Issue: Fix: Can’t update Windows 10 because VirtualBox needs to be uninstalled
Hello, I need some help. In the last week, I have been receiving notifications that I need to uninstall VirtualBox manually because the app is not compatible with Windows 10. I tried to do so via the Control Panel, but VirtualBox is simply not listed there. Because of this, I can't update Windows also.
VirtualBox is a third-party virtualization application that allows users to emulate any operating system, including any version of Windows Linux, Hackintosh, and more. Due to the app being open-source software, it is extremely widespread, and many people use it for one reason or another.
During its operation, VirtualBox uses the currently installed operating system and runs the OS of one's choosing on top of it without needing specialized hardware for it. This environment is commonly referred to as a “virtual machine.”
There have been several reports on Microsoft and other IT forums about users being asked to uninstall VirtualBox manually for Windows update to be successful. Here's the message that they receive:
What Needs your attention
The following things need your attention to continue the installation and keep your Windows settings, personal files, and apps.
Uninstall this app because it isn't compatible with Windows 10.
Unfortunately, many people said that they were unable to uninstall VirtualBox manually via the Control Panel or Apps and Features section since the program entry is simply not there. Interestingly, many users who reported this problem said they never installed or used the app on their systems before.
The error message does not help to clear the situation either, as it sounds very generic – as most Windows messages without the error code are. Due to this, users are baffled and are stuck with the current version of the operating system.
The reason why Windows asks you to uninstall VirtualBox, and you can't find it on your system is because it is other apps that use its functionality for emulation purposes. Therefore, to fix this and be able to update Windows once again, you should check whether you have other emulation software installed on the system.
If you do use VirtualBox, you should delete registry entries and leftover files to properly eliminate the app. Below you will find several tips that should help you get rid of the problem.
1. Delete the remnants of VirtualBox
First of all, check if the app is installed:
- Type in Control Panel in Windows search and press Enter
- Go to Programs > Uninstall a program
- Scroll down through the list
- If you find VirtualBox entry, right-click, select Uninstall and follow the on-screen instructions.
Once done, proceed with deleting the leftover files from your machine (note: make sure the Hidden items on File Explorer are being shown):
- Type in %localappdata% in Windows search and hit Enter
- Find .virtualbox folder and delete it by pressing Shift + Del
- Type in %userprofile% in the search box, find the correlating entry, and delete it as well
- Press Win + E to open File explorer
- Navigate to C:/Program Files/Oracle/VirtualBox folder and delete the folder.
2. Use the official installer
With the original installer, you are granted and option to remove the program, so you should try this option:
- Download the VirtualBox installer from the official website
- When downloaded, run the .exe file by double-clicking it
- At some point during the installation process, you will be asked whether you want to install, repair or remove the software – choose the latter option and proceed with on-screen instructions
- Once done, restart your PC.
3. Check for other emulation software
As already mentioned, one of the main reasons why users can't see VirtualBox installed on their system is because other apps use certain elements of it. Therefore, in order to get rid of the problem, you should uninstall all emulators you have installed, for example, Bluestacks, Android Studio, Nemu, XQEMU, etc. Some people said that LD Player was the culprit of the problem.
If you did have one of these programs present on your machine, you should eliminate all the leftover files as explained above; checking the registry is also advisable – proceed with the next solution.
4. Check the registry
Messing with the Windows registry is relatively risky, as erasing important keys or values might cause serious problems. Therefore, if you want to clean your registry from remnants of software, we highly recommend you do that automatically with ReimageMac Washing Machine X9 repair. Otherwise, please backup your registry before proceeding.
Before you do a scan or follow the manual steps, please make sure you disconnect your computer from the internet, shut down OneDrive, Google Drive, and other system-invasive tools.
- Type regedit in Windows search box and hit Enter
- When Use Account Control shows up, click Yes
- Click on Edit > Find Next
- Type in VirtualBox and hit Enter or click Find Next
- Delete all folders, keys and values that are found.
Keep in mind that the reason why you can't uninstall VirtualBox is that there might be another emulation program installed on your system, so use the same principle by using the name of the software.
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