How to Fix: Can't Uninstall or Reinstall Silverlight

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Tim S. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I am trying to play Netflix on my computer, which requires Microsoft Silverlight. Every time I try and play a movie, I get an error stating that Silverlight is not installed on the system. But when I check in my Control Panel via Add / Remove programs, Silverlight says it's installed. I have tried to install the latest version of Silverlight from the Internet but it won't install. I don't get it. Can you help? "

My response:

I knew this problem would require some troubleshooting, so I contacted Tim and he agreed to let me access his computer via remote desktop support. Here is what I found:

  1. Silverlight reported as being installed via the Add / Remove programs, as Tim stated.
     
  2. I tried to uninstall Silverlight from the Add / Remove programs, but the installer (which also performs the uninstall) would pop up asking for some files in a directory which no longer existed. In short, the directory contained the files necessary to perform the uninstall. Since the directory no longer existed, it wouldn't complete the uninstall - a catch-22.
     
  3. I also confirmed that attempting to reinstall Silverlight using the latest version also did not work.

I did some digging on the Internet and found instructions via the Microsoft website on how to forcefully remove Silverlight from the Windows Registry and also from the hard drive. After doing this, I was able to reinstall the latest version of Silverlight on Tim's computer (instructions below).

How to Fix: Can't Uninstall or Reinstall Silverlight

  1. First, open up an administrative command prompt. Click Start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for the CMD.EXE or Command Prompt icon to appear in the list, then right click it and select Run as Administrator.
     
  2. Using your mouse, select highlight the text below:

    reg delete HKLM\Software\Microsoft\Silverlight /f
    reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Installer\Products\D7314F9862C648A4DB8BE2A5B47BE100 /f
    reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\Installer\Products\D7314F9862C648A4DB8BE2A5B47BE100 /f
    reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\TypeLib\{283C8576-0726-4DBC-9609-3F855162009A} /f
    reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths\install.exe /f
    reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AgControl.AgControl /f
    reg delete HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\AgControl.AgControl.5.1 /f
    reg delete HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\{89F4137D-6C26-4A84-BDB8-2E5A4BB71E00} /f
    rmdir /s /q "%ProgramFiles%\Microsoft Silverlight"
    rmdir /s /q "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\Microsoft Silverlight"
    echo Done
     
  3. Go back to the administrative command prompt window. Right click in the middle of the window and select Paste from the dialogue menu. It should output the text you copied in Step #2. If not, repeat Step #2 and #3 again.

At this point, Silverlight should be removed from the Add / Remove Programs (via Control Panel), as well as being removed from the hard drive. You should be able to go to the Silverlight web page and download the latest version of Silverlight and reinstall it on the system, then use Netflix (or whichever program requires Silverlight).

Hope that helps.

Got a Computer Question or Problem? Ask Dennis!

I need more computer questions. If you have a computer question -- or even a computer problem that needs fixing -- please email me with your question so that I can write more articles like this one. I can't promise I'll respond to all the messages I receive (depending on the volume), but I'll do my best.

About the author: Dennis Faas is the owner and operator of Infopackets.com. With over 30 years of computing experience, Dennis' areas of expertise are a broad range and include PC hardware, Microsoft Windows, Linux, network administration, and virtualization. Dennis holds a Bachelors degree in Computer Science (1999) and has authored 6 books on the topics of MS Windows and PC Security. If you like the advice you received on this page, please up-vote / Like this page and share it with friends. For technical support inquiries, Dennis can be reached via Live chat online this site using the Zopim Chat service (currently located at the bottom left of the screen); optionally, you can contact Dennis through the website contact form.

Rate this article: 
Average: 5 (2 votes)

Comments

doulosg's picture

Dennis -

Chrome, and I believe Firefox, no longer support Silverlight or Flash. I think that should be noted in this article.

- Mike

Dennis Faas's picture

Silverlight works fine with Internet Explorer and Firefox. Chrome currently has issues with Silverlight as of July 14, 2015, but there is a workaround. In any case, that is a separate issue than what was asked in the post.

Rajesh Chandrasekaran's picture

Even though it is bit old article it fixed my issue , i had silverlight installed which was very old and i couldnt uninstall it hence followed this article and it fixed my issue.