How to Uninstall DirectX and Reinstall it to Repair Problems

Since Internet Explorer is part of Windows, uninstalling it completely is not advisable as it may lead to system issues since some functions rely on IE files being available. This is also the case when it comes to DirectX, which is an integral part of Windows that ensures that you can get better quality in graphics and sound, offering a better experience when you play games or watch videos. While it is possible to uninstall DirectX from your computer, it is very likely that the performance of your PC will be affected if you do.

After uninstalling DirectX, you may come across a variety of issues with different programs. For instance, you would get an error message when trying to open Windows Live Messenger since it requires dsound.dll to work and this is one of the applications that conform DirectX. You would also have problems running and since most games these also require DirectX to work, you would not be able to enjoy your favourite titles.

If you are not be able to play games or watch videos seamlessly, it probably has to do with DirectX. Therefore, the best thing to do when you are having issues with the multimedia functions in your PC is to download the most up to date version DirectX and reinstall it. Reinstalling DirectX should solve any issues and replace missing files, but in case re-installation does not work or the problems continue afterwards, you may have to try uninstall DirectX altogether and then reinstall it.

However, this is a tricky solution as you would not be able to install again DirectX once it has been removed completely. The way to do it is by reverting to the original version of DirectX from the Windows setup disc and then, installing and updating DirectX to the newest version. There are some tools such as DirectX eradicator or DHU (DirectX Happy Uninstall), which allow you to uninstall Direct to prepare for a re-installation or to revert to the original version of DirectX from Windows installation disc. We will take a look at some of these tools, as well as other ways to uninstall and reinstall DirectX.

DirectX Eradicator

Direct X Eradicator offers an option to delete DirectX runtime core component through an advanced set of functions. This tool can uninstall different versions of DirectX (From version 2.0 to 9.0 c) and it fully removes all the DirectX files, registry keys and folders, as well as offering CD rollback option. Keep in mind that it also disables the Windows File Protection by default, which may be a downside for many users. Also, the tool work with Windows 98, 2000, 2003, ME and XP but is not compatible with Windows Vista, 7 or 8.

DirectX Buster

With DirectX Buster you will be able to uninstall DirectX version from 5 to 9.x and while it may also work for version 10, it has not been tested for it. The tool has limited compatibility and would only work with older Windows versions such as ME, 98 and 2000, which means that even though it promises to be a simple solution, it would not be available for most users.

DirectX Happy Uninstall (DHU)

DHU stands out from other options by offering a richer set of features and functionality. It supports all versions of DirectX, including DirectX 11 and it allows you to backup and restore, as well as providing a CD rollback and a complete install solution. DHU offers a wide selection of options for DirectX management and it is significantly more powerful than other alternatives. The problem is that unlike other tools, DHU is not free and while it can get the job done, many users feel that paying almost $20 USD for a tool that most likely will only be used once, is not worth it.

After all, the chances of having to uninstall and install DirectX more than once are very slim. You should also keep in mind that even if you successfully complete the process of uninstalling and reinstalling DirectX, there is no guarantee that this would solve all the issues you ay have with the multimedia performance of your PC. In any case, DHU could be an effective fix for many users and the fact that it works for Windows 7 and Vista, apart from XP, 2000, 2003 and 2008 is also a plus.

Registry Change

A simple alternative that does not require third-party applications is to make a slight modification in the registry. This is a trick that will convince Windows that there is an outdated version of DirectX installed so it will enable a new version to be installed over it. This is a very easy way to remove DirectX and it only takes a few steps.


1. Press Win key+R and in the Run Box type Regedit and then press enter.

directx reg

2. Then you will need to locate this registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftDirectX. You will see “Version”, and a data value of

edit string

3. Click twice on Version and update the data value to and close the registry editor. This will allow you to download and re-install DirectX.

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