How to Fix: Can't Uninstall Winzip (Manual Removal, Automated)

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Shelly T. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

I'm trying to uninstall Winzip, but it failed during the uninstall. Now there doesn't seem to be any way to uninstall this annoying program! When I searched Google, I came across instructions on Winzip's website that says in order to uninstall Winzip, go to Control Panel -> Programs and Features and uninstall from there. The problem is that Winzip isn't listed anywhere - and yet, the program remains on my computer. For example, I've installed 7zip (after attempting to uninstall Winzip), and had even had 7zip registered to open my .ZIP files, but Winzip is STILL attempting to open my .ZIP files! How do I get rid of Winzip once and for all? "

My response:

I have seen this type of behavior before with Winzip. Once it's on your system, it is extremely difficult to remove, and it takes over your file associations even though you've explicitly told it not to. These kinds of tactics are reminiscent of malware behavior. The fact is: 7zip is free and Winzip is not, which makes me wonder if Winzip is purposely making things difficult for its "millions of users". If profit were any type of driving force in the matter, then we likely have our answer.

With that said, I asked Shelly if she would like me to connect to her system using my remote desktop support service in to have a closer look at the issue, and she agreed. Below I'll explain how to uninstall Winzip once and for all.

How to Fix: Can't Uninstall Winzip (Manual Removal, Automated)

  1. First, press CTRL + D on the keyboard to bookmark this page, as you will need to reboot the system to completely remove Winzip. If there is an issue after the reboot, the bookmark will take you back here where you can contact me for additional support if needed (described near the end of this article).

    With that said, I will assume that most people reading this have already attempted to remove Winzip from the Control Panel -> Add / Remove Programs, or Control Panel -> Programs and Features and have been unsuccessful. These two options are the same, though "Programs and Features" is for later editions of Windows.
     
  2. This may sound counter intuitive, but to ensure that Winzip uninstalls properly (especially after a failed uninstall), you will need to download Winzip again and install it. Once it's been installed, it should be guaranteed to uninstall properly with the script I've created further down.

    For what it's worth, even after I reinstalled Winzip on Shelly's computer, it was still not listed in her Control Panel -> Programs and Features (Add / Remove Programs), and therefore offering her no way to uninstall the program. Furthermore, I did not see an option for "uninstall" in the Winzip folder via the Start menu. Once again, I have to wonder if Winzip is doing this on purpose to keep the program permanently attached to systems. With that said, let's carry on!
     
  3. Now it's time to manually remove Winzip. The first thing you will need to do is open up an elevated command prompt. To do so: click Start, then type in "cmd" (no quotes); wait for "CMD.EXE" or "Command Prompt" to appear in the list, then right click it and select "Run as Administrator".
     
  4. Next, use your mouse to highlight the text below:

    taskkill /im winzip* >nul 2>&1
    taskkill /im WzPreloader* >nul 2>&1
    attrib -r "C:\Program Files\Winzip" >nul 2>&1
    attrib -r "C:\Program Files\Winzip\*.*" /s >nul 2>&1
    attrib -r "C:\Program Files (x86)\Winzip" >nul 2>&1
    attrib -r "C:\Program Files (x86)\Winzip\*.*" /s >nul 2>&1
    "%ProgramFiles%\WinZip\winzip32" /uninstall >nul 2>&1
    "%ProgramFiles%\WinZip\winzip64" /uninstall >nul 2>&1
    "%ProgramFiles(x86)%\WinZip\winzip32" /uninstall >nul 2>&1
     
  5. Right click over top of the highlighted text above and select "Copy" from the dialogue menu. After that, go to the command prompt you opened in Step #3 and right click in the middle of the window and select "Paste" from the dialogue menu. The commands you copied in Step #4 should be automatically output to the command line, and the Winzip uninstall wizard should start. It will say: "You are about to uninstall Winzip. In order to run WinZip again, you will have to reinstall the program. Are you sure you want to continue?" By all means, I urge you to emphatically click "YES!" to begin the removal process.
     
  6. Once Winzip is removed, you will need to reboot the system as per instruction from the Winzip uninstall wizard. I suggest you bookmark this page if you have not done so already (press CTRL + D on the keyboard now to do so). In case you have issues after the reboot, you can come back to this page and email me for additional support if needed.

That said, hopefully everything will run smoothly and Winzip will be removed - once and for all!

Additional 1-on-1 Support: From Dennis

If all of this is over your head, or if Winzip is still stuck on your system, I would be more than happy to provide you with 1-on-1 support using my remote desktop support service. Simply contact me, briefly describing your issue and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

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.

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Comments

Navy vet's picture

I used free Revo Uninstaller to remove it.

Boots66's picture

It has been some time since I had this issue, but I was trying to correct a corruption issue and needed to remove WinZip and put it back in - but that too could not happen - In searching and searching the Web, I found on the WinZip site itself, at that time, a WinZip removal app that helped me to completely remove my corrupted WinZip. Then I could reinstall WinZip with no further issues.
As I did not expect to have to run it again, I did not keep the app. But thought I would mention if for anyone else that may want to look for it.