There are some programs on Windows that just can’t be uninstalled the usual way. Maybe they were installed as part of a system update, and you don’t have the original installer, or perhaps they’re broken, and even the uninstaller doesn’t work. In cases like this, you need a special tool to help you uninstall them.
In this post, we will discuss how to uninstall programs on Windows that cannot be uninstalled using the standard methods.
Why do some programs refuse to Uninstall?
There are a few reasons why some programs refuse to uninstall. The most common cause is that the program is still in use by another process, or it’s hooked up to another program in such a way that uninstalling it would affect the functioning of that other program. If this is the case, the only way to uninstall the program is to kill all of its associated processes.
Some system programs cannot be uninstalled in the traditional way. You require PowerShell or Command Prompt to get rid of them.
Another reason could be that a file or registry key associated with the program is still being used. In this case, you can try to delete the file or registry key manually.
Lastly, the program could be corrupted and therefore cannot be uninstalled. If this is the case, you may need to use a third-party uninstaller tool.
How to Uninstall Stubborn Applications?
Uninstall Program using Traditional Way
Before moving forward to use advanced ways to uninstall applications, just give a try to the traditional method. In most cases, you can uninstall a program using the traditional way. To do this, follow these steps:
- On your Windows system, search for Control Panel and click on its icon to launch.
- Under Programs settings, click on Uninstall a program.
- From the list of programs, choose a program to uninstall and click on Uninstall button.
- Follow the on-screen uninstallation instruction to eradicate the selected application from your computer.
Switch to Safe Mode to Uninstall Program
If any app refuses to uninstall through the traditional way, it might be because it is being used in some way or the other by another program or process. This is where Safe Mode comes into play.
Safe mode is a Windows feature that allows you to apply troubleshooting steps. When you switch to the Safe Mode, all unnecessary Windows processes and applications will halt. In such a stage, you can easily uninstall the stubborn applications that do not get uninstalled in normal mode.
After switching to the safe mode, just apply the same steps listed in the traditional method to uninstall the programs.
To switch into Safe Mode on Windows 11, follow these steps:
- Open the Run Command box and enter MSConfig and hit the enter key.
- Switch to Boot tab. Under it, tick the Safe boot checkbox, click Apply, and OK.
Use the Program’s Uninstaller to Uninstall a program
Almost every traditional Windows program comes with an uninstaller that can be used for uninstalling it entirely from the system. If the application you are trying to uninstall is refusing to get uninstalled in the traditional way, you can find the uninstaller executable file and use it. Here are the instructions for that:
- To use the uninstaller, first, you need to find its location. In almost all cases, the uninstaller is present in the same location where the application is installed. So to reach that location, right-click on the application shortcut, and select Open file location.
- Under the File location folder, look for the uninstaller executable(.exe) file.
- Right-click on the uninstaller executable file and select Open.
- Now follow the uninstaller instructions to remove the program from your system.
Uninstall System Apps
System apps like 3D Paint, Alarms & Clock, Calculator, and more do not get uninstalled in the traditional way because they either come built-in with the operating system or are pushed through Windows updates. Such apps are commonly known as bloatware. Since you haven’t installed them manually, such apps don’t even come with a separate uninstaller file. So how to uninstall system apps?
Fortunately, there is a pretty straightforward way to uninstall system apps on Windows 10/11. Here are the steps to do that:
- On the Windows search box, type Windows PowerShell and run it with the Administrator rights.
- Before applying the commands, take a look at the list of apps and the commands to remove them. (The list is at the end of the steps)
- To remove the app you desire, you just need to copy its command from the list. Paste the command on the PowerShell command line, and hit the enter key.
Here is the list of in-built system apps with the command to uninstall them.
|App Name||Uninstall Command|
|3D Builder||get-appxpackage *3dbuilder* | remove-appxpackage|
|Alarms & Clock||get-appxpackage *windowsalarms* | remove-appxpackage|
|App Connector||get-appxpackage *appinstaller* | remove-appxpackage|
|Calendar and Mail apps together||get-appxpackage *communicationsapps* | remove-appxpackage|
|Calculator||get-appxpackage *calculator* | remove-appxpackage|
|Camera||get-appxpackage *camera* | remove-appxpackage|
|Feedback Hub||get-appxpackage *feedback* | remove-appxpackage|
|Office||get-appxpackage *officehub* | remove-appxpackage|
|Get Started or Tips||get-appxpackage *getstarted* | remove-appxpackage|
|Skype||get-appxpackage *skypeapp* | remove-appxpackage|
|Groove Music||get-appxpackage *zunemusic* | remove-appxpackage|
|Groove Music and Movies & TV apps together||get-appxpackage Microsoft.Zune* | remove-appxpackage|
|Maps||get-appxpackage *maps* | remove-appxpackage|
|Messaging and Skype Video apps together||get-appxpackage *messaging* | remove-appxpackage|
|Microsoft Solitaire Collection||get-appxpackage *solitaire* | remove-appxpackage|
|Microsoft Wallet||get-appxpackage wallet | remove-appxpackage|
|Microsoft Wi-Fi||get-appxpackage connectivitystore | remove-appxpackage|
|Money||get-appxpackage bingfinance | remove-appxpackage|
|Money, News, Sports, and Weather apps together||get-appxpackage bing | remove-appxpackage|
|Movies & TV||get-appxpackage *zunevideo* | remove-appxpackage|
|News||get-appxpackage *bingnews* | remove-appxpackage|
|OneNote||get-appxpackage *onenote* | remove-appxpackage|
|Paid Wi-Fi & Cellular||get-appxpackage *oneconnect* | remove-appxpackage|
|Paint 3D||get-appxpackage *mspaint* | remove-appxpackage|
|People||get-appxpackage people | remove-appxpackage|
|Phone||get-appxpackage *commsphone* | remove-appxpackage|
|Phone Companion||get-appxpackage *windowsphone* | remove-appxpackage|
|Phone and Phone Companion apps together||get-appxpackage *phone* | remove-appxpackage|
|Photos||get-appxpackage *photos* | remove-appxpackage|
|Sports||get-appxpackage *bingsports* | remove-appxpackage|
|Sticky Notes||get-appxpackage *sticky* | remove-appxpackage|
|Sway||get-appxpackage *sway* | remove-appxpackage|
|View 3D||get-appxpackage *3d* | remove-appxpackage|
|Voice Recorder||get-appxpackage *soundrecorder* | remove-appxpackage|
|Weather||get-appxpackage *bingweather* | remove-appxpackage|
|Windows Holographic||get-appxpackage *holographic* | remove-appxpackage|
|Windows Store (Be very careful!)||get-appxpackage *windowsstore* | remove-appxpackage|
|Xbox||get-appxpackage *xbox* | remove-appxpackage|
Use the Third-Party Uninstaller Programs
If the applications are refusing to get uninstalled or you are finding it tedious to manually uninstall them, there are many robust, dedicated uninstaller programs that will help you to get rid of them.
When you search on the internet for an uninstaller program, you will get plenty of options to use. However, not all of them are robust enough. One of the best robust uninstaller programs is IObit Uninstaller.
Here are the steps to uninstall a program using IObit Uninstaller:
- After downloading and installing the IObit Uninstaller. launch it from the desktop or start menu.
- From the left, switch to the software category tab from which you want to uninstall program. For example, Bundleware.
- Tick the program you want to uninstall and click on the Uninstall button.
- Check the Create a restore point before uninstall and Automatically remove residual files options before clicking on Uninstall button.
- The program will be uninstalled without leaving any leftovers.
There are many ways to uninstall stubborn applications from a Windows computer. You can try any of the methods mentioned in this blog post according to your need and ease. If one method fails, you can always use another method to get the job done. So don’t worry if an app is refusing to uninstall; just keep trying until it’s gone for good!