Sometimes apps can misbehave due to missing or corrupt files. Windows makes it easy to repair a program installation when this happens or even to uninstall the program from your system entirely if you’re no longer using it.

Repairing a Program

Repairing a program works by checking all the files in the program’s folder, replaces any that need fixing, and may even check/fix entries in the Registry. It runs through the program’s installation again but tries to preserve any settings you’ve made.

Using the Control Panel

Hit Start, type “control panel” into the search box, and then click the result.

In the control panel window, click on “Programs.”

Next, click on “Programs and Features.”

You should now see a list of all the desktop programs currently installed on your computer. Scroll through the list and select the program you want to repair. If this feature is available for that program (not all programs support it), you’ll see a “Repair” button near the top of the list. Click that button.

One caveat of using this feature is you’ll need to have the installation package still on your computer for Windows to be able to begin repairing the program. If you’ve already deleted it, then you’re going to have to go to the website and re-download the installer.

After clicking “Repair,” Windows should handle the rest and quietly repair the affected program. If you’re presented with anything further, follow the dialog boxes until it is complete.

Using the Settings App

You can repair a program the same way using the Settings app. This option contains a complete list of applications, including both Windows apps and traditional desktop programs.

To get started, open up the Settings app by pressing Win+I, then click on “Apps.”

By default, it should open “Apps and Features” but if it doesn’t, select it from the list on the left.

Next, from the list below click on an app that you want to repair, then click on “Modify.”

Alternatively, you can use the search bar to locate the program a lot faster than scrolling through the list.

Depending on the application, a setup wizard will open, make sure you have “Repair” selected, then click on “Next.”

Follow the remaining prompts, and when it finishes, the program will be reinstalled and repaired.

Uninstalling a Program

Uninstalling a program can be useful to free up much-needed space on your hard drive or whether a program isn’t functioning as it should after attempting to repair, uninstalling the application may be the best option. This works the same way as you would repair a program, but instead of selecting the Repair/Modify option, you’ll be using the Uninstall button.

Using the Control Panel

Just like for repairing a program, open up Control Panel > Programs > Programs and Features to see a list of all the programs installed on your computer.

Select the program you want to remove from your computer and then click the “Uninstall” button at the top of the list.

You might be asked if you are sure you want to uninstall this program. Click “Yes.”

Using the Settings App

Start by heading to Settings > Apps > Programs and Features. Scroll through the list and select the app you want to uninstall. Click the “Uninstall” button next to the app and then click “Uninstall” again on the pop-up that appears.

Alternatively, you can use the search bar to locate the program a lot faster than scrolling through the list.

From here, Windows will take care of the rest and safely remove the program from your computer.

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Brady Gavin has been immersed in technology for 15 years and has written over 150 detailed tutorials and explainers. He's covered everything from Windows 10 registry hacks to Chrome browser tips. Brady has a diploma in Computer Science from Camosun College in Victoria, BC.  
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