How to Uninstall Software Using a Command Prompt

By John Ruiz

Windows allows you to install various applications and games so you can do more on your system. When you no longer need these programs, you can uninstall them using the "Add/Remove Programs" control panel function to free up space. Windows Vista and Windows 7 provides the "Programs and Features" control panel function instead, which has a similar function. If you cannot access the Control Panel or prefer a faster way of uninstalling a program, you can use the Command Prompt instead.

Things You'll Need

  • Windows XP or newer Windows version

Step 1

Click "Start," select "Run," type "cmd" and hit "Enter." If you are running Windows XP, go to "Run" from the Start menu and type "cmd" in the text box provided.

Step 2

Type "WMIC" at the Command Prompt and press "Enter." Wait for the "wmic:root\cli>" text to appear and then type "product get name" and press "Enter" again. Wait for Windows to display the complete list of installed programs.

Step 3

Locate the program in the list that you wish to uninstall. Type the following command including the quotes and period without pressing the Enter key:product where name="" call uninstall.

Step 4

Keep pressing the "Left" arrow key until the blinking cursor is on the second quotation mark. Type the exact name of the program that you want to install -- as it appeared in Step 2 -- so it appears between the quotes. Press "Enter." For example if you want to uninstall Microsoft Silverlight, type:product where name="Microsoft Silverlight" call uninstall.

Step 5

Read the confirmation message and press the "Y" key followed by the "Enter" key if you really wish to uninstall the software.

Tips & Warnings

  • Press the "N" key followed by the "Enter" key after you complete Step 4 if you typed in the wrong program. This will take you back to Step 2.
  • Unlike the traditional way of uninstalling programs, you cannot cancel the uninstallation process after you complete Step 5.