This article was previously published under Q303661
This article describes how to remove Microsoft Windows XP after an upgrade was completed successfully by using a qualifying upgrade path, including the successful creation of the Windows XP removal files (such as Backup.cab and Boot.cab) during the initial upgrade.
If sufficient space is available, the Windows XP removal files are automatically saved during the upgrade.
If the Windows XP removal files have been removed from the computer, you cannot use the removal that this article describes.
Any programs that were installed before the Windows XP upgrade will be preserved. Additionally, any programs that were installed after the Windows XP upgrade will not be available after you remove Windows XP. You may have to reinstall these programs.
To remove Windows XP, you must have upgraded from Microsoft Windows 98, Windows 98 Second Edition, or Windows Millennium Edition.
Note If you upgraded from Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Windows 2000, or Windows NT 4.0, you cannot remove Windows XP.
How to remove Windows XP
To remove Windows XP, follow these steps:
Restart your computer in Safe mode. To do this, press the F8 key while Windows is starting.
Log on with an account that has administrative credentials.
Click Start, click Control Panel, and then double-click Add or Remove Programs.
In the list of installed programs, double-click Uninstall Windows XP.
Note If Uninstall Windows XP is not in the list of installed programs, you must manually reinstall Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition. In this case, make sure that you back up all your critical data before you reinstall Windows 98 or Windows Millennium Edition.
When you receive the following message, click Yes to start the Windows XP removal:
Are you sure you want to uninstall Windows XP and restore your previous operating system?
After Windows XP is removed, your computer restarts to the previously-installed operating system.
For additional information about related topics, click the following article numbers to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
303160 Uninstall option not available on Windows XP
308008 How to remove the Windows XP uninstallation files
308233 How to start the Windows XP uninstallation process from a command prompt
If you want to return to Windows 95, Windows NT, or Windows 2000
If you want remove Windows XP and return to Microsoft Windows 95, Windows NT, or Windows 2000, you must reinstall Windows 95, Windows NT, or Windows 2000, restart your computer in Safe mode, and then back up all your critical data before you reinstall Windows 95, Windows NT, or Windows 2000.
If you need help about how to install, reinstall, or uninstall Windows, visit the following Microsoft Web site: