If you encounter an NSIS error while attempting to install an app, it can be frustrating and disrupt your computer’s regular functions. If you’re seeking a solution, check out this article on NewsPivot for guidance.

Why the NSIS Error Appears?

Before exploring the reason why the NSIS error occurs, let’s learn what NSIS is first.

NSIS stands for Nullsoft Scriptable Install System and is an open-sourced system for creating Windows installers. Due to its powerful, lightweight and flexible capability, NSIS is widely used. Developers can use this system to create customized installation packages for their software, including options for user input, system checks, and various configuration settings.

In addition, NSIS is designed for the Windows platform, and doesn’t natively support installation on other platforms like Linux or macOS. That’s why you can find the NSIS error on Windows only.

the NSIS error

Because NSIS is the basis of an installer, once the NSIS error occurs, you will not be allowed to install the app for your Windows. How does the NSIS error appear? Here, we’ve summarized several reasons that may cause it to happen.

  • Corrupted installer: If the installer file itself is corrupted, incomplete, or modified, NSIS may encounter errors when you attempt to execute it. The installation package may be damaged because the download source is unreliable or the download process is interrupted.
  • Incomplete download: When the download of the installer is interrupted or not completed conventionally, the installer file may miss some essential components, resulting in NSIS errors.  This can occur due to poor internet connections, network congestion, server-side issues, etc. Then the NSIS error may show “installer integrity check has failed”.
  • Antivirus program or firewall interference: Sometimes, antivirus software or firewall settings can interfere with the execution of NSIS installers, flagging them as potential threats and preventing them from running. You can set up to allow the installer through the firewall to handle this issue.
  • File system issues: Issues with the file system, such as disk errors or insufficient permissions, can also lead to NSIS errors on Windows 11/10. If an installer can’t access or write to certain directories on the system due to file system problems, it may fail to complete the installation process.
  • System configuration: In certain cases, some system configurations or settings may conflict with the NSIS installer. This can include settings related to user privileges, group policies, security restrictions, or environmental variables.
  • Outdated NSIS: Some installers may be created by using an outdated or incompatible NSIS version, which can lead to errors. If an installer is created with an incompatible version of NSIS, it may encounter compatibility issues on your system.

To troubleshoot the NSIS error effectively, you should identify the underlying cause based on the specific error message. As the below image shows, it can be caused by a corrupted installer or an incomplete download.

an NSIS error caused by the incomplete download

How Can I Deal with the NSIS Error?

What can you do when the “error launching installer” issue occurs? Typically, the error message will tell you the possible causes, and you need to find solutions that match the issue. If you’re not sure about the causes, you may try the following methods one by one.

Re-download the Installer

Sometimes, the NSIS error occurs due to temporary network disconnection which may cause the files to be corrupted or the download to be incomplete. In this case, you can re-download the installer.

To avoid downloading a corrupt or incomplete installation package, it is recommended that you download the installer from a trusted source, such as the official website or app store.

Remove Special Characters from the Installation Path

In certain cases, special characters in filenames or directory paths can affect installation processes due to the way software installers are programmed to handle file and directory names.

Certain special characters may be reserved or have special meanings in certain file systems or operating systems. Using these characters in filenames or directory paths can lead to compatibility issues. For example, some programs may not allow Japanese, Chinese or other language words in directory names.

To solve this problem, just change the file directory path where the installation package program is located to English, because English file names rarely cause conflicts. If you do not want to rename the file directory, you can move the installer to another directory path that does not contain special characters.

Run the Installer as an Administrator

It’s possible that insufficient administrator privileges cause the NSIS error on Windows 10 or 11. Some installers need to access system locations, modify system settings, install device drivers, write permissions, etc. Without sufficient permissions, they can not start their installation processes normally.

To fix it, you can run the installer as an administrator.

Step 1: Press Win + E to open File Explorer.

Step 2: Browse to the location of the installer file (usually in Downloads by default), and right-click the installer file.

Step 3: Select Run as administrator and then click Yes in the next pop-up window.

run an installer as an administrator

Check the Windows Installer Service

Windows Installer service handles all the package installation tasks on your computer system. If it’s disabled, you’ll not be allowed to perform an installation. Here is how to check it.

Step 1: Input Services to the search bar and open it.

Step 2: Scroll down and find Windows Installer. This page is sorted in alphabetical order, so you can scroll down to the bottom and start with the letter W to easily find it.

Step 3: Check its status. If it’s not running, right-click it and select Start. Even it’s running, you can choose the Restart option to restart it to ensure it works.

run the Windows Installer service

Run the Installer from Command Prompt

If you just fail to launch the installation package by double-clicking the installer directly, you can try to launch it from Command Prompt. This is another way to launch your apps, but it’s a little bit tricky. Here is the tutorial.

  • Press Win + R to open Run.
  • Input cmd and press Enter on your keyboard to open the Command Prompt window.
  • Press Win + E to open File Explorer and locate the installer. In the Command Prompt window, type the full path to the file directory where the installer is located. Or you can drag the installer into the Command Prompt window, which will add the storage path of the installer automatically.
  • Press Enter after you finish the previous step, then select Yes in the next pop-up window to confirm the installation.

Perform an Antivirus Scan

If the NSIS error occurs frequently, it may be because of malware or viruses. Malware and viruses can infect or corrupt your files. You should run a full scan of your computer with antivirus software. And you can use the built-in antivirus program Windows Defender to do a full scan as if you have not installed any third-party antivirus.

Step 1: Right-click Start and choose Settings.

Step 2: Go to Update & Security > Windows Security and click Virus & threat protection to open Windows Defender.

Step 3: Find and click Scan options, choose Full scan and click Scan now to start scanning your computer.

take a full scan of Windows

Once there are any threats, the antivirus will clear them and protect your computer from risks.

Turn off Your Firewall

As we have mentioned above, the firewall may flag the installer as a threat. You may try to turn off the firewall when you launch the installer and restart it after the installation.

Here’s how to turn off the Firewall in Windows 10:

Step 1: Type Control Panel in the search bar and press Enter to open it.

Step 2: Go to System and Security > Windows Defender Firewall.

Step 3: Click Turn Windows Defender Firewall on or off from the left pane.

Step 4: Tick the Turn off Windows Defender Firewall option for both private and public network settings. Click OK to confirm the changes.

Upgrade Your Windows

The NSIS issue may be caused by incompatibility due to your Windows version being outdated. Generally, Windows will update automatically, but in some cases, Windows’s automatic update may not be implemented, resulting in your version falling behind. At this point, you can choose to manually update your Windows to circumvent the problem.

  1. Press Win + I to open Settings.
  2. Go to Update & Security > Windows Update.
  3. If there are any updates available, click Download to update your Windows. If there is an optional update available, select Download and install.

Bottom Line

The NSIS error is relatively common in daily computer usage. If you are bothered about NSIS issues, it should be helpful after you trying the above methods.

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