Get rid of it

How to uninstall WSL2 on Windows 10

If WSL2 isn't working correctly or not for you, it's possible to uninstall it completely from Windows 10 – here's how.

Windows 10 uninstall WSL2

On Windows 10, you can uninstall the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 (WSL2) when you no longer need to use the platform, and in this guide, you will learn how to complete the task. WSL2 is the second version of Microsoft’s integration to run Linux on Windows 10 using a lightweight virtual machine instead of a direct translation between Linux and Windows available with the first version.

As a result of this change, you now get an actual Linux kernel with a solution that improves performance and app compatibility while maintaining the same experience as the original version of WSL. (See also the video tutorial to complete this task on the Pureinfotech YouTube channel.)

Although the ability to run Linux on Windows 10 is a useful feature for developers and users who need access to both operating systems, it might come the time when you no longer need the platform, or you may need to reset it to fix problems.

Whatever the reason, you can permanently remove WSL2 by uninstalling all the components, or you can reset distros individually if they are causing issues.

This guide will teach you the steps to completely remove the WSL2 integration on Windows 10. 

Uninstall WSL2 on Windows 10

The uninstall process of the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 requires multiple steps, including removing the distro, kernel update, and other components.

Step one: Uninstall Linux distros from WSL2

To uninstall a distro of Linux, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings on Windows 10.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click on Apps & features.

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

    Uninstall Linux distro on WSL2

  5. Click the Uninstall button again.

Once you complete the steps, you may need to repeat the steps to continue removing additional distros as required.

Step two: Uninstall Windows Subsystem for Linux update

To uninstall the WSL 2 Linux kernel update, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click on Apps & features.

  4. Select the Windows Subsystem for Linux update item and click the Uninstall button.

    Uninstall WSL2 kernel update

  5. Click the Uninstall button again.

After you complete the steps, you can remove the remaining components.

Step three: Uninstall WSL2 components

To disable the Windows Subsystem for Linux components, use these steps:

  1. Open Settings.

  2. Click on Apps.

  3. Click on Apps & features.

  4. Under the “Related settings” section, click the Programs and Features option from the right side.

    Programs and features option

  5. Click the “Turn Windows features on or off” option.

  6. Clear the “Virtual Machine Platform” option.

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

    Windows 10 uninstall WSL2

  8. Click the OK button.

  9. Click the Restart now button.

Once you complete the steps, your computer’s Windows Subsystem for Linux will be completely uninstalled.

If you change your mind, you can always set up the environment again with these instructions. If you run Windows 10 build 20246 and later, you can use the new method to set up WSL2.