How to Uninstall Apps on Windows 10

Removing Unwanted Apps: A Complete Guide to Safely Uninstalling Programs on Windows 10

As a long-time Windows user, you likely have accumulated dozens of unnecessary apps on your computer over the years. While it‘s tempting to simply ignore them, those unused programs can slow down your PC, take up valuable storage space, and even pose potential security risks.

In this expert guide, you‘ll learn the ins and outs of safely removing programs on Windows 10. I‘ll provide step-by-step instructions on uninstalling apps through the various built-in tools, dealing with stubborn programs that won‘t delete through normal means, getting rid of pesky preinstalled bloatware, and even switching to alternative operating systems if you eventually get fed up with Windows.

By the end, you‘ll be able to confidently purge your computer of digital clutter and get your system running lighter and faster again. Let‘s get to it!

The Evolving Nature of Uninstalling Windows Apps

Long-time Windows users know that removing apps hasn‘t always been straightforward. In the earlier days of DOS and Windows 3.1, programs mostly lived in their own isolated folders. Deleting them was as simple as sending the folder to the Recycle Bin.

That changed as Windows became more complex. Shared components and registry entries meant applications were intertwined under the hood. Suddenly removing one program could cripple several others if you weren‘t careful.

Thankfully, Windows 10 makes uninstalling apps much less hazardous through several built-in tools. While a bit of care is still required, you generally don‘t have to worry about breaking vital system components when removing an unused app today.

Compared to past versions, the current iteration of Windows provides a user-friendly uninstallation experience. Let‘s look at how to leverage these built-in tools to remove unwanted programs from your system.

3 Easy Ways to Uninstall Apps on Windows 10

Windows 10 offers several built-in methods to remove apps from your system. The three easiest options are:

  1. The Start Menu
  2. The Control Panel
  3. The Settings Menu

I‘ll provide simple, step-by-step instructions for utilizing each method below.

Uninstalling Apps Via the Start Menu

The Windows Start Menu provides convenient access to all installed applications. It also allows uninstalling apps directly with just a few clicks.

Here is how to use it:

  1. Click the Start button in the lower-left corner of the desktop. This launches the Start Menu.

  2. Locate the app want to uninstall within the list of programs. You can search for it using the "Type here to search" box if needed.

  3. Right-click on the application icon. This brings up a context menu.

  4. Select "Uninstall" from the context menu.

  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the uninstallation process.

And that‘s it! This approach provides the fastest way to uninstall apps directly from the Start Menu.

Next, let‘s look at the Control Panel method.

Removing Apps Through the Control Panel

The Windows Control Panel houses tools to tweak various system settings. One of those tools enables uninstalling programs.

Here are the steps to use it:

  1. Type "Control Panel" into the taskbar search box and press Enter. This launches the Control Panel window.

  2. Click "Programs" under the "Programs" section of the Control Panel.

  3. Next click "Uninstall a program" under the "Programs and Features" section.

  4. Locate the app you want to uninstall from the list.

  5. Right-click on the application name and select "Uninstall".

  6. Follow the remaining prompts to confirm the uninstallation.

This approach allows uninstalling apps from a dedicated list of all installed programs. If an application icon is missing from the Start Menu, chances are you can still uninstall it from here.

Finally, let‘s go over the Settings menu option.

Uninstalling Apps Through Settings

The Windows Settings app provides yet another avenue to remove unwanted apps from your system. Here are the steps involved:

  1. Open the Start Menu and click the gear icon to launch Settings.

  2. Click on "Apps" from the Settings menu.

  3. Next select "Apps & features" from the Apps page.

  4. Scroll until you find the app want to remove.

  5. Click the application icon and select "Uninstall" from the menu that appears.

  6. Confirm the uninstall action in the prompt window.

While a bit more buried compared to the other two options, the Settings menu removal process is still straightforward. And the Apps section offers a clean view dedicated specifically to installed applications.

Between these three tools, you can safely remove most apps from a Windows 10 system pretty easily. But what about those stubborn programs that won‘t seem to uninstall through normal means? Let‘s dig into that next.

Removing Stubborn Apps Using Safe Mode

Most apps should uninstall smoothly using the built-in Windows tools. But occasionally you‘ll run into one that just won‘t budge no matter what you try.

Issues like system file corruption and driver conflicts can prevent uninstallers from working properly. Thankfully, Windows 10 offers a troubleshooting mode that disables other processes, allowing uninstallation to complete unimpeded.

This mode is called Safe Mode. Here are the steps to leverage it for deleting stubborn apps:

  1. Open Settings and click "Update & Security".

  2. Next select "Recovery" from the left pane.

  3. Scroll down to "Advanced startup" and click the "Restart now" button. This reboots the computer into the Windows Recovery Environment.

  4. After your PC restarts, choose "Troubleshoot" followed by "Advanced options".

  5. Select "Startup Settings" and click "Restart" to reboot again.

  6. On the next screen, press F4 to start Windows 10 in Safe Mode. This loads a minimal, stripped down version of Windows with only essential drivers and services active.

  7. Now try uninstalling the troublesome application again using any of the methods outlined earlier. The app should delete smoothly without interference from other processes.

While a bit involved, leveraging Safe Mode often provides that extra push needed to get rid of defiant programs.

Up next, let‘s talk about removing pesky bloatware that comes preinstalled on many Windows 10 PCs.

Deleting Bloatware Apps with PowerShell

Buying a new Windows 10 computer often means inheriting a bundle of unnecessary pre-loaded apps. Referred to as "bloatware", these programs occupy storage space and consume system resources without providing much benefit.

Thankfully removing this junk software is straightforward using the PowerShell administrative tool included with Windows. Here‘s a quick guide to wiping it out:

  1. Launch PowerShell by typing "PowerShell" into the taskbar search box. Right-click on it in the results list and select "Run as administrator".

  2. Type the following command to output a list of all apps installed on your system:

Get-AppxPackage | select Name, PackageFullName | Format-List

  1. Scan the list to locate the bloatware app you want to uninstall. Copy its PackageFullName name.

  2. Type this command with the bloatware app‘s PackageFullName inserted:

Remove-AppxPackage -Package

  1. Hit Enter to execute. PowerShell will now uninstall the specified bloatware app.

Using this PowerShell process, you can systematically remove all the preinstalled junk software that originally came with your Windows 10 computer. Enjoy the reclaimed storage space!

Migrating Beyond Windows

Even after using all these uninstall tricks, you may eventually grow tired of managing apps on Windows 10. If you find yourself seeking a fresh alternative, both macOS and Linux provide app management experiences many users rave about.

On Mac systems, uninstalling software is as easy as dragging the app icon to the Trash. Linux-based operating systems utilize centralized software boutiques that download, install, update, and remove apps with just 1-2 clicks.

Both options require switching costs, of course. But if you find Windows app management increasingly frustrating, it may be time to explore other desktop ecosystems. The grass really can be greener, depending on your needs.

In Summary

While Windows historically made uninstalling software challenging, Windows 10 finally redeems itself with several built-in removal tools. You can leverage the Start Menu, Control Panel, or Settings app to delete most apps smoothly.

For stubborn programs, Safe Mode cuts away background interferences so uninstallers work unimpeded. And built-in PowerShell provides a streamlined way to wipe out pesky preinstalled bloatware.

With this guide‘s techniques, you can systematically purge unused apps for a cleaner, leaner, faster Windows 10 system. And if you eventually grow tired of managing Windows altogether, alternatives like Mac or Linux offer compelling app experiences that may rekindle your passion for computing.

But for now, hopefully you feel empowered to declutter your Windows machine and reclaim disk space for the things that really matter. Happy spring cleaning!

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