Uninstall Button Greyed Out (Quick Solutions)

Have you ever encountered the uninstall button greyed out and the program just won't uninstall, no matter how hard you try? Fear not, for this common issue has solutions that can help you.

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Have you ever encountered such a situation when you tried to remove software from a Windows computer and found out, to your frustration, that the uninstall button grayed out?

I'm trying to uninstall 3D Viewer off my laptop (I'm running out of space on my computer) but the Uninstall button is greyed out when I go to Apps and Features/Add or Remove Programs. If I bring up Control Panel -> Programs -> Uninstall Programs, I don't even see 3D Viewer there. - Microsoft Community

If yes, you are not alone. This is also the most widespread case of Windows users. In the following detailed guide from EaseUS, we'll explain why the "uninstall" button grayed out. You need to follow the right steps to remove any unwanted programs. Let's get started!

Why is Your Uninstall Button Greyed Out?

For many Windows users, the frustration of encountering a situation like this is a common experience. This frustrating situation can arise due to various reasons, each with its own underlying cause:

  • Lack of administrative privileges: Likely, if you are using a standard user account, you won't have the correct admin permission to uninstall several programs. In most cases, you may need the necessary permissions to make system files and settings changes.
  • Program running in the background: You must close the program before uninstalling it. When the program runs in the background, the uninstall button will likely be disabled.
  • Corrupted or incomplete installation: If the installation files of the app are damaged or do not contain all the information needed for uninstallation, the removal process might not work accordingly. 
  • Malware or virus infection: Malware or virus can interfere with the uninstallation process to protect itself. If your system is infected, the uninstall button for certain programs might be intentionally disabled.
  • System file conflicts: In some cases, conflicts with other system files or programs can prevent the operating system from installing the particular program. This is another uncommon case that can appear due to incompatible software versions or incorrect settings.

Now that you've learned the causes of this issue, don't hesitate to share this article and follow the guide below to fix it!


How to Solve Uninstall Button Greyed Out

We will start with easy troubleshooting before we delve into the most complex ways. The uninstall button might be grayed out because the program is still running in the background. Ensure you've closed all instances of the program, even those hiding in the taskbar or system tray. If the issue still needs to be solved, we'll explore other options.

Solution 1. Run the Program Uninstaller as Administrator

If you are unable to uninstall program after simply closing the program, try running the uninstaller with elevated privileges. 

Step 1. Open the Start Menu and key in the name of the program you prefer to remove.

Step 2. Right-click on the program icon from the list and choose "Uninstall" from the menu that pops up.

Step 3. There may not be an "Uninstall" option in the menu. If that is the case, right-click the shortcut and select "Open file location" instead.

Step 4. Right-click on the uninstaller > (option) > and choose "Run as administrator."


Step 5. If necessary, if a master key or access to the service is required, type in your administrator password and press "Y" to confirm.

Step 6. The uninstaller wizard for the program will be now opened. You will be shown the instructions on the screen. Follow them to finish completely uninstalling the program.

Solution 2. End the Related Processes in Task Manager

If the uninstaller is still greyed out after running it as an administrator, the culprit might be a background process associated with the program. Let's tackle this by ending those processes through the Task Manager:

Step 1. Press "Ctrl + Shift + Esc" to open the Task Manager.

Step 2. Click on the "Processes" tab.

Step 3. Look for any processes related to the program you want to uninstall. These processes might have the program's name or a similar name.

Step 4. Right-click on each related process and select "End task".


Step 5. Once you have ended all related processes, try uninstalling the program again. The uninstall button should no longer be greyed out.

Solution 3. Use Third-Party Uninstaller Tools 

If the built-in Windows tools haven't resolved the issue, consider using a third-party uninstaller tool. These tools often offer more robust uninstalling capabilities and can remove stubborn programs that resist traditional methods. A helpful tool is EaseUS Todo PCTrans Free, which is a potent uninstaller.

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It is not only software for transferring programs and files between computers or drives but also has a powerful uninstaller to remove typical programs. Due to the clean design, the uninstallation procedure is easy, even for non-proficient users.

Step 1. Choose App Management, Click "Start" to securely uninstall your apps and repair your damaged apps. 

open app management feature

Step 2. All of apps installed on your PC, choose the selected one you want to uninstall or repair. (If your uninstall process fails, you can click the small triangle icon and select "Delete".)

app management 2

Step 3. Click "Uninstall". (If you want to repair apps, click the icon right behind "Uninstall" and choose "Repair".)

app management 3

This free uninstaller can also help you Uninstall Epic Games Launcher.

If you found this guide helpful in resolving your greyed-out uninstall button woes, please share it with others facing similar challenges. Your sharing could save someone else from the frustration of unwanted software!


Solution 4. Use Command Prompt 

If other techniques won't work, the only remaining option is Command Prompt to force uninstall software that won't uninstall.

Exercise caution when using the Command Prompt, as incorrect commands can have unintended consequences

Step 1. Type "Win+R" for the keyboard to activate the Run dialog.

Step 2. Type "cmd" and then simultaneously press "CTRL+Shift+Enter" to initiate the Command Prompt in its administrator mode.

Step 3. To do so, in the Command Prompt window, type wmic and then press "Enter."

Step 4. First of all, identify the product name by pressing "Enter" to automatically generate the table of contents for the list of installed programs.

Step 5. Go to the title that you want to delete from the list.

Step 6. Type product where name="program name" call uninstall. (Replace program name with the actual name of the target program)


Step 7. The final step is to start the uninstallation, so just type Y, and then press "Enter."

Step 8. Sit back till the process going on finishes. The next step is to receive a message and - a classic sign of successful submission - to find out the form of it.

Solution 5. Use PowerShell 

If the Command Prompt didn't solve the issue, let's turn to PowerShell to uninstall programs, another powerful tool within Windows, to uninstall the stubborn program: 

Step 1. Click the Windows icon in the lower-left corner of the screen. Right-click the Start menu and select "Windows PowerShell (Admin)."

Step 2. Type Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product | Select-Object -Property Name and press "Enter". This command will list all installed programs on your system.

Step 3. Find the name of the application that you are looking to remove from your computer.

Step 4. Type $app = Get-WmiObject -Class Win32_Product -Filter "Name = 'program name'" (replace program name with the actual name of the program) and press "Enter." This will assign the program to a variable.

Step 5. Finally, type $app.Uninstall() and press "Enter." When you type this command, it will start uninstalling the program.

Step 6. When asked, type remove and press "Enter."

Step 7. Sit back and let the process finish completely. You should expect a reply definitely whether the uninstallation of the software was a success or not.


Solution 6. Manually Remove Program Files and Registry Entries 

There's another way to uninstall programs, but it takes certain computer knowledge. You can uninstall a program by removing its relevant files and registry entries manually.

Proceed with caution! Be extremely careful when manually removing program files and registry entries. Keep in mind that this procedure can be complicated and a single wrong step can cause you potential data loss.

Stage 1. Back Up Your Registry

There should be a backup of the Windows registry before you start making changes to it. Windows Registry backup is probably a good idea before any changes are implemented. This will be a critical feature since it will facilitate your rollback operation to the original state of your registry in the case of undesired deletion of any of the actions you did while you changing your registry. To back up your registry, follow these steps:

Step 1. Press the Windows key + R simultaneously to open the Run dialog box.

Step 2. Type regedit into the box and press Enter. This will launch the Registry Editor.

Step 3. In the Registry Editor, click "File," then "Export."

Step 4. Select a location where you want to save your backup file. Choose a spot you'll remember, like your Documents folder or a dedicated backup drive.

Step 5. Give your backup file a descriptive name, such as "Registry Backup [Date]," and click "Save."

Stage 2. Remove the program files and registry entries

Now that your registry is safeguarded, let's remove the unwanted program files:

Step 1. Open File Explorer (Windows key + E).

Step 2. Locate the program's folder. It's typically found in either C:\Program Files or C:\Program Files (x86).

Step 3. If you can't find the folder, try right-clicking the program's shortcut and selecting "Open file location."

Step 4. Select all the files and folders within the program's directory.

Step 5. Hold down the "Shift" key and press "Delete" to permanently remove the files (be absolutely sure you want to do this!).

Finally, let's tackle those pesky registry entries:

Step 6. Open the Registry Editor again (Windows key + R, then type regedit).

Step 7. Navigate to this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE


Step 8. Search for a subkey (folder) with the program name you're uninstalling. It might be listed under the program's publisher or its name.

Once you've finished all these steps, give your computer a fresh start by restarting it. The program should now be completely removed from your system.

Remember, exercise extreme caution while working as a Registry Editor. Deleting the wrong entries can cause significant issues. Consult a tech-savvy friend or seek professional help if you need clarification on any steps. If you find it hard to perform, please go back to Way 3 for an automatic solution.

Read also:

Additional Tip: Preventive Measures

Here are some proactive measures you can take to avoid encountering greyed-out uninstall buttons in the future:

  • Download from reputable sources: In this direction always download applications from the websites you trust or make sure they come from official resources. Refrain from using cracked or pirated software, it has consequences, ranging from installation to uninstallation problems.
  • Keep your system updated: Do not leave with installing the updates of Windows and update your antivirus software from time to time. It allows your system to screen out those soft spots that unscrupulous software could exploit.
  • Create system restore points: System restore points should be created prior to installing new software, to return to the earlier state in case the installation causes any issues.
  • Be mindful of what you install: Installation of irrelevant programs or those from different sources shouldn't be allowed.
  • Regularly clean your system: Use a disk cleaning utility to remove temporary files and excess rubbish, which prevents the system from lagging and conflicts.

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In conclusion, running into a disabled uninstall button can be very annoying, but it is a common issue that requires several ways to solve. So far, we have gone over different ways, from essential to advanced ones. If you are not able to do so, use a trustworthy third-party application uninstaller like EaseUS Todo PCTrans Free. It ensures ease of usage and offers a tremendous free-up program feature, which helps create valuable space and keeps the system clean and efficient.

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FAQs on Uninstall Button Greyed Out 

Have you yet to understand what to do if the uninstaller becomes greyed, too? We've compiled some frequently asked questions that will help you further troubleshoot this issue:

1. How to uninstall Microsoft Edge when the uninstall button is greyed out? 

Microsoft Edge is an essential Windows program that can not be uninstalled with the help of standard removal methods. However, you can turn it off by following these steps:

Step 1: Search the Start menu for "Windows Features." 

Step 2: Click on "Turn Windows features on or off ".

Step 3: On the features list, de-select the box before "Microsoft Edge."

Step 4: Click "OK," save the changes, and reboot your computer.

2. Why is my Microsoft Store not showing in Apps and Features? 

There could be a few reasons for this: 

  • The Store is disabled: Go to Settings > Apps > Apps and Features before enabling the Microsoft Store by checking the box.
  • Corrupted system files: Try the Windows Store Apps troubleshooter and apply the System File Checker (SFC) tool to fix corrupted files.
  • Pending updates: Installing all Windows updates should be mandatory by default.

3. How do I uninstall something from Control Panel? 

Load the Control Panel (type it in the Search bar). Now, click "Programs, and double-click on the one you want to uninstall. Ensure you're carefully going through the on-screen directions to finish the uninstallation properly.

About the Author

Updated by Roxanne

Roxanne is one of the main contributors to EaseUS and has created over 200 posts that help users solve multiple issues and failures on digital devices like PCs, Mobile phones, tablets, and Macs. She loves to share ideas with people of the same interests.

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Written by Oliver

Oliver is an EaseUS professional writer who dares explore new areas. With a passion for solving tech issues with straightforward guides for common users, Oliver keeps honing his writing craft by developing in-depth solutions for disk and partition management, computer boot-up issues, file transfer, etc.

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Uninstall Button Greyed Out (Quick Solutions)

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