A Microsoft Software Installer *.msi file, is a bundle packed by Windows Installer. Besides files, it may contain COM components, registry keys and shortcuts.

A lot of companies publish *.msi files that ask for administrator privileges as a default, even when not needed.

Simply run msiexec.exe with parameters:


The important settings are:

  • TARGETDIR which has to be a directory where you have write privileges
  • MSIINSTALLPERUSER=1 which requests a user installation

You can read on the full scope of parameters on Windows App Development site.

Notice that this will only work if the company that packed the bundle hasn't specified that admin installation is mandatory. The above command overrides the default. It dosn't change a forceful setting.

Tested to work with:

  • AdoptOpenJDK
  • 7Zip

If you've tried this with success, please post the software in the comments, so others may benefit.

msiexec.exe by the eyes of Microsoft Copilot

I have the habit of promoting products I myself have bought. I've recently swapped my old Kidde smoke/CO alarm for a Google Nest. Push notifications for emergencies are a game-changer, and installation was a breeze. Highly recommend!