Uninstalling Visual Studio 2013 with VSUpdate error: Element not found

Uninstalling Visual Studio 2013 with VSUpdate error: Element not found

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Our first public release of Visual Studio Update for Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 is available. There are, however, a couple of known issues in hopefully uncommon scenarios.


ElementIf you attempt to uninstall Visual Studio 2013 after VSUpdate has been installed, you may see an error after a while that reads “Element not found.” VS2013 may not be completely uninstalled from your machine.


Try uninstalling VS2013 again from Programs and Features. This should completely uninstall all but a few packages (like the .NET Framework and any other packages shared with other bundles) from your machine.

More Information

This is caused by a problem in VS2013 RTM. Even if you install a future VSUpdate, uninstalling RTM while the update is installed will trigger this error. This problem is fixed, however, for future versions as well as in WiX v3.9.

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  • Could you clarify, "as well as in WiX v3.9"? How does WiX's next release relate to the VS2013RTM deployment? Thanks.

  • @JVimes, the behavior that caused this is in Burn which is part of WiX. The specific behavior was introduced in code not yet in WiX 3.9 (I'm working on pushing to my fork on CodePlex) but when it is the bad behavior will not be present.

  • Hi heath,  Hope you are doing well.  On my machine i have Installed VS2013 Professinal and Update1 so now if i want to uninstall the VS2013 product silently then have to run the uninstall command twice for successfull Uninstallation. correct?

    Command - "C:\temp\vs_professional.exe" /Uninstall /S /NoRestart /NoWeb /Full /L "C:\U.log"

  • @Sandesh, that is correct.

  • I didn't have to panic thanks to this post. :) Second try cleaned it up quickly.

  • Phew! Thought it was something on my end. Glad I found your post, thanks Heath

  • You have to admire the kinds of problems you might face years after release, if you're an early adopter...

  • @13xforever it's not just early adopters.  I installed VS2013 on a new machine in Sep 2014 and still had this issue.

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