How to install .NET Framework version 3.5 on Windows 10

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As a Windows user, you have probably encountered the words “.NET Framework” at least once. It is a software framework developed by Microsoft that allows you to create and run C #, C ++, F #, and Visual Basic programs. The latest version of .NET is 4.8, but your computer may need an older version of .NET (such as .NET 3.5) to run some applications.

Fortunately, installing .NET version 3.5 is fairly straightforward. So let’s see how to check if .NET 3.5 is already installed on your PC and what to do if it is not.

Is .NET Framework 3.5 installed on your PC?

Before you start installing .NET 3.5, it is a good idea to check if you have already installed it in the past:

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

  2. Click on Programs > Programs and Features.

  3. In the left pane, select Enable or disable Windows features.

  4. You will see .NET 3.5 at the top of the Windows features list. If the box next to .NET 3.5 is shaded black, it is installed.

Windows dotnet 3.5 feature list

Notice how there is a hook that says this version includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0. This means that when you install the .NET Framework 3.5, you will also be able to run any applications that require .NET 2.0 and 3.0.

If the box next to .NET Framework 3.5 is not shaded in black, it means that it is not installed on your computer. As such, you can then use one of the following three methods to install it on your system.

Install .NET 3.5 from Windows Features

If you followed the steps above to determine if your PC has .NET 3.5, just follow the steps in the previous section to get to Windows features.

All you need to do is select the box next to .NET Framework 3.5 and press Okay to exit the window. Windows will immediately begin installing the .NET Framework 3.5, but you will need to restart your PC to complete the installation.

If you don’t have internet connection on your PC, you can use Windows DVD or bootable flash drive to install .NET 3.5. It’s pretty straightforward and doesn’t take a lot of time, as long as you have the Windows installation media.

  1. Insert the installation media into your PC and look at the drive letter assigned to it,

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

  3. Run the following command:

    Dism /online /enable-feature /featurename:NetFX3 /All /Source:G:sourcessxs /LimitAccess

    It is assumed that your installation media is assigned the drive letter G. Replace the G with the letter assigned to the drive on your system.

    dotnet installation using cmd

  4. The installation will take a few minutes. Once done, restart your PC.

Install .NET Framework Using Offline Installer

If you want to do a direct download, Microsoft offers an offline installer for previous versions of the .NET framework on its dotnet website. However, before you venture out and download any of the files, be sure to download a supported version of .NET.

Fortunately, Microsoft makes it easy to download a supported version. When you go to the download page, the website automatically expands the list of supported versions and hides unsupported versions. And you will find .NET 3.5 listed as the supported version as shown below.

supported and unsupported dotnet versions

Downloading a supported version is important because Microsoft has set “end of support” dates for its software, after which the software giant will stop releasing updates for it. Fortunately, at the time of writing this article, the .NET 3.5 expiration date is set for October 10, 2028, so you have plenty of time to use it.

Once you have downloaded the offline installer for your chosen version, you are ready to begin the installation. In most cases, your installation should be smooth. Sometimes, however, the offline installer just doesn’t want to play ball.

Install .NET Framework Using Command Prompt or PowerShell

If you like to get things done quickly, you can use Command Prompt or PowerShell to download and install .NET Framework 3.5 with a single command. Here’s how to do it:

  1. hurry Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch an elevated command prompt. If you want to use PowerShell, type powershell in the place of cmd.

  2. Run one of the following commands depending on whether you are using the Command Prompt or PowerShell: Command Prompt:

    Dism /online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:"NetFx3"

    PowerShell:

    Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName "NetFx3"
  3. This will trigger the installation. After the installation process is complete, you can exit from Command Prompt or PowerShell.

Confirm the successful installation of .NET Framework 3.5

After you install the .NET Framework, you can verify that the installation was successful by running a command at an elevated command prompt.

  1. hurry Win + R, type cmd, and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to launch an elevated command prompt.

  2. Run the following command:

    reg query "HKLMSOFTWAREMicrosoftNet Framework SetupNDP" /s
  3. You will see all the installed versions of .NET Framework on your system.

check dotnet version using cmd

Related: Ways to Check Which Versions of .NET Framework Are Installed

.NET Framework 3.5 Installation Issues

There are a number of reasons why you may experience a problem while installing .NET Framework 3.5. For example, if your copy of Windows is unlicensed, the .NET Framework will not install on your system. The only solution is to activate your current copy or get a new Windows 10 license.

The installation process can also sometimes require downloading a handful of Windows updates, although this is more of a problem with newer versions of the .NET Framework, unless you haven’t updated your computer. since the Stone Age. It will give you a KB number which you can use as a reference and install these updates.

If you have purchased your PC within the past 10 years, your PC is unlikely to support .NET Framework version 3.5. Either way, you can always check which versions of the .NET Framework will work on your operating system.

.NET Framework works on all Windows operating systems starting with Windows Vista (i.e. Windows 7, 8, 8.1, and 10), although it is not preinstalled with Windows Vista.

Windows operating system supported by dotnet 3.5

You are ready to run .NET 3.5 programs

Hope you have successfully installed .NET 3.5 without encountering any issues. You should now be able to run all the programs that require 3.5. You also need to make sure that the most recent version of the .NET Framework is also installed, of course.


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