How to remove previous Windows versions from your PC

Martin Brinkmann
Jan 2, 2013
Updated • Aug 15, 2018
Windows, Windows software

Installing multiple versions of Windows on a single PC may be useful for a number of purposes. From taking an operating system for an extended test ride to software testing or running legacy applications on a system that do not run on newer versions of Windows.

Sometimes you may make the decision to uninstall one version of Windows from your PC. While you can do that manually, by editing the boot loader so that the operating system won't be displayed anymore during start of the system and by deleting the files and folders so that it does not take up disk space either anymore, you need some expertise to do that.

You need to know how to edit the bootloader and remove the right files and folders to remove another operating system; may be easy for experienced admins but if you have never done this before, you may appreciate any help you can get.

NanWick Windows Uninstaller

uninstall windows

NanWick Windows Uninstaller has been designed to provide users of all experience levels with an easy to use program to remove installed versions of Windows from the PC. Note that it is compatible with Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows 8 but not with Windows 10.

Note: We recommend that you create a system backup before you run the program as you may have no other means of restoring the initial state if the operation fails.

To get started download the program from the developer's website and run it after the download while signed in to the version of Windows that you want to keep using.

Click on the scan button to have the program scan the PC for additional versions of Windows installed on it. The program displays the drive letters that Windows is installed on and asks you to pick the one that you want to remove from the system.

The program performs a series of operations then that remove the version of the system from the PC.  The program author explains what is happening on the author's site.

The program takes ownership of directories and files belonging to the selected version of Windows so that they can be deleted. It removes the entry from the boot manager in addition so that the system is no longer listed when you boot the computer.

You can use the instructions on the author's homepage instead if you prefer to run the operation manually.

Please note that the program is only able to detect and remove Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8 and not older versions of Windows such as Windows XP. Experienced users likely prefer the manual option, that is deleting the partition for instance and editing the boot menu afterwards manually as well.

Closing Words

If you want to remove an older version of Windows from a PC quickly and comfortably, NanWick Windows Uninstaller may be the right program for that. While you should create a system backup prior to running the program, it is something that you should do regularly anyway.

Experienced users and admins may want to remove other operating systems manually instead as it offers full control over the process.

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  1. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 1:52 pm

    Does it come back after every “moment” update?

  2. Baloney said on March 9, 2023 at 2:23 pm

    Yeah right.. Like this is going to stop defender from running =) This is comedy gold right here.

  3. Anonymous said on March 9, 2023 at 3:25 pm

    no ‘about the author’ paragraph?

  4. Gregory said on March 9, 2023 at 4:19 pm

    For permanent disable defender is if removed complete from system no just change permission folder.

    Just this is joke.

  5. moi said on March 9, 2023 at 5:57 pm

    simpler, load Autoruns (SysInternals)
    – filter “Defender”
    – untag all entries
    – reboot
    nothing has changed since my 1st modification years ago

  6. John G. said on March 9, 2023 at 6:32 pm

    I wouldn’t disable Defender imho, it has too many hidden roots inside Windows itself. One time I tried to uninstall it using brute force scripts and then the Onedrive feature stopped working definitely. A reinstallation was needed and since those times I prefer to maintain Defender untouched. It’s a better method to install another antivirus and it will disable Defender in a safer and easier mode (e.g., Avast is the best in this way, and also Panda Cloud Free is good too).

    1. Tweakmaster said on September 29, 2023 at 9:57 am

      U are just * [Editor: removed] thats the problem ;p first of all u shall always debloat windows u shall have max 65 services with your drivers for pc and windows own servs. You didnt know what that script did

  7. boris said on March 10, 2023 at 12:19 am

    You can not stop defender from running in background or remove it without some penalty. All you can do is to limit telemetry.

    1. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:52 pm


      It’s probably Smartscreen which is preventing WD from being disabled. Get rid of that and the problem should be solved:

  8. hoho said on March 10, 2023 at 1:47 pm

    Remove Windows and go for Linux.

    1. basingstoke said on March 10, 2023 at 2:51 pm

      Linux sucks dude. Besides it’s not comparable to Windows, these OSes are in different classes entirely.

      1. Derp said on March 10, 2023 at 4:36 pm

        I use Linux as my daily driver. It’s far more stable than Windows. When’s the last time you used Linux, 2010?

      2. Bromosexual said on March 11, 2023 at 2:04 am


        You’re right, dude. Bro, linux is just a bunch of code that starts before the OS, dude. Brobrodude, that shit ain’t even got emojis, dudebrodudeman! Dudebro, it’s no way near as cool as Windows with its hardcoded abilities to make money off the user, bro. Yo brodude man, you’re the coolest dude ever man, bro. Dude.

      3. basingstoke said on August 16, 2023 at 7:20 pm

        Lol what? Windows 7 doesn’t come with any Emojis

  9. TelV said on March 10, 2023 at 4:46 pm

    Download Autoruns and remove the checkmark from Windows Defender. It doesn’t remove it, but it will never run.

  10. Simon said on March 10, 2023 at 8:37 pm

    Just use “Defender Control”:

    Per this video,
    it also works on Windows 11 too…

  11. Someone said on March 10, 2023 at 9:26 pm

    Win Defender, is completly the most succesful free-built in antivirus of Microsoft. Really nice product. Saved my ass a lot of times. Has updated malware database, completly strong defence
    from whatever smart screen disables. Or if you want better and more upgrated (paid) program,
    you can go further. But defender is always on your side.

  12. CalixtoWVR1 said on March 10, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Why would one disable Windows (or Microsoft) Defender in the first place?. I consider this to be playing with fire big time. Everybody knows that if one is using another A-V, Defender will be disabled on its own and won’t be in one’s way.

  13. Ed D said on March 10, 2023 at 11:09 pm

    Why would I want to disable Windows Defender in the first place? It’s a great anti virus in my opinion. Been using it since Windows 8 and and never had a problem or a virus. Why mess with a good thing, if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

  14. owl said on August 17, 2023 at 1:57 am

    How a ridiculous article!
    I am thoroughly stunned.

    Why Should You Disable First-Party Windows Defender?
    I can only think that it is “malice or perversely intention (want you to buy a third-party AV where you can expect a back margin)” to guide invalidation without showing the premise.
    No sane company will use third-party closed source programs (such as AV).

    As I thought, “Ghacks Technology News” seems to be coming to downfall.

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