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How To Uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL from Windows 10

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In this article, we will walk you through the process of uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL (Windows Subsystem for Linux) from your Windows 10 system. Whether you’re looking to free up some space, switch to a different Linux distro, or simply no longer have a need for it, uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL is a straightforward process.

Quick Answer

To uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL from Windows 10, you can use the Start Menu, Control Panel, or Command Prompt/PowerShell. Simply locate the Ubuntu shortcut in the Start menu and click "Uninstall", or open the Control Panel and navigate to "Programs" -> "Turn Windows Features On or Off" to uncheck the "Windows Subsystem for Linux" box. Alternatively, you can use the Command Prompt or PowerShell to unregister and uninstall the specific distro using the wsl --unregister <DistroName> command.

What is WSL?

Before we dive into the uninstallation process, let’s briefly touch on what WSL is. The Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is a compatibility layer for running Linux binary executables natively on Windows 10. This allows developers and users to run Linux command-line tools and apps alongside their Windows applications.

Uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL

There are several methods to uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL from your Windows 10 system. We will cover the three main methods: uninstalling via the Start Menu, Control Panel, and Command Prompt or PowerShell.

Uninstall via Start Menu

This is the simplest method to uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL:

  1. Locate the Ubuntu shortcut in your Start menu.
  2. Right-click on the shortcut.
  3. Click on “Uninstall”.

This will remove Ubuntu from your system. If you wish to reinstall Ubuntu at a later date, you can download it again from the Microsoft Store.

Uninstall via Control Panel

You can also uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL through the Control Panel:

  1. Open the Control Panel.
  2. Navigate to “Programs” -> “Turn Windows Features On or Off”.
  3. Uncheck the box next to “Windows Subsystem for Linux”.
  4. Click “OK”.

This will uninstall the Windows Subsystem for Linux, along with the bash.exe and lxrun.exe commands.

Uninstall via Command Prompt or PowerShell

For more advanced users, you can uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL using the Command Prompt or PowerShell:

  1. Open a Command Prompt or PowerShell prompt.
  2. Use the command wsl -l to see a list of installed distro names.
  3. Use the command wsl --unregister <DistroName> to unregister and uninstall the specific distro.

Replace <DistroName> with the name of the Ubuntu distro you want to uninstall. For example, if your distro is named “Ubuntu-20.04”, the command would be wsl --unregister Ubuntu-20.04.

The --unregister option will remove the specified Linux distribution from the WSL and also delete the home folder of the distro, which includes the user data.

Final Thoughts

Remember, it’s always a good idea to back up any important data before uninstalling Ubuntu or making any system changes. If you encounter any issues during the uninstallation process, consider using an unlocker program in Windows 10 to unlock and delete the files associated with Ubuntu. However, this should be considered as a last resort.

We hope this article has provided you with a clear understanding of how to uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL from Windows 10. If you have any further questions, feel free to reach out to us or consult the Microsoft WSL Documentation.

Remember, the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) is primarily a command-line interface and does not provide a graphical user interface (GUI) by default. If you are looking for a GUI, you may want to consider using a virtual machine or a dual-boot setup instead.

Can I reinstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL after uninstalling it?

Yes, you can reinstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL at a later date. Simply download it again from the Microsoft Store.

Will uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL delete my files and data?

Uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL will remove the Linux distribution and its associated files, including the home folder that contains user data. It’s always a good idea to back up any important data before uninstallation.

Can I uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL using a different Linux distribution?

Yes, the uninstallation process is the same regardless of the Linux distribution you have installed. You can follow the steps mentioned in the article to uninstall any Linux distribution running under WSL.

Can I uninstall WSL completely from Windows 10?

Yes, you can uninstall the entire Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) from Windows 10. To do this, follow the steps mentioned in the article to uninstall Ubuntu 20.04 WSL via the Control Panel, but instead of unchecking only the "Windows Subsystem for Linux" box, uncheck all the WSL-related boxes.

Does uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL require administrative privileges?

Yes, uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL requires administrative privileges. Make sure you have the necessary permissions before attempting to uninstall it.

Will uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL affect my Windows applications?

Uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL will not affect your Windows applications. WSL operates separately from your Windows applications, and removing it will not impact their functionality.

Can I reinstall a different version of Ubuntu WSL after uninstalling 20.04?

Yes, you can install a different version of Ubuntu or any other Linux distribution after uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL. The uninstallation process only removes the specific distribution and does not prevent you from installing a different one.

Can I use the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) without uninstalling Ubuntu 20.04 WSL?

Yes, you can have multiple Linux distributions installed under WSL. If you want to use a different distribution alongside Ubuntu 20.04 WSL, you can simply install it without uninstalling Ubuntu.

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