How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 8

Justin Pot 16-02-2015

Looking to get a particular program off your computer? Here’s how to do that on Windows 8.


Whether you’re looking to free up space on your hard drive 6 Ways to Free Up Space on Your Windows Computer Clutter can be a big downer on productivity. Over time, files get lost, programs go unused, and suddenly, your once spacious hard drive is packed with useless things and you have to clean it up.... Read More or just don’t want to keep programs you never use, uninstalling programs is a good habit. But if you’re used to earlier versions of Windows, you might not be sure how to uninstall software in Windows 8. Where is the control panel? And how do you uninstall Modern apps? Let’s go over everything.

Uninstalling Desktop Software In Windows 8

We showed you how to uninstall software from Windows 7 4 Steps To Completely Remove Troublesome Or Bad Software [Windows] We’ve all had that one program that no matter what we’ve tried, it wouldn’t go away. Or perhaps you didn’t even know what to try and thought you were simply stuck with this annoying program... Read More , and the process really hasn’t changed much. To summarize: head to the Control Panel, select Uninstall A Program, then pick the program you want to remove and click Uninstall. Longtime Windows users know this, but how do you even get to the Control Panel in Windows 8?

Good question. The fastest way might be to head to the Start Screen, then start typing Control – the Control Panel should pop up in the search results.

If that doesn’t work for you, right-click the Start button in desktop mode. You’ll see all kinds of useful things:



However you get there, once you’re in the Control Panel you can click Uninstall A Program, listed under Programs, to get to the uninstallation screen. Just make sure your Control Panel View by: is set to Category and you’ll see selection below.


When you get there, you’ll see a list of programs installed on your computer.



Find and select the program you want to remove, then click Uninstall. This will start the uninstaller for the given program, which can vary – follow the on-screen instructions, but know that some programs will try to trick you into keeping them.

That’s all there is to it for desktop applications, but there might be some programs you find on your Start screen that you can’t find in Uninstall A Program. What do you do about those?

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 6 Ways To Add & Remove Modern Apps In Windows 8 Modern apps on Windows 8 work very differently than traditional Windows desktop apps. They're always installed from the Windows Store (unless you're a developer or on a corporate network) and aren't uninstalled from the traditional... Read More ?


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.

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.

Third Party Uninstallers, And Why You Might Want To Use Them

Some people don’t like using the uninstall tools built into Windows, because they leave behind files. For example: if you uninstall a game, then reinstall it later, you might notice that your saves are still there. Other programs might leave behind a few settings, while demo versions of software will leave behind a note saying that they’re expired (preventing you from simply installing the software again to get another free trial).

If you want to completely uninstall a given program – settings, saves and all – the default tools offfered by Windows aren’t going to cut it. This is why we’ve gone over the best third party uninstallers 3 Best Third-Party Uninstallers & Why You Need Them To uninstall a Windows program, you can’t just hit 'Delete’ -- you need to run the software’s uninstaller. Unfortunately, the 'Uninstall a program’ option in the Windows Control Panel does not always completely remove it... Read More .

For example, IObit Uninstaller (free) is a portable program that lets you batch uninstall Windows programs How To Install & Uninstall Windows Programs In Bulk A mass installer or uninstaller can save you heaps of time. Remember the last time you set up a new computer? We are going to teach you how to do these tasks in a flash. Read More . This means you can set the software to remove multiple programs and then work through them one at a time.

How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 8 IOBit Uninstaller Batch Uninstall Windows Portable

Another tool worth looking into is Revo Uninstaller ($40), known for its ease of use. With it you can uninstall a program quickly just by right-clicking its desktop shortcut:

How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 8 Revo Uninstaller Hunter Mode

My colleague Mihir says Comodo Programs Manager (free) is his favourite uninstaller. It’s fast, and leaves behind less than similar programs.

How to Uninstall Programs on Windows 8 Comodo Programs Manager Windows Uninstaller

There are other programs out there offering uninstallers, such as CCleaner.

What Are You Uninstalling?

We’ve pointed out the best Windows software The Best PC Software for Your Windows Computer Want the best PC software for your Windows computer? Our massive list collects the best and safest programs for all needs. Read More , but I’d like to know what you think is the worst. What are you uninstalling, and why? Fill me in in the comments below, okay?

Oh, and while we’re talking about terrible software, here’s how to remove the crapware that came with your computer How To Remove Unwanted Crapware From Your Brand New Windows 7 System Read More .

Related topics: Windows 8, Windows 8.1.

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  1. Anonymous
    August 27, 2015 at 8:41 pm

    Thank you very much for this article! I am wondering (I have a Toshiba Satellite) whether it is ok to uninstall some of the toshiba bloatware, or if it is connected to the system somehow. Thx for any help on this!

    • Justin Pot
      August 28, 2015 at 1:58 am

      It's hard to say without seeing the system itself, certainly you shouldn't uninstall anything called a "driver". Are there any specific programs you have in mind?

      • Anonymous
        September 10, 2015 at 8:59 pm

        Things like "toshiba Book Place" or "Toshiba Central" or "toshiba start"

        • Justin Pot
          September 10, 2015 at 10:22 pm

          I don't think removing those would hurt anything, no.

  2. Peter Burk
    February 23, 2015 at 12:59 pm

    +1 IObit Uninstaller . It is superb. Removing application is very easy. Even my dad can handle it. :D (which is a lot) :D

    • Justin Pot
      February 23, 2015 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks for the info! Glad it's working for you, and your dad.

  3. Justin Pot
    February 19, 2015 at 2:54 pm

    You don't need the charms bar! You can just open the start screen and start typing "Control Panel".

  4. carson
    February 19, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    1. Open the Charms bar by moving your mouse pointer over the right corner of your screen. Alternatively you may press Windows key + C on Start screen to open Charms bar. Then select Search
    2. Next, type ‘Control Panel’ into the search box and click the search button. Then click on the Control Panel icon on the left side of the pane.
    3. Next, click on the green link Programs (or directly on the link Uninstall a program below that)