I am running the .NET 3.5 offline installer on windows 8.1 from Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service pack 1 (Full Package) . Though, when I run this exe, it still prompts me to install from windows update. The same thing happens with the pre-service pack installer.

Even if I am connected to the internet, the download never completes and freezes on 'Downloading required files'

Does anyone have any insight to what could be wrong?


Edit: Daniel B brought to my attention that this package is not supported for windows 8.1. I will be taking the route of installing via the windows 8.1 ISO.

Supported Operating System

Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista, Windows XP

A Microsoft MVP explains this process here: How to enable .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 8 in Offline Mode

  • Is your Windows installation set to English? When you go to download the package, it asks which language you'd like and defaults to English. This needs to match the language set for your Windows installation otherwise the installer will attempt to download the "correct" language version.
    – Ouroborus
    Aug 17, 2016 at 17:52
  • @Ouroborus the OS is an English install.
    – mt025
    Aug 17, 2016 at 17:53
  • 1
    This installer is not applicable to anything starting from Windows 7, which included .NET 3.5 as a base component. It’s for Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista and Windows XP. Starting from Windows 8, the .NET 3.5 component is not installed by default (.NET 4.x is instead).
    – Daniel B
    Aug 17, 2016 at 18:27
  • Thanks Daniel. I updated my post. I think I will be forced along the ISO route.
    – mt025
    Aug 17, 2016 at 18:38

3 Answers 3


You need the Windows DVD or ISO. Then use:

DISM /Online /Enable-Feature /FeatureName:NetFx3 /All /LimitAccess /Source:d:\sources\sxs

Note that /Online means the working image of Windows, not an online install

A Microsoft MVP explains this process here: How to enable .NET Framework 3.5 on Windows 8 in Offline Mode

  • Yeah, updated my answer.
    – pulsejet
    Aug 17, 2016 at 18:14
  • @RadialApps Thanks. I was hoping I could just use a package, but as Daniel B has shown, these packages are for XP and Vista (Server 2003, Server 2008) only. I will go with the ISO method.
    – mt025
    Aug 17, 2016 at 18:42

I was unable to DISM for this because the sxs folder diddnt exist on my 8.1 DVD so I did a search and found the update on the DVD, its under \support\framework_3.5\ I ran that and it updated it, works fine. Brian.


Go to: control panel > programs Then click "turn windows features on or off" Tick the .NET framework 3.5 box then click OK. Wait for the installation, then restart PC (if required)

  • Still gets stuck on 'downloading required files'
    – mt025
    Aug 17, 2016 at 17:59
  • If you have the installation disk or image of Windows you can follow this link askvg.com/…
    – Thapedict
    Aug 17, 2016 at 18:10
  • Don't rephrase the question into an answer. The answer already said this doesn't work (as it is the same thing he's doing)
    – pulsejet
    Aug 18, 2016 at 7:40

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