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How to Enable .NET Framework 2.0 And 3.5 in Windows 8.1 for Older Programs

.netframework
Brian Burgess
Written by Brian Burgess

In Windows 8.1 the .NET Framework 4.5 is included, but some older programs require a specific version like 2.0 or 3.5. Installing it is easy, here’s how.

aNewDomain.net — If you need to run or install an older program on Windows 8.1 you may experience a hiccup or two. That’s because the latest version of Windows requires previous versions of Microsoft’s .NET Framework. The .NET Framework is not enabled by default in 8.1, but it’s easy to install both versions so you can continue rocking your old software programs on the latest OS.

Windows 8.1 includes .NET Framework 4.5 development platform, but you’ll need to install 3.5 or 2.0 if an older program requires a specific version.

sshot-1 Image credit: Brian Burgess

Enable .Net Framework 2.0 And 3.5

From the Start screen type: windows features and select Turn Windows features on or off.

sshot-6 Image credit: Brian Burgess

The Windows Features screen will come up on the desktop. Tick the box next to .NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0) and click OK.

sshot-4 Image credit: Brian Burgess

Wait while .NET Framework is installed on your system — it only takes a few seconds. Immediately afterward you’ll be prompted to download updates for it.

sshot-5 Image credit: Brian Burgess

That’s it! Now you’ll be able to install and run your older programs.

complete Image credit: Brian Burgess

For aNewDomain.net, I’m Brian Burgess.

Based in Pelican Rapids, MN, Brian Burgess led the relaunch of BYTE with Gina Smith, co-founded aNewDomain.net with Gina, John C. Dvorak and Jerry Pournelle in 2011, and serves as the editor-in-chief of GroovyPost.com. He is the How To gallery captain here at aNewDomain.net. Email him at Brian@aNewDomain.net or Brian@Groovypost.com and find him on Google + and on Twitter as @mysticgeek.

About the author

Brian Burgess

Brian Burgess

Based in rural Minnesota, Brian Burgess was one of the founding editors at aNewDomain and at BYTE.com. He is also the editor of GroovyPost. He specializes in gorgeous tech How To galleries, heavy metal, playing guitar, and watching Star Trek.

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  • http://www.catatanmamas.com Catatan Mamas

    how to install it without online

  • FVChurch Auburn WA

    Thanks worked great :)

  • Broccoli-Senpai

    @Catatan Mamas
    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/2734782

    Method 3 should do the Trick

  • Khalid

    Windows has removed: Turn features on or off. in control panel and search. instead you need to install the .net framework 2.0

  • Marguli

    Thank you man!!, awesome post, simple and effective!!!

  • sam

    thank you!

  • Braheem Hazeem III

    Thanks, saved me a headache trying to use the windows 7 usb creation tool.

  • gaurav singh

    sir, my system can not find the appropriate files to download this file. so that i can not enable .NET 3.5. it says, WINDOW’S COULD NOT COMPLETE THE REQUESTED CHANGES..
    the function attempted to use a name that is reserved to use by another transaction.
    Error code 0x80071A90

    and i am trying on “tell me how to solve this problem” it is not responding.
    what will i do, please solve this issue, can you..?

  • Lumen Poor

    if only it was that simple…

  • Iyiola A Gold

    HELP MY LAPTOP TOLD ME NETWORK 3.5 THAT I INSTAL AND HAVE DONE THAT AND STILL YET HE DIDNT ALLOW ME TO INSTALL PROGRAM

  • Iyiola A Gold

    HELP ME AM BEGGING

  • Iyiola A Gold

    PLEASE SIR

    • http://aNewDomain.net Gina Smith

      Lyiola

      Please contact the author. His name is Brian Burgess and he is awfully nice He is @mysticgeek on Twitter. DM him! gs

  • Iyiola A Gold

    sir, my system can not find the appropriate files to download this file.
    so that i can not enable .NET 3.5. it says, WINDOW’S COULD NOT COMPLETE
    THE REQUESTED CHANGES..
    the function attempted to use a name that is reserved to use by another transaction.
    Error code 0x80071A90

  • Paul Thomas

    Another way of doing it – At an elevated command prompt, run the following command:
    Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFx3 /All /Source::sourcessxs /LimitAccess

  • seb

    Thank you SO MUCH for this, i’ve been trying to download it and install it in many ways and had no luck, this worked like a charm! 😀

  • arsl

    i dont know if it would help people with ” WINDOW’S COULD NOT COMPLETE THE REQUESTED CHANGES..the function attempted to use a name that is reserved to use by another transaction.” OR not but i was having same problem and then i used windows powershell and everything went along.

  • http://zinzinzibidi.com/ zinzinzibidi

    Thank you man. Thank you.

  • Toàn Tam

    thanks man!

  • Honza

    On Windows 10 helps disable feature .NET 4.6, then install 3.5 and then enable .Net 4.6 again