A couple of notes about .NET Framework 4.6 setup behaviors


I have gotten a couple of questions from customers recently about the behavior of .NET Framework 4.6 setup, so I wanted to post some additional details about how it behaves behind the scenes.

The .NET Framework 4.6 is an in-place upgrade for all of the following versions of the .NET Framework:

  • .NET Framework 4
  • .NET Framework 4.5
  • .NET Framework 4.5.1
  • .NET Framework 4.5.2

An in-place upgrade means that if you install the .NET Framework 4.6 when any of the above versions of versions of the .NET Framework are installed on your PC, .NET Framework 4.6 setup will upgrade them and you will be left with only the .NET Framework 4.6 installed afterwards.  In addition, any attempts to install older versions of the .NET Framework 4 family when the .NET Framework 4.6 is already present will result in .NET Framework setup blocking you from installing because it detects that a newer version is already installed.

The .NET Framework 4.6 is designed to be compatible with all applications created with any version of the .NET Framework from 4 to 4.6, but there are sometimes application compatibility issues that arise, such as an installer that tells the user that they must install the .NET Framework 4.5 even if the .NET Framework 4.6 is already installed.  In cases like this, you might need to revert back from the .NET Framework 4.6 to an earlier version of the .NET Framework 4 family.  To do that, you must uninstall the .NET Framework 4.6 and then re-install the earlier version of the .NET Framework from the .NET Framework 4 family.

The .NET Framework 4.6 comes installed as a part of the OS on Windows 10, and there is not a way to uninstall it.  If you run into an application compatibility issue with the .NET Framework 4 family on Windows 10, you cannot revert back to an earlier version of the .NET Framework 4 family by using the uninstall and re-install instructions that I listed above like you can on older versions of Windows.  In that scenario, I typically recommend contacting the application manufacturer to see if they have any patches available that will allow their application to install and run with the .NET Framework 4.6 installed.

Comments (49)

  1. Damien says:

    "In that scenario, I typically recommend contacting the application manufacturer to see if they have any patches available that will allow their application to install and run with the .NET Framework 4.6 installed"

    Would that not be the more sensible first step no matter what OS you're working with?

  2. Onurg says:

    Will it come to Windows 7 and above via windows update?

  3. Rob says:

    Since you specifically point out app errors/install errors that arise from detection issues, do you have a guide already created on the proper way to detect a .Net 4.x family installation?

    This MSDN page: msdn.microsoft.com/…/hh925568%28v=vs.110%29.aspx

    lists 2 ways to do this detection.  One for .Net 4.0 and something else for versions 4.5 and greater.  Should app deployers check use methods if their application uses .Net 4.0?

  4. Hi Damien – In my past experience, people tend to think that the .NET Framework is broken when they see error messages like that from an application's installer or if they see .NET Framework code in a call stack for an application crash.

    In general, my recommendation is to contact the application manufacturer if you run into an issue that only occurs for that one application.  If you see a pattern of issues that impacts multiple .NET applications, then I recommend trying to repair/re-install the .NET Framework.

  5. Hi Onurg – I don't know for sure, but since previous versions of the .NET Framework 4 family were made available via Windows Update, I think the same will likely happen for the .NET Framework 4.6 once it ships.

  6. Hi Rob – If you follow the recommendations in the .NET Framework 4 deployment guides, then your installer should report correct results.  For example, if your installer is searching for the .NET Framework 4, the recommendations in the deployment guide will cause it to return True if the .NET Framework 4, 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2, or 4.6 are installed on the PC.

    Here are the deployment guides:

    .NET Framework 4 – msdn.microsoft.com/…/ee942965(v=vs.100).aspx

    .NET Framework 4.5, 4.5.1, 4.5.2 and 4.6 – msdn.microsoft.com/…/ee942965(v=vs.110).aspx

    Also, I posted some sample code that implements the recommendations from the deployment guides.  You can find that at blogs.msdn.com/…/9763379.aspx.

  7. Tudor says:

    The most rational thing from Microsoft would be to keep in place the previous system, where multiple versions of CLR and .NET Framework can be installed side-by-side, instead of trying to force all users to upgrade.. The end result now is that companies are afraid to deploy applications that depend on .NET > 4.5, because the new framework version might not be 100% backwards compatible. Welcome back the new DLL hell 🙂

  8. Kalav says:

    Please help me install .Net framework 4.5 in Windows 10

  9. Hi Kalav – You cannot install the .NET Framework 4.5 on Windows 10 because Windows 10 includes the .NET Framework 4.6 as a part of the OS.  However, there should not be any need to install the .NET Framework 4.5 on Windows 10 because the .NET Framework 4.6 is an in-place replacement for the .NET Framework 4.5, and apps that were built with the .NET Framework 4.5 will run correctly with the .NET Framework 4.6 installed.

  10. Brucejefferson1 says:

    With .Net 4.6 I extracted the executable with 7Zip then From SCCM 2012 using the APPLICATION model I was able to deploy using the msi switch detection for .Net 4.6 = {94A631D5-B30A-3DD8-B65C-1117C09DA73E}. Install switch = msiexec /I "netfx_Full_x64.msi" /q /norestart. Please note that you will have to create 2 collections on for x86 & x64

  11. Hi Brucejefferson1 – Thank you for posting about your experiences deploying the .NET Framework 4.6.  For others who read these comments in the future, I encourage you to review the information in the .NET Framework deployment guides as well.  Here are links:

    .NET Framework 4.6 deployment guide for developers – msdn.microsoft.com/…/ee942965(v=vs.110).aspx

    .NET Framework 4.6 deployment guide for administrators – msdn.microsoft.com/…/ee390831(v=vs.110).aspx

  12. Caleb says:

    I'm not sure if anyone has found a solution for a problem regarding 4.5.2 installed on Windows Embedded POSReady7 x86 and being updated using SCCM 2012 and WSUS. The issue is that software updates for .net 4.5.2 deployed to machines do not EVER install due to class or tag requirements in the patches themselves. You can manually download and install these patches and they work just fine but utilizing Software updates is not working. Running Windows Automatic Updates does not recognize these patches are available either. Please help as this has become a real nuisance in keeping the environment up to date.  

  13. Hi Caleb – I don't have enough expertise configuring updates for Windows Embedded devices to be able to answer this type of question.  I'd suggest posting a question on the Windows Embedded forum at social.technet.microsoft.com/…/home and hopefully someone there can help you solve this problem or provide workarounds for you to try in your environment.

  14. Jerry says:

    Autodesk AutoCAD 2010 gets an error when trying to install (says it needs .NET Framework 3.5). This cannot be turned "on" in the Windows 10 "Turn Windows features on or off" section (Control Panel/Programs/Programs and Features/Turn Windows features on or off). All I ask is Why have this if you can't use it (duh)? Cannot find a solution anywhere. Autodesk will not address this problem in older versions of AutoCAD. Again, Why? Is it that costly (must be) to get patches made? MS should be forced to never release something that interferes with software made to run on previous v's of windows.

  15. Hi Jerry – Normally, you should be able to use the Windows Features control panel (optionalfeatures.exe) to enable the .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 10.  What kind of error did you see when you tried to do that on your PC?

    It might help to try one or more of the following repair steps to see if they will solve the problem you're seeing when trying to enable the .NET Framework 3.5:

    1.  Install the latest Windows updates if you haven't yet.

    2.  Try to run the System Update Readiness Tool from support.microsoft.com/…/947821.

    3.  Try to repair the files that are a part of your OS by using the steps listed at blogs.msdn.com/…/how-to-repair-the-net-framework-2-0-and-3-0-on-windows-vista.aspx.

  16. Jerry says:

    Aaron, I get error code 0x800F081F. It wants to get files from windows update and when clicking the link to get them, the error code is displayed. MS windows help tech's don't have an answer either. Autodesk and MS need to step up to the plate. Until then, I have to use a Vista machine to use my cad program. btw been through all the repair options (update/windows etc.)

  17. Hi Jerry – That error code means the source for a package or file is not found (CBS_E_SOURCE_MISSING).  Here are the steps that I suggest for this type of error:

    1.  Install the latest Windows service pack and updates if you haven't yet.

    2.  Try to run the System Update Readiness Tool from support.microsoft.com/…/947821.

    3.  Try to repair the files that are a part of your OS by using the steps listed at blogs.msdn.com/…/how-to-repair-the-net-framework-2-0-and-3-0-on-windows-vista.aspx.

    If none of the above help, you might need to repair/re-install Windows to fix this type of error.  It might also help to post a question on one of the Windows forums at answers.microsoft.com/…/windows to see if someone there has any additional suggestions for you to try before you resort to re-installing Windows.

  18. shihab says:

    hi

    in windows 7 32 bit os .net framework 4.6 installation is blocking

    can i get a solution.

  19. Hi shihab – The .NET Framework 4.6 download page at http://www.microsoft.com/…/details.aspx lists Windows 7 SP1 (x86 and x64) as supported operating systems, so I'm not sure why you're seeing setup block you from installing.  Can you please use the tool described at blogs.msdn.com/…/6458047.aspx to collect all of your setup log files, upload the file named %temp%vslogs.cab that this tool will create to a file server (such as http://onedrive.live.com), and then reply back here and provide a link that I can use to download your log files and take a closer look?

  20. Dougal Scott says:

    Turns out 4.6.1 not quite as compatible as advertised. After updating to 4.6.1 from 4.5.2, an important application broke, with GUI corruption (missing elements and icons), and exception errors. After uninstalling 4.6.1 and reinstalling 4.5.2 the application worked again.

    Hope this saves someone else some time and frustration tracking down the cause (I should have checked the update list earlier in my troubleshooting, but not an often used app, and couldn't remember when it last worked to identify what installed that may have broken it).

    Cheers

  21. Hi Dougal Scott – I'm sorry to hear that you had this experience with this application.  The .NET Framework 4 family is compatible in most cases, but there are a few instances where breaking changes were unavoidable unfortunately.

  22. Chris says:

    I installed the 4.6 and it broke my VS2013 install…
    No way i install it again until i see a definitive statement that it won’t break it again

    1. Hi Chris – I’m sorry for this experience that you’ve had with the .NET Framework 4.6 and Visual Studio 2013. What exact problems were you seeing in VS 2013 after you installed the .NET Framework 4.6?

  23. Someone should tell AMD’s Catalyst Control Center about that block because I had 4.6.1 on 64-bit Win7 Pro SP1, and when I loaded CCC Installer not only did the installer not recognize 4.6.1, it insisted on and successfully installed 4.5. 4.6.1 was apparently removed. The unselect was grayed out in CCC. So I could either just install the driver or let it do its full package thing. Since I had an image backup I gave it a shot and then later upgraded to 4.6.1. But irritating AMD, irritating.

  24. Hi Aaron, need I select “.NET Extensibility 4.5” and “ASP.NET 4.5” on windows server 2012 r2 server manager after install .net 4.6.1?

    1. Hi Michael Shang – If you plan to use those features, you will need to select them in Server Manager. If you don’t, then there shouldn’t be any need to select them.

  25. Kenny says:

    sir i need help,my net framework is 4.6 advanced,but somehow i cant install stuff that ask for 2.0,i follow a site that ask me enable the 3.5 one,when i enabled it,it stucked on searching required files…any tips or solution ? sry for bad english

    1. Hi Kenny – Unfortunately, I don’t have expertise troubleshooting issues when trying to enable the version of the .NET Framework 3.5 that ships as an optional OS component. I’d recommend going to http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows and posting a question on the forum that matches the version of Windows that you have on your PC, and hopefully someone there will be able to help further.

  26. MBicksMN says:

    I am running Win 10 Pro 64 and despite your claims of compatibility, the manufacturer of my software told me “.NET 4.6 is the kiss of death” for their latest version. And this is in a part of the program based on the Microsoft Business Intelligence Studio! I provide training on this software to their customers, and now it doesn’t work for me. I need a fix. There are problems/complaints posted all over the various Windows forums about this. Certainly MS has been doing something to remedy this situation?

    1. Hi MBicksMN – I’m not sure what exact problems the application you’re trying to use is facing that caused them to label the .NET Framework 4.6 as the kiss of death from a compatibility perspective. Do you have any more specific details about this scenario that you can share or links to other forum posts?

  27. John says:

    Uh hey I need help, I tried the offline installer on my Windows 7 sp1 X64 and it said netfx_full_X64.msi couldn’t be verified, any help on how to fix that?

    1. Hi john – Can you please use the tool described at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2007/11/21/6458047.aspx to collect all of your setup log files, upload the file named %temp%\vslogs.cab that this tool will create to a file server (such as http://onedrive.live.com), and then reply back here and provide a link that I can use to download your log files and take a closer look?

  28. Kajal Biswas says:

    Hi Aaron,

    Is .Net 4.6 support for Windows Server 2011? The system requirement link for .Net does not say so. But it say 4.6 is supposed on Windows Server 2008. Can you please answer my query? When I try to install it on a Windows Server 2011 box the installation fails.

    Thanks,
    Kajal

    1. Hi Kajal Biswas – Do you mean Windows Home Server 2011, or Windows Server 2012?

      Can you please use the tool described at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2007/11/21/6458047.aspx to collect all of your setup log files, upload the file named %temp%\vslogs.cab that this tool will create to a file server (such as http://onedrive.live.com), and then reply back here and provide a link that I can use to download your log files and take a closer look and see if I can figure out why .NET Framework setup is failing in your scenario?

      1. Kajal Biswas says:

        Hi Aaron,
        When I installed SP1 on Windows 2011, .net 4.6 installation was fine.

        Thanks,
        Kajal

  29. Gabriel Iliadis says:

    When I run Win7 update I get error Code66A (cannot update .NET 3.5.1, 4.5.2, 4.6, etc. The .Net version I have installed is 4.6.1. When I try to repair or remove .NET I get that it cannot find file netfx_Full_x64.msi I have run the setup log files, where do I upload the .zip file?

      1. Hi Gabriel Iliadis – Sorry for the delay, I’ve been catching up on a backlog of items from over the holidays and just got to this. I tried to access your log, but it said that I needed approval from you. I clicked the button to send you a request, so hopefully you’ll get it.

        In the meantime, for that error finding the file netfx_full_x64.msi, I’d recommend trying the .NET Framework Repair Tool to see if it helps solve this issue. You can find more information about that tool at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/2698555.

  30. Rick Holcomb says:

    I wish someone would coordinate with Quicken.  They do not appear to be in any urgency to provide a patch for Quicken 2017.

    1. Hi Rick Holcomb – What exact issues are you seeing with Quicken 2017?

      1. Ron says:

        Aaron:
        Having same issue with installing Turbo Tax 2016 on Windows 10 machine. Installation fails when it tries to fix .net framework 4.5.2 issues. Have .net framework 4.6 advanced services installed. Trying to get in contact with Intuit to see they can fix it…..will advise on results.

  31. Hello Aaron,

    I have a strange problem with .NET 4.6.2 and WIndows 7 Ultimate SP1. Somehow my .NET applications stopped working and I tried to install .NET 4.6.2 but to no avail. The installer stops with a “serious error” and the log states “Returning IDOK. INSTALLMESSAGE_ERROR [Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5 is already a part of this operating system, but it is currently turned off. To enable the .NET Framework 4.5, use Turn Windows features on or off in Control Panel.]”

    In control panel I can only disable .NET 3.5 which I already tried. I also tried the cleanup tool, the verify tool and the repair tool but I alsways get the error message stated above. Installations of any .NET dependant software also fails.

    Do you have any suggestions besides doing a full reinstall of Windows 7? (system is working fine except the .NET issue)

    Thank you in advance!

    1. Just tried to install .NET 4.5 R2 which also fails. It tells me that 4.5 ist already part of my operating system and that I should enable it in programs and features. There seems to be a problem that all the installers think I’m using an operating system with 4.5 built in, but in Windows 7 only 3.5 ist built in…

    2. Resolved the issue by doing an inplace update.

      1. Hi Frank Wassermann – Only the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 are included as a part of the OS on Windows 7. I’m glad to hear that an in-place update solved that issue, but I’m sorry for the hassles and lost time that it caused for you. I don’t know how to explain why the .NET Framework 4.5 or 4.6.2 was behaving that way in the first place on your Windows 7 PC though.

  32. Peter P Caudill says:

    Cannot load Turbo Tax 2016 due to MS.NET Framework 4.6 interface issues; can someone help me

    1. Hi Peter P Caudill – What is the exact error message you are seeing, and does it appear when you try to install TurboTax or when you try to run it after installation is complete?

      If you haven’t yet, I’d also recommend installing the .NET Framework 4.6.2 to see if that helps. You can download it from https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/details.aspx?id=53344.

  33. Andy says:

    Thanks – still find this a useful read.

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