NET Framework Enable in Windows 10

Install .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 in Windows 10 & W11

If you are running some older software applications on Windows 10, you may be prompted to “Download & Install .NET Framework”.

Some software programs might insist that a particular version of .NET Framework is installed.

However, when you attempt to download and install the older .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 versions, Windows cannot install because a “newer version is already installed”.

In this article we will cover the instructions to enable the older legacy versions.

What Is .NET Framework?

Think of .NET Framework as a computer language translator. Applications that have been written in different coding methods are handled by .NET Framework to turn it into a “machine code” that the computer can understand. The correct term is Common Language Runtime (CLR). It is a background engine that handles a huge list of essential processes that software programs require to run.

Instructions To Enable .NET Framework Older Versions

Download & Run .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 & 3.5 on Windows 10

  1. Open Windows Features

    In the search bar, type windows features. (Make sure that you are connected to the internet before proceeding).

    Open Windows Features

  2. Enable .NET Framework 3.5

    Version 3.5 includes 2.0 & 3.0. Select the main box to ensure that there is a black box in there.

    Windows Features NET Framework

  3. Follow Onscreen Instructions & Reboot

    By selecting this box, Windows will download any missing or required files from the Windows Update servers. Simply follow the on-screen instructions and reboot on completion.

    Windows Features on and off

Do not worry about the Windows Communication Foundation or ASP.NET 4.8 boxes. As long as the main 2 boxes are selected (as pictured above), you have enabled the legacy versions of the framework. (Changes will not take effect until after you have rebooted the computer).

If Problems Occur

If you find that the box is already selected, un-select it and try again.

If Windows is unable to download required files, check your computer is up to date and run the Windows Update Troubleshooter by going to Start / Settings / Update & Security / Troubleshoot.

Install Offline (Advanced Users)

If your system is offline, you will need to have your Windows installation media (USB or DVD). The required files are all on there.

The path to the Net Framework folder is \sources\sxs\microsoft-windows-netfx3-ondemand-package~31bf3856ad364e35~amd64~~.cab

Running Windows Powershell or Command Prompt (as Admin), the following code should be entered to manually install this feature offline straight from your installation media:

Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /All /Source:E:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess

Change the letter E to the letter of the path to your drive.

Install NET Framework with Command Prompt or Powershell

The Video Version Of These Instructions

This video is part of a series that we are compiling for YouTube called “Straight to the Point Tutorials”. “How to” instructions – without all the faff!

Click here to visit the Computroon channel over on YouTube.