How to Get to the Old Uninstall Programs Panel on Windows 10

Windows 10 still includes the classic Uninstall Programs panel, also known as the “Programs and Features” window. But it’s buried by default, as Microsoft really wants you to use the Apps > Apps & features page in the new Settings interface instead.

Here are a few ways you can still access the old Uninstall Programs panel.

Go Through the Control Panel

You can easily find the old Uninstall a Program list from the Control Panel, but the Control Panel is hidden too. Even if you right-click the Start button or press Windows+X, you won’t see a quick shortcut that launches the Control Panel.

To launch the Control Panel, open the Start menu, type “Control Panel” into the search box, and then press Enter or click the “Control Panel” shortcut that appears.

In the Control Panel window, click the “Uninstall a program” link under Programs.

Right-Click in the Start Menu

There is a way to open the classic Uninstall Programs window from the Start menu, but it’s hidden. When right-clicking applications in Windows 10’s Start menu, you’ll see an “Uninstall” option. If you’ve right-clicked a “modern” Windows 10 app that was installed via the Store or was preinstalled on your computer, clicking this option will immediately uninstall the app. However, if you’ve right-clicked a desktop app that was installed via a traditional installer, clicking the “Uninstall” option will open the traditional Uninstall Programs window on the Control Panel.

So, to open the Uninstall a Program interface, find a traditional desktop app in your Start menu, right-click it, and select “Uninstall”.

This trick might not last long. We wouldn’t be surprised if Microsoft changed this option to open the Apps & Features pane in the new Settings app in a future update to Windows 10. Microsoft is trying to replace the Control Panel with the new Settings app, and every update moves toward that a little bit more…so we wouldn’t expect this to last forever.

Use a Command

Windows includes a hidden command that will quickly launch the Programs and Features pane, too. To use it, open the Run dialog by pressing Windows+R. In the Run dialog window, copy-and-paste the following command:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL appwiz.cpl

Press Enter or click “OK” and the Uninstall Programs window will appear.

Create a Shortcut

You can create a desktop shortcut that launches this window for quick access, if you like. To create the shortcut, right-click on your Desktop and click New > Shortcut.

In the “Type the location of the item” box, copy-paste the following command:

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL appwiz.cpl

Click “Next”, name the shortcut “Uninstall Programs” or whatever you like, and then click “Finish”. You’ll see a shortcut on your desktop, and you can double-click it to quickly launch the Uninstall or change a program window.

 

Chris Hoffman is a technology writer and all-around computer geek. He's as at home using the Linux terminal as he is digging into the Windows registry.Connect with him on Twitter.

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