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How do you remove programs on Windows 10? In one sense, the answer is straightforward; in another, it’s perhaps more multi-faceted than you might realize.
Of course, you can delete Windows 10 programs using the operating system’s built-in tools—but sometimes those tools aren’t powerful enough. In addition to the native tools, there are “automagic” program removal options, malware removal apps, and more.
Confused? Let’s take a closer look at how to remove Windows programs and apps quickly.
How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 10
We’ll begin with a quick overview of the built-in ways to uninstall programs on Windows.
Puzzlingly, there are two different ways to achieve the same goal. You can either use the Settings app or the Control Panel.
How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 10 Using the Settings App
The Settings app approach is the newer of the two methods.
Microsoft said way back in 2015 that the company intended to phase out the Control Panel entirely, but given its long-standing tight integration with the operating system, it’s proving to be quite a challenge to unravel it all.
Nonetheless, if you want to be on safe ground, this is the more sensible method to become familiar.
To begin, open up the Settings app, go to Apps > Apps and Features, and scroll down the to the Apps and Features section.
You will see a list of all your apps, including their size and the date on which you installed them. You can use the filters and the top of the list to sort the items in the most useful way.
To delete an app, highlight the software in question and click on Uninstall.
Note: If you’re not sure where to start, check out our list of Windows 10 apps you should install right now.
How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 10 Using the Control Panel
If you’re a traditionalist, you might prefer to use the Control Panel to delete programs on Windows 10.
It’s also smart to use the Control Panel if you want a bit more insight into the app you are removing. In addition to the information listed in the Settings app, you can also easily see the version number and app publisher.
The Control Panel is no longer accessible by right-clicking on the Start menu, so you’ll need to search for it in Cortana to find it. Once the Control Panel is open, navigate to Programs and Features to see a list of all the programs on your computer.
Highlight an app and click Uninstall at the top of the window to remove it from your system.
Third-Party Tools to Remove Programs on Windows 10
Several third-party tools can remove apps on Windows 10. Here are some of the best:
Curiously, the native uninstaller tool in Windows 10 isn’t actually that good. It has a nasty habit of leaving behind registry entries, system files, and other unneeded junk. The only way to get rid of it is to go through all the old directories manually.
For a more powerful way to delete apps on Windows 10, check out Revo Uninstaller. There’s a free and a pro version. The free version doesn’t let you uninstall entire apps but does allow you to scan and remove any leftover files and folders from previously-deleted programs.
The pro version adds support for entire app removal but will set you back $25. There’s a 30-day free trial available in case you want to try before you buy.
CCleaner’s reputation has taken something of a battering in recent times—it’s easy to make the case that the app is now adware.
However, the underlying tools are still as good as ever. If you need an app that can remove a program on Windows 10 in a flash, CCleaner could be the answer.
To use CCleaner to remove a Windows app, fire up the software and go to Tools > Uninstall. You will see a list of all the apps on your system. Choose the app you want to remove and hit Uninstall to begin the process.
The final third-party uninstaller we recommend is IObit. The company makes several optimization apps, but we are specifically interested in Advanced SystemCare 12.
Much like the free version of Revo Uninstaller, it can remove old app remnants from your system. That includes invalid registry entries, orphaned folders, malware, and other junk files.
The pro version of the app, which costs $20, offers deeper registry cleaning and the ability to speed up your web connection.
Remove Malware Programs on Windows 10
Some programs—especially malware—might be resistant to the usual methods of app removal. In those cases, you need to turn to a dedicated anti-malware tool.
There are lots of great antivirus suites, but we particularly like Kaspersky Security.
Un-Installable Windows 10 Apps
Lastly, a note about the Windows 10 apps that cannot be uninstalled. That includes programs such as Alarm and Clock, Calculator, Groove Music, and People.
Some third-party apps will let you uninstall these apps, but it’s actually possible to achieve this from within Windows without any external help; you need to use PowerShell.
To launch PowerShell, right-click on the Start menu and select Windows PowerShell (Admin).
When you’re ready to uninstall programs, type Get-AppxPackage *[app name]* | Remove-AppxPackage and press Enter.
Note: There is a strong possibility that the apps will reappear next time Windows updates itself.
Take Control of Uninstalling Programs on Windows 10
The various ways to uninstall programs on Windows 10 that we’ve listed in this article should cover you for just about every eventuality. If we’ve missed any methods, make sure you let us know in the comments below.