Software & AppsOperating SystemLinux

How To Uninstall Grub Bootloader?

Ubuntu 12

The GRUB (Grand Unified Bootloader) is a crucial part of many Linux distributions, including Ubuntu. It allows users to choose from multiple operating systems when booting up their computers. However, there may be instances where you need to uninstall it. This article will guide you through the process of uninstalling the GRUB bootloader.

Quick Answer

To uninstall the GRUB bootloader, you need to boot from a Ubuntu USB key, open a terminal, mount the UEFI boot partition, and remove the GRUB bootloader files using the rm command. After restarting your computer, check if the GRUB bootloader is still listed in the BIOS boot options. If it’s no longer there, you have successfully uninstalled GRUB.

What You Will Need

Before we start, ensure you have the following:

  • A bootable Ubuntu USB key. If you don’t have one, you can create it using tools like Rufus or Unetbootin.
  • Basic knowledge of terminal commands.

Please Note: The instructions provided in this article are specific to Ubuntu. They may vary slightly for other Linux distributions.

Step 1: Boot from the Ubuntu USB Key

Insert the bootable Ubuntu USB key into your computer and restart it. As your computer boots up, press the appropriate key (usually F2, F10, F12, or DEL) to enter the BIOS. Select the USB key as the first boot device, then save and exit the BIOS.

Once Ubuntu loads, select the “Try Ubuntu” option to enter the live environment. This will allow you to use Ubuntu without installing it on your computer.

Step 2: Open a Terminal

Once you’re in the live environment, open a terminal. You can do this by pressing CTRL + ALT + T or by searching for ‘Terminal’ in the application menu.

Step 3: Mount the UEFI Boot Partition

The next step is to mount the UEFI boot partition. This is where the GRUB bootloader files are located. You can do this with the following command:

sudo mount /dev/sdXY /mnt

Replace /dev/sdXY with the actual partition where the UEFI boot files are located. For example, it could be /dev/sda1.

  • sudo is a command that allows you to run programs with the security privileges of another user (by default, the superuser).
  • mount is used to mount filesystems.
  • /dev/sdXY is the partition you want to mount.
  • /mnt is the directory where you want to mount the partition.

Step 4: Remove the GRUB Bootloader Files

Now that you’ve mounted the UEFI boot partition, you can remove the GRUB bootloader files. Run the following command:

sudo rm -rf /mnt/EFI/ubuntu
  • rm is the remove command.
  • -rf is a combination of two options. -r or -R is for recursive removal, and -f is for force removal without confirmation.
  • /mnt/EFI/ubuntu is the directory where the GRUB bootloader files are located.

Step 5: Restart Your Computer

After running the command, close the terminal and restart your computer. Check if the GRUB bootloader is still listed in the BIOS boot options. If it’s no longer there, you have successfully uninstalled GRUB.

Please Note: Reinstalling Ubuntu will automatically overwrite the GRUB bootloader. So, if you’re planning to do a clean reinstall of Ubuntu, there’s no need to manually uninstall GRUB. Simply proceed with the reinstallation, and the new installation will replace the existing GRUB bootloader.


Uninstalling the GRUB bootloader can seem like a daunting task, especially if you’re not familiar with terminal commands. However, with the right guidance, it’s a straightforward process. Remember to always be careful when using the rm command, as it can permanently delete files.

For more information on GRUB, visit the official GRUB manual. For more information on Ubuntu terminal commands, visit the Ubuntu terminal command-line guide.

Can I uninstall the GRUB bootloader without a bootable Ubuntu USB key?

No, you need a bootable Ubuntu USB key to access the live environment and perform the necessary steps to uninstall the GRUB bootloader.

Will uninstalling the GRUB bootloader delete my operating system?

No, uninstalling the GRUB bootloader will not delete your operating system. It only removes the GRUB bootloader files, allowing you to use another bootloader or boot directly into your operating system.

Can I uninstall the GRUB bootloader if I have multiple operating systems installed?

Yes, you can uninstall the GRUB bootloader even if you have multiple operating systems installed. However, please note that removing the GRUB bootloader may affect the booting process of other operating systems. Make sure you have an alternative bootloader or a plan to boot into your desired operating system after uninstalling GRUB.

Is it possible to reinstall the GRUB bootloader after uninstalling it?

Yes, it is possible to reinstall the GRUB bootloader after uninstalling it. You can reinstall GRUB by following the installation instructions specific to your Linux distribution or by using a boot repair tool.

What happens if I reinstall Ubuntu without uninstalling GRUB?

If you reinstall Ubuntu without uninstalling GRUB, the new installation will automatically overwrite the existing GRUB bootloader. You do not need to manually uninstall GRUB before reinstalling Ubuntu.

Can I use these instructions to uninstall GRUB on other Linux distributions?

While the basic steps may be similar, the specific commands and locations of the GRUB bootloader files may vary for different Linux distributions. It is recommended to refer to the documentation or support resources specific to your Linux distribution for accurate instructions on uninstalling GRUB.

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