How to uninstall Cygwin on Windows OS?

by Gabriel E. Hall - -


Issue: How to uninstall Cygwin on Windows OS?

Hi! I recently decided to go from the x64 version of to the x86 version, and I can't get rid of the shortcut in Start; Clicking uninstall takes me to 'uninstall a program', but there is no Cygwin uninstaller, it needs to be done manually. Could you please explain how to uninstall Cygwin on Windows 7?

All help appreciated!

Solved Answer

Cygwin by Red Hat is an open source collection of tools that allows Unix or Linux applications to be compiled and run on a Windows OS from within a Linux-like interface. Usually, it is installed by advanced computer users, but sometimes it happens that people install it without knowing the kinds of services it offers and its purpose.

From your perspective Sandr, it seems that you have installed Cygwin intentionally and has been satisfied with the tool until you have decided to uninstall it. Actually, we have replied several users earlier who sought to find out how to uninstall Cygwin on Windows OS. We have checked what problems the users face in this case and found out that it sometimes is not that easy to uninstall it.

You have asked how to remove Cygwin from your Start bar. Actually, this can usually be done by clicking on the shortcut and 'Unpin From Start'. Unfortunately, we have found out that in case of Cygwin it's not possible. Therefore, if you want to switch to the version x86, you will have to uninstall Cygwin from your machine.

Don't forget that in order to do that completely, you will have to 'Uninstall' the application, not 'Remove'. In other words, make sure that you get rid of the main installer via Control Panel and then find all supporting files for the same purpose. Of course, you can perform 'Removal', which refers to clicking on the icon and 'Delete' button; however, this way you can burden your machine and gradually slow it down.

Therefore, it's recommended to take your time for each software's removal and find the whole bunch of files from which the program consists. If you are not yet advanced in doing so, we will provide you a detailed guide down below. By the way, if you are not willing to uninstall Cygwin on Windows manually, you can employ Perfect Uninstaller for programs' removal.

How to uninstall Cygwin on Windows OS

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The free scanner will provide you a detailed scan report with file locations specified in the list. To uninstall these files, you have to purchase licensed version of Reimage Reimage uninstall software.

You should start Cygwin uninstalling process from Control Panel. If you need detailed instructions how to open it and how to uninstall programs from the folder, see the instructions below:

  1. Click Ctrl + Alt + Delete buttons at one and open Task Manager.
  2. Stop X11 server if its running and terminate all programs related to Cygwin that might be running in the background.
  3. Open 'Start menu' (at the very bottom of the left corner), click 'Control Panel'.
  4. Here you should find and click on 'Programs' and 'Add/Remove Programs'.
  5. As soon as the list of installed programs unfolds, find Cygwin.
  6. According to the type of Windows you are using, you should double-click on the icon and click either 'Uninstall' or 'Remove or Change/Remove' button.
  7. Right after that, a pop-up window will show up asking whether you are sure to remove the program. If you are, then click the 'OK'.

Several users have reported to us that after clicking on 'Uninstall' button, they have got an error message saying 'permission denied'.

In this case, you have to modify the permission and/or ownership of the files or folders that are causing this error. The easiest way is to change the ownership of all files and folders to your account. For that you have to:

  1. Click on the root Cygwin folder → Properties → Security tab.
  2. Boot into Safe Mode to access Security Tab.
  3. Select Advanced.
  4. Go to the Owner tab and set your account as the owner.
  5. Select 'Replace owner on sub-containers and objects' check box and click 'OK'.

After that, you should be able to uninstall Cygwin from Control Panel. However, this is not the end of the task. In order to eliminate the tool completely, you have to find all supporting files via Windows Registry Editor and remove each of them.

Be careful because this process is quite risky. You may come up with the wrong files and damage important programs. However, we are pretty sure that you will be very careful and successfully initiate the following steps:

  1. Open 'Start menu''Run'
  2. Type 'regedit' and hit 'Enter' to open Windows Registry Editor.
  3. Find one of the registry editors:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER_Software_Cygnus Solutions
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE_Software_Cygnus Solutions, etc.
  4. Delete each of them by clicking on them and pressing a 'Delete' button.
  5. Open 'Start menu''Control Panel' → 'Folder' → 'Show Hidden Files and Folders'
  6. Look for such folders:
    (C:\\Program Files\\Cygwin)
    (C:\\Document and Settings\\All Users\\Application Data\\Cygwin)
    (C:\\Documents and Settings\\%USER%\\Application Data\\Cygwin)
  7. If you find any of them, Delete each of them by clicking on them and pressing a 'Delete' button.
  8. Close all programs and Restart your computer.

Of course, manual uninstalling can be unsuccessful since you may bypass additional components without being noticed, so we always recommend using Perfect Uninstaller

Get rid of programs with only one click

You can uninstall this program with the help of the step-by-step guide presented to you by experts. To save your time, we have also selected tools that will help you carry out this task automatically. If you are in a hurry or if you feel that you are not experienced enough to uninstall the program by your own, feel free to use these solutions:

We might be affiliated with any product we recommend on the site. Full disclosure in our Agreement of Use. By Downloading any provided software you agree to our privacy policy and agreement of use.
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About the author

Gabriel E. Hall
Gabriel E. Hall - Passionate computer expert

Gabriel E. Hall is an expert troubleshooter who has been working in the information technology industry for years.

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