Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

When I want to upgrade a installed program, usually it looks so that I first uninstall the old version and install the new version of program. Uninstalling a program is not successful entirely, it doesn't delete the program folder in the Start menu.

If I try to manually delete program's folder in the Start menu I get the message:

You'll need provide administrator permission to delete this folder

If I try to install the new version, the installation fails due to error:

The installer has insufficient privileges to access this directory: C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Program_name. The installation cannot continue. Log on as administrator or contact your system administrator.

Note that I have administrator privileges.

Some semi-solution is restart the system where the folder is automatically deleted after the restart and then I can make the installation of the new version of program.

My question is how to solve the problem without restarting the system, so that the uninstall delete the program folder in Start menu?

share|improve this question
Is this windows 7 home? – Not Kyle stop stalking me Jan 27 '11 at 2:26
No, it's Windows 7 Professional. I would like to mention that i have Windows 7 Professional on another computer and there is no problem with deleting/removing the program folder from the Start Menu with uninstall. All is OK. – ztepsic Jan 27 '11 at 2:31

With out more information this is a little difficult to answer, for example if the pc is a domain member this will not work. But I'll take a crack since I have fixed similar issues on home premium systems with this. Open an elevated CMD window (right click run as administrator) type in:

net user administrator /active:yes

log off and log in as the new admin account that should now be available it will allow you to delete these folders. Remember to run the same command with a "active:no" at the end to deactivate the admin account afterward.

share|improve this answer
Do I need repeat this procedure every time when I want to uninstall and then reinstall the program? If so then it is similar to restarting the system. – ztepsic Jan 27 '11 at 2:55
@ztepsic so this is with every program you uninstall? I thought it was just one or two programs giving you issues. It is similar to restarting true but with user switching you don't have to close anything or lose any work. Otherwise go with studiohacks suggestion, this was just a solution that didn't require a third party program. – Not Kyle stop stalking me Jan 27 '11 at 3:08
This worked to allow the VirtualBox installer to complete on my machine. That is the only program I have ever seen have this issue (and it's recurrent, I've also seen it on more than one machine IIRC)... I still don't understand what vbox installer does to the "Start Menu" that's so wrong... seems that it is going downhill lately, but I digress. – PeterT Nov 8 '11 at 11:29

Try uninstalling with Revo Uninstaller. It will remove all traces from your system of the uninstalled program. It may or may not work with the said errors, but it's worth a try...

From the website:

  • Scanning for leftovers after the standard uninstall
  • 8 Additional cleaning tools included
share|improve this answer
Thank you for your suggestion. But I want to find out why windows 7 is not doing this by its own. It is working by default on other similar machines but no on this particular. – ztepsic Jan 27 '11 at 2:59

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.