How to start the Windows XP uninstallation process from a command prompt

Support for Windows XP has ended

Microsoft ended support for Windows XP on April 8, 2014. This change has affected your software updates and security options. Learn what this means for you and how to stay protected.

This article was previously published under Q308233
This article has been archived. It is offered "as is" and will no longer be updated.
This article describes how to start the Windows XP uninstallation process when you are unable to start your Windows XP-based computer typically or in Safe mode.
Windows XP includes the Uninstall Windows XP option in the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel if you upgraded from Microsoft Windows 98, Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition, or Microsoft Windows Millennium Edition (Me). You can use this option to restore your previous version of Windows. To uninstall Windows XP when you are unable to start your Windows XP-based computer typically or in Safe mode, manually start the uninstallation process:
  1. Start your computer to Safe Mode with Command Prompt.

    NOTE: You must log on as an administrator or a user that has administrator rights.
  2. At the command prompt, type cd\, and thenpress ENTER.
  3. Type cd\windows\system32, and then press ENTER.
  4. Type osuninst.exe, and then press ENTER.
  5. Follow the instructions on the screen to begin uninstalling Windows XP from your computer to restore the previous operating system.
For additional information, click the article numbers below to view the articles in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:
303160 'Uninstall Option Not Available' Error Message When You Upgrade Your Computer to Windows XP
303661 How to Uninstall Windows XP and Revert to a Previous Operating System

Article ID: 308233 - Last Review: 12/06/2015 05:47:22 - Revision: 1.3

Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition, Microsoft Windows XP Professional

  • kbnosurvey kbarchive kbenv kbhowto kbsetup KB308233