Microsoft Silverlight Problems

By Mitchell White

Microsoft Silverlight is an application that allows for interactive and multimedia experiences on a website. An example of a place on a website that makes use of this technology is the "Watch Instantly" function on the movie service Netflix. Microsoft Silverlight can develop a few different problems that keep it from installing or updating on your computer, and you may have to do a little troubleshooting to get it to work.

Updated Browsers

Silverlight can be used on a variety of different platforms, and for a few different uses. But one thing that remains constant is that if you don't have the most recent version of your Web browser and the operating system on your computer, Silverlight might give you trouble. It's a good idea to download the most recent version of each of these programs to ensure Silverlight doesn't encounter problems. For example, in Windows, you can use the "Automatic Update" section in the Control Panel to make sure you have the most recent updates of your Windows software.

Failure to Install

If Silverlight isn't installing properly, one thing that might work is uninstalling your first attempt before you try to install it again. To do this in Windows, click on the "Start" button in the left corner of the screen, and then click on "Control Panel." Open "Add/Remove Programs." Find "Microsoft Silverlight" and click on "Remove." This should uninstall the program from your computer. You can now go back and install the program again. Sometimes if the installation didn't work properly the first time, this method will clear the way.

Failure to Uninstall

If you can't find Microsoft Silverlight in the list of programs to uninstall in the "Add/Remove Programs" section, this could mean that there is some problem with Silverlight on your computer. Fortunately, you can fix this problem by using the Windows Installer Clean Up tool (see Resources). Be careful with this tool, as it is quite powerful. You can use it to get rid of Silverlight if there isn't any mention of it in the program list. Silverlight should show up in the list of programs here, and you should be able to click on the "Remove" button to clean the program from your computer.

Problems With Silverlight Fixes

Sometimes there is a problem with the Windows Installer Clean Up tool that you use to clean Silverlight. This could happen because of a glitch when it's installing on your computer. It's possible that if you had troubles installing Silverlight, the same sort of trouble could be happening again for the Windows Installer Clean Up tool. Pay attention to the error message if this happens. If it lists a "DLL" file that you're missing, you can download the file from a DLL library (see Resources). You can then put that file into your Windows 32 folder, and it should let your cleanup tool install and help you get rid of Silverlight so you can reinstall it if you choose.


One thing to consider is that Silverlight is technically an update in Windows. This means that it may not show up in your original "Add/Remove Programs" list. One way to make it show up is to click on the "Show Updates" box inside that tool. This will list all the updates you've gotten in the past from Windows. You can then scroll through, find Silverlight and remove it. If this option still doesn't work, then you'll have to use the cleanup tool.