To uninstall the Microsoft .NET Framework:
- Open Programs and Features from the Windows Control Panel (or Add or Remove Programs for Windows XP). An easy way to bring this up on non-Windows XP systems is to type “programs and features” in the search field at the bottom of the Start menu.
- Uninstall everything that starts with “Microsoft .NET,” doing newest versions first.
- Download and install all of the following that pertain to your version of Windows:
Microsoft .NET Framework 1.1 (for Windows XP)
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5 Service Pack 1 (for Windows XP and Vista)
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.0 (only if not installing .NET 4.5.2)
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 (for Windows 7, 8, and 8.1)
Microsoft .NET Framework 4.6.2 (for Windows 7, 8, 8.1, & 10)
Each of the above installers will add all the necessary files, including older versions if needed (i.e., the .NET 3.5.1 installer will also install 2.0 and 3.0; .NET 4.0 will install both its components that list in Programs and Features). Additionally, Microsoft has coded the installers to only work on supported operating systems. If you are wondering whether you should install a particular version or thought you made a mistake, you should be fine.
As an optional step to get a complete clean removal of the .NET files, run the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool.
The tool will not remove versions of .NET that have been built into the Windows operating system (see What version of the .NET Framework is included in what version of the OS?). It will only affect what you see listed in Programs and Features for which you could uninstall yourself. On non-Windows XP systems, it may be necessary to right-click the EXE for the tool and choose “Run as administrator.” If errors occur in the utility, run it again until no errors occur.
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