Uninstall programs using Registry in Windows 10/8/7

Not many may know, but there are different ways to uninstall a program in Windows 10/8/7 . You can uninstall programs using the Control Panel and navigating to the Programs & Features applet or you can use the Program’s own uninstaller, which you can find in the Program folder, should the need to do so, ever arise. But if the programs entry is missing in the Control Panel or the Uninstaller is not available, or these ways do not work for some reason, you can also use the Windows Registry.

Uninstall programs using Registry

To uninstall program via the windows Registry, open regedit and navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

Uninstall programs in Windows via Registry

You will see many keys there. These represent the installed programs. They may have long numbers or names.

In case they have names, they would be easy to identify and in most cases its UninstallString would point to its un-installers path.

In case they have long numbers, click on each of them till you are able to find the program which you want to uninstall.

Having done that, in the right pane, search for a string value called UninstallString.

Double-click on it. From the dialog box which opens, copy its value.

It will look something like  this :

MsiExec.exe /I{B440D659-FECA-4BDD-A12B-5C9F05790FF3}

Next, open command prompt (cmd), paste the value and hit Enter.

If you see a Value data like say – “C:\Program Files\Software Name\uninstall.exe” – you may also open the Run box, copy-paste this value, and hit Enter.

The program will commence uninstallation.

If this does not help, you may also try some one of these free Uninstallers for Windows.

UPDATE: Bill Pytlovany adds in the comments.

If you have a 64-bit version of Windows, 32 bits apps may be redirected here:

HKLM\SOFTWARE\Wow6432Node\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

Hope this helps.

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Posted by on , in Category Windows with Tags
Anand Khanse is the Admin of TheWindowsClub.com, a 10-year Microsoft MVP Awardee in Windows (2006-16) & a Windows Insider MVP. Please read the entire post & the comments first, create a System Restore Point before making any changes to your system & be careful about any 3rd-party offers while installing freeware.

15 Comments

  1. You may want to consider…
    HKLMSOFTWAREWow6432Node
    MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall
    If you have a 64 bit version of Windows, 32 bits apps may be redirected here.

    and while I don’t think it’s recommended I’ve noticed that Google uses the following…
    HKCUSoftware
    MicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall

    Bill

  2. Thank you Bill. Updating the post. 🙂

  3. Aajaxx

    What if the program does not show up in this list either? It’s stupid, because I know exactly where the app file is. Why can’t I just delete the damn thing, like on a Mac?

  4. If you simply delete the Program Folder, orphaned entries may remain in the Registry and Files and Folders too remain on your disk. Therefore, one needs to perform a proper Uninstall.

  5. Aajaxx

    Yes, thanks, I actually do know that. I was really asking why MS designed things that way. I even tried to uninstall using regedit, and it doesn’t show up on that list either. You would think after all these years, they could get this sorted out.

  6. Aajaxx

    Fortunately I happened to see the note in your bio about creating a restore point before doing an install, and although I had not done so, it turned out there was one that I was able to use.

  7. A system restore point can be a life saver at times! 🙂

  8. {dcb23562-0bb8-b465-dcb2-23562

    why dont people just use the find option in the registry. and paste this {dcb23562-0bb8-b465-dcb2-235620bbd588} in to the search box

  9. -909-8-8-

    or whatever yours is.and restar the computer always restart the computer after editing the registry

  10. Piyush Saxena

    Do you mean ADMIN Command Prompt or a Normal Command Prompt in case of Win 10 ?

  11. Piyush Saxena

    Thanks

  12. ???????? ???? | Mohammad Arif

    Nice article, very useful indeed.

  13. Kamil Jaworski

    I checked several UninstallStrings in my registry and sometimes there is “/I” in it, and sometimes I can see “/X”. What is the difference? Are both cases correct?

  14. Shahin

    Thanks alot I couldn’t find mine in the other directory 😀

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