Should we delete existing SQL windows registry after a full MS SQL uninstall

jana used Ask the Experts™
We have uninstall all our versions of Microsoft SQL Server 2005/2008/2012 with EE assistant (all instances were Express version).  However, we found in the windows registry  a series of entries regarding MS SQL (see below for an example).

Should we manually delete these entries?

What does EE recommend?
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Éric MoreauSenior .Net Consultant
Top Expert 2016

the registry is a complex database. messing around it can cause serious issues to your computer. I wouldn't touch that!
There is no reason for you to be bothered about deleting entries from registry unless you used SQL Express on a production server or for any other commercial activities. If that is indeed the case, you can use several tools that can clean the registry for you.

Best is CCleaner -

However manual registry cleaning is not advised unless you are very sure about what you are doing.
Vitor MontalvãoIT Engineer
Distinguished Expert 2017

There's a change they belong to some other previous installation that wasn't well uninstalled?
Anyway, I wouldn't bother much with those entries. Can't perform any harm now.
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Understood.  However, for some strange reason when reinstalling, the process gets halted.  This has happened to us with another apps in another pc some years ago and after removing the apps registry entries, it was a successful install.  Thus, we think that this is could be the cause of our failed installed.

We have cleaner and it's a regular this we do after any uninstall; we run both the cleaning of files and cleaning of the registry.  Yet, cleaner doesn't delete the sql entries that may have pertain to the recent uninstall process or previously to that uninstalls.

If we delete those entries that we think have no reference to any install in the pc, would that be harmful?
I would try something else before doing that.

When you run the setup, it extracts the files in a directory. The directory name usually is a guid. Run setup and note down the name of the directory. Then stop setup, go to the directory and delete it. Then re-run setup.

I had once faced an issue while installing SQL and it helped me. Try that else we will see the registry entries.

Let me know how it goes.


Tried it, same problem.   We have had this happened in previous apps; when we deleted the registries, we then can successfully reinstall with no problem.

The purpose of placing this question is to know if we can delete all the entries we found.  We open RegEdit then just search for everything that had "SQL" in it.  After going one-by-one, we noticed that all were Microsoft SQL related (Sql 2000, 2005, 2008, 2012).

We didn't go right ahead and deleted because we tho8gh due to that its a MS product and Windows 10 is new, maybe there some sort of SQl tool related to Windows 10.

So what you think, go ahead and delete them? What else would we consider?
Well. Go ahead and delete them. Not any harm. After deleting do run CCleaner again just for safety sake. And do take a backup of registry before deleting the keys.


Good idea will do!


Worked perfectly!! After SQL reinstall kool!

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