How to Fix ‘Windows Cannot Find the Microsoft Software License Terms’

Some users complain about the ‘Windows Cannot Find the Microsoft Software License Terms’ error when trying to install Windows 10 or Windows 11 on their computer. It’s important to note that the error occurs in two cases: when selecting the edition to install (home, professional, etc.) or when entering the license key.

Today’s article is about what causes the error and how to get rid of it.


‘Windows Cannot Find the Microsoft Software License Terms’ FIX

For some reason, the Windows installer failed to find the file that contains the text with the license agreement. This error may be caused by a failure in the program itself, issues with the installation media (USB flash drive, external HDD/SSD, optical disk), or a corrupted Windows image.

Solution #1 Overcoming the error

If you are reading this article with an error window open… try pressing the OK button and continue installing Windows in the usual way. The fact is that in some cases messages about missing agreement occur due to a short-term failure in the OS installer itself. Failed to bypass the error the first time? Try doing it a few more times. Seriously, it works.

Solution #2 Tinkering with the installation media

Typically, most users create Windows installers using USB flash drives. When the computer reads it, it may get all sorts of errors, including today’s ‘Windows Cannot Find the Microsoft Software License Terms’. Sometimes a trivial reconnection of the USB flash drive to a different USB port is enough. Of course it is better to connect it to the motherboard directly, not through the front panel of the case or through some foul-smelling splitter. And sometimes you need to disconnect other USB devices and external drives from the PC. In general, let’s experiment and see.

Solution #3 Rewriting the Windows image

It is possible that something went wrong while creating the Windows installation media and some image files were corrupted. In our case this file could have been the license agreement text file. When creating the medium, we recommend using programs such as Rufus, UltraISO, or even the official Microsoft tool. Under no circumstances should you try to write images with any obscure, untested utilities! In addition, there is always a chance that the image you downloaded was originally corrupted, that is, it was posted in this form by the owner of the web resource. Plus, you can never exclude the possibility that the media itself is corrupted.

Solution #4 Correcting BIOS settings

The ‘Windows Cannot Find the Microsoft Software License Terms’ error may be caused by some settings in the motherboard BIOS. At least, this is the opinion of some users on the net. Try resetting your BIOS settings to their defaults. Make sure that the Secure Boot option is enabled. If your motherboard manufacturer has the latest BIOS firmware, please install the latest BIOS version.

Solution #5 Windows cannot find the Microsoft software license terms on the VM

If you are trying to install Windows in a virtual machine, we recommend that you try the following steps:

  • allocate more memory for the VM;
  • disable dynamic RAM allocation;
  • use a different version of a VM;
  • before installing Windows, remove any virtual drives (especially floppy drives!) that are not part of the VM installation process.

The error ‘Windows Cannot Find the Microsoft Software License Terms’ is not a serious issue. It can be solved relatively easily if you follow the above tips. Any questions on the subject? Please leave them in comments below the article.

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