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How to uninstall WSL on Windows 11

You can remove WSL from Windows 11, you just need to uninstall the components in order – here's how.

Windows 11 uninstall WSL

On Windows 11, it’s possible to uninstall the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), but it requires multiple steps you must follow in order. Although Microsoft has streamlined the installation of WSL2 with a single command or using the Microsoft Store, removing the platform is not as simple as clicking the “Uninstall” button from the “Apps & features” settings page.

If you want to completely uninstall WSL from your computer, you want to make sure to first remove the Linux distros, followed by uninstalling additional components, and then disable the platform.

Although the ability to run Linux on Windows 11 is a useful feature for developers and users who need access to both platforms, it might come the time when you no longer need the platform or may need to reset it to fix problems.

Whatever the reason, you can permanently remove WSL2 by uninstalling all the components in order.

In this guide, you will learn the steps to remove the Windows Subsystem for Linux platform on Windows 11. 

Uninstall WSL on Windows 11

To uninstall the Windows Subsystem for Linux, you first want to remove the distros, kernel update, and then the remaining components.

Step one: Uninstall Linux distros

To uninstall a distro of Linux from WSL, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 11.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click the Apps & features page on the right side.

  4. Select the Linux distribution and click the Uninstall button.

    Uninstall WSL Linux distro

  5. Click the Uninstall button again.

Once you complete the steps, repeat the steps to remove any remaining distro as necessary.

Step two: Uninstall Windows Subsystem for Linux components

To uninstall the WSL Linux kernel update and GUI components, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click the Apps & features page on the right side.

  4. Select the Windows Subsystem for Linux WSLg Preview item.

  5. Click the menu (three-dotted) button on the right and click the Uninstall button.

    Uninstall WSL components

  6. Click the Uninstall button again.

  7. Select the Windows Subsystem for Linux Update item.

  8. Click the menu (three-dotted) button on the right and click the Uninstall button.

  9. Click the Uninstall button again.

After you complete the steps, you can uninstall the platform from Windows 11.

Step three: Uninstall WSL from Windows 11

To remove the Windows Subsystem for Linux components on Windows 11, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click the Optional features page on the right side.

  4. Under the “Related settings” section, click the More Windows features option.

    Open Windows features settings

  5. Clear the Virtual Machine Platform option.

  6. Clear the “Windows Subsystem for Linux” option.

    Windows 11 uninstall WSL

  7. Click the OK button.

  8. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, the Windows Subsystem for Linux will be completely removed from Windows 11. 

If you change your mind, you can always set up the environment again with these instructions.