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Attempted to perform an unauthorized operation error when you set up or update SQL Server instances

This article helps you resolve the problem where setting up or updating SQL Server instances fails and returns an error message.

Applies to:   SQL Server 2019 on Windows, SQL Server 2017 on Windows, SQL Server 2016, SQL Server 2014, SQL Server 2012
Original KB number:   4594205


Consider the following scenario:

  • You have a computer that's running Windows 10, version 20H2 and the Microsoft Edge browser of any version from 84.0.522.52 through 86.0.622.55.

  • You try to update an existing instance of Microsoft SQL Server 2012 through 2019, or install a new SQL Server instance together with an update (slipstream).

In this scenario, a failure occurs during the update process, and you receive the following error message:

Attempted to perform an unauthorized operation.

Additionally, an entry is logged in the SQL Server Setup log file, Detail.txt, that indicates that the failure occurred while Attempting to open registry subkey Microsoft Edge.


The SQL Server Setup process can't enumerate the following registry subkey:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Microsoft Edge


To resolve this problem, use one of the following methods, as appropriate:

  • Method 1

    If you're running 64-bit Windows 10, version 20H2 (19042.xxx), you must install the Edge browser version 86.0.622.56 or a later version that includes the fix for this problem. To see the version number in Edge, select Settings > About Edge.

    To manually update the Edge browser, follow these steps:

    1. Start Microsoft Edge.

    2. Select the Settings (ellipsis) button in the top-right corner.

    3. On the Settings menu, select Help and feedback > About Microsoft Edge.


      Edge automatically checks for updates.

    4. To complete the Edge update installation, select Restart.

  • Method 2


    Follow the steps in this method carefully. Serious problems might occur if you modify the registry incorrectly. Before you modify it, back up the registry for restoration in case problems occur.

    Add the Full Control permission to the Administrators account. To do this, follow these steps:

    1. Start Registry Editor. To do this, select Start, type regedit, and then select Registry Editor in the Search results.

    2. In Registry Editor, right-click the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\Microsoft Edge subkey, and then select Permissions.

    3. In the Permissions window that opens, select Advanced.

    4. At the top of the Advanced Security Settings window, select Change next to the listed owner.

    5. In the Select User, Computer, Service Account, or Group window, type the name of your Windows user account (or your email address if you have a Microsoft account) in the Enter the object name to select box, and then select Check Names to validate the account name.

    6. Select OK two times.

    7. In the Permissions window, select the Users group, and then select the Allow check box for the Full Control permissions.


      To grant permissions to only your user account instead of the Users group, select Add, follow the steps in the Add wizard, and then grant the Full Control permissions to that account.

    8. Select OK to return to the main Registry Editor window.

More information

SQL Server Setup expects administrators to have read/write access permissions on all subkeys that are under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall, where Setup looks for installed SQL Server updates. However, in some cases, the system provides administrators only read permissions on subkeys-as it does, for example, on Microsoft Edge.

A future SQL Server servicing update will change the access requirement so that Setup will need only read permissions on all subkeys that are under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall.