Cannot start ShoWorks - "ShoWorks could not find the needed files to run the program."

Article ID: 117052
Category: General
Date Added: 2/26/2015
Date Updated: 2/26/2023


Upon starting ShoWorks or the ShoWorks Access Companion, you receive an error message:

ShoWorks could not find the needed files to run the program. You should try to reinstall ShoWorks, making sure that you have administrative permissions on this computer to do so.


The install process of ShoWorks may not have completed or was attempted without administrative permissions. Additional causes result from certain values in the Windows Registry not being correct, usually as a result of installing and reinstalling variants of Microsoft Office without a clean uninstall. This often results from installing an incompatible version of Microsoft Office (either version/year or a 64-bit version which is incompatible with ShoWorks) and then attempting to install a different version of Microsoft Office without a clean uninstall of the prior.


Try reinstalling ShoWorks again but ensure that 1) you are logged in to the machine with full administrative permissions and 2) you initiate the install process by right-clicking on the setup file (such as ShoWorks2020setup.exe) and choosing Run As Administrator. After installing under administrative permissions, try starting ShoWorks by also right-clicking on the installed ShoWorks icon and choosing Run As Administrator.

If the above process does not resolve the issue, the Windows Registry is likely corrupt and you will need to reformat the machine and reinstall Windows Professional (64-bit), then install the correct version of Microsoft Office (see the minimum requirements here ) and then install ShoWorks.

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