Why does my app’s uninstaller disappear from the Start menu?

Raymond Chen


A customer reported that their installer creates a shortcut on the Start menu called Uninstall Contoso Deluxe, but a few seconds after their installer completes, the Uninstall Contoso Deluxe icon disappears from the Start menu. The main Contoso Deluxe shortcut is still there. What’s going on?

The uninstaller shortcut is removed from the Start menu to reduce clutter. You can uninstall apps from the Apps page in Settings, or from the Programs and Features control panel (formerly known as Add or Remove Programs). You can also get to the uninstaller by right-clicking Contoso Deluxe and selecting Uninstall.

Adding an uninstaller icon to Start menu is triply redundant, and it puts uninstallers in a high-traffic area of the user interface, when users are mostly looking for apps to run, not apps to uninstall.

The uninstaller shortcut is still there, so your uninstaller won’t get confused when it tries to delete the uninstaller shortcut. But the Start menu doesn’t show it.

Raymond Chen
Raymond Chen

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Steven Wolf 2019-03-19 08:29:34
One of the better UI choices from MS.  Thank the team for me. :)
Ian Boyd 2019-03-19 09:29:54
It's quite annoying when I type "Uninstall" in the start menu, and every program's uninstaller appears.   No! If I wanted to remove your app I'd go to the appropriate spot.   Just as bad are apps that insist on adding a shortcut on the desktop.   There are even installers that offer to add an icon to the Quick Launch - when the Quick Launch hasn't existed since 2007. And they shouldn't have been adding them in the first place.   Microsoft needs a way to quarantine desktop icons added by installers.
Yuhong Bao 2019-03-19 10:26:59
I think the idea dates back to before Windows 95.
W S 2019-03-19 11:00:18
My only gripe with this is that choosing Uninstall in the context menu does not try to pre-select said program in the list of things to uninstall.   To make this a sure thing Microsoft could let programs define the name of their uninstall key in their manifest, or add a AppUserModelID value to the uninstall entry.  
Archi Goodwin 2019-03-19 11:34:49
Why Visual Studio Installer is not affected by this behaviour? PS.How do I re-sort the comments? Now latest coments are on the top.
Langbein, Thilo 2019-03-20 00:46:09
I don't want Microsoft to take care of my start menu!!!f a installer makes an uninstall entry I want to see this. MS isn't smarter than me. Thanks for trying AI.
Henrik Andersson
Henrik Andersson 2019-03-20 03:44:25
So I wasn't the only one who thought "this seems like an useability hazard". I mean seriously, this is as bad as the nuke the world button in Monsters vs Ailiens.
Kalle Niemitalo 2019-03-22 08:05:49
Two folders in my Start Menu contain shortcuts titled only "Uninstall" (the file names are "Uninstall.lnk", no localization tricks), and Windows 10 Pro Build 17763.rs5_release.180914-1434 isn't hiding them. It does hide shortcuts in which "Uninstall" is followed by some other words, however. I don't really care whether the shortcuts appear but I'm curious why it was implemented this way.
Charles Milette
Charles Milette 2019-03-30 21:59:52
It's a bit annoying when a Cortana search shows the uninstaller as first result when searching the program's name though.