Windows 10: Various methods to uninstall problematic Programs and Apps

Windows 10: Various methods to uninstall problematic Programs and Apps



The following article takes you through several methods for removing stubborn Apps and Programs in the Windows 10 operating system.


Table of Contents:

  1. Several methods for removing/uninstalling stubborn apps and programs in Windows 10
  2. Method I - Run the program manufacturers uninstall tool
  3. Method II - Run the uninstall from Control Panel
  4. Method III - Uninstall after closing program or app in Task Manager
  5. Method IV - Run the uninstall from Safe Mode
  6. Method V - Run the Microsoft Install/Uninstall troubleshooter
  7. Method VI - Use a Third Party Uninstaller
  8. Method VII - Run System Restore
  9. Method VIII - Remove Preinstalled Items
  10. Method IX - Clean ghosts from the Control Panel
  11. Method X - Remove Problem Updates

Several methods for removing/uninstalling stubborn apps and programs in Windows 10

Most people are aware that removing their unused programs and apps has the effect of making their system run quicker and with less problems.

However certain programs and apps can leave unwanted parts of themselves behind or won't uninstall. Sometimes this is down to programs that have become faulty, programs that share files with other programs, entries that write themselves into other programs and that run at a level that a common user can't affect them.

I've listed 10 different methods to remove stubborn programs and fully remove those that are no longer of any use on your PC.


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Method I - Run the program manufacturers uninstall tool

Most third party software now comes with a purpose built uninstaller tool. This can commonly be found by going to the start menu and scrolling down the all programs list until you find the appropriate program or app. Open the folder and the uninstaller will usually be listed there. Simply double click on the uninstaller and follow the onscreen instructions.

Sometimes you need to open the Explorer program and navigate to the location of the program you want to uninstall and you will see the uninstaller listed there as an .EXE file. Again double click on the file and follow the onscreen instructions.


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Method II - Run the uninstall from Control Panel

Use the uninstaller built into Windows 10

  1. Open the Start Menu

  2. Click on Settings

  3. Click on Apps

  4. Select Apps and Features from the left hand side menu

  5. Select the Program or App you want to uninstall from the list that appears

  6. Click on the uninstall button that shows under the selected program or app

  7. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the uninstall


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Method III - Uninstall after closing program or app in Task Manager

Use the Task Manager built into Windows 10

  1. Press down the CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys together to open the Task Manager

  2. It should already be on the processes tab

  3. Select the Program or App you want to uninstall from the list under processes

  4. Right click on the Program/App and select End Task

  5. Now try running the uninstall on the Program/App again


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Method IV - Run the uninstall from Safe Mode

Boot the system into safe mode and try running the uninstall from there:


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Method V - Run the Microsoft Install/Uninstall troubleshooter

Download the uninstall troubleshooter program from Microsoft:

  1. Open the troubleshooter program on the affected PC

  2. Click on the Advanced link on the window that opens

  3. You can run the repairs automatically at this point by clicking next, to be more specific uncheck the Apply repairs automatically box, then click next

  4. Select uninstalling
  5. Select the program you are having trouble uninstalling from the list. (If it isn't there, check for an entry marked Not Listed and choose that instead.) Then click next

  6. Follow the onscreen instructions

    1. When it finishes it will give the option to try uninstalling the program again

    2. It will tell you it couldn't identify the problem and give you the opportunity to give feedback on the program and to close it. However at this point you can click on the link View detailed information to receive a report

    3. After clicking next on the report screen, it will take you to a screen where you can select the repairs you want to run on the program you want to uninstall. Make sure that program is there and the check box marked

    4. Click on next for it to run through these repairs

    5. You should then get a report if this was successful or not


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Method VI - Use a Third Party Uninstaller

Using a search engine, you can usually find either a generic third party removal tool, or one specific to the Program/App you are trying to uninstall.

Dell doesn't recommend using third party software unless you are sure of the supplier and are confident in its use. These programs are often sources of infection to your PC or if used in an improper manner can cause system issues to occur on your PC.


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Method VII - Run System Restore

If you have enabled Restore Points on your PC, you can use System Restore to take your PC back to a previous date before the particular peice of software was installed. However this will also remove any other programs installed in that same period. You can find out more on the following link:


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Method VIII - Remove Preinstalled Items

You can right click on the App icon in the Start Menu and select uninstall.

However if this is not available or does not work, you can also use PowerShell. Please be aware PowerShell is a powerful tool and you can make changes which may affect your PC.

Dell doesn't recommend using PowerShell unless you are experienced in its use. You may want to ensure you have a backup of your system, before you start using commands in a tool like this.

  1. First you need to open PowerShell with Administrator rights

    1. You can find this in the start menu

    2. Alternatively you can right click on the start menu button to open a power users menu and select it from there

    3. Or you can click on the start menu and type PowerShell and select it from the list that appears

  2. Enter the following command (Where AppName is the name of the App you want to remove.):

    Get-AppxPackage *AppName* | Remove-AppxPackage
  3. You can generate a list of AppNames by entering the following command:

    Get-AppxPackage | ft name, PackageFullName -AutoSize


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Method IX - Clean ghosts from the Control Panel

When using Control Panel you may see references to Programs and Apps that are already uninstalled.

This is usually because there remains some part of the Program or App in the Registry. We don't recommend going into the Registry and deleting strings.

You can use a search engine to find a third party registry cleaner to remove these leftover strings.

However as with any third party software, you run the risk of infecting your PC.

Most Registry cleaners will react to your Antivirus and vice versa, so you need to be careful of what they quarantine or delete.

If you can't identify what the string does, I wouldn't recommend using a cleaner either. Deleting the wrong thing in the registry can cause system issues to your PC.


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Method X - Remove Problem Updates

You can uninstall recent windows update files from the Apps and Features page of the Control Panel, as you would any Program or App.

For anything more serious I would recommend going through the article on the following link:


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Article ID: SLN313145

Last Date Modified: 07/25/2018 05:27 AM


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