Article Number: 000137586
The following article takes you through several methods for removing stubborn Apps and Programs in the Windows 10 operating system.
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.
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.
Use the uninstaller built into Windows 10
Open the Start Menu
Click on Settings
Click on Apps
Select Apps and Features from the left hand side menu
Select the Program or App you want to uninstall from the list that appears
Click on the uninstall button that shows under the selected program or app
Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the uninstall
Use the Task Manager built into Windows 10
Press down the CTRL+SHIFT+ESC keys together to open the Task Manager
It should already be on the processes tab
Select the Program or App you want to uninstall from the list under processes
Right click on the Program/App and select End Task
Now try running the uninstall on the Program/App again
Boot the system into safe mode and try running the uninstall from there:
Download the uninstall troubleshooter program from Microsoft:
Open the troubleshooter program on the affected PC
Click on the Advanced link on the window that opens
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
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
Follow the onscreen instructions
When it finishes it will give the option to try uninstalling the program again
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
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
Click on next for it to run through these repairs
You should then get a report if this was successful or not
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.
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:
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.
First you need to open PowerShell with Administrator rights
You can find this in the start menu
Alternatively you can right click on the start menu button to open a power users menu and select it from there
Or you can click on the start menu and type PowerShell and select it from the list that appears
Enter the following command (Where AppName is the name of the App you want to remove.):
You can generate a list of AppNames by entering the following command:
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.
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:
G Series, Inspiron, Latitude, Vostro, XPS, Fixed Workstations
21 Feb 2021