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How to Install or Uninstall Apps on Windows 10

How to Install or Uninstall Apps on Windows 10

Linsey Knerl
Modern PCs feature apps and programs for just about everything from scheduling housework to building 3D models of the heart. The typical desktop PC or laptop has many pre-installed apps, including word processing tools and internet browsers.
What happens when you no longer use certain apps or need more space on your hard drive for the things you really want to do? Adding new apps and removing the ones you don't need anymore isn't that difficult, and here's how to do it.

How to install Windows 10 apps

How to install Windows 10 apps
Did you hear about a new game that everyone's playing? Are you looking for a better way to budget or track spending? With so many apps available and new ones released every day, chances are you'll add to your app collection over time.
Installing a Windows 10 app is easy:
  • Click on the Windows icon to open the Start Menu.
  • Select the Windows Store option (shopping bag with Windows logo).
  • If you're logged in as the primary PC user, follow the steps to create a new Windows account or log in with your existing Windows account.
  • Search the apps to find the one you want. You can browse by category, search by name or tag, or check out recommended apps.
  • Click the price button to begin the installation. Note that you need a payment method on file with your Windows account to install any apps that aren't free.
  • Navigate away from the screen to work on other things if you want. The Windows notification system will let you know when the app is fully installed and ready to enjoy.
Pro tip: Before installing any new app, check the file size as well as its memory and processing requirements. This can save you from downloading apps that don't work on your system.

How to uninstall programs on Windows 10

The Windows app uninstaller has made it incredibly simple to get rid of apps you don't use anymore. However, there are certain apps you can't remove, such as those built directly into the Windows operating system.
You may also receive a notification for certain apps that fail to uninstall. Windows recommends that you try to repair these buggy or unresponsive programs. This is a separate process found below.
To uninstall a program, use one of these methods:
Start Menu:
  • Click Start, and choose your app from the list that appears.
  • Right-click the app you wish to remove.
  • Select Uninstall.
Control Panel:
  • Click on the search area in your taskbar.
  • Type "Control Panel," then select it.
  • Choose Programs > Programs and Features.
  • Find the program you want to delete, and right-click on it.
  • Choose Uninstall or Uninstall/Change (depending on what appears).
  • Proceed through the steps from the Windows 10 uninstaller to complete the process.
Settings Page:
  • Click Start.
  • Choose Settings > Apps > Apps & Features.
  • Choose the apps you want to uninstall and click the Uninstall button.
With any of these options, you may need to restart your computer, or it may restart automatically to complete the process. To be safe, save your work before removing an app or program.

How to repair apps in Windows 10

How to repair apps in Windows 10
Sometimes, you can repair a glitchy program using these simple steps within Windows 10. These steps won't work for all apps, but you will have the option if it appears through these steps.
  • Click Start, then Settings, and Apps > Apps & Features.
  • Find the app to repair and click the More icon next to it.
  • Look under the app's name and choose Advanced options. (If the option isn't available, you can't repair the app this way.)
  • A new window will open.
  • Choose Repair, or if that doesn't appear, choose Reset.
You can also access the Repair menu from the Control panel.
  • Type "control panel" into the search box.
  • Choose Control Panel.
  • Pick Programs, then Programs and Features.
  • Find the program you want to repair, and right-click it.
  • Choose Repair.
  • Follow the steps to finish the process.

Troubleshooting tips for removing Windows 10 apps

Learning how to delete computer apps is pretty straightforward, but it may not always go as planned. What's the problem? Here are some common reasons for errors.

1. The program is included in the operating system

You cannot uninstall some programs that come with the Windows OS. Microsoft Edge, the Windows-specific browser, is one example because it's integrated into many Windows 10 features.
While you may find a workaround online, Microsoft doesn't recommend these methods for the average PC user. You may make your PC unstable by removing a default application or unintentionally remove additional app features or functionality.

2. Can't find an app to remove

There are a few reasons you may be unable to find the program you want to uninstall. First, it may not exist on your computer and is actually a web-based tool you access through a website. Another possibility is that you can't remember the app's name, or it's stored under another app. Two examples include game centres and servers, where the program is named after the server company and not after the individual titles you play.
If you are certain that you have the app by name on your PC, try this:
  • Click Start, and pick the arrow next to “All apps.” This will open an alphabetical list of all your apps, even those you haven't used in a while.
  • Try searching in the box above the Start menu. If you don't see an app you know should be there, it could be in a "pending" status and waiting for your operating system to update. Update Windows, restart your PC, and try again.
Your antivirus software may be hiding the app. Temporarily turn off your protection to see if you can find the apps, but be sure to turn your antivirus software back on immediately after removing the app in question.
One final fix may be related to the registry key name for the program. Microsoft includes a workaround for registry names longer than 60 characters, which can cause this issue. You can find a step-by-step resolution for consumers here.

3. Corrupt registry keys

Troubleshooting tips for removing Windows 10 apps
Applications and programs need registry keys to run properly. If these files are corrupted or missing, you may struggle to remove them. Microsoft has a troubleshooter you can download to resolve these issues and will alert you to registry key problems. You can access it on the download page.

4. Virus or malware

Not all apps are designed for good. If you can't remove a program or it continues to appear without your permission, it may be malware in disguise. If it's malware, the only way to remove it may be to run your antivirus or antimalware software to see if it recognizes and destroys the threat. Searching for the app in your security software library may also tell you if there's cause for concern.

5. No admin permissions

You may be unable to remove an app because of your user privileges. Typically, the PC's administrator is the PC owner who set up the operating system. As an admin, you can add and remove programs.
If you try to remove a program while logged in as someone other than the administrator, you may need to request permission. Type in the PC's PIN or password, or log in as the administrator to complete the process.
While this little detail can be a hassle, it also prevents other users from deleting apps you actually need. It's also a great precaution when sharing a PC with children because it prevents them from adding or removing any programs they want.

Reasons to uninstall apps

Cleaning up your app library has its benefits. It reduces strain on your storage and may even prevent too many background tasks from running at once. This is a common reason for virtual memory to run low, which can cause your processor to work harder than necessary.
Or, you may not need certain apps over time, like any older game you haven't played in months. Removing it can help your PC's performance by freeing up precious storage space. Just be sure to use the uninstall tool instead of simply deleting the program files.
This is the best method because it removes the app and its temporary files, such as downloads, screen shares, or app data files. This creates a truly clean slate with no files to worry about being leftover.
About the Author: Linsey Knerl is a contributing writer for HP Tech Takes. Linsey is a Midwest-based author and public speaker. She has a passion for helping consumers and small business owners do more with their resources via the latest tech solutions.

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