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Mailbag: What version of the .NET Framework is included in what version of the OS?

Mailbag: What version of the .NET Framework is included in what version of the OS?

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Question:

I recently installed Windows Vista.  When I looked in the Programs and Features (formerly known as Add/Remove Programs) control panel, I didn't see the .NET Framework 2.0 listed.  Therefore I decided to install the .NET Framework 2.0 by downloading it from this location.  However, running that setup displays an error message stating that it cannot be installed because it is already a part of the OS.  Why does this happen?

Answer:

Over the past few months, I've received several variations on this question for other operating systems and all of the released versions of the .NET Framework.  When the .NET Framework is installed as a part of the OS, it does not appear in the Programs and Features (or Add/Remove Programs) control panel.  The following is a complete list of which version of the .NET Framework is included in which version of the OS:

  • Windows XP Media Center Edition (Windows XP SP1) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 as an OS component
  • Windows XP Media Center Edition (Windows XP SP2 and higher) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 as an OS component.  On Windows XP Media Center Edition, the only way to get the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 is to install Windows XP SP2 or higher.  There is not a standalone 1.0 SP3 installer for this edition of Windows XP.
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (Windows XP SP1) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 as an OS component
  • Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (Windows XP SP2 and higher) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 as an OS component.  On Windows XP Tablet PC Edition, the only way to get the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 is to install Windows XP SP2 or higher.  There is not a standalone 1.0 SP3 installer for this edition of Windows XP.
  • Windows Server 2003 (all x86 editions) includes the .NET Framework 1.1 as an OS component; 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003 do not include a version of the .NET Framework as an OS component
  • Windows Vista (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.0 as OS components  3.0 can be added or removed via the Programs and Fatures control panel.
  • Windows Vista SP1 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1 as OS components.  3.0 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 SP1 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1 as OS components.  The .NET Framework 3.0 SP1 is not installed by default and must be added via the Programs and Features control panel though.
  • Windows Server 2008 SP2 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2 and 3.0 SP2 as OS components.  The .NET Framework 3.0 SP2 is not installed by default and must be added via the Programs and Features control panel though.
  • Windows Server 2008 R2 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 3.5.1 as an OS component.  This means you will get the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 plus a few post 3.5 SP1 bug fixes.  3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows 7 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 3.5.1 as an OS component.  This means you will get the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2, 3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 plus a few post 3.5 SP1 bug fixes.  3.0 SP2 and 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows 8 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.5 as an OS component, and it is installed by default.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows 8.1 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.5.1 as an OS component, and it is installed by default.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Programs and Features control panel.
  • Windows Server 2012 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.5 as an OS component, and it is installed by default except in the Server Core configuration.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Server Manager.
  • Windows Server 2012 R2 (all editions) includes the .NET Framework 4.5.1 as an OS component, and it is installed by default except in the Server Core configuration.  It also includes the .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 as an OS component that is not installed by default.  The .NET Framework 3.5 SP1 can be added or removed via the Server Manager.

Note - for the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5, you can see a graphical view of the above information in this blog post

In addition, the .NET Framework shipped with the following versions of Windows but not as truly integrated OS components:

  • Windows XP Home and Professional SP1 includes the MSI-based .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 in the Additional Components folder on the installation CD.  It is not an OS component on this OS.
  • Windows XP Home and Professional SP2 includes the MSI-based .NET Framework 1.1 + SP1 in the Additional Components folder on the installation CD.  It is not an OS component on this OS.
  • Windows XP Home and Professional SP3 includes the MSI-based .NET Framework 1.1 + SP1 in the Additional Components folder on the installation CD.  It is not an OS component on this OS.
  • Windows Server 2003 R2 includes the MSI-based .NET Framework 2.0.  It appears in Add/Remove Windows Components as an OS component, but selecting it simply invokes the MSI-based installer.  The MSI can be repaired and removed using Add/Remove Programs regardless of whether it is installed via the standalone MSI or via the Add/Remove Windows Components UI.

You can see a table of what version numbers are associated with each version of the .NET Framework in this blog post.

<update date="3/27/2008"> Added a note that the .NET Framework 1.1 is not included in 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003.  Added information about Windows Server 2008. </update>

<update date="7/29/2008"> Added a note about Windows XP SP3. </update>

<update date="8/14/2008"> Added a note about Vista SP1 and the .NET Framework 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1 </update>

<update date="1/12/2009"> Added a note about the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 for Windows XP Media Center and Tablet PC editions. </update>

<update date="4/1/2009"> Added a note about the .NET Framework versions available on Windows 7 </update>

<update date="8/26/2009"> Added a note about Windows Server 2008 SP2. </update>

<update date="8/29/2009"> Added a note about Windows Server 2008 R2. </update>

<update date="2/5/2010"> Added a link to a blog post with a graphical view of the versions of Windows that include the .NET Framework 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5. </update>

<update date="4/27/2010"> Added a link to a blog post with a list of the exact version numbers for each .NET Framework version and service pack level. </update>

 <update date="9/8/2012"> Added a note about Windows 8. </update>

 <update date="11/18/2013"> Added a note about Windows 8.1. </update>

 <update date="3/5/2014"> Added a note about Windows Server 2012. </update>

 

  • Since the Windows Vista public launch in January 2007, I have been receiving questions about how to repair

  • Aaron stebner's blog has a very good entry regarding this point: http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2007/03/14/mailbag-what-version-of-the-net-framework-is-included-in-what-version-of-the-os.asp

  • As I previously described in this blog post , the MSI-based .NET Framework 2.0 is included as an optional

  • As I previously described in this blog post , the MSI-based .NET Framework 2.0 is included as an optional

  • My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it

  • Hey, I want to know what version of .NET Framework comes with:

    1. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 clean install

    2. Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 clean install

  • Hi Someone - The only version of the .NET Framework that ships as a part of the OS on any version of Windows XP Tablet PC or Media Center Editions is 1.0.  There may also be other pre-installed versions of the .NET Framework that come with a new computer that has one of these OS's pre-installed, but those other versions will be installed using the MSI-based setup and will appear in Add/Remove Programs.

  • Correction:  .NET 1.1 is not included in 64-bit versions of Windows Server 2003.

  • Hi Aaron - Correct, thank you for pointing that out.  I will update the text of this blog post to be more specific.

  • Hey Aaron, any idea of what version of the .NET Framework is included with XP Tablet PC 2005 (w/ SP2), XP Media Center Edition 2005 (w/ SP2), XP Tablet PC Edition (w/ SP3), XP Media Center Edition (w/ SP3), and XP Professional (w/ SP3)? Thanks!

  • Hi Franklesniak - In Windows XP, the OS service pack level does not affect which version of the .NET Framework ships as an OS component.  The .NET Framework 1.0 is an OS component on all versions of XP Tablet PC Edition and XP Media Center Edition.

    There is not a version of the .NET Framework that ships as an OS component on XP Home or Professional, regardless of service pack level.  The .NET Framework 1.1 and 1.1 SP1 MSI-based installers are included in the value-add folder on Windows XP SP3 like they are on Windows XP SP2.  I'll update the main post to indicate this as well.

  • Details about the .NET Framework 2.0 setup packaging Available command line switches for .NET Framework

  • Aaron, quick comment, I did some testing and I found that XP MCE 2005 and XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (i.e. XP SP2 versions of these OSes) upgrade the service pack level of the .NET Framework 1.0 to SP3. I'm writing a scripted install for every .NET Framework that is designed to work with every OS...so this was pertinent information for me. Can you update this post to read something like the following?:

    Windows XP Media Center Edition (original release / SP1 version) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 as an OS component

    Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 (with XP SP2 or SP3) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 as an OS component

    Windows XP Tablet PC Edition (original release / SP1 version) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP2 as an OS component

    Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005 (with XP SP2 or SP3) includes the .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 as an OS component

    Also, a question for you: Is the only way to upgrade XP MCE / Tablet PC Edition (original release) to have .NET Framework 1.0 + SP3 to just install XP SP2 or XP SP3? I did some research and this is what I found, but I was not 100% sure. If you concur with this assessment, it might help others out if a note was made on this as well.

  • Hi Franklesniak - Thanks for the feedback - I'll update the table in this blog post with this information.

    My understanding is that the only way to get the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 for Windows XP Tablet PC Edition or Windows XP Media Center Edition is to install XP SP2 or XP SP3.  I don't know of a standalone installer for the .NET Framework 1.0 SP3 on those versions of Windows XP.

  • A while back, I posted a set of instructions that can be used to try to resolve .NET Framework installation

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