How to fix the “Windows encountered a problem installing the driver software” error

Sometime during driver installation for a device or when connecting external USB devices to a computer running Windows 10/8/7 you may get an error with the message: Installation of this device is forbidden by system policy, contact your system administrator.  

In today’s guide, we will explain, why you get this message in the window «Windows encountered a problem installing the driver software for your device» and how to fix the error that occurs during driver installation by changing settings in the group policy editor. Similar errors may occur on your computer not only during driver installation – it may also happen when you are trying to install a program or updates. 

The root of the problem is hidden in a strict system policy set by the administrator(s). Sometimes it is done on purpose (for instance, the company does not want employees to use their own devices at work), sometimes it is occasional (set by the user without proper knowledge), and sometimes Windows has default settings that prevent automatic driver updates with third-party programs restricted by system policies. No matter what causes the error, you can fix it easily if you have access to an administrator account on this computer.

How to remove all device installation restrictions via the group policy editor

This method will work just fine, if you have Windows 10, Windows 8.1, or Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise or Ultimate.

1.    Press Win+R on your keyboard and type gpedit.msc in the window that will appear. Press OK.

2.    It will open the Local Group Policy Editor. You need to go to «Computer Configuration» – «Administrative Templates» – «System» – «Device Installation» – «Device Installation Restrictions» and look for «Prevent installation of devices not described by other policy settings» and «Prevent installation of removable devices».

3.    They must be in the enabled state, which causes the error with device installation. Click each parameter and switch it to «Not Configured» as shown on the screenshot below.

Now you can close the local group policy editor and try to install the drivers you need. You should not get any system errors this time.

How to disable system policy that prevents driver installation using the Registry editor

If you are using Windows Home edition or you just feel more comfortable working with the Registry editor than with the group policy editor, then this method is for you. Just follow these simple instructions:

1.    Press Win+R, type regedit in the small window to appear and hit Enter.

2.    When in the Registry editor, go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Policies\Microsoft\Windows\DeviceInstall\Restrictions

3.    On the right side, you will see a few parameters. Delete them as they are in charge of blocking device installation.

After doing that, you don’t even need to reboot your computer – all changes are applied instantly, and you can proceed to install your drivers without errors.