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How to Force a Program to Uninstall in Windows 10

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How to Force a Program to Uninstall in Windows 10 or 11

There are different ways to uninstall a program in Windows 10. The simplest methods are via the “Add or remove programs” utility or the “Settings” app. However, sometimes problems occur that prevent third-party apps and programs from uninstalling using conventional methods.

How to Force a Program to Uninstall in Windows 10 or 11

In this article, we’ll take you through the steps for five other ways you can force an app or program to uninstall in Windows 10.

How to Force a Program to Uninstall in Windows 10

To force a stubborn third-party app or program to uninstall, try the following methods:

1. Use the App or Program’s Uninstaller

The registry file for the program you’re trying to uninstall may have been removed. Luckily, the majority of third-party apps and programs come with their uninstaller. This utility is essentially an uninstallation wizard; here’s how to use it:

  1. Go to the directory where the app or program is installed. The default directory for most third-party apps is “X:\Program Files\(Program or App Name)” or “X:\Program Files(x86)\(Program or App Name).

  2. Look for the utility in the directory. It’s usually called “uninstall.exe” or “uninstaller.exe,” then double-click it.

  3. Complete the on-screen instructions. At the end, the wizard will uninstall the program.

2. Use Command Prompt

To uninstall a program or app via Command Prompt you’ll first need to run Command Prompt as an administrator:

  1. In the Windows Search box, type “cmd”.

  2. Select the “Command Prompt” app.

  3. Right-click it, then click “Run as administrator.” Command Prompt will open with administrator permissions.
    Then to uninstall the program:

  4. At the prompt, type “wmic” then press Enter.

  5. You’ll see the “wmic: root\clic>” prompt to confirm that the “Windows Management Instrumentation” processes are ready to use.

  6. To get a list of the programs you have installed on your computer, type in “product get name” then press Enter.

  7. All apps and programs will display. Run the following command to uninstall the program: “product where name= “program name” call uninstall”. Instead of “program name,” type the name of the program.

  8. You’ll be asked to confirm whether you want to execute the command. Select “Y” to confirm then Enter, or “N” to cancel.

  9. After a short time, you’ll receive a message confirming that the method has been executed successfully, thus your program has been uninstalled.

3. Use the Registry Editor

Another way to uninstall a program or app is by deleting all traces of it from your PC’s Registry. Here’s how to use the Registry Editor:

  1. Open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo key + R.

  2. Type “regedit” then press Enter.

  3. In “Registry Editor” via the left pane, go to the following directory: “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Uninstall.”

  4. Under the “Uninstall key” in the left pane, find the sub-key relating to the app or program you wish to uninstall. Note: The sub-key may not have the same name as the app or program.

  5.  Right-click on it then select “Delete.”

  6. Choose “Yes” in the confirmation popup window.

  7. Once the sub-key has been successfully deleted, close the “Registry Editor” then restart your PC.

  8. Once it restarts check that the app has been removed.

4. Use Safe Mode

Sometimes, third-party interference may be the reason why you’re unable to uninstall a particular app. One of the best ways to solve this is by starting your PC in Safe Mode where only standard apps are permitted to run.

  1. Open a Run dialog box by pressing the Windows logo key + R.

  2. Type “msconfig” then press Enter to open the “System Configuration” utility.

  3. Select the “Boot” tab.

  4. Under the “Boot options” check the “Safe boot” option.

  5. Click “Apply” then “OK.”

  6. Select “Restart” from the popup dialog box to restart your PC.

Once your PC restarts, it will be in Safe Mode. To uninstall the app, follow the steps outlined for any of the three methods described above.

5. Use Third-Party App

If none of the above methods has worked you can try a third-party uninstallation program. There are a variety of programs specifically for Windows 10 to force uninstall persistent apps and programs. One of the best is Revo Uninstaller.

The Revo Uninstaller app is specifically designed to uninstall programs that are installed on a PC but not listed in installed programs. To uninstall using Revo Uninstaller:

  1. Install the “Revo Uninstaller” app.

  2. Launch the app then click the “Forced Uninstall” button on the left pane.

  3. In the “Forced Uninstall” window at the “Program’s exact name” text field, start to accurately type the program or app name. Alternatively, you can point to the file or folder’s path by clicking on the “Browse for” button.

  4. If Revo Uninstaller finds a build-in uninstaller, it will display its path as another uninstall option. To try this method – if you haven’t already – check the “Run the selected built-in uninstaller” option found at the lower-left corner. Or uncheck the option if the uninstall.exe file isn’t working.

  5. If a trace log is found under the “Found (number) log” tab, then you can select it to uninstall that way.

  6. To scan your computer for leftover program items, select one of the three modes: “Safe,” “Moderate,” and “Advanced.” Each subsequent mode requires more time as it performs a more thorough leftover scan.

  7. Click “Next.” Depending on the options you’ve selected, Revo Uninstaller will run the built-in uninstaller, use the trace log to delete the program, or begin the leftover scan.

    • The time taken to scan will depend on your PC’s hardware, the total number, and type of programs you have installed, and the program you’re uninstalling.

  8. Once the scan is complete, a list of leftover Registry entries will display followed by a list of file leftovers.

  9. Select the files you wish to delete, then click “Delete.”

    • Only the bold entries will be deleted. The ones not in bold and in red are displayed for you to have an idea of where the bold entries are located.

    • If there are no Registry leftovers found, Revo Uninstaller will display the folders and files leftover list.

  10. Go through the items, then click the “Select All” button then “Delete.”

The program or app is now uninstalled.

Finally Getting Rid of Persistent Apps

At times, using the “Settings” or “Add or remove programs” application isn’t enough to uninstall some third-party apps in Windows 10. There are several reasons this could be the situation. Luckily, there are also several other ways to successfully uninstall a hard-to-remove app.

Methods include running a command via command prompt, removing all associated files in Registry Editor, or, as a last resort, using a third-party uninstallation program.

We’re you able to uninstall the program or app eventually? If so, what method worked? Let us know in the comments section below.

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