How To Uninstall Windows Desktop Search

Uninstalling Windows Desktop Search
When uninstalling Windows Desktop Search on individual systems, it is recommended that the product be removed using the Add/Remove Programs functionality provided in Windows Control Panel. When uninstalling from Add/Remove Programs, be sure the check the Show Updates option and uninstall the newest product or product updates first.

While using Add/Remove programs to uninstall WDS 2.6.0 or later you may receive a message dialog stating “Setup has detected the following programs on your computer:” followed by a list of updates. This dialog also states that “If Windows Desktop Search is removed; these programs may not run properly. Do you wish to continue?”. This is a due to the fact that WDS is installed using an update.exe package and is listed with other Windows updates. Some products updates are dependant on previous updates and if one is removed, it may cause issues. This is not the case with WDS and removing WDS will not disable or impact any other programs or updates listed.

When uninstalling Windows Desktop Search through a script or third party product, if the Add/Remove Programs feature is not an option, it is suggested that the uninstall package (Spuinst.exe) be used, for the most recent versions. Although Windows Desktop Search does create a system restore point as part of the installation it is not the recommended method of removing the product from users systems.

To uninstall Windows Desktop Search, use the Uninstaller package from the following locations for the following versions:

Version                        Location                     %systemroot%\$NtUninstallKB907371-V2$\spuninst                     %systemroot%\$NtUninstallKB907371$\spuninst 

2.6.5.Beta                     %systemroot%\$NtUninstallKB911993\spuninst 

Uninstall Options:

1. Interactive – Spuninst.exe is run without any command-line arguments. Uninstaller prompts for restart at the end.


2. Quiet – Spuninst.exe is run using the ‘/q’ or ‘/quiet’ command-line argument. Uninstaller forcefully restarts the system without informing the user after un-installation is complete

%systemroot%\$NtUninstallKB907371-V2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe /q


systemroot%\$NtUninstallKB907371-V2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe /quiet

3. Passive – Spuninst.exe is run using the ‘/passive’ command-line argument. Uninstaller prompts for restart displaying the wait time in seconds for automatic restart.

%systemroot%\$NtUninstallKB907371-V2$\spuninst\spuninst.exe /passive

Other command-line options are available in /help message. Please run the “spuninst.exe /help” command-line to see the other available options.

Uninstalling versions and

Note: Version 2.6.X will not install properly on a system currently running version or earlier. You must first uninstall the older version then install the newer version.

Use the Msiexec.exe program to uninstall. Below are two suggested methods for uninstalling these packages.

Using the Product Code

To locate the Product code in the registry, click Start then Run and type “Regedit” in the Open drop down box and press enter. Next browse to the following location:


The Product Code will be listed in the value of the PC key. For example version PC registry value is 7d1dcbba-f6f5-42b4-b90b-f04ace4dfd6c.

Execute the following command line, listing the product code with in brackets. For Version the command line would be as noted below. Please note the brackets “{}” are required for this method to be successful.

Note: The /x switch causes Msiexec to uninstall the product and the /qn switch will ensure that there is no display while uninstalling. Please see msiexec.exe help (type msiexec /? From a command prompt) for more information regarding command line options for Msiexec.exe.

Msiexec.exe /x {7d1dcbba-f6f5-42b4-b90b-f04ace4dfd6c} /qn

Using the MSN Search Toolbar Windows Installer (.msi)

The MSN Search Toolbar Windows Installer (.msi) is located in the following location:

%windrive%\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\MSN Search Toolbar\\en-us

In the path listed above “” is the version of the product being uninstalled, for example 02.05.0000.1082.

Use the following command line to uninstall the product.

msiexec.exe /x ":\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\MSN Search Toolbar\\en-us\MsnSearchToolbar.msi" /qn

First method is preferred because the only required variable is the product code that is taken from the registry. For the second method, we need to give the and the of the product installed in the command-line.