Windows 8 Uninstall Programs

Uninstalling desktop programs in Windows 8 is very similar to previous versions of Windows, but the process is made a little more confusing due to the lack of a traditional Start menu. Windows 8 also introduces apps that can be downloaded from the Windows Store. These apps don’t appear in the old Control Panel programs list, and need to be deleted using Windows 8’s new menu system.

Uninstalling Desktop Apps in Windows 8

Removing an app from your computer doesn’t take much effort. To remove an unwanted desktop program or change its settings, head for the desktop’s Control Panel by following these steps:

  1. Right-click in the screen’s bottom-left corner and choose the Control Panel from the pop-up menu.
  2. When the Control Panel appears, choose Uninstall a Program from the Programs category. The Uninstall or Change a Program window appears, listing your currently installed programs, their publisher, size, installation date, and version number. To free up disk space, click the Installed On or Size column header to find old or large programs. Then uninstall those forgotten programs you never or rarely use.
  3. Click the unloved program and then click its Uninstall, Change, or Repair button. The menu bar above the programs’ names always displays an Uninstall button, but when you click certain programs, you may also see buttons for Change and Repair. Here’s the rundown:

    • Uninstall: This completely removes the program from your PC. (Some programs list this button as Uninstall/Change.)
    • Change: This lets you change some of the program’s features or remove parts of it.
    • Repair: A handy choice for damaged programs, this tells the program to inspect itself and replace damaged files with new ones. You may need to have the program’s original CD or DVD handy, though, because you’ll need to insert it into your computer.
  4. When Windows asks whether you’re sure, click Yes. Depending on which button you’ve clicked, Windows 8 either boots the program off your PC or summons the program’s own installation program to make the changes or repair itself. After you delete a program, it’s gone for good unless you kept its installation CD. Unlike other deleted items, deleted programs don’t linger inside your Recycle Bin.

Always use the Control Panel’s Uninstall or Change a Program window to uninstall unwanted programs. Simply deleting their files or folders won’t do the trick. In fact, doing so often confuses your computer into sending bothersome error messages.

Uninstall Desktop Apps using Uninstall or MSI file

Many desktop apps (especially those which create Uninstall shortcuts) have an executable file named uninstall.exe or something along these lines. This file is always found in the installation folder of that application. You can see below the uninstall.exe file for the VLC Player.

Run it and follow the steps required to uninstall the program.

Some programs (like the 64-bit version of 7-Zip) do not use a setup.exe file for their installation. Instead their setup file has the extension ".msi". This format is used by the Windows Installer, a special installation format created by Microsoft for its Windows operating systems. The desktop applications that use an ".msi" installer are very easy to uninstall. You right click or press and hold on their setup file and click or tap Uninstall.

Uninstalling Modern Apps In Windows 8

There are two kinds of programs that run in Windows 8 – desktop programs, which run on the desktop and act much the way Windows programs always have; and Modern apps, which are new to Windows 8, are installed from the Windows Store, typically run in fullscreen mode, and resemble smartphone apps.

Modern apps don’t follow the same rules as desktop ones, and one of those differences is how you uninstall them. They’re not in the Control Panel, so how do you uninstall Modern apps?

To uninstall a Metro App from Windows 8, please perform the following instructions. Head to the Start Screen, then right-click the app you want to uninstall.

At the bottom of the screen you’ll find an Uninstall button, complete with a trash can icon. Click this and you’ll see a prompt:

You know what to do: click Uninstall, and the app is gone. That’s it. The selected App is now longer available on your computer and in order to install that App again you will need to download it from the Windows Store.

Note that, if you right-click a desktop app’s icon from the Start Screen, clicking Uninstall will take you to the Uninstall Programs section of the Control Panel.

If you can’t Uninstall a Program

Windows includes a number of straightforward options for removing programs, and we’ll look at those here. However, some programs can be a bit tricky to fully remove properly, so we’ve also chosen some useful tools that you can download to help you out as well.

  1. Uninstalling a program using CCleaner - download, install and run CCleaner. After launching the program select "Tools". In the uninstall programs list select the program you want to uninstall and click the "Run Uninstaller" button.
  2. Use System Restore - All versions of Windows include an option called System Restore that allows your PC to revert back to an earlier state. You can quickly locate it just by typing "restore" into the Search tool in the Start Menu or the Windows 8 Start Screen.
  3. Search Uninstall Instruction in Web - Some programm have very special uninstall ritual, so you can find all you need just by search in Internet.

Now you know how to uninstall a program using built-in Windows features or using third party software. By regularly checking and removing programs that you don’t use will result in extra disk space and faster computer start-up time. Uninstalling potentially unwanted programs can drastically increase the performance of user’s operating system and will eliminate unwanted ads or browser redirects.