I am cleaning up a Windows 8 computer and have a program which cannot be uninstalled from the control panel Add/Remove programs section.

Is there a way to easily find the locations of the programs listed in the Add/Remove programs section of the Windows control panel so that I can access them from the command prompt?


@ElectricRouge pointed out that you could use the below to show locations for some applications below:

Go to control panel --> Right click on the Control panel grid header --> Select More --> and check the location option.

but this does not show the locations for many programs which just show up with blank origins.


You can get some clues as to where an application lives, by looking at where it's uninstaller is located.

Windows stores the list of uninstaller locations in the registry. You can use Regedit to go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall.

That registry key contains a whole lot of sub-keys with GUID names (big long strings of seemingly random letters and numbers). Use Regedit's search function and set it to look for the name of your program as it appears in the "programs and features" list of installed programs. (Un-tick keys and values and just leave data ticked).

Once you find the right sub-key, you'll see a bunch of values for your program. One of them will be called "UninstallString" and may point to the executable or DLL that is used to uninstall the software (or might pass a file location as a parameter to MSIexec or RunDLL). Depending on where the application's uninstaller lives, that information might give you the clue you need to find the rest of the application.

There are other bits of information in the registry that can help you too - See more info from Microsoft at https://msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa372105(v=vs.85).aspx

Typically programs that don't list an install location will have installed themselves in a number of places around your disk though, so it's best to use the uninstaller if you can.


Go to control panel --> Right click on the Control panel grid header --> Select More --> and check the location option.

Now the program location shows up in the control panel.

  • 2
    This lists locations for some of the programs, but many of the programs do not list a location with this option and just have a blank line. Question updated.
    – ZenBalance
    Aug 26 '14 at 10:41
  • 1
    Yes some of the locations are just blank. Another thing you can try is If there is a shortcut of that application in your start screen or In Windows 8 app menu you can right click and choose open file location. And only other way I can think of is to browse through Registry Editor and find the location in the registry entry. Hope this helps :) Aug 26 '14 at 10:54
  • @ElectricRouge - Can you comment on why the location would be missing? Surely the file has to exist somewhere. Apr 20 '19 at 23:35

You can use revo uninstaller free edition to uninstall easily. Revo Uninstaller allows you to uninstall stubborn programs that are not uninstalling properly through the Windows control panel. When you have Revo Uninstaller installed on your computer it will keep track of all changes made by a program when it is installed. Using these logs it then has the ability to remove all traces of the program when you wish to uninstall it.

  • Thanks, however, my goal is to be able to manipulate them from the command prompt as well.
    – ZenBalance
    Aug 26 '14 at 10:44
  • How to Uninstall Program using Command Prompt In Windows 7 , this will be same for windows 8 as well ! youtube.com/watch?v=Nc5TXHf9_Tk
    – mussdroid
    Aug 26 '14 at 10:47

You can go to the Program Files of your System and locate the Software there.

  • 2
    That only works for those applications that install themselves in Program Files. Not all of them do.
    – Chenmunka
    Aug 26 '14 at 12:10
  • Yes, I am trying to inspect and then remove some spyware that was installed.
    – ZenBalance
    Aug 30 '14 at 16:23

You cannot find the location of the installed application in Add/Remove programs(Control panel), instead you can

  • Step 1: Open start (press windows + Q) and type the application name in the SearchBox

  • Step 2: Right click on the Application and click on 'open the file Location'

  • * Step 3: Right click on the shortcut and choose properties. There should be a path to the actual executable in the dialog.
    – Geofferey
    Dec 24 '20 at 19:39

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