Why Can't I Uninstall the Microsoft .net Framework?

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 1, 2008
Updated • Aug 1, 2008
Software, Windows

I lately tried to uninstall the Microsoft .net Framework 2.0 from my system only to find out that I could not do it. The uninstallation program told me that other applications installed on my computer were depending on that Microsoft .net Framework 2.0 and Microsoft was displaying the link http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=91126 to a Microsoft support page for uninstalling Microsoft .net Framework 3.0.

While that did not help I looked through my installed programs to find out which applications could depend on the Framework and the only other programs that I could come up with were the other Microsoft .net Frameworks that were installed on my system. Both the Microsoft .net Framework 3 and 3.5 were also installed on the computer.

I decided to uninstall the other two Frameworks and the only that I could uninstall was the last one, the Framework 3.5. Once that was uninstalled I was able to uninstall the Framework 3.0 and finally, after that I was able to remove the Microsoft .net Framework 2.0.

It seems that the newer Microsoft .net Frameworks depend on older versions that are also installed on the computer. The only viable choice you have if you want to uninstall an older version is to uninstall the newer versions as well and install them again after the old one has been uninstalled.


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  1. Dean said on August 21, 2012 at 1:08 am

    This is still the most useful info about .net frameworks on the web. It’s amazing how many “experts” merely tell you how to use the “Add or Remove Programs” panel (which, of course, does not work).

  2. Luis said on December 6, 2011 at 8:03 am

    You saved my life !
    Thanks a lot :)

  3. wasim said on October 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    can u xplain me step by step how did u uninstal ?

  4. alejandro said on July 12, 2011 at 12:33 am

    muchas gracias se ha resuelto mi problema

  5. Fluzion said on April 6, 2011 at 3:23 pm

    Thank you so much!!!!! Finally solved the problem.

  6. Kris said on March 15, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Thank you this worked perfect !!!


  7. Kevin said on March 9, 2011 at 7:02 pm

    Thanks for posting this information. It allowed me to uninstall the .NET Framework 2.0 SP2. It’s hard to believe that Microsoft’s error message could be so bad. If I didn’t know better, I would think that they had intentionally designed it to frustrate and punish their users.

  8. gengenb said on November 21, 2010 at 10:13 pm

    microsoft is suks

  9. Wanda said on November 15, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Unable to uninstall 2 different microsoft net framework – this has unabled me to access my aol account. Please help with uninstall. I am unable to pull email also at this time.

  10. pinaxe said on April 12, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    10x a lot. It works.

  11. klaudiu said on March 4, 2010 at 5:35 am

    thenk’s its working

  12. Marc-O said on August 6, 2008 at 11:29 pm

    > To be fair Linux has its share of dependencies as well. I remember installing file manager in Ubuntu and suddenly getting A LOT of extra stuff needed for it to work. :)

    true enough… Other systems are not spared. From my experience though, on Ubuntu, apt-get/dpkg makes the installing/uninstalling/dependency checks much smoother than the “standard” windows way of doing it. (might have changed in vista though).

  13. Rarst said on August 6, 2008 at 10:35 pm

    >sadly, it’s typical of (microsoft’s) byzantine installations and dependencies.

    To be fair Linux has its share of dependencies as well. I remember installing file manager in Ubuntu and suddenly getting A LOT of extra stuff needed for it to work. :)

  14. Marc-O said on August 6, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    sadly, it’s typical of (microsoft’s) byzantine installations and dependencies.

  15. Jeff said on August 1, 2008 at 8:33 pm

    The .Net 3.5 framework actually uses the 2.0 CLR, as well as some BCL classes for LINQ. Requirements for 3.5 are 2.0 Framework with SP1, and the 3.0 SP1 package.

  16. Martin said on August 1, 2008 at 12:53 pm

    Lewz I tested it just a few minutes ago. I uninstalled all previous versions of the Microsoft .net Framework and downloaded and installed the Microsoft .net Framework 3.5 afterward.

    The Microsoft .net Framework 2 Service Pack 1 and the Microsoft .net Framework 3 Service Pack 1 were automatically installed as well.

  17. Martin said on August 1, 2008 at 10:13 am

    Lewz Microsoft .net Framework 3.5 includes .NET Framework 2.0 service pack 1 and .NET Framework 3.0 service pack 1.

    I guess you still end up with three separate installations.

  18. Lewz Scruz said on August 1, 2008 at 10:02 am

    @Martin: i hear that the .net framework 3.0 = .net 2.0 + winfx (windows presentation foundation, windows communication foundation, etc), and .net 3.5 = .net 3.0 + language integrated query and some extensions. you cannot install .net 3.5 without the previous two, as they both depend on it. hope this explains things.

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