How to uninstall software in Windows

Updated: 01/24/2018 by Computer Hope
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If a program is no longer being used, or additional space is required, it may be necessary to uninstall or delete the software. The following sections contain a variety of different methods for uninstalling programs from a computer running Microsoft Windows, as well as the pros and cons of each. To proceed, you can read through all of the options or select one from the list below.

Install and Uninstall option

Pro: Will remove all or the majority of all files copied to the computer during installation.
Con: Not all programs support or use this feature.

  1. Open the Control Panel or press the Windows key, type Control Panel, and then press Enter.
  2. Double-click Add or Remove Programs, Uninstall a program, or Programs and Features depending on your version of Windows.
  3. In the new window, select the program you want to uninstall and click the Change, Remove, or Uninstall button.

Windows add remove programs

How do I know what to delete? If you don't know what it is, we suggest that it not be removed or ask someone who knows before proceeding.

If the program or game is not listed, continue reading this document for alternative methods to uninstalling software.

Unwise Wizard

Pro: Created by a program's developer and allows for the deletion of any files that were originally installed.
Con: May cause errors as it can delete files that are currently used by other programs.

  1. Click Start.
  2. Open the Programs folder under Programs or All Programs.
  3. In the folder, look for an Unwise or Uninstall shortcut.
  4. Click this shortcut to begin the uninstallation process.


  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. In Explorer, open the folder containing the program you want to uninstall. If you're not sure where the folder is located, a good place to check first would be the Program Files folder.
  3. Once the folder is opened, look for an Unwise or Uninstall shortcut link or executable program.

Do not search for unwise.exe since it's likely several of these files exist on your computer and may be associated with another program.

If the program or game you have does not have this option, continue reading this document for alternative methods to uninstalling software.

Third-party software

Pro: Will remove files and registry settings associated with the program, which manually deleting the program will not.
Con: May not remove everything since it's third-party and not developer created.

There are various commercial and free solutions available for uninstalling software on your computer. We highly recommend Revo Uninstaller, a free and easy to use program and junk file utility.

Manually delete

Pro: Manually deleting software from a computer helps save space when no other options are available.
Con: May cause additional errors if the operating system or other programs require files that are deleted.


Before manually deleting any software from the computer we recommend you do each of the suggestions below.

  1. Empty your Recycle Bin; that way, any files that are deleted can be restored from there.
  2. Backup all important data.

Once you are ready, follow the steps below to manually delete the files.

  1. Open Windows Explorer.
  2. Highlight the program folder. Make sure you're not highlighting its containing folder instead. For instance, make sure not to highlight your Program Files folder.
  3. Press the Delete key on the keyboard to delete the files.
  4. After deleted program, reboot the computer to verify no errors occur.

If an error occurs, the files can be recovered from the Recycle Bin.