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How to Uninstall DirectX

Filed under: PC Maintenance, Uninstall 

DirectX has been around since 1995 and is a Microsoft API (Application Program Interface) that is provided mainly for gaming. It allows developers to write programs that can utilize a PC’s high-end gaming capabilities without needing to know what hardware is available on the computer. This provides access to joysticks, video cards and other devices, and has proved very popular with developers.

DirectX can increase the performance of hardware that is associated with audio and video animation and most audio and video devices are compliant with it. DirectX is designed to be backward compatible so that games developed for a certain version of it can be played with all later versions.

Why You Might Want to Uninstall DirectX

uninstall directxDirectX has gone through a lot of upgrades over the years and so there are several versions around. Windows XP uses DirectX 9.0c and the latest, DirectX 11, is available as a standard with Windows Vista and Windows 7 and is an integral part of the operating system. Other Windows Operating systems may have different versions installed.

Although the later versions of DirectX have been designed to enhance gaming technology, sometimes they can cause problems. Occasionally, when you try to run a game, you may get an error message reporting that a later version of DirectX is needed, that the installed version is incompatible with the game or that a DirectX file is missing (like directsound.dll or d3dx9 dll). In these cases, you may need to install a later version but may be unable to do this due to a problem with your existing version.

Always start by running dxdiag.exe to check the status of your DirectX installation to find any problems and details related to the problem. You can run the command from the Start menu in Windows, just type it in the search box or run command option.

How to Uninstall DirectX

Since Direct X is effectively an extension of video and audio drivers, removing it can cause problems. It is not intended that it will be deleted and so no uninstall option is provided.

The only official ways of removing a version of DirectX are to go back to a system restore point where the current version was installed or to re-install your operating system. The former relies on the installation of DirectX being fairly recent while the latter option is an extreme solution since it means you will have to re-install all your programs and copy back your data.

There are third party uninstallers available that may do the job. However, check the reviews on them before using one because some can be unreliable and cause more problems than they solve.

There are a few specific DirectX uninstall tools. For DirectX 9, there is DirectX 9 Uninstaller. Make sure to follow the exact instructions in the IMPORTANT.txt file inside the ZIP archive. Another option is called DirectX Eradicator. This program will allow you to remove the DirectX runtime components from your system. Again it supports upto DirectX version 9.0c, and runs on Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

The option for Vista and Windows 7 and to uninstall DirectX versions beyond 9.0c is a commercial product called DirectX Happy Uninstall, which is priced at $19.95.

DirectX uninstall software

Before you use any of these tools though, always first try downloading and installing the latest DirectX version for your Windows version as that can fix the most common problems with DirectX. The DirectX uninstall option should really be a last resort.

TIP: use SecureUninstaller to uninstall programs in Windows.



62 Comments to “How to Uninstall DirectX”

  1. Jules says:

    @Koshy – I do not think it will do any harm, but you can always try the “SFC /SCANNOW” at the command prompt (needs administrator rights) to check and repair the Windows system files. That should also repair any DirectX 11 issues, since it came with the system.
    Or simply reinstall DirectX 11 again from the runtime download.

  2. Ehab says:

    Same propb i got dx11 and i need dx9 how can i replace them..i tried evrey thing PLEEEEEEEEEEEASSSSSSSE help.

  3. Jules says:

    @Ehab – Again, DirectX 11 is supposed to be downwards compatible, so anything that requires DirectX 9 should run with DirectX 11. The only option that you could try is to also install the DirectX 9 runtime distributable.
    Why do you need DirectX 9? Which program is requiring and what is the error/message?

  4. Ehab says:

    will its not program its my pc that don’t recognize my DX11 i tried everything to make my DX11 work …when i open the dxdaing program they tell me that i got DX11 but when i run a game it don’t recognize mine so im trying to replace DX11 or make it work so if u can help me i would appreciate that a lot. ohhh and the error message is: D3D_ create (Create Devise0 failed)

  5. Jules says:

    @Ehab – You can try to run the system file checker (SFC /SCANNOW at a command prompt with admin rights), so that Windows 7 will check the system files and restore them if any issues are found. Since DirectX 11 is part of Windows 7, it should solve any issues there are with DirectX 11 related files (typically issues with DLL files).

    You can also try downloading the DirectX web installer from Microsoft and let that run again.

    Last option is to disable the hardware acelleration in the dxdiag control panel. Maybe you video card has compatibility issues with that option turned on. In that case, you can try updating or reinstalling the video card drivers to try and solve that issue.

  6. Ehab says:

    Wow i checked every thing and tried every thing …still got the same problem but thanks anyway you did your best. sorry if i wasted your time.

  7. Adam says:

    Jules, when I try run “Rome Total war” it says “Rome total war failed to find DirectX 9.0. Please Reinstall”.
    But the thing is I’ve done the dxdiag thing and it says i have DirectX 11. So what do i do now?

    I hope you respond. :)

  8. ok says:

    i cannot uninstal and re-instal .. damn microsoft .. duke nuke em .. need fo speed..

    after moving to win 7 .. i cannot play any games .. my direct x has prob..

    i buy lousy game need for speed .. key in cd kep .. and have to download the game from orgin for 12 hours .. and i cannot install the game .. why direct x..

    i will never play games because win 7 and direct x

    i hope steve jobs lives and microsoft dies … living in hell for 1 year nothing is working good in win 7

  9. AndrewT says:

    Having DirectX 10 or 11 does NOT provide you with DirectX 9, and running 9 does NOT mean uninstalling 10 or 11.. They are entirely separate and run alongside each other, 10 or 11 do not replace 9.

    There are many games such as Total War and Europa Universalis 3 that require the latest version of DirectX 9.0c – 10 or 11 will NOT do. You install 9 (on Vista or Win7) with this MS installer which is updated at regular intervals.

  10. Mark says:

    Andrew, my daughter is having trouble getting Batman Arkham City and some other games to run. Her computer has Windows 7 with DirectX 11 preinstalled. I tried the link you had but when I try to run it a message comes up stating that “DirectX setup has determined that a newer or equivalent version of DirectX has been installed already. No installation is necessary”. Any suggestions?

  11. AndrewT says:

    Mark, that rather depends on the nature of the problem you are having, which you don’t describe. EU3 for instance required functionality from DirectX 9.0c that 10 and 11 do not provide, and specifically puts up an error about missing .dlls , which is addressed by the link I posted.

    Check the game’s published requirements, it should say what version of DirectX it needs.

    If you have files like d3dx9_35.dll and d3dx9_41.dll on your system already then you have DirectX 9.0c, and your problem lies elsewhere.

  12. Jules says:

    @Mark – Also try using the link in the bottom of the page that AndrewT posted. That allows you to donwload the full installer instead of the webinstaller. The download is about 96MB, but it might not give you the problem with the old version detection.

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