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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. lol says:

    What is this a joke? It didn’t do crap.

  2. Jules says:

    @lol – No joke, it works. Did you check your DirectX version before and after?
    Type “dxdiag” in the Run command and check it. If you run XP, it should revert back to version 8.1.


  3. Kwatk0 says:

    Yeah but what if you have Windows 7 (DirectX 11 by default) and you need to revert back to 9.0c how the heck would you do that???

  4. Jules says:

    @Kwatk0 – Why would you need to revert back to DirectX 9.0c on Windows 7? DirectX 11 which is installed in Windows 7 is supposed to be downward compatible with DirectX 9 and DirectX 10.
    In case you have programs that do not run and indicate that DirectX 9 is missing you could try installing the DirectX 9 redistributable, which also worked in Vista.

  5. ShadowRat says:

    THX dude! really helped me out with my CoD:WaW 2 :D

  6. mizz says:

    Will this work on Windows Server 2003?

  7. Jules says:

    @mizz – It should, XP and Windows 2003 server share the same basic architecture (you can use drivers between them as well), so the DirectX installation will be the same too.

  8. Axel says:

    I did the recommended procedure on xp and now it gets error installing direct x!!!
    a little help?

  9. Jules says:

    @Axel – What is the error, and what DirectX version are you trying to install?

  10. Axel says:

    I believe its 9… found at this link

    I get this error “An internal system error occurred.
    Please refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your Windows folder to determine problem.

    …but the log files are not in the Windows Folder.

    Appreciate the help!

  11. Jules says:

    @Axel – That’s weird, normally there really should be an error log if the DirectX install fails that way.
    Whay you can try is to run “sfc /scannow” at a command prompt (use admin rights). That will check and repair your Windows system files.
    A bit more time consuming would be to try and reinstall the latest server pack on your system. Just check the system properties and see what SP you have installed, download it and reinstall it.

  12. b-rab says:

    When trying to open Aion, it tells me i need an updated version of Direct X,

    I run Windows Vista 64-bit, when it tries to install it it gives me this error

    An internal system error occurred.
    Please refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your Windows folder to
    determine problem.

    I tried using the redist but it gave me the same error again

  13. b-rab says:

    Opps, didnt see post above, disreguard mine

  14. RSGracey says:

    So, I have Windows 7 x64, as above. I tried running the redistributable dX9, but it still says DirectX version 11. If I delete the registry entry, won’t it just reinstall dX11? How do I get DirectX to roll back entirely to the redistributable version?

  15. Jules says:

    @RSGracey – Windows 7 will indeed always revert back to the default DirectX version which is 11. But it should be downwards compatible, so programs that required DirectX9 should also work on Windows 7 with DirectX 11. Why are you trying to install version 9?

  16. Huhu says:

    I too, need to roll back to version 9.0c and I have installed version 9 redistributable, and it still indicates version 11. Version 11 is not compatible with my Age of empire games.


  17. Hecller says:

    I need uninstal dx11 and 10 becouse my game vietcong have a problem vith this dx

    I must have instaled only directx 90.c ! but I don? know how can I do this !

    in regedit and delete directx not functon.

  18. Alex says:

    I currently have windows 7 ultimate 32 bit… i have had a recent upgrade… and i am also having problems with mi DX 11. My graphics card is nVIDIA GeForce4 MX 4000. It is a very old graphics card… but it is not compatible with DX 11. I tried many things to either installing DX 11 again, or using the regedit technique, i also tried getting the SDK package, and nothing worked. Everytime i try playing a game, it launches, but blue screen comes up and shuts down mi CPU. I need to revert mi DX back to 9 or this problem keeps on coming… ANY HELP???

  19. Jules says:

    @Huhu – What is your Windows version? And if you say “not compatible”, what is the error you get?

    @Hecller – Same thing, what Windows version do you have? If it is Vista or Windows 7 you can not downgrade.

    @Alex – Sorry to say this, but if your video card is not compatible with Windows 7, you should not have upgraded…
    Did you try using a different theme, or change the screen resolution?

  20. Huhu says:


    I got a new windows 7 home premium 64 bit pc.
    The error is like “Can not initialized graphics. Please make sure your video card and driver support directdraw”.
    I have tried installing directx 9.0c but dxdiag still shows 11.

    Thanks a lot.

  21. Hecller says:

    Hello .. for – Huhu

    I have nVidia 8800gts320mb and win7 ultimate (32bit).

    I was try what you say and nothink help me.

    Vitcong.exe stopped working (appcrash)

    This error happend when I should raise radio and hear radio sound.

    This error have a many people using win7 or vista.

    They talking about it and try to fix it, but nobody fix it and nobody know how to fix it, I was read this a lot of forums.

    PS:sorry for my english and thanks a very much.

  22. narugaru says:

    hiiiiiiiiii everyone plz help abt mw 2 and win 7.
    i got 2 gb ram and ati 4670, ddr3, ram1 gb graphic card.
    the problem is when i was ply game mw2 at max out. game fps on fraps are upto 50 fps but suddenly game run like flash like when i was move gun so fast and some time pc stop worked than i was overclocked my gpu than the flash problame was solved but not much and still sometimes pc stop to work.

  23. Colin says:

    Hi when I attempt to load CoD4: MW or MW2 I get a message saying “DirectX encountered an unrecoverable error.” I’d like to know whatever I could do to make it work again.

  24. Erika says:

    I am trying to play Tropico 3 and in the middle of the install it says: You need a supported DX9-compatible video card with a recent driver to play this game.

    I have windows 7 which already comes preinstalled with Directx 11 which is why when i try to download Directx 9, i get the error that says:An internal system error occured. Please refer to DXError.log and DirectX.log in your windows folder to deermine the problem. Ive checked it adn nothing in there….

    Any ideas??

  25. Tenryu says:

    This did not uninstall direct X for me, i still have DirectX 11 installed after i rebooted computer and the folder Direct X doesnt exist in the registry anymore..

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