How to Uninstall DirectX

May 4, 2009 by
Filed under: PC Maintenance, Uninstall 

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

uninstall directxDirectX 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.

DirectX uninstall software

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.

TIP: use SecureUninstaller to uninstall programs in Windows.



62 Comments on How to Uninstall DirectX

  1. lol on Thu, 4th Jun 2009 8:25 pm
  2. What is this a joke? It didn’t do crap.

  3. Jules on Thu, 4th Jun 2009 8:53 pm
  4. @lol – No joke, it works. Did you check your DirectX version before and after?
    Type “dxdiag” in the Run command and check it. If you run XP, it should revert back to version 8.1.


  5. Kwatk0 on Tue, 17th Nov 2009 7:33 am
  6. Yeah but what if you have Windows 7 (DirectX 11 by default) and you need to revert back to 9.0c how the heck would you do that???

  7. Jules on Tue, 17th Nov 2009 2:56 pm
  8. @Kwatk0 – Why would you need to revert back to DirectX 9.0c on Windows 7? DirectX 11 which is installed in Windows 7 is supposed to be downward compatible with DirectX 9 and DirectX 10.
    In case you have programs that do not run and indicate that DirectX 9 is missing you could try installing the DirectX 9 redistributable, which also worked in Vista.

  9. ShadowRat on Thu, 10th Dec 2009 11:10 pm
  10. THX dude! really helped me out with my CoD:WaW 2 :D

  11. mizz on Sat, 12th Dec 2009 1:31 pm
  12. Will this work on Windows Server 2003?

  13. Jules on Sun, 13th Dec 2009 1:01 am
  14. @mizz – It should, XP and Windows 2003 server share the same basic architecture (you can use drivers between them as well), so the DirectX installation will be the same too.

  15. Axel on Wed, 16th Dec 2009 6:03 pm
  16. I did the recommended procedure on xp and now it gets error installing direct x!!!
    a little help?

  17. Jules on Thu, 17th Dec 2009 12:08 am
  18. @Axel – What is the error, and what DirectX version are you trying to install?

  19. Axel on Thu, 17th Dec 2009 4:13 pm
  20. I believe its 9… found at this link

    I get this error “An internal system error occurred.
    Please refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your Windows folder to determine problem.

    …but the log files are not in the Windows Folder.

    Appreciate the help!

  21. Jules on Thu, 17th Dec 2009 11:48 pm
  22. @Axel – That’s weird, normally there really should be an error log if the DirectX install fails that way.
    Whay you can try is to run “sfc /scannow” at a command prompt (use admin rights). That will check and repair your Windows system files.
    A bit more time consuming would be to try and reinstall the latest server pack on your system. Just check the system properties and see what SP you have installed, download it and reinstall it.

  23. b-rab on Fri, 18th Dec 2009 1:39 am
  24. When trying to open Aion, it tells me i need an updated version of Direct X,

    I run Windows Vista 64-bit, when it tries to install it it gives me this error

    An internal system error occurred.
    Please refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your Windows folder to
    determine problem.

    I tried using the redist but it gave me the same error again

  25. b-rab on Fri, 18th Dec 2009 1:42 am
  26. Opps, didnt see post above, disreguard mine

  27. RSGracey on Wed, 6th Jan 2010 11:02 pm
  28. So, I have Windows 7 x64, as above. I tried running the redistributable dX9, but it still says DirectX version 11. If I delete the registry entry, won’t it just reinstall dX11? How do I get DirectX to roll back entirely to the redistributable version?

  29. Jules on Thu, 7th Jan 2010 12:08 am
  30. @RSGracey – Windows 7 will indeed always revert back to the default DirectX version which is 11. But it should be downwards compatible, so programs that required DirectX9 should also work on Windows 7 with DirectX 11. Why are you trying to install version 9?

  31. Huhu on Sun, 17th Jan 2010 4:37 am
  32. I too, need to roll back to version 9.0c and I have installed version 9 redistributable, and it still indicates version 11. Version 11 is not compatible with my Age of empire games.


  33. Hecller on Sun, 17th Jan 2010 11:37 pm
  34. I need uninstal dx11 and 10 becouse my game vietcong have a problem vith this dx

    I must have instaled only directx 90.c ! but I don? know how can I do this !

    in regedit and delete directx not functon.

  35. Alex on Mon, 18th Jan 2010 2:51 am
  36. I currently have windows 7 ultimate 32 bit… i have had a recent upgrade… and i am also having problems with mi DX 11. My graphics card is nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000. It is a very old graphics card… but it is not compatible with DX 11. I tried many things to either installing DX 11 again, or using the regedit technique, i also tried getting the SDK package, and nothing worked. Everytime i try playing a game, it launches, but blue screen comes up and shuts down mi CPU. I need to revert mi DX back to 9 or this problem keeps on coming… ANY HELP???

  37. Jules on Mon, 18th Jan 2010 4:41 am
  38. @Huhu – What is your Windows version? And if you say “not compatible”, what is the error you get?

    @Hecller – Same thing, what Windows version do you have? If it is Vista or Windows 7 you can not downgrade.

    @Alex – Sorry to say this, but if your video card is not compatible with Windows 7, you should not have upgraded…
    Did you try using a different theme, or change the screen resolution?

  39. Huhu on Mon, 18th Jan 2010 5:08 am
  40. Jules,

    I got a new windows 7 home premium 64 bit pc.
    The error is like “Can not initialized graphics. Please make sure your video card and driver support directdraw”.
    I have tried installing directx 9.0c but dxdiag still shows 11.

    Thanks a lot.

  41. Hecller on Mon, 18th Jan 2010 10:24 am
  42. Hello .. for – Huhu

    I have nVidia 8800gts320mb and win7 ultimate (32bit).

    I was try what you say and nothink help me.

    Vitcong.exe stopped working (appcrash)

    This error happend when I should raise radio and hear radio sound.

    This error have a many people using win7 or vista.

    They talking about it and try to fix it, but nobody fix it and nobody know how to fix it, I was read this a lot of forums.

    PS:sorry for my english and thanks a very much.

  43. narugaru on Sat, 23rd Jan 2010 4:20 am
  44. hiiiiiiiiii everyone plz help abt mw 2 and win 7.
    i got 2 gb ram and ati 4670, ddr3, ram1 gb graphic card.
    the problem is when i was ply game mw2 at max out. game fps on fraps are upto 50 fps but suddenly game run like flash like when i was move gun so fast and some time pc stop worked than i was overclocked my gpu than the flash problame was solved but not much and still sometimes pc stop to work.

  45. Colin on Thu, 11th Feb 2010 5:50 am
  46. Hi when I attempt to load CoD4: MW or MW2 I get a message saying “DirectX encountered an unrecoverable error.” I’d like to know whatever I could do to make it work again.

  47. Erika on Thu, 25th Feb 2010 12:39 am
  48. I am trying to play Tropico 3 and in the middle of the install it says: You need a supported DX9-compatible video card with a recent driver to play this game.

    I have windows 7 which already comes preinstalled with Directx 11 which is why when i try to download Directx 9, i get the error that says:An internal system error occured. Please refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your windows folder to deermine the problem. Ive checked it adn nothing in there….

    Any ideas??

  49. Tenryu on Sat, 6th Mar 2010 7:08 am
  50. This did not uninstall direct X for me, i still have DirectX 11 installed after i rebooted computer and the folder Direct X doesnt exist in the registry anymore..

  51. Some guy on Thu, 25th Mar 2010 3:29 pm
  52. I have Windows Vista Service pack 2 and it keeps bringing up and error message saying “This might not have installed correctly” at first i ignored it. But after opening up a game the graphics became all shadow and the game unusable. Any suggestions?

  53. francis on Wed, 31st Mar 2010 3:31 pm
  54. how can i return the run menu in start??

  55. Jules on Wed, 31st Mar 2010 9:59 pm
  56. @ Some guy – No harm in reinstalling SP2 for Vista. If you are not sure, you can uninstall it first. Another option is to download and install the DirectX runtime from Microsoft.

    @francis – In Vista or Windows 7 you mean?
    Right-click the Start menu button and select Properties.
    Then click the Customize button. Now scroll down untill you see the Run command option and select the checkbox in front of it.

  57. Mooch on Tue, 13th Apr 2010 12:43 pm
  58. I recently installed Windows 7 Professional on my old PC. It came with Windows XP Home Edition. Ever since I had problems with my video card (or my DirectX maybe?). When I try to open a game or a screensaver, it shows me this error message:

    Default video card dosn’t support stensil buffer. cGraphics::cGraphics(HWND _hwnd)
    cEngine::cEngine(sContext &_context)
    Restart the game please.


    The screensaver can’t run because it requiers a newer video card or one that’s compatible with Direct3D.

    I tried almost every solution online. Updated my video and graphics card, got rid of ‘system errors’ and so on…
    I’m pretty close to giving up. The games I tried to play used to work 100% with XP, like hunting unlimited 3, Need for Speed Underground and Farm Frenzy 2.
    I would really apreciate it if you could help me out.

  59. Jules on Wed, 14th Apr 2010 1:25 pm
  60. @Mooch – Are you running the games in the XP SP2 compatibility mode? That might help in some cases.
    Also check that you are running a compatible screen resolution with default DPI settings. Windows 7 (depending on the monitor) can switch to 120 DPI instead of the default 96 DPI.

  61. Benino on Thu, 29th Jul 2010 10:11 am
  62. Hello, recently i have downloaded DirectX 11 on my computer, only to realise not much later that my Video card cannot support higher than 10.1. Do i have to Uninstall 11 and reinstall 10.1 or do you think this will not affect the actual performance of my graphics/peformance?

  63. Jules on Thu, 29th Jul 2010 2:59 pm
  64. @Benino – According to Microsoft, DirectX 11 is backwards compatible, so you should be able to run software that requires DirectX 9 or DirectX 10 just fine.
    I also expect that performance will be the same or even better, not worse. The supported DirectX 10 functionality would remain the same with DirectX 11 installed, even if your video card does not support the new features in DirectX 11.
    As long as things work, I would not mess with it unless you get errors. And I don’t think Microsoft has a DirectX 10 runtime download available.

  65. gamer on Mon, 20th Dec 2010 11:15 pm
  66. I’m trying to run rise of nation throne and patriots,running it on vista home edition,1gb ram and core2 duo,but standard vga card, direct x10 is installed on pc, wen I launch the game it states that I gotta change my display from 256 colors to 16bit or higher, but my settings are on 36bits and it keeps giving me the same error,what do I do?

  67. Jules on Wed, 22nd Dec 2010 8:52 am
  68. @gamer – If you are using a standard VGA card, it could very well be that it does not meet the requirements for the game, have you checked that?
    If the game detects a 256 color mode, there is either a problem with your display settings (are you sure the color depth is set higher than 8-bit?), or there is a problem with your DirectX compatibility. Try running “dxdiag” and see what it shows.

  69. gamer on Wed, 22nd Dec 2010 10:19 am
  70. @julez
    Thnx for the advised mate,the standard vga might be the problem so I tired to install me vga card (foxcon geforce 9800gt) but now wen I plug my monitor pin on the vga card,my monitor dsnt come on,the light keeps blinking and it dsnt switch on the screen,I’m thinking of just buying a gaming laptop for xmas lol

  71. Jules on Wed, 22nd Dec 2010 12:41 pm
  72. @gamer – If this is a desktop with an integrated video card, you probably need to disable the onboard video in the BIOS if you add another video card. Did you do that?

  73. gamer on Thu, 23rd Dec 2010 4:53 pm
  74. Do I disable the bios on the blue screen menu before the windows load?how do I do that?cos what happens if it dosnt work and the on board card permenantly disables?I will try that later thought,I’ll also try and change my monitor,but that monitor works perfectly with the VGA card I have, I think I should try and change that bios settings,thanks

  75. Jules on Sun, 26th Dec 2010 6:00 pm
  76. @gamer – You can always reset the BIOS (either through an onboard jumper or by removing the BIOS battery, check the motherboard manual on that). So that would restore the video to it’s default.
    In most cases the F2 key will bring you into the BIOS. That is before Windows loads. Once it is disabled, you can reboot.

  77. jae on Thu, 24th Feb 2011 4:43 am
  78. after I installed directx, videos on my web browsers stopped working. It’s a new computer (win 7) and I haven’t yet created a restore point. is there a fix for this, or do I have to get the uninstaller?

  79. Suleman on Thu, 24th Feb 2011 3:13 pm
  80. hi i installed batman: arkham asylum and it wont run. it gives an error that says d3dx9_39.dll is missing. i have directx 11 installed. my pc gives the same error with burnout paradise but the code is d3dx_37. ive tried to download direct x from net but it abruptly stops saying internal error. please advise. thankyou.

  81. Jules on Fri, 25th Feb 2011 11:21 am
  82. @jae – What DirectX did you install? Windows 7 has DirectX 11 already, so it should get updated automatically by Windows update. Did you install a previous version of DirectX?

    @Suleman – You can try the SFC /SCANNOW command in a command prompt window with admin rights. That will verify and correct any issues with Windows system files. So it should restore the original DirectX files that came with your Windows version.
    And when you download DirectX from the net, you mean version 11?

  83. Suleman on Sat, 26th Feb 2011 6:00 am
  84. yes i meant directx 11. but the thing is that, they said that it is not a stand alone product and i will have to download another older version of directx with it.
    plus i ran the scan and it said “windows resource protection did not find any integrity violation”.

  85. Jules on Mon, 28th Feb 2011 10:24 am
  86. @Suleman – Although DirectX 11 i supposed to be downward compatible (meaning it supports programs that required DirectX 10 or DirectX 9), this has caused problems for others. You can try to download install the DirectX runtime version that the program needs, but there is no guarantee that it works.

  87. Suleman on Mon, 28th Feb 2011 2:37 pm
  88. @ Jules
    thanks for your help. really appreciate it.
    thank you!

  89. DarknessBecomesHer on Tue, 19th Apr 2011 3:01 am
  90. Im having issues with my Windows Media Player playback whenever I try to run a video I have downloaded with the ATube Catcher from The problem seems to lie somewhere in my graphics card, videocard, or my directX. I have directx11 and its all nice and updated, however the video refuses to playback normally and all I get is an unmoving picture of the videos first second screen instead of the video playing normally. All this seemed to happen after doing a major load of updates on my computer and most likely when installing windows 7 SP1. It was FINE before these updates. Now the videos I play in windows media player dont play. what is wrong with my graphics card or my directx and how can I fix it? PLEASE help. I just wanna watch my videos normally again instead of an unmoving picture.
    (I have Windows 7 on an HP Desktop with everything updated and all graphics and sound cards updated – or so it says)

  91. Jules on Thu, 21st Apr 2011 4:24 am
  92. @DarknessBecomesHer – Have you tried a different media player to see if that works? Try VLC Media Player, that should play almost any format. If that works, it is probably something to do with the Windows Media Player. If that also does not work, it might be related to DirectX or the video file itself. Do other video files (not downloaded with ATube Catcher) work without problems?

  93. Logan M on Thu, 5th May 2011 1:46 am
  94. Im trying to play a game that requires DirectX 9.0c and I have 11. Will it still run because it comes with an error message saying DirectX encountered an unrecoverable error. Check the readme for possible solutions. Im stuck.

  95. Miriam on Thu, 26th May 2011 2:43 pm
  96. I’m trying to get Rift to work on my computer, but when I try to launch it I always get the same error: d3dx9_43.dll isn’t meant to run in Windows or it contain errors. I have tried everything. I have updated my DirectX and i’m running Windows 7. Rift is a brand new game, so I don’t get it. I have contacted Trion support, but they can’t help me, so now I thinking about using DirectX Happy Uninstall or I hope that you can help me. I have also tried to run a DxDiag and everything looks fine. Please help.

  97. Jules on Thu, 26th May 2011 7:34 pm
  98. @Logan M – DirectX 11 is supposed to be downwards compatible with DirectX 9, so even applications or games requiring DirectX 9.0c should run. Having said that, I have seen more reports that it does not always work. Sometimes installing the DirectX 9.0c runtime distributable can help.

    @Miriam – If you are running Windows 7, you can’t simply uninstall DirectX, since it is integrated with Windows 7. The best thing is to first try to install DirectX by downloading the dxwebsetup program from the Microsoft website. Also check if you have the latest video drivers, and update them if possible.

  99. Koshy on Sun, 12th Jun 2011 4:28 pm
  100. hi, my os is windows 7 home premium and without knowing directX 11 comes along with that windows, i installed directX 9c yesterday. now i checked direct version in my pc it is showing directX 11. is there any harm that i installed directX 9c over it? if so you want me to remove that 9c and how to do that….pls advice. Sir.
    thank you

  101. Jules on Tue, 14th Jun 2011 7:55 pm
  102. @Koshy – I do not think it will do any harm, but you can always try the “SFC /SCANNOW” at the command prompt (needs administrator rights) to check and repair the Windows system files. That should also repair any DirectX 11 issues, since it came with the system.
    Or simply reinstall DirectX 11 again from the runtime download.

  103. Ehab on Tue, 28th Jun 2011 5:46 pm
  104. Same propb i got dx11 and i need dx9 how can i replace them..i tried evrey thing PLEEEEEEEEEEEASSSSSSSE help.

  105. Jules on Wed, 29th Jun 2011 3:22 pm
  106. @Ehab – Again, DirectX 11 is supposed to be downwards compatible, so anything that requires DirectX 9 should run with DirectX 11. The only option that you could try is to also install the DirectX 9 runtime distributable.
    Why do you need DirectX 9? Which program is requiring and what is the error/message?

  107. Ehab on Wed, 29th Jun 2011 5:54 pm
  108. will its not program its my pc that don’t recognize my DX11 i tried everything to make my DX11 work …when i open the dxdaing program they tell me that i got DX11 but when i run a game it don’t recognize mine so im trying to replace DX11 or make it work so if u can help me i would appreciate that a lot. ohhh and the error message is: D3D_ create (Create Devise0 failed)

  109. Jules on Thu, 30th Jun 2011 7:00 am
  110. @Ehab – You can try to run the system file checker (SFC /SCANNOW at a command prompt with admin rights), so that Windows 7 will check the system files and restore them if any issues are found. Since DirectX 11 is part of Windows 7, it should solve any issues there are with DirectX 11 related files (typically issues with DLL files).

    You can also try downloading the DirectX web installer from Microsoft and let that run again.

    Last option is to disable the hardware acelleration in the dxdiag control panel. Maybe you video card has compatibility issues with that option turned on. In that case, you can try updating or reinstalling the video card drivers to try and solve that issue.

  111. Ehab on Thu, 30th Jun 2011 1:03 pm
  112. Wow i checked every thing and tried every thing …still got the same problem but thanks anyway you did your best. sorry if i wasted your time.

  113. Adam on Mon, 14th Nov 2011 6:25 pm
  114. Jules, when I try run “Rome Total war” it says “Rome total war failed to find DirectX 9.0. Please Reinstall”.
    But the thing is I’ve done the dxdiag thing and it says i have DirectX 11. So what do i do now?

    I hope you respond. :)

  115. ok on Mon, 19th Dec 2011 10:51 am
  116. i cannot uninstal and re-instal .. damn microsoft .. duke nuke em .. need fo speed..

    after moving to win 7 .. i cannot play any games .. my direct x has prob..

    i buy lousy game need for speed .. key in cd kep .. and have to download the game from orgin for 12 hours .. and i cannot install the game .. why direct x..

    i will never play games because win 7 and direct x

    i hope steve jobs lives and microsoft dies … living in hell for 1 year nothing is working good in win 7

  117. AndrewT on Sat, 24th Dec 2011 2:43 am
  118. Having DirectX 10 or 11 does NOT provide you with DirectX 9, and running 9 does NOT mean uninstalling 10 or 11.. They are entirely separate and run alongside each other, 10 or 11 do not replace 9.

    There are many games such as Total War and Europa Universalis 3 that require the latest version of DirectX 9.0c – 10 or 11 will NOT do. You install 9 (on Vista or Win7) with this MS installer which is updated at regular intervals.

  119. Mark on Sun, 1st Jan 2012 9:31 pm
  120. Andrew, my daughter is having trouble getting Batman Arkham City and some other games to run. Her computer has Windows 7 with DirectX 11 preinstalled. I tried the link you had but when I try to run it a message comes up stating that “DirectX setup has determined that a newer or equivalent version of DirectX has been installed already. No installation is necessary”. Any suggestions?

  121. AndrewT on Mon, 2nd Jan 2012 2:53 am
  122. Mark, that rather depends on the nature of the problem you are having, which you don’t describe. EU3 for instance required functionality from DirectX 9.0c that 10 and 11 do not provide, and specifically puts up an error about missing .dlls , which is addressed by the link I posted.

    Check the game’s published requirements, it should say what version of DirectX it needs.

    If you have files like d3dx9_35.dll and d3dx9_41.dll on your system already then you have DirectX 9.0c, and your problem lies elsewhere.

  123. Jules on Mon, 2nd Jan 2012 4:09 am
  124. @Mark – Also try using the link in the bottom of the page that AndrewT posted. That allows you to donwload the full installer instead of the webinstaller. The download is about 96MB, but it might not give you the problem with the old version detection.

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