My OS is Windows 7. When cleaning unnecessary sofrware from my computer I noticed that I have lots of SQL related programs installed. I don't know with what program thet came, I don't do anything SQL related on this computer.

I have MS Office and Visual Studio installed. Other programs I have are basic things like web browsers. I also have many games installed.

SQL programs installed on my computer:


Can I uninstall MS SQL server safely or could some program I have depent on it without my knowledge?

  • It's hard for us to say without knowing what else you have on your computer. I know a lot of development tools use SQL server objects (do you use any reporting functions in visual studio?)
    – Arthur
    Feb 2, 2015 at 18:53
  • I don't use reporting functions. I only do very basic C++ programming. Nothing that has anyting to do with databases. Feb 2, 2015 at 18:57
  • Probably safe to uninstall then. You can always get the components back using the sql server 2008 express installation.
    – Arthur
    Feb 2, 2015 at 18:58
  • These programs are installed alongside Visual Studio. IIRC, they cannot be deselected during Setup either.
    – Daniel B
    Feb 2, 2015 at 19:01

2 Answers 2


"SQL Server Compact" is a library similar to SQLite. Programs might use it internally. Though I'm sure they would ship their own copies instead of relying on the system-installed version.

"SQL Server 2008" is the full database server, like MySQL or Postgres. The answer here is simpler: Is it running? (That is, does Task Manager show processes belonging to it?) And if you stop the service, does anything break? If it's not running, then it's clearly not being used, and is safe to remove.

If you write C++, both of those might have been installed as part of the Visual Studio bundle.

  • 4
    2017, and still no clean way to simply "Uninstal SQL Server" -- have to brute force through the whole list - one by one. Jan 8, 2017 at 11:23
  • SQL Server (SQLEXPRESS) and SQL Server VSS Writer services are running on Automatic after the uninstallation of VS10. They are most likely still in use by the installed VS2017. Dec 17, 2017 at 6:38

The simplest answer is no, don't delete them. They'll only run if you use a program related to that.

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