DirectX has been around since 1995 and is a Microsoft API (Application Program Interface) that is provided mainly for gaming. It allows developers to write programs that can utilize a PC’s high-end gaming capabilities without needing to know what hardware is available on the computer. This provides access to joysticks, video cards and other devices, and has proved very popular with developers.
DirectX can increase the performance of hardware that is associated with audio and video animation and most audio and video devices are compliant with it. DirectX is designed to be backward compatible so that games developed for a certain version of it can be played with all later versions.
Why You Might Want to Uninstall DirectX
DirectX has gone through a lot of upgrades over the years and so there are several versions around. Windows XP uses DirectX 9.0c and the latest, DirectX 11, is available as a standard with Windows Vista and Windows 7 and is an integral part of the operating system. Other Windows Operating systems may have different versions installed.
Although the later versions of DirectX have been designed to enhance gaming technology, sometimes they can cause problems. Occasionally, when you try to run a game, you may get an error message reporting that a later version of DirectX is needed, that the installed version is incompatible with the game or that a DirectX file is missing (like directsound.dll or d3dx9 dll). In these cases, you may need to install a later version but may be unable to do this due to a problem with your existing version.
Always start by running dxdiag.exe to check the status of your DirectX installation to find any problems and details related to the problem. You can run the command from the Start menu in Windows, just type it in the search box or run command option.
How to Uninstall DirectX
Since Direct X is effectively an extension of video and audio drivers, removing it can cause problems. It is not intended that it will be deleted and so no uninstall option is provided.
The only official ways of removing a version of DirectX are to go back to a system restore point where the current version was installed or to re-install your operating system. The former relies on the installation of DirectX being fairly recent while the latter option is an extreme solution since it means you will have to re-install all your programs and copy back your data.
There are third party uninstallers available that may do the job. However, check the reviews on them before using one because some can be unreliable and cause more problems than they solve.
There are a few specific DirectX uninstall tools. For DirectX 9, there is DirectX 9 Uninstaller. Make sure to follow the exact instructions in the IMPORTANT.txt file inside the ZIP archive. Another option is called DirectX Eradicator. This program will allow you to remove the DirectX runtime components from your system. Again it supports upto DirectX version 9.0c, and runs on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.
The option for Vista and Windows 7 and to uninstall DirectX versions beyond 9.0c is a commercial product called DirectX Happy Uninstall, which is priced at $19.95.
Before you use any of these tools though, always first try downloading and installing the latest DirectX version for your Windows version as that can fix the most common problems with DirectX. The DirectX uninstall option should really be a last resort.
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