How to Uninstall Node.js from Windows

Posted on Jan 5, 2023
tl;dr: You no longer use Node.js and want to uninstall it. The nine steps below show you how.

Prerequisites before you uninstall Node.js
Let’s Uninstall Node.js
Helpful Links


This how-to is based on when I cleanly and completely uninstalled Node.js from my laptop, which has a Windows operating system (OS).

I had to install Vue.js for the Web Frameworks class I enrolled in. And to install and use Vue.js, I had to install Node.js, which includes the NPM.

What exactly is Node.js, Vue.js, and NPM?

Vue.js is a framework used to build user and single-page interfaces.

Node.js is an open-source environment mainly used for programming for the back end (software systems that users don’t see).

NPM, included with Node.js installation, stands for Node Package Manager.

NPM is a library, a software database for JavaScript packages (set of programs).

NPM in lowercase npm is part of a command line in the command-line interface used to organize modules and manage code packages.

I didn’t have any use for Vue.js. And so didn’t have any use for Node.js. I just wanted to remove (delete) Node.js quickly and cleanly from my laptop.


Prerequisites before you uninstall Node.js

  1. You must have at least a basic knowledge of the Windows OS on your computer that you’re uninstalling Node.js from.

    If you understand your computer’s software, applications, and programs, you’ve passed this prerequisite.

  2. You must have basic command-line interface (CLI) knowledge.

    We’re using the Command Prompt (Admin) to help with uninstalling Node.js because this CLI is easy to use, and you don’t need to be an IT professional to use it.

  3. You must have Administrator Privileges to use Command Prompt (Admin) because you’ll significantly change your device’s OS.

For more information on Administrator Privileges, please read my post How to Run Command Prompt Admin.


Let’s Uninstall Node.js

Your goal is to uninstall Node.js from your device wholly and cleanly.

Let’s reach your goal in 9 simple steps.

  1. Clear out the Node.js caches stored inside the user file system, specifically in the default directory called %AppData%/npm-cache.

    The npm cache stores packages and dependencies (software that relies on another software) that the computer can retrieve for later use.

    We’ll clear out those packages and dependencies from your computer because you won’t need them and will gain more storage space.

    After we gain access to the CLI, we’ll completely clear the cache by typing npm cache clean –force at the command prompt.

    To access the CLI:

    Right-click the Windows Start icon on your taskbar.

    It’s the icon that looks like a small window (like the image shown below) that’s usually found (depending on the position of your taskbar) in the lower left corner if your taskbar is at the bottom of the screen or the upper left corner of the taskbar if your taskbar is at the top of the screen.

    Windows Start icon

    From the Power User Menu (PUM) that appears, click on Command Prompt (Admin).

    A User Account Control (UAC) window asks, “Do you want to allow this app to make changes to your device?”

    Click Yes.

    Your Command Prompt (Admin) window will open, and you should see the following command prompt in the window:


    Enter the following command right after the command prompt to completely clear out the cache:

     npm cache clean --force

    The image below depicts the npm message after I input the above command.

    Command to force clean cache

  2. After you’ve cleared out the cache, you must verify existing cache contents.

    Verifying existing cache contents in this step means ensuring that your computer has cleared the cache.

    To verify, type the following command:

     npm cache verify

    The Command Prompt (Admin) window outputs text that informs you that the computer verified the cache with 0 index entries and 0 bytes, as depicted in the image below.

    CLI npm cache verify

  3. After you’ve verified your cache, you’ll have to open your Control Panel window.

    Click on the Windows Start icon on your taskbar.

    The Start menu will open.

    While the Start menu is open, type control panel. Typing control panel in lowercase will work fine.

    You’ll see Control Panel on the start menu window.

    Click Open, and you’ll see a similar window in the image below.

    Control Panel

    Click Programs, and you’ll see a similar window below.

    Control Panel Programs

    Click Programs and Features.

    You’ll see a table of installed programs in the Programs and Features window.

    The image below depicts the top part of my Programs and Features window. Not included with this top part is the table of my installed programs. The table of installed programs has 5 column headers.

    Programs and Features

    The column headers from left to right of the table of installed programs are:

    • Name
    • Publisher
    • Installed On
    • Size
    • Version

    Click on the Name column header to sort its contents alphabetically.

    In the Name column, search for the Node.js program.

    The image below depicts the Node.js program in the table.

    Node.js app

    When you find the Node.js app, right-click on it, and in the mini menu, click on Uninstall/Change.

    A UAC window will appear. Click on Yes.

    Windows will remove Node.js from your device.

    Wait for this removal process to complete.

  4. Restart your device.

  5. After your device has restarted, you must conduct a final sweep and remove Node.js-related folders from your device.

    Right-click the Windows Start icon. The PUM will pop up.

    In the PUM, click on File Explorer.

    In your Local Disk (C:) and depending on your device’s setup, you might find similar folders listed below:

     C:\Program Files(x86)\Nodejs
     C:\Program Files\Nodejs

    Remove those Node.js and npm-related folders and their contents.

    The yourUserName stands for your username.

    Your computer hides folders like AppData.

    To temporarily unhide such folders, click on the View tab in the File Explorer window menu, and in the Show/hide group, click the Hidden items check box.

    Remember to uncheck the Hidden items after the end of this step.

    Another method to see contents in the AppData folder is to do the following steps:

    Right-click on the Windows Start icon.

    On the PUM, click Run.

    Type appdata.

    Click OK.

    Click on the Roaming folder.

    In the Roaming folder, you might find the npm folder.

    Remove the npm folder and its contents.


    Another method to see the contents of the above folder is to do the following steps:

    Right-click on the Windows Start icon.

    On the PUM, click Run.

    Type appdata.

    Click OK.

    Click on the Roaming folder.

    In the Roaming folder, you might find npm-cache.

    Remove the npm-cache folder and its contents.


    Remove the npmrc folder and its contents.


    The asterisk (*) is a wildcard character that stands for one or many characters.

    Remove the npm-* folder and its contents.

  6. After your final sweep and removal, review your computer’s Environment Variables to check that no instances of npm or Node.js remain.

    To access your Environment Variables, click the Windows Start icon.

    While in the Start menu, type env.

    Click on Open found under Edit the system environment variables.

    You’ll see a System Properties window like what’s depicted in the image below.

    System Properties window

    Click on the button that says Environment Variables…

    You’ll see a table with Variable and Value as column headings under User variables for yourUserName.

    Following the User variables for yourUserName table is the System Variables table.

    Ignore the System Variables table. Please don’t touch it! 😱

    In the User variables for yourUserName table, highlight instances to Nodejs or npm that you find.

    Click on the Delete button right underneath the User variables for yourUserName table, then click on the OK button at the bottom of the window.

  7. To double-check that you’ve uninstalled Node.js, open your Command Prompt (Admin), and type the following command:

     where node

    The image below depicts the results that Node.js is not on my device.

    Command where node

    If Node.js is not on your device, you should see a similar message as depicted in the above image.

    Type the following command to close the command prompt window:

  8. If Node.js is still on your device, the Command Prompt window will output the Node.js app’s location, for example:

    C:\Program Files\nodejs\node.exe

    Follow the above path in your File Explorer to remove the nodejs folder and its contents.

  9. Restart your device.



Now your computer should have none of the following: npm cache, Node.js program, Node.js-related folders, and instances of Node.js and npm.

You’ve completed your goal to uninstall Node.js wholly and cleanly.

Celebrate. Give yourself credit. Have ice cream. 👍🏼🍨😅


How to completely remove Node.js from Windows

About Node.js

What is npm?


Thank you for reading!

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