You’re sitting looking at your computer screen watching the little bar load for what seems like a lifetime as you download a new piece of software.
The little percentage number keeps creeping up more and more.
You’re thinking to yourself.”Come on, come on.”
Then there on your screen staring right back at you an error popup.
“Error 1603: A fatal error occurred during installation.”
Why does something so simple as downloading a new piece of software have to be so difficult?
Well don’t worry! The good news is error code 1603 is easily resolved with some good old-fashioned troubleshooting. Just follow the steps outlined in this guide and you should be up and running in no time.
Before leading you through the admittedly time-consuming process of troubleshooting, it is probably a good idea to examine some of the more easily identifiable sources of this error.
How to Fix Error Code 1603
Common Causes of Error Code 1603
As you may have guessed already, error code 1603 generally just indicates that something has gone wrong during the installation of some software. It is extremely inconvenient and a huge waste of time, which makes it an issue you want to solve as quickly as possible.
So what are some of the most likely reasons that you get a 1603 error?
1.) The file that you are trying to download is encrypted.
It is possible that you may be trying to download a file that has extra layers of security surrounding it. If this is the case, then you can fix the issue fairly easily.
Simply right click the file in question, and select Properties when prompted.
Once in Properties, choose General, and then Advanced.
Finally, undo the selection of the box that reads Encrypt contents to secure data.
(Note that this process is for PCs, and the process for other operating systems will likely vary.)
2.) You do not have all of the correct permissions to download the file to your computer.
This may be because you are on a Guest account or because the Administrator on the computer has blocked certain privileges from your account. Either way, you will likely have to take it up with the System Administrator. If you are the Administrator and are trying to download this file on a different account, then you have to grant full permissions to the other accounts.
You can do this by going to Control Panel (once again, this process is PC-specific) and changing User settings.
3.) You have too many programs are running in the background.
This will prevent your computer from running efficiently, slow down important processes, and interfere with the download operation.
You can fix this by going to the Start menu.
Next type in Services.msc and press Enter.
From there you can just right-click all the processes you want to stop and choose Stop.
If you have examined each of the possible causes above and found that none of them quite suit the nature of your issue, then it is time for some more intensive troubleshooting. Here are a few more reasons you might be getting error code 1603 and a few more things you can try to get rid of it.
1.) Your temporary folders are corrupted.
When Windows goes to install a program, it extracts everything that it needs position a new file onto your computer and stores them in a temporary folder. If the files are corrupted while in the temporary folder, you have to delete all the files that have already been extracted and start the installation over.
To do this, go to My Computer and delete everything you see in the directory labeled C:WindowsTemp.
For more specific directions check out PC World’s How to Clean Your PC’s Temp Folder.
2.) The file configurations in your computer’s registry are broken.
Downloaded files store the configurations that they will need in the future in your computer’s registry. If they become broken or encounter any other issues, the only way to fix it is to install a good registry cleaner and wipe it completely. This will likely involve your computer restarting itself, so ensure that all open files are saved and have backup copies. Also, when looking for a registry cleaner, beware of the enormous amount of spyware that lurks on the internet under the guise of legitimate software. Download your registry cleaner only from a site that you trust or that is well known such as CNET.
3.) A previous installation of the file failed.
Even if the file only partially installed itself, a complete uninstall may be necessary before the error code 1603 window will go away. This will vary by the type of software that you were trying to download.
4.) Your computer is not up to date.
If your computer lacks the most recent updates, that may prevent some files from installing completely or correctly. Check on the manufacturer’s website regularly to make sure that you are not missing anything important.
For a Windows computer check out the Windows support page here for step by step instructions.
For a Mac computer check out apple support here for step by step instructions.
You’re Error Free!
You’ve done it! You fixed the error 1603 code all by yourself! And to think you got so upset over something so simple to fix. But not everyone is as smart as you now, so share the guide with your friends and save them some future frustration. I mean that is if you’re a good friend.