Windows 8.1 comes with latest version of .NET Framework i.e. 4.5 but, the Windows 8.1 doesn’t come with enabled .NET Framework version 3.0 and 2.0. Some of the desktop utilities still use old 3.0 or 2.0 versions of .NET Framework which can’t work until it is enabled.
Although, whenever the .NET Framework is needed, Windows will ask you to install it from Windows Updates but, it requires internet to be downloaded. Windows 8.1 also asks you to install this feature from Windows Updates but, it fails to download since, the servers are not up yet.
But, the good news is that you can still add .NET Framework 3.0 and 2.0 easily with simple commands without using internet.
Before proceeding to the instructions to enable .NET Framework, you need to fulfill a requirement which has been mentioned below.
- You will need a Windows 8.1 ISO file which you used to install or upgrade Windows 8.1. This ISO file will work as the source of .NET Framework and Windows will install it from that ISO.
Follow the instructions below to enable .NET Framework 3.0 or 2.0 in your Windows 8.1 RTM.
- First of all, we need to mount the ISO file which can be simply done by opening the ISO file by double clicking or tapping it.
- Once opened, you may close that pop-up window. Now, go to ‘This PC’ and note the letter assigned to the Windows mounted drive e.g. My ISO file was assigned ‘I’ but, it may differ from PC to PC.
- Now, when you have noted the letter, open up a text editor like Notepad, Wordpad or Microsoft Word etc and copy & paste the command line from below to your text editor.
dism.exe /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /Source:Z:\sources\sxs /LimitAccess
- Once copied, replace the the ‘Z’ in the command line with the letter which was assigned to your ISO file e.g. I would replace it with ‘I’.
Tip: I have highlighted the letter to be replaced in blue color
Note: Don’t modify the above command line other than the letter otherwise, you may not succeed in enabling .NET Framework
- Assuming you have entered the correct letter in the command, go to Start Screen and type ‘cmd’. Command Prompt will appear in results. Right click it or long tap to bring the context menu. Here select ‘Run as administrator’.
- Windows will ask for the permission to let this program modify your PC. Grant the permission by pressing ‘Yes’.
- Your Command Prompt will open with administrative privileges. Here copy and paste the modified command from your text editor to command prompt.
Note: ‘Ctrl + V’ keyboard shortcut doesn’t work in Command Prompt so, you will have to right click or long tap to get context menu and select ‘paste’ from there
- Once pasted, press ‘Enter’. Windows will start enabling features and once it has reached 100%, you will get the operation completed successfully message. You may close the Command Prompt.
- Your .NET Framework 3.0 and 2.0 have been enabled successfully.
- That’s all!