Have you ever tried to install a program on your Windows 8 PC and found yourself staring at a pop-up message with the error “A referral was returned from the server.” That is exactly what happened to me and after trying a bunch of different things, I finally managed to fix the issue. I’m not too sure if it will solve the problem for you, but its worth a try if you have tried several options and are still stuck with the problem.
The issue I believe, is most likely caused due to restrictions in administrative rights. If you are trying to install the program from a user account that has no administrative rights, trying logging in from an account that has one. (administrative rights). If that doesn’t work out, then here’s another alternative.
Note: This tutorial works only on Windows 8. In Windows 8.1, you do not have the Local Group Policy editor to make the necessary changes.
How to Fix Referral Was Returned from the Server Error
1. Go to Start->Run. In the Run text box, type gpedit.msc
2. The Local Group Policy Editor window will open up. In the left pane, select Computer Configuration.
3. In the right pane, double-click Windows Settings.
4. In the next screen double-click Security Settings.
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5. In the next screen, double-click Local Policies.
6. In the next screen, double-click Security Options.
7. Scroll down to the bottom of the window and look for the option ( should be the fifth from the end) User Account Control: Only elevate executables that are signed and validated.
8. This option is most likely enabled. Double-click the option to open the item’s Properties dialog.
9. Select Disabled and click Apply. Then click OK.
You should now be able to install applications without returning the referral error.