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How To Uninstall Cygwin Completely: 6 Easy Ways For You
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How To Uninstall Cygwin Completely: 6 Easy Ways For You 

Uninstalling software seems so basic to some users since you just need to look up the program under the Program and Features list and then proceed with the process. Unfortunately, some tools like Cygwin requires manual removal since you can’t just get rid of them using the uninstall or wizard utility. What if you don’t have the time and resources for manual removal? How to uninstall Cygwin?

Uninstalling Cygwin in 6 different ways

Cygwin is an open-source software launched back in 1995 by Cygnus Solutions but is currently under Red Hat Software company maintenance. It ran natively on Microsoft Windows and was designed to allow users to run Linux or Unix on windows using a Linux-like interface. However, it can be pretty difficult to get rid of once you’re done, and sometimes you lack time to manually remove Cygwin from your computer. Here are a few methods you can use to quickly and effectively uninstall Cygwin from your computer.

Using Command Prompt 

Stop all the Cygwin installed services from running before you attempt anything. Visit their FAQ questions page to learn how to go about it. These services are; inetd, sshd, apache, cron, postgresql and cygserver. Exit the command prompt to countercheck that no X11 server or other program is running in the background. However, suppose you haven’t completely made up your mind about deleting Cygwin forever. In that case, you can save some mount points for later reinstallation by following the laid down procedure in Cygwin’s FAQ page.

Delete any Cygwin-related root folders and subfolders.  If your computer displays an error, know that you probably skipped some services, and you need to digress and stop any running Cygwin program.  If it is a “Permission Denied” error, it means you have to change the ownership and permissions of the files and folders to access and delete them. This is because the system ends up owning the Cygwin files it has been using and storing the files in the SYSTEM account, effectively rendering them unwritable by regular users.

Here is how to do it.

Begin with accessing the Windows Task Manager. Type “Command Prompt” or “cmd” in the search box next to the start button. Right-click on the toggle and click on “Run as administrator.” Next, change the ownership of the Cygwin folder using this command; takedown/r/dy/f cygwin.

Deleting the entire tree is much quicker than deleting individual items, and changing ownership of the folders and subfolders enables you to do that. You have already learned how to use the command prompt to gain ownership, but here is another way. You can right-click on the base Cygwin folder in Windows Explorer, then choose Properties and Proceed to the Security tab. Click on Advanced and proceed to the Owner tab. Select a checkbox labeled “Replace owner on sub containers and objects” and then OK to change the ownership to your account.

Note that if you’re using Simple File Sharing or Windows XP Home you have to switch your computer into Safe Mode to gain access to the Security tab. You can also use icacls Cygwin/t/grant Everyone:F to allow unlimited access to the Cygwin folder, which will grant you the right to delete the folders despite the account you might be using.  Typing chown -R user / or using the CACLS.EXE tool can also help you achieve the same results in Cygwin.

Since you have access to the entire file and folder system, use the command rmdir /s /q Cygwin to delete everything.

Lastly, delete anything created by setup.exe housed by the download directory and the Start Menu and Desktop shortcuts. Again, if you still think you will need Cygwin in the future, preserve the setup.exe directory because you can use the remnant packages in the cache to reinstall them, thus saving you the hustle of downloading new ones. Similarly, if you included Cygwin in the system path or set the CYGWIN environment variable to access the whole system, delete it if you have no future reinstallation plan.

Following the above instructions cleans everything important from the system, but if you are the thorough type, you can visit the HKEY_CURRENT_USER or HKEY_LOCAL-MACHINE and delete the Cygwin registry tree. Typically, the registry stores the installation directory only.

Deleting via Windows Explorer

Deleting via Windows Explorer is almost similar to using a command prompt to get rid of Cygwin. It would be best if you began with preventing all Cygwin services from running before you attempt any deleting operations.  Stop any Cygwin processes from running in the background using Windows Task Manager. Simply you are just doing what you did above but without using Command Prompt this time.

If you encounter the “Permission Denied” huddle, you will be forced to take ownership of the files as you did in step 1 above. Just type “Command Prompt” into the search box and select “Run as administrator.” Look for the ownership toggle and click on “Change” to select the account you want to assume ownership of. Proceed to the “Replace owner on sub containers and objects” box to finally change the ownership of the Cygwin folder from Cygwin to your account.

Additionally, you can increase control by selecting “Add” in the Advanced setting to put the Permissions at Full Control. Proceed to “Select a principle” and select like you did when changing Owner. This should apply to all files and subfolders inside too. Note that older Windows versions need you to reboot to safe mode.

Now attempt deleting the folder that has Cygwin installed, and if you succeed, well and good. For Windows 10, right-click the Cygwin folder to open Properties and find Security. You will find the Owner button under the advanced. Proceed with the last deleting processes as listed in step one.

Uninstall Cygwin via Programs and Features

Every new program or software you install in your system appears under other items listed in Programs and Features, and Cygwin is not different. This is always the first solution for Cygwin uninstallation. Just bring up the Programs and Features display, select Cygwin 1.7.9-1 and click uninstall to initiate the process.

a. For Windows 7 and Windows Vista, open Programs and Features. Windows 10, Windows 8.1, and Windows 8 will need you to feed “uninstall program” in the “Search” files and programs box and select the result.

b. Scroll down to Cygwin 1.7.9-1 and select Uninstall to begin the uninstallation process.

If you are using Windows OS, you must carry the process from the Control Panel. Follow the following steps;

Simultaneously press Ctrl + Alt + Delete buttons to access the Task Manager.

Terminate all Cygwin-related programs running in the background, including X11 server functions.

  • Write Control Panel inside the search box.
  • Look for Programs and uninstall a program option under it. Cygwin should appear in the list of programs to be deleted.
  • Right-click on Cygwin and select Uninstall. A pop-up window should appear to confirm whether you are sure that you want to uninstall the selected program. Click OK to initiate the process.

If the system feedback says “Permission Denied,” you have to change the files and folders ownership. Reboot to Safe Mode and find the Security Tab.

  • Click the root Cygwin folder → Properties → Security tab.
  • Go to Advanced and find the Owners tab to change the ownership.
  • Click on “Replace owner on sub containers and objects” and click OK.

This should allow you to uninstall Cygwin from the Control Panel without any further problems.

Uninstall Cygwin with its uninstaller.exe

Computers have an executable file title uninstall.exe or uninst000.exe or something similar, and these files are stored in Cygwin’s installation folder. Follow the following steps;

  • Access Cygwin’s installation folder and find the uninstall.exe file.
  • Click on the uninstaller twice and follow the uninstallation promptings given by the wizard.

Uninstall Cygwin via System Restore

This is a utility for Windows OS that helps users boot their computers to their former states, effectively eradicating troublesome programs interfering with computer operations. If you had created a system restore point before installing a program, use the System Restore to get rid of these. Here’s how to go about it.

  • Close all open programs and files.
  • On your desktop, click Computer and click Properties to display the system window.
  • Click on System on the left side and select System Protection to display the System Properties window. Close all files and programs that are open.
  • Click on System Restore, and a display window will appear.
  • Select “Choose a different restore point.” Click Next.
  • Select the date and time and click Next.
  • Click Finish when “Confirm your restore point” disappears.
  • Confirm by clicking Yes.

Uninstall Cygwin with Antivirus

Malware has evolved to imitate genuine computer applications to bypass security programs and is often difficult to remove from the computer. Sometimes, they get bundled into the computer by spyware, Trojans, and other freeware software like games, PDF converters, and video recorders. Computer malware, for example, adware programs, are potentially harmful to your system and can easily avoid detection by the antivirus systems in your computer.

How to uninstall Cygwin? If all the above methods have failed, you can get rid of Cygnus using an Antivirus. Since it is difficult to remove, it may be considered malware and removed by the installed antivirus.

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