Where to get support on uninstallation of Vmware files?

I am struggling - really struggling! - to uninstall VMware player and VMware workstation from my Win 10 PC. Windows wants to upgrade but can't, so I am facing having to re-initialise my PC. That's not good news.

I've tried eg downloading the installer and re-installing, no use. I've gone through the 1308 uninstall document, no use. I've deleted obvious VMware files left behind, no use.

The problem seems to be at this stage of the game no longer Player / Workstation specific. It seems that there are files left behind in eg windows32 which have the same name as generic Microsoft drivers, but if you look inside their "deep" Properties the file is owned by VMware, not by Microsoft. These are very hard to detect.

I have questions like, is is safe to delete these files; would it help; would installing the new version of Player help or make things worse; is there an automatic way to search for these files, as manually is both time consuming and uncertain.

BUT BUT BUT, my overriding question, is where is the best forum to get proper help  on this problem. It isn't really Player / Workstation specific at this stage, so asking only here may limit things. It's clearly very unfortunate that downloading VMware should cause this much damage, and I wonder if there is some other forum where I would get fuller support. I do hope so.

Many thanks!

Andrew, Bristol UK

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Sorry, don't know any Windows Forums - I only know about paid services for Windows, since it is a non-free product.

It seems that you think that VMware has substituted Windows system .dll's (or similar, let's say .dll for short) AND they cannot be Updated by Windows Update procedure after that.

The first part this might be true - Windows program architecture is a mess, because any software install AND software uninstall can do anything that they want to, given the rights and sometimes they do just that. Replacing a Windows system dll with different content is well possible, given the rights - it has happened. Uninstall, well, that is written by the same company that wrote the install - what is the expectancy of solving anything?

Because it is a mess - any further software provider can make use of the same .dll introduced by the previous company, and after that no uninstall can know for sure what is the right thing to do - remove or leave at its place.

Any software vendor can write a .dll that will LATER be used as a Windows system .dll', because of the name. It has happened.

However, installing a newer version of an application MIGHT have a better uninstaller, which knows better, what to do. It has happened (for instance in the case of Microsoft's own Netmeeting software). I'm saying this neglecting the dire possibilities that I just laid out in the previous chapters - the situation doesn't need to be THAT bad.

Also however, I find it rather difficult to believe that VMware would have done such an error in their implementation ... besides, how come Windows Update cannot update them, because Windows itself for sure has the rights to do whatever it wishes?

If you have bad system .dll's, for whatever reason, Windows has Repair utilities. Google and use them. I hope they are relevant for your particular version of Windows 10, there are more than 10 different ones. I don't mean commercial variations, but versions like 1903,1909, 2004 and so forth. After running that, your Windows system should be perfectly OK. If the Update or are you doing a Feature Upgrade, still doesn't work, maybe there is something very wrong in the Upgrade procedure - maybe that has been the only problem all day long? Maybe your PC should NOT be upgraded to 2004, or whatever, because of issues, which makes Microsoft to limit the availability of Upgrades in every Feature Upgrade? Why did you need to update/upgrade anyway?

I'm not too optimistic that you would get help on a Forum, I hope I'm wrong, for this mess, because ... well, every mess is a different mess on every Windows installation - there are no two alike.

It is actually very rare that a reinstall is required, but that can happen, especially with uncertified software versions. What a paid service would do is probably the above and then do reinstall, because they couldn't figure it out.

I hope somebody here knows if there are some VMware specific guidelines to give you - I wouldn't know about any known bugs.

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have you tried checking your win10 install for errors blocking the upgrade?

from an elevated command prompt, do

DISM.exe /Online /Cleanup-image /Restorehealth

when finished do

sfc /scannow

it takes some time, but is worth a shot



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Hi Andrew,

What version of VMware Workstation is it that you want to uninstall?

Nowadays the best way to uninstall is to actually run the installer and then click "Remove", but you might have tried that already?
how-to uninstall VMware Workstation

You might also be able to use the appwiz.cpl approach as laid out here:


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