also be other pre-installed versions of the .NET Framework that come with a new computer that has one of these OS’s pre-installed, but those other versions will be installed using the MSI-based setup and will appear in Add/Remove Programs.

  7. Correction:  .NET 1.1 is not included in 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003.

  8. Hi Aaron – Correct, thank you for pointing that out.  I will update the text of this blog post to be more specific.

  9. Hey Aaron, any idea of what version of the .NET Framework is included with XP Tablet PC 2005 (w/ SP2), XP Media Center Edition 2005 (w/ SP2), XP Tablet PC Edition (w/ SP3), XP Media Center Edition (w/ SP3), and XP Professional (w/ SP3)? Thanks!

  10. Hi Franklesniak – In Windows XP, the OS service pack level does not affect which version of the .NET Framework ships as an OS component.  The .NET Framework 1.0 is an OS component on all versions of XP Tablet PC Edition and XP Media Center Edition.

    There is not a version of the .NET Framework that ships as an OS component on XP Home or Professional, regardless of service pack level.  The .NET Framework 1.1 and 1.1 SP1 MSI-based installers are included in the value-add folder on Windows XP SP3 like they are on Windows XP SP2.  I’ll update the main post to indicate this as well.

  11. Details about the .NET Framework 2.0 setup packaging Available command line switches for .NET Framework

  12. Aaron, quick comment, I did some testing and I found that XP MCE 2005 and XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (i.e. XP SP2 versions of these OSes) upgrade the service pack level of the .NET Framework 1.0 to SP3. I’m writing a scripted install for every .NET Framework that is designed to work with every OS…so this was pertinent information for me. Can you update this post to read something like the following?:

    Windows XP Media Center Edition (original release / SP1 version) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 as an OS component

    Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (with XP SP2 or SP3) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 as an OS component

    Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (original release / SP1 version) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 as an OS component

    Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (with XP SP2 or SP3) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 as an OS component

    Also, a question for you: Is the only way to upgrade XP MCE / Tablet PC Edition (original release) to have .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 to just install XP SP2 or XP SP3? I did some research and this is what I found, but I was not 100% sure. If you concur with this assessment, it might help others out if a note was made on this as well.

  13. Hi Franklesniak – Thanks for the feedback – I’ll update the table in this blog post with this information.

    My understanding is that the only way to get the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition or Windows XP Media Center Edition is to install XP SP2 or XP SP3.  I don’t know of a standalone installer for the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 on those versions of Windows XP.

  14. A while back, I posted a set of instructions that can be used to try to resolve .NET Framework installation

  15. I often get asked about how to perform silent and unattended installs for various versions of the .NET

  16. Question: I tried to install the .NET Framework 4 beta 1 and Visual Studio 2010 beta 1 on my Windows

  17. andykn says:

    A list of exact version numbers would be useful too, for example whhich one is 2.0.50727 ? Forgive me if I’ve just not looked hard enough.

  18. Hi Andykn – I think the information at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2005/07/12/438245.aspx contains what you’re looking for here.  Can you please take a look and let me know?

  19. Nqzdepofltr says:

    Thanks, this helped!

  20. mvadu says:

    Hi Aaron, any thoughts in Raymonds today's post?

    blogs.msdn.com/…/10149346.aspx

  21. Hi MVadu – I agree with Raymond's comments in that post.  I've seen a lot of setup programs that don't try to do anything to detect the install state of the .NET Framework because they assume that it will be present as a part of the OS, and that isn't something that should be relied on unless you're creating a line of business application that will only be installed in a known, controlled set of machines with known versions of the .NET Framework.

    There is one issue here though – there is not a standalone installer for some versions of the .NET Framework for some versions of Windows.  For example, there is not a .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 installer for Windows Vista – instead you have to install the latest Windows Vista service pack to get 2.0 SP2.  If you are going to redirect your users to a .NET Framework installer as a part of your application's setup, you need to be careful about covering the cases where a standalone .NET Framework installer is not available for some versions of Windows.  I've seen some application installers that point users to the redistributable .NET Framework 2.0 or 3.5 installer on Windows Vista and Windows 7, and that installer will not allow the user to install on some of those versions of Windows.

  22. Ray Go says:

    Aron,

    Is it possible to install VS 2008 (90 day trial) on windows 7 ?

    I un installed .Net 4  and verified 3.5 and 3.5 sp1 successfully .

    I tried installing VS 2008 in both Win 7 enterprise and home premium edition .In both the o/s I got the same error missing NetFX2.0-KB936704-v6000-x86_RTM_en.msu file from bootstrapper directory.

    I do have SQL 2008 installed on my Win 7 enterprise machine. But it shouldn't really matter.

    Is there clean step by step approach

    My friends were able to install VS 2008 on Win XP Pro without any problem.

    Basically I need asp_net compiler to build a web site and make dll and make file, Do you have any other route?

    Ray

  23. Hi Ray Go – Yes, it should be possible to install VS 2008 on Windows 7 – I have it installed on my Windows 7 computer currently.

    The error you are getting sounds like it might be due to a corrupt download of the setup package that you're installing from.  I'd suggest trying to re-download and re-run VS 2008 setup to see if that helps resolve this error.

  24. Ray Go says:

    Aaron,

    Thank You. I downloaded a newer professional edition of VS 2008 and installed in Win 7 and it worked .I need to install on other windows 7 machine also . But I can do it later. Your tip helped.

    Ray

  25. Martin Stoeckli says:

    Thank you for collection this information.

  26. Sharon says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Could you please help me with my issue. I had an application which was developed in .Net framework 2.0 and was working fine with windows XP…Recently when I installed Win7, my application has stopped working..

    Could it be some sort of compatibility issue??

  27. Hi Sharon – Yes, it is possible that you're running into a compatibility issue.  Windows 7 includes the .NET Framework 3.5.1 as a part of the OS, and that includes the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 behind the scenes.  When you've been using your application on Windows XP, did you have the original release of the .NET Framework 2.0 installed, or did you have the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 installed?

    What kind of error do you see when you try to run on Windows 7?  Are you able to debug it to try to narrow it down further?

  28. Sharon says:

    Hi Aaron,

    I am new to this application, so I am not aware that whether we had the original release of the .NET Framework 2.0 installed, or the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 installed!!

    Actually I don't see any error, but it stops working…When I open the application, it starts up, but when I open any task inside it, it closes by itself, without giving any error.

  29. Hi Sharon – In your original comment, I was under the impression that you were the developer of the application.  It sounds like you're a user of the application, not the developer.  In that case, I'd suggest contacting the application's manufacturer to see if they have any known issues on Windows 7 and/or have any patches or new versions available to download.

    When the application starts up and closes by itself, you can usually go to the Application Event Log (by running eventvwr) and looking for warnings and errors to get more details about the cause of the crash.

  30. Susan says:

    Could you tweak this one more time and add specific entries for Server 2012 and 2012 R2?  Thanks in advance and thanks for this blog post.

  31. Hi Susan – I've added entries for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2. Thanks for the suggestion!

  32. Luke Puplett says:

    Just wanted to say thanks for taking the time to keep this up to date.

  33. Domenico says:

    I have installed 50 Windows 2012 R2 Standard edition in the last month and never I saw Net Framework 4.5.1 installed by default.

    it's 4.5 the one which comes with the DVD.

  34. Domenico says:

    Just to clarify my statement above: "it's 4.5 the one which comes with the DVD";

    I based this statement on what the "Add roles and features Wizard" reports.

    If that wizard is incorrect, then I don't know.

    It seems like Microsoft did not provide a easy way to find the .net version from powershell cmdlet, so I can't double check.

    if anyone knows a easy way to double check, please share.

    Domenico.

  35. Hi Domenico – My understanding was that Windows Server 2012 R2 came with the .NET Framework 4.5.1, not 4.5.  However, I don't have that version of Windows installed to confirm that statement at this time.  If you have the time, could you please try to use the sample code listed at blogs.msdn.com/…/9763379.aspx to see what it reports on your WS12 R2 system?

  36. Domenico says:

    sorry,

    I don't have time to learn WIX and compile a program in order to do what Microsoft did not do (provide a built in program to check net framework version).

  37. Hi Domenico – The link I posted previously is C++ sample code that is built into a small .exe.  It doesn't require doing anything with WiX.  If you don't have time to compile and run that .exe, you could alternatively download and run the .NET Framework setup verification tool from blogs.msdn.com/…/8999004.aspx.  It creates a log file in %temp% that lists the versions of the .NET Framework that it thinks are installed on a PC, and it uses code that is nearly identical to the sample code from my previous reply.

  38. Kuprijan says:

    Hello. Could you tell me. Where on disk Windows XP. Installation files Net Framework? I need it to disk.

  39. Hi Kuprijan – If you have a Windows XP installation disc that has SP1, SP2 or SP3 integrated into it, you should see a folder named "Additional Components" on your disc, and the .NET Framework installer is in there.  If you don't have that folder or that isn't the version of the .NET Framework you want, you can download the version(s) you want by using the links listed in step 5 of the blog post at blogs.msdn.com/…/8108332.aspx.

  40. Jamie McGregor says:

    So, if I install Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.1 on Windows 7, I don’t need to install the version 4 and 4.5?
    Thanks for the information.

    1. Hi Jamie McGregor – The .NET Framework 4.6.1 is an in-place upgrade for all versions of the .NET Framework from version 4 through 4.6. You don’t need to install the .NET Framework 4 or 4.5 after installing 4.6.1, and the installers for the .NET Framework 4 and 4.5 won’t allow you to install if 4.6.1 is already present on your PC – they’ll tell you that a newer version is already installed.

  41. PCB says:

    What about XP 64-bit SP1 and XP 64-bit SP2?
    .

    1. Hi PCB – There was not a version of the .NET Framework that shipped as a part of the OS on 64-bit versions of Windows XP.

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