How to fix: Error 2502 and 2503 encountered when installing/uninstalling software on Windows

If you encounter Error 2503 and 2502 when installing/uninstalling software on Windows, then try the following steps. The error message would be something like:
  • The installer has encountered an unexpected error installing this package. This may indicate a problem with this package. The error code is 2503.
  • The installer has encountered an unexpected error installing this package. This may indicate a problem with this package. The error code is 2502.


You can also refer to the post [Fix For] Windows error 2502, 2503 - Unable to install or uninstall software where I shared other ways to fix this issue as found online shared by others in various forums. Some work in some cases, some don't. You may try any of the ways and see which works in your case.

How to fix: Error 2502 and 2503 encountered when installing/uninstalling software on Windows?
Out of the different ways to resolve the 2502 and 2503 errors during installation and uninstall posted in the other post ([Fix For] Windows error 2502, 2503 - Unable to install or uninstall software), the one that resolved the issue in my case is by adding the "current user" in the Windows Temp folder properties in security tab and giving full control to the "current user" To add the "current user" to Windows Temp folder and give full permission to the "current user", do the following:
How to fix: Error 2502 and 2503 encountered when installing/uninstalling software on Windows
Windows > Temp folder > Properties > Security
  • Open Windows Explorer and navigate to C:\Windows\
  • Find "Temp" folder
  • Right-click on "Temp" folder and select "Properties"
  • Click on "Security" tab
  • Under "Group or User name", click "Edit"
  •  Click "Add"
  • At "Enter the object name to select", enter the "current-user" and click "check name"
  • Click OK
  • Under "Group or User name",find the "current user" just added and click to select
  • Allow "Full Control' to the "current user" just added
  • Click OK, Click Apply, Click OK
This worked in my case. I am now able to install and uninstall programs without any errors.

Workaround for Error 2502 and 2503 during uninstall:

If in your case, the above solution does not work during uninstallation of software on Windows Computer, and you have to uninstall a program, then you can use the "MSI" files in C:\Windows\Installer. 

 In this post, I am taking the example of Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 uninstall from Windows 8 computer. After uninstalling Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 from Windows 8, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Native client and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Setup (English) remained in the list of installed programs. These two programs would not uninstall normally from Control Panel. On attempting to uninstall, the above errors was encountered.
uninstall program windows error 2503 sql server



In order to resolve uninstall issues with the error code 2502 and 2503, we will try to uninstall the program by using the "MSI" files in C:\Windows\Installer.
  • Find the .msi file that the program uses for uninstallation
    • Press Windows + R key to open the "Run" command
    • Type in C:\Windows\Installer and press Enter.
    • Windows Explorer window opens the directory C:\Windows\Installer 
    • Right click in a blank space and click View -> Details.
    • Right click anywhere on the column bar and click More…
    • In the list of column choices, select "Subject"
    • Click the Subject column to sort the program names in alphabetical order. Find the program name to uninstall. (In this example I am looking for Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Native client). You can also note the MSI file name when attempting to uninstall from control panel. After clicking uninstall, in the pop up windows, the MSI target file is displayed.

  • Open a command prompt as an administrator
  • Type "cd C:\Windows\Installer" and hit enter
  • The command prompt will now be at "C:\Windows\Installer>" directory
  • Enter the name of the MSI file we found in the previous step and hit enter. Example: 19e139c6.msi

  • The uninstaller will now run and should uninstall successfully. 
As you can see in the screenshot below, when attempting to uninstall the Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2 Native Client from the Control Panel, it was not successful. But following the process as described above using the MSI file, the uninstaller successfully runs and the program was uninstalled successfully.


 [Thanks to fixkb.com for sharing the tip]


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