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How to Uninstall MSI Package

What is an MSI Package?

An MSI package, which stands for Microsoft Installer package, is a specific type of file format used on Windows systems for installing software. It essentially acts like a container that holds all the necessary information and instructions for setting up a program on your computer. 

Here are some key characteristics of MSI packages:

Installation and removal: They are primarily used for installing software, but also provide a standardized way to uninstall them. This allows for a cleaner and more complete removal process compared to simply deleting program folders. 

Standardized format: MSI packages follow a specific format defined by Microsoft, ensuring consistency and reliability in the installation process. This makes them suitable for enterprise environments where managing software deployments across multiple devices is crucial. 

Limited functionality: Unlike traditional executable (.exe) files, you cannot directly run an MSI package to launch the program. They solely function as installers and require the Windows Installer service to execute the installation process. 

Overall, MSI packages offer a reliable and efficient way to manage software installations, especially in corporate settings, due to their standardized format and clean removal capabilities.

Can I use the MSI package for uninstalling an application?

Yes, the same MSI package that was used for installing the application can be used for uninstalling it. It is a normal practice that after the install process, the MSI package used is left there for future use. The location of the MSI package is usually stored in the Windows Registry. 

How can I uninstall an application using the MSI package?

There are several ways to invoke and MSI package for uninstalling an application. 

  1. Double click the MSI package and follow the instructions. 
  2. Using the command prompt. This method offers more control and it´s used for advanced options like a silent uninstalls. This method is good for scripting. Just type the name of the MSI package followed by the option switches or parameters desired, if any. 
  3. Using the command prompt but invoking Msiexec.exe. Msiexec is the executable file used by the Windows Installer service to interpret and execute MSI packages. In simpler terms, it’s the engine that runs behind the scenes when you install or uninstall software using an MSI file. The syntax is Msiexec [/i] [/x] MSI package path [parameters]. /i is used to install, while [/x] is used to uninstall an application.  This method is good for scripting.

Can NinjaOne use MSI packages to uninstall applications?

Yes, NinjaOne can uninstall applications using the MSI package. Like previously mentioned it can be used through a script to make the uninstall process silent and non-disruptive for the end user, but it can also be used in interactive mode if preferred.

Next Steps

MSI package FAQs

An MSI (Microsoft Software Installer) package is a type of installation file used primarily on Windows operating systems. An MSI file is essentially a Windows Installer database file that contains information necessary for installing software. It specifies what files need to be installed, where they should be placed, and how the installation process should be carried out.
It can be run by double clicking on it and following the instructions.  It can also be run from the command line, which offers more control over the installation process.
The MSI package is smaller in size, it Contains only the installation database and relies on the Windows Installer Engine. The file installer Includes both the MSI and additional runtime components (Windows Installer Engine, scripting runtimes, etc.).

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