Error codes on Windows are a headache for anyone using the operating system. For the most part, the developers at Microsoft Corporation promise that such error codes—together with the frustrating pause they bring to your work—can be resolved with regular updates. However, this is not a hard-and-fast remedy.

So, to understand how to fix “Error code 1606. Could not access network location.” in Windows 11/10, you need to answer the question, “What is error code 1606 on Windows?” In other words, you have to ask questions like “What are the reasons for the error code 1606 on Windows 10 and Windows 11?” before bringing into play the methods of how to resolve “Error code 1606. Could not access network location.”

From the answers to questions like the above, you might find that the most suitable solution to the error code 1606 is the detection of malware using Auslogics Anti-Malware, for example. All in all, a quick and permanent resolution of the error code 1606 is not impossible.

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What Are the Reasons for the Error Code 1606 on Windows 10?

“Error code 1606. Could not access network location.” is a glitch in Windows 10 and 11 that usually comes up when Windows users attempt to install certain programs on their computers. Of course, as a result of this error code, the installation attempt fails, and users have to begin scouring the internet for what Error Code 1606 stands for and how to fix it quickly and permanently.

In truth, there are quite a number of reasons for this error code. The most common ones are as follows:

  • Faulty Windows Registry settings (usually a broken key/subkey in the operating database)
  • Incompatibility of programs with the current operating system
  • Folder redirection or permission problems
  • The presence of malware

From this list of suspects, you may have already begun to realize that you won’t have to apply for a university program or acquire a diploma in software studies to fix the error code 1606. In a nutshell, as long as you effectively address the aforementioned issues, you will have your computer—and your mood—back to normal in no time.

How to Resolve “Error Code 1606. Could Not Access Network Location” on Windows 10/11

We have highlighted 7 different ways with which you can fix the error code 1606. Each of these suggestions has the potential to solve the problem, so you should keep trying until you find the best solution for your case.

Restart Your Computer

Your computer is a machine with many tiny—and not tiny—parts inside (and on) it. No matter how advanced this machine is, it still requires the occasional recharge or ‘juicing up.’ This is one of the reasons restarting a computer is the most common solution to any computer problem.

So, in the case of the error code 1606, the first thing you should try is to restart your computer. The Windows operating system will be refreshed after a restart. Therefore, close all the programs currently running on your computer and initiate a restart.

Bonus point: Use Ctrl + D to go straight to the desktop. Then, use Alt + F4 to bring out the power options. Scroll down to Restart and press Enter.

Once your computer has restarted, try installing your software again.

Check Program Compatibility Using the Windows Compatibility Troubleshooter

If restarting your computer does not resolve the problem, the next best thing to consider is program compatibility.

Although Windows 11 is the latest edition of Windows, there have been a handful of others. These include Windows 10, 8, 7, etc., as well as their ‘Pro’ and ‘Home’ versions. Some software developers have fallen behind on updating their programs to be properly integrated with the current Windows version. This is one basis for the occurrence of the error code 1606.

Following this thought, all you need to do to fix the problem is to use the Troubleshoot compatibility option, which comes with Windows 10 and 11. There is more than one way to make use of this feature, but we will highlight two of such procedures:

  1. Directly run Troubleshoot compatibility by right-clicking the application file of the software you want to install and choosing the option in question.
  2. Use the Windows key + R to get to the Run console. Type Control into the console and press Enter on your keyboard. This takes you to the Control Panel page. Next, click the Programs option, and then choose “Run programs made for previous versions of Windows”.

In both cases, the Program Compatibility Troubleshooter will be run. You can follow the options from there and try installing your software when the computer has finished fixing the problem.

Revise the Documents Permission

If the issue persists after you have sorted out everything that has to do with Windows compatibility, you should revise the permissions of Public\Documents. The error code 1606 might be telling you (in code) that the Windows installer has been restricted because it can’t make changes to the Public\Documents directory. And it needs to be able to do this – or some software installations will fail.

In order to fix this issue, you need to revise the Public\Documents permission. As usual, there are many ways to do this. However, you can revise this permission in the following easy steps:

  1. Open File Explorer, go to Local Disk (C:), open Users, move to Public, and finally, navigate to Public Documents. You can shorten this process by typing C:\Users\Public into the File Explorer address line.
  2. Right-click on the Public Documents folder and navigate to Properties.
  3. Click on the Security tab.
  4. Click the Edit option.
  5. Tick all the boxes under the Allow heading to get full control of the folder. As an aside, ticking only Full control will result in all the boxes being ticked.

Try installing your software.

Create Another Local User Account

The reason why you revised the Public Documents permission in the last fix is so that you would have more control over your computer’s processes. So, if that didn’t work, we suggest that you go even further in acquiring more control over the computer’s core activities. So, create another local user account.

To create a new local user account, do the following:

  1. Use the Windows key + X and click Computer Management from the list of options.
  2. Under the Systems Tools subheading on the Computer Management page, click on Local Users and Groups.
  3. Next, right-click on Users and select New User.
  4. Fill in the required information with a new username and password.
  5. Untick the User must change password at next login option, and tick Password never expires.
  6. Click Create.
  7. Double-click on Users again, and right-click on the account you created so you can select Properties.
  8. Navigate to the Member Of tab and click on Users and then Add.
  9. Inside the Enter the object names to select dialog box, type Administrator, and click OK.
  10. Deselect the Startup items & services option.
  11. Next, restart the computer and log in to the user account you just created.

Then attempt to install your software.

Edit Registry Keys

So far, we have put forward simple, easy-to-do fixes that should resolve the error code 1606, which is hindering you from installing software packages. If all of them have been to no avail, it’s time to edit the Windows Registry, which is a bit more technical.

The Windows Registry is a very sensitive space inside your computer. It is like the Matrix of your Windows operating system, and it holds the information and instructions needed for your computer to run effectively. So, if you keep getting the error 1606, your computer isn’t running effectively, meaning that there might be a problem in the Registry somewhere.

You can edit the Registry to make sure the error 1606 goes away, but you need to be careful. Practically every Registry key is important, so you have to click and type with caution.

Here is what you should do:

  1. First, you need to get to the Registry Editor. You can search for it in the Start menu or hit Win + R and type in Regedit. Both options take you to the Registry Editor page.
  2. Under Computer, expand HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE.
  3. From the ensuing options, expand SOFTWARE.
  4. Next, expand Microsoft, open Windows, go to CurrentVersion, and then select Explorer.
  5. From the options under Explorer, double-click Shell Folders.

(You can use the address line in the Registry Editor page to reach here. Simply type in HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\Shell Folders and you’ll be redirected to the same page.)

  1. Navigate to the right-hand side of the Registry Editor and select Common Documents.
  2. Next, move your cursor to the dialog box under Value Data.
  3. If the box is empty, type in C:\Users\Public\Documents.
  4. Exit the Registry Editor and restart your computer.

What you have just done is similar to what you did when you revised the Public Documents permission. So, once your computer has booted up again, try installing the software.

Note that if the Value Data: box is not empty and already has C:\Users\Public\Documents, this means that the error code 1606 is coming from somewhere else.

Check for Malware

Once you have tried everything listed above, there is a very high probability that the error code 1606 will stop popping up and hindering the installation of your software. However, if none of the above-listed suggestions has helped you to fix the problem, malware may be responsible.

In the case of the error code 1606, what malicious programs do is get in the way of your operating system efficiently carrying out the instructions you have sent to it. Such malware could change the properties of very important program files, thereby rendering them effectively useless. To get rid of these malicious programs, you need a solid anti-malware software package.

Anti-malware (or anti-virus) programs are a dime a dozen. There are products in this category that are free and others that require subscriptions. Needless to say, there are also those that are very effective in curtailing the harmful activities of malware and those that are really just decorative programs. Without question, the kind of anti-malware you need to fix the error 1606 is the former.

Thankfully, the default Windows antivirus (Windows Security) does a decent job of getting rid of many kinds of malware. The only drawback to using this program is that it might overlook new or variant malware. So, you would need something more flexible and specific for dealing with malicious computer entities, some of which could be responsible for the error code 1606.

Again, Auslogics Anti-Malware is a good option.

Update Your Operating System

As an extension of the last suggestion, you can simply update your operating system and let Microsoft Corporation worry about the error code 1606. We have stretched this suggestion a bit too far, but that is essentially why your Windows computer regularly reminds you to update the operating system.

As is the case with any progressive establishment, the manufacturers and developers of your hardware and software do not want you to have to deal with issues like the error code 1606. So, they usually collect information on how computers like yours run on a daily basis and think up ways to resolve issues that may come up. These solutions are packed into the updates you get, so downloading and implementing them should help you keep your computer up to date and free from error codes like 1606.

As you might have already noticed, this means that it is important that you allow Microsoft to collect information from your computer. This will make it easier for it to diagnose whatever issues you are faced with and fix them for you.

Finally, the error 1606 is not very common, nor is it very rare. So, knowing how to fix “Error code 1606. Could not access network location” in Windows 11  and Windows 10 means that you wouldn’t have to pull your hair out.