HP TECH TAKES /...

Exploring today's technology for tomorrow's possibilities
How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 10

How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 10

Whether you want to get rid of a program you no longer use or simply want to clear some hard-drive space, removing a program on your computer requires uninstalling it. Fortunately, this is a simple process. Learn how to uninstall programs on your computer with our step-by-step guide.

How to uninstall programs on Windows 10

There are a few ways to uninstall programs. The first is by finding the program on your Start Menu. This may not apply if you don’t use the program frequently or if it isn’t pinned to your Start menu. Some malware programs, for example, may come as part of another program download. These are often not prominently displayed.

1. Uninstall a program from the Start Menu

For programs located on the Start Menu, you can remove them by taking these steps:
  • Click on the Windows icon in the upper left-hand corner of your screen
  • Scroll through the program icons on your Start Menu until you find the one you want to uninstall
  • Right-click the program icon
  • Select Uninstall
  • Follow the steps to remove your program successfully

2. Uninstall a program from the Settings

The second way to remove a program is through your Settings page. Follow these steps to begin:
  • Click on the Windows icon or Start button to bring up your Start Menu
  • Select Settings, then choose Apps, and click on Apps & features
  • Choose the app or program you want to get rid of and click on the Uninstall button
  • Follow the steps to complete its removal

3. Uninstall a program from the Control Panel

Most programs can be removed using the Control Panel. This usually doesn’t work for apps downloaded through the Windows Store, but many popular programs can be uninstalled this way. It’s also a great way to see all the programs you currently have installed on your computer. You may not even realize everything that is stored on your hard drive.
To begin:
  • Type Control Panel in the taskbar on your desktop or ask Cortana to open the Control Panel
  • Click on Programs, then open Programs and Features
  • Find the program you want to uninstall and right-click on it
  • Select the Uninstall or Uninstall/Change button, whichever appears
  • Follow the steps to complete the uninstallation

Tips for deciding which programs to uninstall

You don’t have to wait until a program causes you problems before you decide to uninstall it. Many of our PCs come preloaded with tools you may never use. Additionally, some software bundles may include various free trials or other freeware titles that use up precious storage and offer little value.

Size matters

It’s a good idea to regularly go through your programs using the aforementioned Control Panel method. If your priority is to free up space, sort by application or program size so that the largest files are on top. Scroll through those big programs and remove the largest unwanted programs first.

When did you last use it?

You may also want to uninstall by the last date of use or frequency of use. Sort by the last date used to see files that may have been sitting unused on your PC for years. You may find that you have never even opened some programs or tools.
Pro tip: The dates shown will sometimes represent the last time there was an automatic program update and not the date you actually used it last. Old, unwanted programs can often appear to be used recently, even though they haven’t been.

What if a program won’t uninstall?

Sometimes, your Microsoft uninstaller won’t be able to remove a program. This may happen if you click Uninstall and you see a pop-up error message or you’re asked you to search for a program. Using the installer that came with the program may be the best choice in this situation.

Using a third-party program uninstaller

Not all third-party programs have their own installation or uninstallation software. To find out, use these steps to locate any application removal tools created by the software company itself:
  • Use Windows Explorer to find where the program is installed. You can also look for the program name under C:\Program Files (If your hard drive has a letter name other than C, substitute it for C in this path)
  • Open the folder with the program name you want to remove. Look for removal files with the .exe file format. They may be named “uninstall,” “uninstallation,” or something similar
  • Double-click the executable file of the uninstaller to open it. An uninstallation wizard or other pop-up utility should start
  • Follow the steps to complete the removal of the program. It may take you to a website for feedback or want you to answer survey questions. You do not have to do this to complete the process
If you can’t find an uninstaller, or the executable file that came with the program acts oddly or opens new programs, you may have a virus or malware problem. Use your antivirus program to scan your computer. Try doing this in Safe Mode if you experience computer instability.

Extra help for removing programs

When attempting to uninstall Windows 10 programs, you may have to restart your computer to finish the process. If you plan to remove more than one program, only do one at a time. You may have to restart your computer between each uninstallation.
Usually, the computer will start back up on its own. Sometimes, you may need to power up your PC to continue the process manually. When the computer is fully powered on, wait a few minutes to ensure that you aren’t prompted to do anything else to complete the uninstallation. Most programs will be removed by the time your normal PC programs are fully loaded.

Reinstalling removed programs

Removing programs is easy in most cases, and it can free up computer space for more programs you actually use. Windows has made it easy to uninstall most common programs.
If you change your mind and decide that you want to reinstall a program later, you should have no issues as long as you have kept the software licensing key or have a way of logging in and proving you own it. Free programs are easy to download again from the original publisher.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP® Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author, public speaker, and member of the ASJA. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.

Disclosure: Our site may get a share of revenue from the sale of the products featured on this page.

More about these products
Disclaimer

Prices, specifications, availability and terms of offers may change without notice. Price protection, price matching or price guarantees do not apply to Intra-day, Daily Deals or limited-time promotions. Quantity limits may apply to orders, including orders for discounted and promotional items. Despite our best efforts, a small number of items may contain pricing, typography, or photography errors. Correct prices and promotions are validated at the time your order is placed. These terms apply only to products sold by HP.com; reseller offers may vary. Items sold by HP.com are not for immediate resale. Orders that do not comply with HP.com terms, conditions, and limitations may be cancelled. Contract and volume customers not eligible.

HP’s MSRP is subject to discount. HP’s MSRP price is shown as either a stand-alone price or as a strike-through price with a discounted or promotional price also listed. Discounted or promotional pricing is indicated by the presence of an additional higher MSRP strike-through price

The following applies to HP systems with Intel 6th Gen and other future-generation processors on systems shipping with Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 or Windows 10 Pro systems downgraded to Windows 7 Professional, Windows 8 Pro, or Windows 8.1: This version of Windows running with the processor or chipsets used in this system has limited support from Microsoft. For more information about Microsoft’s support, please see Microsoft’s Support Lifecycle FAQ at https://support.microsoft.com/lifecycle

Ultrabook, Celeron, Celeron Inside, Core Inside, Intel, Intel Logo, Intel Atom, Intel Atom Inside, Intel Core, Intel Inside, Intel Inside Logo, Intel vPro, Itanium, Itanium Inside, Pentium, Pentium Inside, vPro Inside, Xeon, Xeon Phi, Xeon Inside, and Intel Optane are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries.

In-home warranty is available only on select customizable HP desktop PCs. Need for in-home service is determined by HP support representative. Customer may be required to run system self-test programs or correct reported faults by following advice given over phone. On-site services provided only if issue can't be corrected remotely. Service not available holidays and weekends.

HP will transfer your name and address information, IP address, products ordered and associated costs and other personal information related to processing your application to Bill Me Later®. Bill Me Later will use that data under its privacy policy.

Microsoft Windows 10: Not all features are available in all editions or versions of Windows 10. Systems may require upgraded and/or separately purchased hardware, drivers, software or BIOS update to take full advantage of Windows 10 functionality. Windows 10 is automatically updated, which is always enabled. ISP fees may apply and additional requirements may apply over time for updates. See http://www.microsoft.com.

“Best All In One Printer” and “the easiest printer you’ve ever had to set up” from Wirecutter. ©2020 The Wirecutter, Inc.. All rights reserved. Used under license. https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-all-in-one-printer/

Get Marvel’s Avengers when you purchase HP gaming PCs with qualifying 9th gen or 10th gen Intel® Core™ i5, i7 and i9 processors. Redemption code will be sent out by email within 60 days of purchase. Limited quantities and while supply lasts. Offer valid thru 12/31/2020 only while supplies last. We reserve the right to replace titles in the offer for ones of equal or greater value. Certain titles may not be available to all consumers because of age restrictions. The Offer may be changed, cancelled, or suspended at any time, for any reason, without notice, at Intel’s reasonable discretion if its fairness or integrity affected whether due to human or technical error. The Offer sponsor is Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Blvd., Santa Clara, CA 95054, USA. To participate you must create an Intel Digital Hub Account, purchase a qualifying product during the redemption period, enter a valid Master Key, and respond to a brief survey. Information you submit is collected, stored, processed, and used on servers in the USA. For more information on offer details, eligibility, restrictions, and our privacy policy, visit https://softwareoffer.intel.com/offer/20Q3-19/terms.

© 2020 MARVEL. © Intel Corporation. Intel, the Intel logo, and other Intel marks are trademarks of Intel Corporation or its subsidiaries in the U.S. and/or other countries. Other names and brands may be claimed as the property of others.

The personal information you provide will be used according to the HP Privacy Statement (https://www8.hp.com/us/en/privacy/ww-privacy.html)