Installing Google Earth as a Non-Administrator

Many of the users I support use Google Earth on a day to day basis. With previous versions maintaining the installs was a pain. It required me to install the program as an administrator and make sure it worked. In some previous versions I also had an intermittent issue where Google Earth would place files that all users needed to access in the profile under which the program was installed. Then when there were updates, I had to run those as well.

Here's the solution; Use the non-administrative user install for Google Earth. Too bad it's hard to find.

Within the last two versions Google has added a feature to Google Earth to install under a user's profile folder and not into the Program Files folder. This means users do not need admin privileges to install. Unlike Google Chrome, the non-admin installer is not the default for Google Earth and they've made finding it difficult.

To get the per-user installation of Google Earth you need to click on the "advanced setup" link under the regular download page for Google Earth. From there you need to un-check the "make Google Earth available to all users profiles" option. Then click download and install.

Downloading the Non-Admin Installer for Google Earth

Since our internet access is filtered to block, and the default Google Earth installer attempts to download some files as it installs, I get an 0x80040508 installation error. The solution to this error is to download the full version of Google Earth that does not attempt to download some files at run-time. This is also known as "offline installer". To get this version uncheck the box "Allow Google Earth to automatically install recommended updates" when under the "advanced setup" section as above.

I'm not sure why Google Earth doesn't do as Chrome does and just offer the non-administrative install by default.

  1. avatar bzzzzzt says:

    I tried doing this on my local public library computer. It finishes copying files and then gives a installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory error.
    C:\Document and Settings\....\Google Earth
    Login as an adminstrator or contact your system administrator.

    Any suggestions on how to fix this? Much appreciated!

  2. avatar DrWeb says:

    Thanks, it worked just great...

  3. avatar rhy says:

    huge help! worked for me.

  4. avatar raj says:

    Dera friends,

    use older version (Below 6.0)- it works................

  5. avatar jim says:

    Worked!- Pat yourself of the back because you sir, are amazing.

  6. it worked perfectly!!!!!!!!!!! thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. avatar Enrique says:

    Excellent tip, this is exactly what I needed and it worked. I am impressed it could be that simple but so hard to find.


  8. avatar vincent says:

    Excellent tip, this is exactly what I needed and it worked. It is simple and works.


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