Computer running Windows 11
Hannah Stryker / How-To Geek
To enable .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.5 on Windows 11:
  1. Search the Start menu for "optionalfeatures" and open it.
  2. Check the ".NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0)" box and click "OK."
  3. Select "Let Windows Update Download the Files for You."
  4. When the files are installed, reboot your PC.

If you’re having trouble launching certain apps on your Windows 11 PC, your system may not have the required .NET Framework versions installed. It’s easy to install .NET Framework version 2.0 and 3.5 to fix your app issues. Here’s how to do just that.

How to Turn On .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.5 in Windows 11

To enable .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.5 on your Windows 11 PC, you’ll need an active internet connection. This is because the process will download files from the internet.

When you’re ready, launch your PC’s Windows Features dialog box using one of the three ways below:

Option 1: Open the “Start” menu, search for “optionalfeatures”, and select the item with that exact name.

Select "optionalfeatures" in the "Start" menu.

Option 2: Open the “Run” dialog box by pressing Windows+R, type “optionalfeatures”, and press Enter.

Type "optionalfeatures" and press Enter.

Option 3: Launch Control Panel and select Programs > Programs and Features > Turn Windows Features On or Off.

Select "Turn Windows Features On or Off."

In the “Windows Features” dialog box, enable the checkbox for “.NET Framework 3.5 (includes .NET 2.0 and 3.0).” Then, at the bottom, select “OK.”

Enable the framework option and choose "OK."

On the screen that opens, choose “Let Windows Update Download the Files for You.” This will begin the download of the files required to install those .NET Framework versions.

Select "Let Windows Update Download the Files for You."

When you’ve installed the .NET Framework versions, you’ll see a success message. Close this window by selecting “Close” at the bottom.

Choose "Close" at the bottom.

Just to make sure your newly gained Framework versions are loaded in your system, restart your PC. Do this by opening the “Start” menu, selecting the “Power” icon, and choosing “Restart.”

Select "Restart" in the menu.

When your computer reboots, launch your app, and it’ll work just fine. You’re all set.

RELATED: How to Fix the Most Annoying Things About Windows 11

Why Enable .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.5 in Windows 11?

The most common reason you might enable .NET Framework 2.0 and 3.5 is to fix launch issues with your apps so you can open your apps successfully.

The reason is that when a developer develops a Windows program, they use a certain version of .NET Framework to do that. Then, when the program is ready and you want to run it, you need to have that same .NET Framework version installed on your PC. If you don’t have that, your app won’t open.

Microsoft Windows 11 comes with .NET Framework 4.8, which means any apps designed for this version will run just fine out of the box. However, to run the apps that are designed for earlier .NET Framework versions, you’ll need to enable those versions on your PC. And that’s exactly what we covered in this guide for you.

If you’re not sure which version you have installed, learn how to check your .NET Framework version.

RELATED: What Is the Microsoft .NET Framework, and Why Is It Installed on My PC?

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Mahesh Makvana is a freelance tech writer who specializes in writing how-to guides. He has been writing tech tutorials for over a decade now. He’s written for some of the prominent tech sites including MakeUseOf, MakeTechEasier, and Online Tech Tips.
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