Aaron Stebner's WebLog

Thoughts about setup and deployment issues, WiX, XNA, the .NET Framework and Visual Studio

Automated cleanup tool to remove the .NET Framework 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5

Automated cleanup tool to remove the .NET Framework 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5

Rate This

I have posted an updated version of the .NET Framework cleanup tool that now contains support for automatically cleaning up the .NET Framework 1.0, the .NET Framework 1.1, the .NET Framework 2.0, the .NET Framework 3.0 and the .NET Framework 3.5.

This tool automates the manual cleanup steps for the .NET Framework 2.0 that I posted a while ago.  These steps have helped solve most of the known .NET Framework 2.0 beta uninstall issues that I know of.  In addition, the tool can be useful to return your system to a known (relatively clean) state in case you run into any .NET Framework 2.0 installation failures so that you can try to install again.

The updated version of the cleanup tool contains options to clean up the .NET Framework 1.0, 1.1, 2.0, 3.0 and 3.5 separately and all versions simultaneously in a single step.  The cleanup tool contains logic so that if it is run on an OS version that includes the .NET Framework as an OS component, it will not offer the option to clean it up.  This means that running the cleanup tool on Windows XP Media Center Edition or Tablet PC Edition will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 1.0, running it on Windows Server 2003 will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 1.1 and running it on Windows Vista will not offer the option to clean up the .NET Framework 2.0 or the .NET Framework 3.0.

There are a couple of very important caveats that you should read before using this tool to cleanup .NET Framework bits on your machine:

  1. This tool is designed as a last resort for cases where install, uninstall or repair did not succeed for unusual reasons.  It is not intended as a substitute for the standard uninstall procedure.  You should try to perform an uninstall from Add/Remove Programs before using this cleanup tool.
  2. This cleanup tool will delete shared files and registry keys used by other versions of the .NET Framework.  If you run the cleanup tool, you will need to perform a repair or reinstall for all other versions of the .NET Framework that are on your computer to get them to work correctly afterwards.

I have been using this tool for a while, and it has proven reliable, but there may still be bugs in it in certain scenarios.  Please contact me if you run into any issues while using the cleanup tool or if you are still unable to install the .NET Framework (or any service packs or hotfixes) after running it.

The tool has a command line switch that allows it to be run in silent mode if needed.  There is more information about how to run it in silent mode in the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool User's Guide.

<update date="8/22/2007"> Added information about removing the .NET Framework 3.0 because the tool now supports this version of the .NET Framework in addition to 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0. </update>

<update date="9/13/2007"> Added information about removing the .NET Framework 3.5 because the tool now supports this version of the .NET Framework in addition to 1.0, 1.1, 2.0 and 3.0. </update>

<update date="12/3/2007"> Added a link to the silent install instructions for the cleanup tool </update>

<update date="2/28/2009"> Added links to the .NET Framework Cleanup Tool User's Guide, which contains download locations and detailed information about how to use the cleanup tool. </update>


  • My boss had some problems on his PC after installing some tools onto it and upon further diagnosis it

  • PingBack from http://www.hotsolder.com/2007/12/01/fix-net-framework.html

  • PingBack from http://www.hotsolder.com/2007/12/01/fix-the-dotnet-framework.html

  • PingBack from http://www.pcmech.com/article/net-cleanup-utility/

  • I use WinXP (SP-2) home with IE 7. When I got to start thensearch and enter name of a file or folder I wish to find the program runs fine. But it failes to stop. Eventaully a message appears as followes

    "Runtime Error


     This application has requested the Runtime to terminate it in an unusual way."

     How do I clear this problem??

  • I have the following on my PC

    .Netframe 1.1

    .Netframe 1.1 hot fix(KB 928366)

    .netframe 3.0

    do I need all or may I eliminate.If yes which can I delete


  • Hi Telephonics - I'm not sure what would be causing the issue that you describe, but it doesn't sound related to the .NET Framework, which is the topic of this blog post.  Windows Explorer is not a .NET Framework application.

    You may want to try to repair/re-install Windows XP SP2 on this system to see if that helps.

  • Hi Telephonics - For your other question - the .NET Framework versions 1.0, 1.1 and 2.0+ are designed to allow you to install them side-by-side.  Many applications will run correctly on the most recent version of the .NET Framework that you have on your system, but some applications will require a specific version of the .NET Framework.  If you have any applications installed that require a specific version of the .NET Framework, and you uninstall that specific version, you will encounter an error message when running the application.

    You do not necessarily need to uninstall any versions of the .NET Framework unless you are trying to save hard drive space or something like that.  If you do decide to uninstall any, I would suggest leaving the .NET Framework 2.0 and higher.  Then if you have any applications that require the older 1.0 or 1.1 .NET Framework, you can install them back later on if you encounter any error messages from any applications indicating they specifically need 1.0/1.1.

    One note here - the .NET Framework 3.0 requires 2.0, so you will not be able to uninstall 2.0 if you still have 3.0 on the system.  Similarly, the .NET Framework 3.5 requires 2.0 SP1 and 3.0 SP1, so you won't be able to uninstall those if you have 3.5 on your system.

    Hopefully this helps.

  • Thanks for the help I have been trying to fix 2.0 for 2 days your tool worked great

  • Hello Aaron,

    I've tried uninstalling everything .NET on my pc, and I've tried using your tool, but I think my machine was already too messed up for the tool to help.  I have .NET Framework 2.0 and Security Update for Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 (KB928365) installed - I can't uninstall them so that I can start over.  Whenever I try I get this:  

    "The following error occurred during setup:  Patch package could not be opened.  Verify that the patch package exists and that you can access it, or contact the application vendor to verify that this is a valid Windows Installer patch package."

    How can I fix this?

  • Hi Tulsazorro - Typically for that type of "patch package could not be opened" error message, I suggest the steps listed at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2008/03/07/8108332.aspx (which includes running the cleanup tool).  I haven't heard of any cases yet where the uninstall using the cleanup tool failed in this type of scenario.  Could you give those steps a try and see if they help on your system?

  • Hi Aaron,

    It worked!  Thanks so much!  You saved me a ton of work!

  • Quickbooks -- Loading screen appears then disappears after installing a Windows update

  • When I click on the link to bring me to the clean up tool, I receive a message that tells me that Internet Explorer canot display the webpage.  Any suggestions? I have tried to access the webpage from 2 different PCs.



  • PingBack from http://forum.fachinformatiker.de/anwendungssoftware/116158-net-problem.html#post1052635

Page 4 of 16 (235 items) «23456»
Leave a Comment
  • Please add 6 and 5 and type the answer here:
  • Post