How to Manually Uninstall DesktopServer from Windows

We highly recommend that you uninstall DesktopServer via the  automated method.

However, if you find you need to remove DesktopServer manually, this document lists the steps required. Please note that these directions only apply to computers running DesktopServer for the Windows operating system.

1) Stop Web and Database Services (Close MySQL and Apache Processes)

To perform a manual uninstall, please ensure that the MySQL server and Apache web server process are not running. You may stop these processes from running by doing either of the following:

  • Reboot your system. 
    • By default, neither Apache or MySQL are configured to start on login. These processes should not be running after restarting your system. 
    • You should not have services set to “autostart” (via the XAMPP control panel)  as using this feature on Windows is not supported.
  • Use DesktopServer to Stop Services.
    • Run DesktopServer.
    • Select the first option to “Stop or restart the web and database services”.
    • Then, select “Stop the web and database services”. 
    • Close DesktopServer after stopping the services.

2) Verify MySQL and Apache are not running. 

Please be sure to verify that both MySQL and Apache are not running by checking your Task Manager:
  1. First, start the Task Manager by pressing Ctrl + Shift + Esc and select the “Processes” tab.
  2. Next, be sure to click the checkbox/button to “Show processes from all users“. You can arrange the process list by alphabetical order by clicking the Image Name column.
  3. Locate and right-click the mysqld.exe or httpd.exe process in the Image Name column (one or more instances of httpd.exe may appear), and select “Open File Location”.

The file location path should reveal the folder on your hard drive of where the Apache web server (httpd.exe) or MySQL database server is running from. The parent folder should begin with xampplite. **If the folder path differs, you have a conflicting process from another web or MySQL server installation. Apache web server and MySQL database services are not running when the httpd.exe and mysqld.exe processes are not listed.

3) Close XAMPP / DesktopServer Related Services and Applications

In addition to making sure that httpd.exe and mysqld.exe are not running in via your Task Manager, you should close any related XAMPP applications such as DesktopServer, Trace, and any other apps from your C:xampplite folder.

4) Remove XAMPP / DesktopServer Related Files

With all related applications and services closed, you can now delete the DesktopServer related files:

  • Drag the C:xampplite folder from your hard drive to the recycle bin.
  • Empty your hard drive's recycle bin.

5) Remove the DesktopServer Preferences File

Lastly, you can remove the DesktopServer preferences file that holds a list of all your created websites and related databases. Removing this file varies based on your version of Windows:

6) Restore Your Original System Hosts File

This last item is optional. 

You can restore your system host file back to the original settings prior to DesktopServer installation. Minor modifications are made to this file to list all of the websites that you have active in DesktopServer. When you remove sites from DesktopServer, these entries are also removed. Removing DesktopServer without first removing websites may leave this list un-updated but will not affect normal system operation. 

Follow the steps below to restore your hosts file back to the original settings.

  1. Open Explorer and navigate to the folder at C:windowssystem32driversetc
  2. Locate the hosts.ds_backup file and drag it to your desktop.
  3. Rename the hosts.ds_backup file to hosts (with no extension)
  4. Drag the file back to your C:windowssystem32driversetc folder, replacing the existing hosts file.

Following the steps above will restore your system to the original settings prior to DesktopServer installation.