How to force a program to uninstall on Windows

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There are different ways to uninstall a program on Windows. The simplest methods are via the add or remove programs utility or the settings app. However, sometimes problems occur that prevent third-party apps and programs from uninstalling using conventional methods. In this article, we’ll take you through the steps for five other ways you can force an app or program to uninstall on Windows.

Method 1. Use the App or Program’s Uninstaller

The registry file for the program you’re trying to uninstall may have been removed. Luckily, the majority of third-party apps and programs come with an uninstaller. This utility is essentially an uninstallation wizard; here’s how to use it

Step 1: Go to the directory where the app or program is installed. The default directory for most third-party apps is X:\Program Files\(Program or App Name) or X:\Program Files(x86)\(Program or App Name)

Step 2: Look for the utility in the directory. It’s usually called “uninstall.exe” or “uninstaller.exe”; double-click it

Step 3: Complete the on-screen instructions. At the end, the wizard will uninstall the program

Method 2: Use Command Prompt

To uninstall a program or app via Command Prompt, you’ll first need to run Command Prompt as an administrator

Step 1: In the Windows Search box, select the Command Prompt app. Right-click it, then click Run as administrator. Command Prompt will open with administrator permissions

Step 2: At the prompt, type wmic then press Enter.

Step 3: You’ll see the wmic: root\clic> prompt to confirm that the Windows Management Instrumentation processes are ready to use.

Step 4: To get a list of the programs you have installed on your computer, type in “product get name” then press Enter.

Step 5: All apps and programs will display. Run the following command to uninstall the program: product where name=“program name” call uninstall. Instead of “program name,” type the name of the program.

Step 6: You’ll be asked to confirm whether you want to execute the command. Type Y to confirm or N to cancel, then hit Enter


After a short time, you’ll receive a message confirming that the method has been executed successfully. Then, your program has been uninstalled.

Method 3: Use the Registry Editor

Another way to uninstall a program or app is by deleting all traces of it from your PC’s Registry. Here’s how to use the Registry Editor:

Step 1: Open a Run dialog box, type regedit then click OK

Step 2: In Registry Editor via the left pane, go to the following directory: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Uninstall.

Step 3: Under the Uninstall key in the left pane, find the sub-key relating to the app or program you wish to uninstall. Note: The sub-key may not have the same name as the app or program.

To find the Program name you need to click on the Long Registry key name and from the right-hand side, you can find the DisplayName String Value.

DisplayName String Value shows the Program name, Once you found the Program registry key, click on it, and from the right-hand side look for the String Value named UninstallString.

Double click on the UninstallString and Copy the Value data, the value data will look like this: “C:\Program Files\NordVPN\unins000.exe” /LOG

Step 4: Next Open the Command prompt in elevated mode and paste the Value data and hit enter, this will uninstall the Program.

Methode 4: Use Third-Party App

If none of the above methods have worked, you can try a third-party uninstallation program. There are a variety of programs specifically for Windows to force uninstall persistent apps and programs. One of the best is Revo Uninstaller.

The Revo Uninstaller app is specifically designed to uninstall programs that are installed on a PC but not listed in installed programs. To uninstall using Revo Uninstaller:

Step 1: Install the Revo Uninstaller app

Step 2: Launch the app, then click the Forced Uninstall button on the left pane.

Step 3: If a trace log is found under the Found (number) log tab, then you can select it to uninstall that way.

Step 4: To scan your computer for leftover program items, select one of the three modes: SafeModerate, and Advanced. Each subsequent mode requires more time as it performs a more thorough leftover scan.

Step 5: Click Next. Depending on the options you’ve selected, Revo Uninstaller will run the built-in uninstaller, use the trace log to delete the program or begin the leftover scan.

  • The time taken to scan will depend on your PC’s hardware, the total number and type of programs you have installed, and the program you’re uninstalling.

Step 6: Once the scan is complete, a list of leftover Registry entries will display, followed by a list of file leftovers.

Step 7: Select the files you wish to delete, then click Delete.

  • Only the bold entries will be deleted.
  • If there are no Registry leftovers found, Revo Uninstaller will display the folders and files leftover list.

Step 8: Go through the items, then click the Select All button, then Delete.

The program or app is now uninstalled.


At times, using the Settings or Add or remove programs applications aren’t enough to uninstall some third-party apps in Windows 10. There are several reasons this could be the situation. Luckily, there are also several other ways to successfully uninstall a hard-to-remove app.

Good Luck!