Error reading setup initialization file: How to fix setup file

error reading setup initialization file

Have you encountered a situation where an application will not install? In this article, I will be discussing the possible causes of why an application might not be able to run. Below are some of the possible reasons. Kindly refer to these guides on how to install Windows Package Manager (Winget CLI), how to install, upgrade and uninstall Chocolatey, how to install, upgrade and uninstall software with Chocolatey, GNS3 Setup: Error opening file for writing, and how to install Winget CLI.

Why this error may happen

Upon launching the installation .exe file, the following error message “error reading setup initialization file” appears and this could be due to many reasons. Pay close attention to your environment, most of the issues and solutions reside in it. Do not just go to the internet and search for likely issues as they may break your system even further.

error reading setup initialization file

As discussed, here are the possible causes of these issues. They can even be more but it depends on your environment;

  • This app can’t run on your device check with the software publisher.
  • This app can’t run on your device, check your anti-virus or anti-malware agent as it scans the file during download. most times it will delete this file.
  • Insufficient privileges to install applications.
  • Compatibility issues
  • The download file got corrupted. This can happen, for example, if your internet connection is slow
  • This app can’t run on your device access is denied.

As you can see, I had to run the setup file as an Administrator, yet the error was still present. This means we will be ruling out Insufficient privileges to install applications as a possible cause.

Note: This might be the same for your environment. ensure you are granted sufficient rights to perform your task.

Run as administrator

But none of the following issues described above applied to me. Weird right? This boils down to the reason why I said, there is no one fits all solution when resolving IT issues. Pay strict attention to the program instructions. Below was the reason why the program did not run.


My Solution: The App could not run because I did not follow the instruction guide and I thought I could install the application on the fly. I was supposed to drop some of the DLL files into a specific location which I missed. After placing the files, I was able to run the program.

Other solutions: I will recommend that you check before realizing the fix are as follow.
- Check for insufficient access rights (privileges) needed to install the applications.

Check to see if your Anti-Virus program is blocking or preventing the application from running.
– You may need to temporarily disable the Anti-Virus program. I do not recommend this except you trust the program.
– You can also temporarily excludes the application (software) from the Anti-virus agent. Add the folder or file to exclude.

  1. Open the GUI of your Anti-Virus program (Mine is Norton 360). See this link on Norton that I have written.
  2. Disable the scanning feature that scans the files while they are being downloaded from the internet
Disable the scanning feature

You can also set your internet downloads folder to the Exceptions list in your Anti-Virus program to prevent the scanner to scan files downloaded into that folder.

add downloads folder to exception list
Sometimes the installer package will download successfully without any errors and without receiving any error message that the download was unsuccessful.

- Download the installer package again to a specific location on the machine on your device
- Run the package from the saved location on the machine.

Remember to right-click on the setup and run as an administrator

Note: If this issue persist, you may have to clear the browser cache and download a new copy of the installer file and run it.

I hope you found this blog post on How to application fix error reading setup initialization file helpful. Please let me know in the comment session if you have any questions.

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