Error 1324: The Folder Path Contains an Invalid Character

When installing an application in Windows, you might get “Error 1324 The Folder Path Contains an Invalid Character”. This is usually caused by an invalid character in the User Profile.

Determine if your user profile contains an invalid character by navigating to C:\Windows\Profiles\Your Profile, where Your Profile is the name of your user profile, such as James Jones. If your profile contains characters, such as “/”, for example, James/Jones, your profile may be damaged. Windows should not allow you to create a user name with invalid characters.

There are two possible fixes: You can turn off user profiles and then run the installation or you can install the software under a different user profile. Turning off user profiles installs the software for all users of the computer. Installing the software under a different profile may install the software for only that profile.

To turn off user profiles, follow these steps:

1. Select Start > Settings > Control Panel.
2. Double-click Passwords.
3. Click the User Profiles tab.
4. Select All users of this computer use the same preferences and desktop settings.
5. Click OK.
6. Restart your computer if prompted to do so.
7. Run the installation. This installs the software for all users.
8. To turn user profiles on again, repeat steps 1-3 and select Users can customize their preferences and desktop settings.
9. Restart your computer if prompted to do so.

To install the software under a different profile, log on as a different user by selecting Start > Shutdown > Log on as different user, and then run the installation.


  1. antman says

    Dammit, why are there no instructions to turn off user profiles for Windows 7? I searched everywhere, and I cannot figure out how to fix this problem for Win7 Does it make sense? Everyone is repeating the same instructiosn over and over in several forums, but its all for older platforms. Not even MS site is nay help. There’s no “User Profiles” tab in windows 7. Its hopeless.

  2. Hal says

    I am running WindowsXP. In trying to install a new printer, I get fatal error 1324
    invalid character in Administrative Tools.
    Once I get to administrative tools, I have no idea what to do.

  3. JamesC says

    Using the fix above I determined my IT guy had set up my laptop with Windows 7 with two users, the original as purchased and a second for working in my office as a “domain user” with a “/” in the user name, ie; an invaled character. When I changed users to my original user name with no “/” in the character set, my software, Dragon 11.5 finally loaded. Then I switched back to the domain user for my office work and software worked fine.

  4. Randy says

    Some installation programs will not run, if East Asian languages are the default. The installation is having difficulty understanding the profile name.

  5. Randy says

    If you don’t have a folder named ‘Profiles’ somewhere, you might not be running Windows. Sometimes it’s hidden.

  6. Lew says

    It is very kind of people to post helpful advice, but I find there is always a hidden problem, in this case, I don’t have a folder named C:\Windows\Profiles\ or any folder named Profiles. Back to the drawing board.

  7. Libin says

    Hi All,

    I am also facing the same issue. The message I am getting is ‘The path ? contains an invalid character’ when I am trying to change the default physical location of the installation. This is happening with me on Vista and Longhorn machines. I am not getting the above mentioned tab for user profiles in vista.
    Can anyone help me on this?
    BTW I am installing a windows application and the MSI was made using WIX

    Many Thanks,


  8. Dean Maycock says

    Hi everyone

    I had this error when I was trying to update iTunes for my new iPhone 3G. As it hadn`t installed correctly I got the error “****** folder contains an invalid character”, even when I was trying to uninstall it, Nightmare!!

    After pulling my hair out trying to follow all these long winded and over complicated attempts to fix it, that some kind people had posted, but none of them worked. I came to realize that this was obviously a register problem.

    So I simple ran a program called RegCure, which fixed the problem very easily. I then uninstalled iTunes and reinstalled it. Now everything runs find!! Whooo….

    You will need the full version of RegCure. Which you can purchase from there site. Or is available with a full patch on Mininova. Just don`t use one that your virus checker says contains a torgen. Some of the instructions that come with these will say its OK. But I wouldn`t bother as I know there are patches out there that wont be flagged as a Virus.

    Hope this helps


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