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TutorialsUninstall WSL on Windows 10 or 11: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Uninstall WSL on Windows 10 or 11: Easy Step-by-Step Guide

While WSL offers many benefits, you may need to uninstall it at times. This guide will walk through the steps to fully uninstall WSL on Windows 10 or Windows 11 like wsl Ubuntu, wsl distro, etc. Including any installed Linux distributions and related components, from your Windows 10 or Windows 11 machine.

Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) allows you to run Linux environments directly on Windows. This powerful feature provides the Linux terminal, tools, and apps alongside your Windows desktop. But you may need to uninstall it for any reason. We’ll cover how to uninstall WSL 1 or WSL 2, remove Linux distros you’ve added, and clean up related files and settings.

How to uninstall wsl from Windows 10 and Windows 11

By following these uninstall steps will completely uninstall wsl and its components, allowing you to reclaim disk space or troubleshoot any issues. With the proper removal, you can reinstall Windows Subsystem for Linux fresh if you need to.

  1. Identify Installed Linux Distributions:
    • Open PowerShell as Administrator: To begin the process, search for “PowerShell” in the Windows search bar, right-click on “Windows PowerShell,” and choose “Run as administrator.”
    • Check for Installed Linux Distributions: In the PowerShell window, type the following command and press Enter: wsl -l -v

This command will list all the installed Linux distributions along with their version numbers. *Note down the distribution you want to uninstall. And, if you already know the name of the installed Linux distributions like Ubuntu, Kali Linux, Distro, etc. then you can skip this step.

  1. Uninstall Linux Distribution via Settings:
    • Open Windows Settings and go to Apps.
    • Find the Linux distribution in the list of installed apps.
    • Click on the distribution name and select Uninstall.

This will uninstall the selected Linux distro from WSL, cleaning up all associated files and settings. You can repeat these steps for any other Linux distributions you have installed.

  1. Turn Off WSL Components via Windows Features:
    • Open Windows Features by clicking the Windows Start button and searching for “Turn Windows features on or off.” In the “Windows Features” window that appears, scroll down to find “Virtual Machine Platform” and “Windows Subsystem for Linux.” Uncheck both options to disable them, then click “OK” to apply the changes.
    • Windows will prompt you to restart your computer to apply the changes. Save any unsaved work and restart your computer.

Though Windows Subsystem for Linux expands your capabilities, you may need to uninstall it at times. This guide provides clear steps to remove the Windows Subsystem for Linux completely, allowing you to free up space or troubleshoot issues. Uninstalling also lets you reinstall WSL fresh if you want.

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