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Windows: Uninstall all NI Products (when migrating to new hardware)

Nils Member Posts: 5 Member
edited April 2023 in Native Access


I want to share this information with you with the intention to help other users and I'm hoping that other users might improve this procedure to make it even more efficient. As you know, NI allows you to install your purchased products to two Computers and if you ever crashed a computer with NI products installed you've probably found out that they're quite generous and willing to grant you additional installations when you explain the situation.

However, when you want to migrate your products to a new hardware and you're trying to do it right, you'll find out that unlike other companies management tools, Native Access does not allow you to uninstall products. But this article says: "If you have already installed your product on the permitted number of systems and you want to install it on another computer, you must uninstall the product on one of the previous computers. A product on a defective computer is considered uninstalled."

So there are two things you can do. You can deliberately break your computer, you can go to Windows system management and uninstall each single NI component (going through each dialog) or you can lie to NI and just claim that your old Computer is broken. Maybe you want to keep using your old audio workstation for other stuff though. I wanted to uninstall all NI products but as an owner of the ultimate collectors edition that would mean to trigger the uninstall dialog for about 230 components.

I usually work on linux which allows it's users to create scripts for nearly everything and when I was looking for a way to automate this process, I found the command line tool "winget".

First I ran the command

winget list

and got a result like this:

Name                                    Id                                       Version           Available     Source
Native Instruments Absynth 5            Native Instruments Absynth 5                           
Native Instruments Action Strikes       Native Instruments Action Strikes                         
Native Instruments Action Strings       Native Instruments Action Strings                         

I copied the result (piping it to a file doesn't work very well on Windows, lines are cut) and used a text editor with block selection to select the IDs of all NI products. With that I used multiline-editing to create a batch file like this:

winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Absynth 5" -h
winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Action Strikes" -h
winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Action Strings" -h

That didn't work very well. First, winget uninstall takes forever to compute and second, the uninstallers that NI is using doesn't seem to allow silent uninstallation. So it's like waiting for two minutes, then click through the uninstaller and that procedure repeats for all components which would be OK if the uninstallers were silent, but with the interaction, it would add up to more than seven hours of attention (2 minutes * 230+ components).

I found a compromise by working around this with parallel execution. I changed the script to this:

start "" winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Absynth 5" -h
start "" winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Action Strikes" -h
start "" winget uninstall --id "Native Instruments Action Strings" -h

When you execute a script like this, a command window will open for each line of code, so don't be irritated. Sadly it seemed that my Windows installation did only allow the parallel execution of eight instances of winget at once. So there constantly were eight uninstallers open and I just had to hold my mouse pointer in the same position and click through them. With that I was able to uninstall the entire content of the ultimate collectors edition in less then 45 minutes.

This solution is still far from perfect but it still can save you a lot of time. If you find a way to improve this procedure, please share that information.


  • Kaiwan_NI
    Kaiwan_NI Administrator Posts: 2,525 admin

    Hi @Nils thanks a lot for sharing. It's true that there's no uninstall feature in Native Access at the moment and users need to follow these steps to uninstall NI products from Windows.

    However, happy to share that the uninstall feature is in the work. Feel free to check out a roadmap shared by the Native Access Product Manager here.

  • Hayo_NI
    Hayo_NI Product Team Posts: 262 mod

    To echo Kai's statement, we are working on uninstall. We're starting with Content products, and moving on to other products after. We are currently done with the base work for Mac, and are going to tackle Windows next. We aim to roll out uninstall for these types of products by the end of the quarter, and move onto other product types after that.

  • Nils
    Nils Member Posts: 5 Member

    Just having a bulk uninstall option for content elements (I'm guessing that's not only Expansions but include Kontakt libraries as well) would help a lot already. I mean that would cover more than 90% of the collectors edition.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,753 Expert

    But generally, uninstall Content (Expansions and Kontakt Libraries) one may just delete them. And if one wants be even better maybe also delete manuals that may be possibly at other location... Clutered registry may influence speed of Win a bit, but one may live with that....

    But it would be fine, if NA2 introduces uninstall, one day.

    Also, one may install NI plugins and content on three computers. So, if actively using two, one copy may rest on abadoned PC that is still used for other purposes, without violating EULA. So in practical life, no big deal, besides it might block disk space on that computer. (But one may delete Content and possibly uninstall few programs. Not that big deal as it seems to be....)

  • Hayo_NI
    Hayo_NI Product Team Posts: 262 mod

    @Nils I remember us talking about this option when we were designing the technical aspect of how uninstall would work, that it might need to support Uninstall all, but we haven't scoped that feature yet. We'd like to focus on rolling out uninstall for all products first before we navigate that feature.

    @Kubrak We're working on it as we speak. Content products uninstall is underway.

  • PaulToad
    PaulToad Member Posts: 1 Newcomer

    @Kaiwan_NI et All : August 8th here now... some weird stuff with native access showing wrong dll locations and some other stuff... sooo, any news on how to fresh install or better yet all uninstall My Komplete 12 ulti collectors? And... Once I get a support ticket figured out re: upgrade to 14 path, I'll upgrade... and at that point is a full fresh install available perhaps? Thanks Guys: P

  • Eight4aWish
    Eight4aWish Member Posts: 52 Helper

    Glad to see that uninstall is part of the plans for Native Access. With so much stuff in the bigger bundles it is very time consuming installing, finding out it's not for you and then trying to remember all the steps in the phaff of uninstalling. Currently puts me off installing anything in the "might be interesting, but probably not" category.

  • Kubrak
    Kubrak Member Posts: 2,753 Expert

    Well, generally one may just delete most products and not to bother with uninstallation.... I speak about Kontakt Libraries and Expansions.

    Beside that there is not much SW to be really uninstalled. Kontakt, Reaktor, Maschine, Guitar Rig and few more.

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