How to fix the error “Something has happened and we could not install a feature”

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Sometimes when you go about your business you may see an error popping up out of nowhere that says “Something has happened, and we couldn’t install a feature.” It may cause you to wonder what feature you tried to install in the first place and why it failed.

Fortunately, it’s not you, it’s Windows. This pop-up is a common problem, and a pesky problem because it keeps popping up frequently. This is usually (but not always) the result of a compatibility issue with something you have installed or a problem with your driver. Fortunately, there are a few quick fixes that you can try to get rid of this pain.

1. Temporarily disable your antivirus program

If your antivirus program perceives something as dangerous, it will prevent it from installing. Disabling Windows Defender or your antivirus program, however, leaves your computer vulnerable to threats, so be sure to re-enable real-time protection once you have reason to believe the error is gone for good. That said, there are valid reasons for leaving Windows Defender disabled.

Related: Reasons Why You Should Disable Windows Defender

You’ll need to turn off Windows Defender’s real-time protection (assuming that’s what you’re using) from the Settings app.

  1. To research Windows Security in the Start menu and launch the application.

  2. Click on Protection against viruses and threats > Manage settings.

  3. To fall over Real-time protection disabled.

    Windows Defender real-time protection

If you are using a third-party antivirus program, turn off real-time protection or uninstall the program completely.

If the error does not go away, try the following fix.

2. Storage issues

If your disk is running low on storage space, you may get the error “Something has happened and we could not install a feature”. This is because Windows updates will not have room to install new updates.

To check if you have run out of disk space, search for “storage room“in the start menu and launch Storage settings. You will see how much disk space you have on your main drive in the window that opens.

Windows storage capacity settings

If you are indeed running out of space, all you have to do is free up some space.

Check essential services

Check if a few essential services are running on your PC. If they are disabled or not working, you will need to resolve this issue.

hurry Win + R, type services.msc, and press Enter to launch the Services console. Look for the following services:

  • Windows Update

  • Background intelligent transfer service

  • TCP / IP NetBIOS Help

  • Server

  • Workplace

  • IKE and AuthIP IPsec input modules

Double-click on each of these services one by one to check their Start type. The startup type for all services should be Automatique. If it is something else, replace it with Automatique and press Okay to save changes and exit. Restart your computer and see if the error persists.

3. Delete the SoftwareDistribution folder

The SoftwareDistribution folder is used by Windows Update to temporarily store files when it performs an update. If possible, it is best to leave this folder alone.

However, when you need to fix something, you can just go ahead and delete the folder. Windows will download all the files it needs again, if necessary, and recreate the folder.

To delete the SoftwareDistribution folder:

  1. hurry Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch the command prompt as administrator.

  2. Run the following command:

    net stop wuauserv
  3. Minimize the Command Prompt window (don’t exit just yet) and navigate to C: / Windows / SoftwareDistribution.

  4. Delete the contents of this folder.

  5. Go to the Command Prompt window again and run the following command:

    net start wuauserv
  6. To research Windows Update in the Start menu and open Windows update settings.

  7. Click on Check for updates and install any updates that are due.

If the problem persists, try the next fix.

4. Change the system default language

The message “Something has happened and we were unable to install a feature” may also appear after installing a different language pack. Changing the default language to English (United States) could possibly resolve the issue.

To change your system’s default language:

  1. hurry Win + I to launch the Settings app.

  2. Click on Time and language and select Tongue of the left pane.

  3. Change the Windows display language into English (United States).

Windows default language

Hope this will solve the problem.

5. Change the regional settings of the system

System locale is a language that your system uses to display text on applications that do not support Unicode. If the language is not set to US English, it could potentially interfere with the installation of a feature.

To change the system locale:

  1. hurry Win + R, type control, and press Enter to launch the Control Panel.

  2. Click on Clock and region > Region.

  3. This should open the region’s properties window. Switch to the Administrative tab and click Change the system locale.

  4. If the Current system locale is set to something other than United States English), select United States English) from the drop-down list.

  5. hurry Okay to save changes and exit.

change system locale

Restart your PC and install updates, if applicable.

6. Check the position of the taskbar

As absurd as it sounds, sometimes if your taskbar isn’t positioned at the bottom of your desk, it can be a problem. If none of the fixes have worked for you so far, this one just might. Fortunately, repositioning the taskbar is a 10-second task.

Right click on your taskbar and select Taskbar settings. In the taskbar settings window, scroll down and find the Location of the taskbar on the screen option, and replace it with low.

taskbar position settings

Can Windows install the feature now?

Hope this helped you solve the problem and your system is not popping up every two minutes telling you “something has happened”. If not, consider resetting your Windows 10 to the factory. You will not lose your data, but all your settings will revert to the default values. if you miss something, a reset will likely fix that.

If you think this is a weird mistake, you’ll understand that it could have been a lot worse. Some Windows errors can be downright ridiculous.


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