How to Uninstall Media Player
Most programs that you have installed on your computer can be uninstalled, either through an uninstall routine that is provided with the software or using the Windows uninstaller. However, you cannot delete media player in these ways because it is classed as being part of the Windows operating system.
Regular updates are released for media player and may be updated automatically as part of the normal Windows updates in order to increase security and performance. If a recently installed version is causing you problems, although you can’t uninstall media player, you can roll back to a previous version that worked correctly.
Uninstall Media Player Updates
By uninstalling an update, you will not delete media player entirely but will roll back to a previous version. To do this, in the Control Panel select Programs and Features or Add or Remove Programs (depending on your operating system version) and you will see a list of all the programs that are currently installed on your PC. If Windows media player is not listed, tick the Show Updates box at the top of the window or choose View Installed Updates (again varies by operating system). You should then see one or more Windows media updates on the list. Select the latest update and then choose to uninstall it. Once complete, the list is redisplayed with the update removed. You can repeat the process to clear all updates you do not need.
On completion, reboot your PC. All desktop shortcuts, Start menu entries and program folders should no longer be present for the removed updates.
Uninstall Media Player Using the Registry Entry
If no updates appear on the Programs list, you can still delete media player updates. However, you need to access the registry to do this, although you will not be making changes to it directly.
At the Start menu, select Accessories then Run, type ‘regedit’ and press the Enter key or click OK. At the edit screen, expand the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE entry and then Software, Microsoft, Windows, Current Version and Uninstall. Folders for all installed programs are listed. Click on the folder for the media player version you want to remove and then double-click the UninstallString entry. Right click on the uninstall string entry and select Copy, then close Regedit.
At the Start menu, click Run and paste the copied uninstall string into the text box. Click OK or press Enter and the version of media player will be uninstalled. Repeat for other updates you want to get rid of.
Uninstall Media Player Using System Restore
Each time you install or update software, Windows should create a restore point (unless you manually turned off System Restore). Therefore, if the update has occurred recently, you should be able to go back to the restore point to delete media player updates and revert to a previous version.
At the Start menu, select Accessories, System Tools then System Restore.
You can revert to the most recent restore point or one before it. You should select the one immediately prior to the media player update and choose to restore to that point. On completion, reboot your PC and check that the required version of media player is available.
If you are unsure of the date of the media player update, you may need to work back through the available restore points until you remove the version you don’t want. System restore will not affect any data you have input but will remove any other program installations or updates since that time. You may, therefore, need to reinstall some programs.