Troubleshooting: Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper has Stopped Working

Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper is a component for Microsoft Office 2013, 2016, and 2019 that is known for running an application designed using the Composite Application Library. The purpose of the latter technology is to simplify the installation process.

However, when launching one or more programs from the Microsoft Office suite, you sometimes get an error indicating that “Microsoft setup boots-trapper has stopped working”. This error can occur on all versions of Windows, such as Windows 7/8, and on other versions of MS Office, such as 2013/2016/2019.

What causes Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper to stop working?

Damaged registry keys or installation files: Another possible scenario for this error to occur is that some registry keys or important files needed during Microsoft Office installation are damaged. In this case, you should consider a Microsoft tool that can handle such scenarios.

Task Scheduler disabled in Registry Editor: Microsoft Office needs the Task Scheduler to schedule certain tasks (usually related to the Update Service). If the Task Scheduler is disabled on your computer, you will get this error message when the Office service cannot access the Task Scheduler. If this scenario applies, you can resolve the problem by re-enabling the task scheduler through the registry editor.

Third-party antivirus software does not allow the installer to communicate with MS servers: Some antivirus packages (McAfee, Avast, and some others) are overly cautious, allowing the Office installer to obtain some necessary components via the Internet. In this case, you can solve the problem by disabling real-time protection or uninstalling the security package completely.

Conflict with some IObit software: Many users report that this problem occurs due to incompatibilities with some IObit software products. The only way to determine the culprit is to systematically uninstall all IObit products until the problem goes away.

Office installation is not compatible with your version of Windows: This can happen if you try to install an older version of Office on Windows 10. In this case, you can get around the problem by opening the main installation executable (setup.exe) in compatibility mode.

How to resolve the “Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper Stopped Working”?

Uninstalling third-party antivirus software

  1. Press the Win key and the R key at the same time to open the launch window.
  2. Type appwiz.cpl in the box, then click OK.
  3. In the Programs and Features window, locate the third-party antivirus program and right-click Uninstall.
  4. Then follow the instructions on the screen to uninstall the software from your computer.
  5. Restart your computer and run the application that caused the Microsoft Setup
  6. Bootstrapper error and check if the error persists.

Open the Setup.exe file in compatibility mode

  1. Open File Explorer and navigate to the Office installation location.
  2. Open the installation folder, right-click the Setup.exe file, and choose to Troubleshoot Compatibility Issues.
  3. In the Eliminate Compatibility Issues window, click Try Recommended Settings.
  4. Click on Test Program and verify that the program opens with no error messages.
  5. If everything is OK, click Next, then select Yes, save these settings for this program.
  6. Open the installer again and complete the installation process.
  7. Restart your computer, open the application that caused the error, and see if the error persists.

Activate the Task Scheduler again with the Registry Editor

  1. Press the Win key and the R key at the same time to open the startup window.
  2. Type Regedit in the box and click OK to open the registry editor.
  3. Go to ComputerHKEY_LOCAL_MACHINECurrentControlSet\ServicesSchedule.
  4. After selecting Schedule, double-click Start in the right pane.
  5. Change the data value to 4 and select Hexadecimal. Click OK to save your changes.
  6. Restart your computer, run the application that caused the error, and check to see if the error has been corrected.

If the task scheduler is disabled in the registry editor, the Microsoft Setup Bootstrapper error also occurs. Therefore, you need to re-enable the task scheduler through the registry editor.

Frequently Asked Questions

Open the installation folder, right-click Setup.exe, and select Fix Compatibility Issues. At the first program compatibility troubleshooting prompt, click Try Recommended Settings. Click Test Program and see if the program opens without any error messages.

A bootstrapper simplifies the installation of the various components needed to run an application. It provides a simple, automated process for finding, downloading, and installing applications and their required components. It also determines whether a component is supported by the operating system.

In the past, we used to use executables that allowed you to install a product with a single click. However, in Office 2019/2013/2016 Microsoft uses bootstrapper technology. Bootstrapper is responsible for initializing an application created using a compound application library.