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Windows 10 basics: how to uninstall apps

Remove apps you don’t need

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There are several reasons you might want to uninstall applications and / or programs from your Windows 10 PC. You may be trying to free up space, or you no longer use that application, or the program came with your PC and you don’t really need it.

There are actually several different ways to uninstall, depending on the app you’re trying to remove. If one method doesn’t work, try another.

Be warned: not every app can be uninstalled using the methods described here. Some built-in apps, such as Microsoft Edge, can only be uninstalled with a tool like Windows PowerShell, which uses a command-line interface. Deleting these apps is a much more complex process that you can follow here.

For most applications, though, the process is fairly straightforward.

Uninstall an app from the Start menu

It’s easy to uninstall simple apps, like many of those installed from the Microsoft Store, from the Start menu. For larger apps and programs, which may store settings in the Windows Registry and other places around your system, you may need to do a more formal uninstall. (Because Windows can store bits of your application in various parts of the system, it’s important to properly uninstall apps rather than simply delete them.)

Here’s how to begin:

  • Click on the Start button.
  • Locate the app.
  • Right-click on the app and select “Uninstall.”
Start menu with right-click options for an app
You can uninstall some apps directly from the Start menu.
  • If you see an “Uninstall” button along with the message “This app and its related info will be uninstalled,” in the pop-up window, then just hit the button and you’re finished!
Uninstall pop-up window
Click on “Uninstall” again to remove the app.
  • If it’s a more complex application, you’ll see a button that just says “Uninstall.” You’ll be taken to the “Uninstall or change a program” page in the Control Panel.

Uninstall an app using the Control Panel

If you want to, you can also get to this page by typing “Control Panel” in the search bar and then clicking on “Uninstall a Program” under the Programs subhead.

  • Scroll down to the program you want to remove. (If you can’t find it, you may need to uninstall through settings — the instructions are below).
  • Once you find the program, you can click on it and then on the “Uninstall” or “Uninstall/Change” button at the top of the page. You can also right-click and select “Uninstall” or “Uninstall/Change” or just double-click on the program.
“Uninstall or change a program” page
To uninstall an application, highlight it and then click on “Uninstall” or “Uninstall/Change.”
  • The next steps differ depending on the program. In some cases, the application will be removed and you won’t have to do anything else. You may get a pop-up window asking you to confirm. In that case, click “Uninstall.” You may get a window that says “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?” Click “Yes.” If you get an uninstall window, click “Next” or “Continue” and follow the steps in the window to uninstall the app.
VLC Uninstall pop-up window
If prompted, follow the steps in the pop-up window to uninstall the program.
  • Click “Finish” when you’re done.

Uninstall an app using settings

An alternative (and perhaps easier) method to uninstall a program is to use the “Apps & features” section of your Windows 10 settings.

  • Click on the Start button.
  • Select the cog to open up settings.
  • Open “Apps.”
  • Navigate to “Apps & features” by selecting it from the left-hand sidebar. (You can also get here by searching for and clicking on “Add or remove programs” from the taskbar search box.)
  • Scroll down to the app you want to uninstall and click on it to expand it.
Apps & features menu
Click on the app you wish to uninstall.
  • Click on the “Uninstall” button. (If the button is grayed out, it means that you can’t uninstall it via the normal Windows 10 interface.)
  • A small pop-up window will appear. Click on the “Uninstall” button.
Uninstall pop-up window
You’ll get another pop-up window asking you to confirm that you want to uninstall the app.

Update May 29th, 1:40PM ET: This article was updated to add instructions for deleting Microsoft’s built-in apps.