Methods to Uninstall Windows Media Player

Microsoft Windows Media Player is installed as a Windows component along with Windows operating systems such as Windows ME, Windows XP, and Windows Vista. Microsoft regularly releases updates for the player. You can install these updates on your computer to enhance the features of the current software version and also to increase its security. Windows Media Player 10 Beta and Windows Media Player 11 are two such updates that you can install on your Windows XP computer for enhanced features. Although the updates are good, at times, they can cause problems on your system forcing you to uninstall them. In this article, we will discuss various methods you can use to uninstall Windows Media Player updates from your Windows XP computer.

How to uninstall Windows Media Player updates

There are many methods you can use to remove Windows Media Player updates from your computer. Let’s have a look at some of them.

How do I uninstall using Control Panel?

To uninstall using the Control Panel, perform the following steps:

  1. Select Start and then select the Control Panel command.
  2. Select the Add or Remove Programs option.
  3. Scroll down the Currently installed programs list to search for the option for Windows Media Player update. Or, if the option is not visible in the list, then select the Show Updates checkbox, located at the top of the Add or Remove Programs window.
  4. After selecting the Show Updates checkbox, scroll down the list again to search for the updates. One or more Windows Media updates may be visible to you now.
  5. Select each update and select the Remove button to uninstall.
  6. After you have removed all updates you want to remove, restart your PC.

How can I uninstall Windows Media Player using the exe file?

If you are unable to locate the option to uninstall in the Control Panel, then follow the procedure discussed below.

  1. Open the Registry Editor by running the Regedit command.
  2. In the Registry Editor window, navigate to the following registry key:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \SOFTWARE \MicrosoftWindows\ Current Version \Uninstall
    Note: Under this key, you will find entries for all the applications installed on your computer.
  3. Click on the entry for Media Player 10 beta, Media Player 11, and any other update you want to remove. On the right two strings will be displayed: DisplayName and UninstallString.
  4. Now, double-click on the UninstallString, and copy the value in the Value Data field.
  5. Next, exit the Registry Editor window and paste the copied string value in the Start > Run > Open field.
  6. Select the OK button to start the uninstallation process.

Warning: The steps listed here require you to access the Windows Registry. Remember to make a backup of the registry before you start working with the registry. All changes done to the registry from the Registry Editor are permanent and cannot be undone.

How can I uninstall using System Restore?

If none of the above methods work, then the only method to remove the software is to perform a system restore and rollback your system to the time when you did not have the Media Player on your computer.

The System Restore utility helps you revert the configuration of your system to the last known working condition. To use the utility, you must log on to your PC with a user account which has Administrative rights to the PC. Next, perform the following steps:

  1. Open the Start menu and select All Programs.
  2. Select Accessories, and then select System Tool.
  3. Now, select the System Restore command to display the System Restore dialog box.
  4. Follow the screen instructions to select a restore point that is before the date you installed the Windows Media player update.
  5. When prompted, restart your PC to complete the system restore process.

You must refrain from uninstalling any software by deleting its folder from the Program Files. Doing this can cause more problems on your system, and may even render it useless. It is also recommended that you use an efficient registry cleaner program such as RegServe to scan the registry for any entries left over by the uninstalled updates and remove them from your system. Remember, that uninstalling a software by following the correct procedure and keeping your registry free of unwanted information will help keep your PC in good health for a long time.