Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Forcibly Uninstalling Software when the Windows Uninstaller Process Fails

Check out our video on YouTube showing how to forcibly uninstall software.

Typically uninstalling a program on a Windows device is simple and quick. The best way to uninstall a program is to go to the Control Panel, select the "Programs and Features" option, select the name of the program to uninstall and click Uninstall at the top of the list. While in most cases this process works without issues, there are times when this process fails.

When a program is chosen to be uninstalled, the services are stopped and the associated files are removed from the system during the process. Once removed, the program is no longer listed in the Programs and Features menu, shortcuts are removed from the desktop, and the program no longer appears in the All Programs list. Occasionally, for varying reasons, programs fail to uninstall properly. The program may hang or fail during the uninstall process, leave files behind, or simply cause the device to become unresponsive during the uninstall process. When this happens, there is another option for removing the program.

To forcibly uninstall a program when the standard uninstall process fails, use Microsoft's install or uninstall program Fix it utility.
  • Using the link to Microsoft's Fix it utility, click the "Run now" button on the landing page.
  • If prompted to Run or Save the file, click "Run".
  • Click the "Accept" button to accept the license agreement.
  • For the purpose of this post, when prompted select the "Detect problems and let me select the fixes to apply" option which allows more control over what fixes are being applied.

  • When asked if the problem is with Installing or Uninstalling, select "Uninstalling".  

  • After checking for program uninstall errors, select the program to uninstall from the list of programs displayed and click the "Next" button.

  • When prompted, click the "Yes, try uninstall" option to verify you want to uninstall the program and cleanup after it has been removed.

  • In the Diagnosis window summarizing the issues reported, click "Next".

  • The Fix it utility will attempt to uninstall the program before presenting a summary of what was done. In this case, the status appears as fixed, as the program has been uninstalled.

  • In the last window, verify if the tool fixed your problem and select the appropriate response then click "Next".
  • Click Finish to close the window.
  • In the Programs & Features list, the program no longer appears since it has been successfully uninstalled.

Typically, uninstalling a program is easy and happens without issue. However, at times certain programs can hang or fail when trying to uninstall. This may happen for a variety of reasons and/or at different times during the uninstall process. If this happens, use Microsoft's Fix it tool for installing and uninstalling programs to cleanly uninstall the program to ensure all files are removed and the program is no longer listed in Programs and Features.

As always, having more than one way to accomplish the same task ensures you not only get the job done, but accomplish it with ease and efficiency!


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