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How To Enable .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.5 in Windows 10 and 8.1

While using Windows 8, I’ve found that a lot of older programs won’t install or run correctly because they require previous versions of .NET Framework. Here’s how to enable support for those versions of .NET Framework.

Error Message

Some programs will want to download an older version of .NET Framework, but this doesn’t work. You still need to enable it.

Install .NET

From the Windows 8 desktop, open the power user menu and select Control Panel.
Control Panel Power User menu

From the Control Panel, click Programs and Features.
Programs and Features

When the Programs and Features window comes up, click Turn Windows Features On or Off.

Run Windows Features On

Then check .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) and click OK.

Windows Features

Next you’ll need to download files from Windows Update.

Download Updates

Wait while the previous versions of .NET Framework are downloaded and installed.

requied Files

A restart might be required. I enabled previous versions of .NET on three different Windows 8 systems and my 32 bit version needed to be restarted.

Restart

Now you can start using the programs that require the old versions of .NET Framework.

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28 Responses to How To Enable .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.5 in Windows 10 and 8.1

  1. 超 洪 August 1, 2012 at 10:02 pm #

    Why I install .net3.5 manual failed ? I download the .netframework 3.5 and copy to windows 8. I run the .net3.5 installation package. it also popup notice. But I want to install .net3.5 not require the network. any body gives some suggest?

    • Brian Burgess August 2, 2012 at 3:04 am #

      Some programs will want to download an older version of .NET Framework, but this doesn’t work. You still need to enable it. So, you need to go through the process shown in this article to enable support for previous versions of .NET

  2. Luriflax January 9, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Thanks, but… an application I’m trying to install requires .NET 2.0, and it won’t recognize the 3.5 with 2.0 included, it must have the standalone .NET 2.0 and nothing else. Now, when trying to install 2.0 standalone, it fails…. guess I’m outta luck.

  3. kaybabs February 21, 2013 at 10:11 am #

    you too much. kudos

  4. MUBEEN March 3, 2013 at 6:30 am #

    i have downloaded .netframe work 3.5 but it was not installing even i enabled it in control panel
    do u have any suggesstions please mail me

  5. Brian Burgess March 3, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    @MUBEEN If you enable it with the instructions in this article, you don’t need to download and install it separately. Is that what you’re trying to do?

  6. Belel April 3, 2013 at 4:54 am #

    @Brain i tried the above procedures but its not working and its given me error code, am confused.

  7. Belel April 3, 2013 at 4:57 am #

    @Brain i tried the above procedures but its not working and its gives me error code, am confused.

  8. UNIX May 7, 2013 at 10:41 am #

    thnx dude….it worked just fine 🙂

  9. yaqob November 24, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    thank you for your guid

  10. leri January 17, 2014 at 1:16 pm #

    thnx

  11. Bogdan September 23, 2014 at 12:22 am #

    Thank you very much for this guide.

  12. Clement January 17, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    how to upgrade window8 any one help

  13. Ranjeet February 15, 2015 at 11:10 am #

    hey
    thanks for sharing

  14. Chand February 15, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    It’s really very nice post!

  15. Billy March 20, 2015 at 9:06 am #

    Thanks Mate,
    Very helpful!

  16. Mir Qasim April 15, 2015 at 6:20 am #

    Thnx Dude It Workx Thnx Again & Again

  17. Bittas February 5, 2016 at 5:42 pm #

    I download a 198mb installer from Windows site, but still I can’t install it

  18. SirTimbit March 15, 2016 at 10:03 am #

    Sometimes this method doesn’t work with Windows 10. You may get an error that it can’t download the files. “Error 0x800F081F”
    In that case you can still install .Net 2.x/3.x from your Win10 CD/ISO.
    Go to a command prompt (with admin privs) and type the following:

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

    where source:D refers to the drive letter of your Windows source media/CD.

    • pierre August 4, 2016 at 9:26 am #

      that worked for me on a Surface pro 4.

      Thank you for the post.

    • dlatson December 1, 2016 at 7:29 pm #

      Yes sir, thank you! worked great for me as I have been trying to install certain programs but the .net frame down load would always fail and error.

  19. mk August 23, 2016 at 6:09 am #

    how big is this this files

  20. Alfred August 27, 2016 at 5:58 am #

    my network frame 3.5 is not working on my computer and it always gives me errors Error code: 0x800F081F

  21. Oka bRionZ August 27, 2016 at 9:31 am #

    download the files. “Error 0x800F081F”
    In that case you can still install .Net 2.x/3.x from your Win10 CD/ISO.
    Go to a command prompt (with admin privs) and type the following:

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

    I used these methods to fix, it still not installing on my laptop

  22. Don Schiff October 7, 2016 at 8:15 am #

    This worked. Thank you.

  23. MIke October 14, 2016 at 9:57 am #

    And what if you don’t have a source CD/ISO? I get the same error code as the process above goes out to the internet to get some files. It says it has no internet access, but that is not true.

  24. Danny November 21, 2016 at 9:59 am #

    i am running windows 10..a program requires netframework 3.5..i have the latest version..if i dowmload and install 3.5 will it mess up myh computer? Thanks

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