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Permanently remove games in Windows 7

    Question

  • I've been trying to find a way to permanently uninstall and remove the built-in Games (Solitaire, Mahjong, etc.) in Windows 7 (Ultimate, etc.). I've turned the features off and tried to remove relevant/related entries in the registry and deleted corresponding files from Program Files directories, etc., but no matter what I do, the built-in games always return as an option for install under "Turn Windows features on or off".

    How can I completely and permanently remove Games so that no user (administrative class or other) can reinstall them?

    Thanks.
    Friday, February 19, 2010 4:15 PM

All replies

  • You turned them off by following these steps? Control Panel - Programs and Features - Turn Windows Features on or Off - Uncheck the box for Games.
    http://deploywindows7.wordpress.com/
    • Proposed as answer by Rich Coulter Friday, February 19, 2010 8:36 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by hbdr Friday, February 19, 2010 9:25 PM
    Friday, February 19, 2010 8:36 PM
  • Rich,

    Thanks. Yes, I did do that, but that does not completely or permanently remove them from the computer. Any administrative user can still reinstall them (or turn them back on, however one refers to it).

    Beside turning them off, I want to permanently remove the ability to turn them back on, for any and all users including myself (the administrator). I want to do this on several computers in my business environment, as well as several in my home.

    I did try to completely remove them a couple of ways. After turning them off, I tried deleting all folders in C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games--that did not do it. I then tried turning them all back on and deleting the C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games directory again, along with deleting all registry entries in the registry at \HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\GameUX\Games, etc. (The last attempt removed them from the Games Explorer, but when I went to check to see if the option to turn them off and on--like you note--was gone, it was not. They would turn on and then off again like I had not deleted anything.)

    I want to completely remove the games, so reinstall (or turning back on) is not possible.
    Friday, February 19, 2010 9:00 PM
  • hbdr,
    Not having games installed is accomplished during the Windows 7 custom installation. Now that they are there you must prevent access to the ability to configure.
    (Of course, a clever user could always add the games in even if they weren't installed initially)
    As the Games are now there, I would suggest three items.

    1. Make all users except you standard users. You retain an administrative user account on each machine. This will not hamper their usage and prevent major changes without your knowledge. When you need to service or maintenance the computers, you can right click on a menu task or app installer, select run as administrator, and supply your credentials to execute. Alternatively, you can log-on with the Administrator account.

    2. & 3. Edit the group policy and remove the Add or Remove Windows Features ability and the Games item from the Start menu.

    Click the Start orb and enter gpedit.msc in the search box and select it from the programs in the results.

    Expand the window to full screen. Select and expand User Configuration folder.
    Expand Adminstrative Templates folder.
    Expand Control Panel folder. 
    Select the Add or Remove Programs folder.
    You should see an item labeled Hide Add/Remove Windows Components page in the list. Double-click and configure that to hide that option once you have games removed and other features that you want added. Close out. That prevents the ability to add the games back.

    The next item is under Start Menu and Taskbar folder. (You are still in the User Configuration folder) 
    Select that and you will find Remove games link from start menu. 
    Double-click that and configure to remove it from the Start Menu.
    Close out.
    Close gpedit. 

    If you must leave an account type as administrative for someone ( I don't know why you would), they won't know how to change these configured settings. If they do, change their account type to standard.
    • Marked as answer by Dale QiaoModerator Monday, February 22, 2010 7:10 AM
    • Unmarked as answer by hbdr Wednesday, June 30, 2010 4:20 PM
    Saturday, February 20, 2010 12:40 PM
  • check if u have the games at under C:\Windows\winsxs\   and remove them.

    regards

    I want to be a MVP! | Computer Technician
    • Proposed as answer by inosea Saturday, June 05, 2010 7:01 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by hbdr Wednesday, June 30, 2010 4:21 PM
    Saturday, February 20, 2010 2:36 PM
  • Tried it. This didn't work either. Apparently there is no way to completely remove the games and their ability to be reinstalled in Win7 Ult. Annoying.
    Tuesday, August 03, 2010 7:53 PM
  • You're out for a challenge, aren't you? Remember that one of the biggest improvements in Vista/Win7 is a (relatively) good protection of the system against user-forced changes, might they be "ill" or "well intended". You can't remove so easily what you don't like, even if the equation of games with "essential system files" may sound exaggerated, surely. So, 1) the suggestion with the winsxs folder isn't completely wrong. If you're able to find all references to the Windows games in this mega-folder, be my guest. I'm too lazy to do such an amount of investigation. (There is no "games" subfolder to delete.) 2) The best advice was given above: Change your accounts and group policies in a way that nobody is granted access to the perilous games. If you even don't trust yourself (as an administrator who could reawake the nightmares), that can't be helped. Why isn't this solution satisfying? (From other posts, I know there is a fear of gaming-addicted employees which I won't deny, but why can't this be handled by user restrictions?)
    "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” (Thomas J. Watson, Sr.)
    Tuesday, August 03, 2010 9:03 PM
  • i faced the same problem  ,i following that's steps and now its OK .thanks
    Friday, April 08, 2011 5:14 PM
  • Maybe you did it by now, but you need to delete CardGames.dll from the system32 folder.
    Wednesday, October 05, 2011 7:01 PM
  • Thank you so much.  Now I will have more time for real life.  I am embarrassed that it was becoming a big time waster for me.  I realize it's not permanent but at least not in sight.
    Monday, October 10, 2011 2:48 PM
  • I've been trying to do this but keep getting a message that it requires permission from TrustedInstaller to make changes to the file.  Can I get around this?
    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:20 PM
  • Games are part of the Windows 7 operating system system files and cannot be permanently deleted.  All you can do is remove access to Games as mentioned in the previous posts.  Also see: Allow Users To Run Only Specified Programs in Windows 7
    Carey Frisch
    Wednesday, October 19, 2011 1:58 PM
  • Hi ,

     

    use AppLocker :)

    Tuesday, January 03, 2012 2:23 PM
  • See if you can use any info from here.

    http://www.sevenforums.com/tutorials/42496-games-explorer-folder-delete-game.html

     

    I would probably use AppLocker or change the permissions on the executables for games so that they cant be run by regular users.

    Tuesday, January 03, 2012 5:06 PM
  • Here by default the windows 7 will be having built-in games such as chess titans, free cell, hearts etc.


    Here if you wish to delete the games such that you will get the extra space in it and some of the space to add your favorite games and lets see how to uninstall the default games in windows 7.

    1.Click on start menu.
    2.Type “regedit” in search box in start menu and hit enter.
    3.Click on HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE
    4.Select “Software”.
    5.Under software select the option “Microsoft”.
    6.Select “Windows” and click on “Current Version”.
    7.Select “GameUX”.
    8.Click on Games.
    9.Now click on each key separately.
    10.Now you can view the name of the game in the right pane in a special name key called AppExePath
    11.Right click on AppExePath.
    12.Restart the computer to change the new settings.
    Wednesday, January 04, 2012 6:04 AM
  • Hello Mark

    I did all of this except at step 8 there was nothing called Games and nothing containing AppExePath.

    Regards

    Andy 

    Tuesday, January 31, 2012 9:35 PM
  • Hi,

    Please visit this link & this way also we can use to prevent the users to use the unnecessary applications. 

    http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows7/products/features/parental-controls

    Regards,

    J Chandrasekar.

    Friday, February 03, 2012 7:06 AM
  • Hello Mark

    I did all of this except at step 8 there was nothing called Games and nothing containing AppExePath.

    Regards

    Andy 

    At step 7 you need to expand "gamesUX". Then "games" should be first in the list and you need to expand this also till get list of long numbers in left pane. click on each long number on left pane to see the AppExe Path with the name of the game. Each long number is for a different game.

    Be careful in there and do a reg backup before you start.


    • Edited by Newby 7 Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:19 PM
    Sunday, February 19, 2012 10:18 PM
  • No one has made any comment about any method that actually succeeds in removing the games so that even an administrator cannot “Turn Windows Feature On” and reinstall them.

     

    I too am looking for a method that is not going to be circumvented by a password, or is it possible to tell applocker to prevent EVERYBODY from accessing a given program? My sense of applocker is that it would simply require an admin password to access the game program again.

    Wednesday, February 29, 2012 11:39 PM
  • Hello Carey I just re-installed win 7 OS a few weeks ago with help from MS advanced tech team. Not knowing the game issue. I do not play any of them, so I could I of opted out of having them  installed at all? My concern is now that they are here. I am having COM Surrogate crashes often. The Reliability History report states the fault module name is igdumd64.dll which is in the games. I have tried many things, none have worked. My question is can I delete the GAME registry entirely ? I am stuck & have followed this blog...now Registry Editor under GameUX ...the only 2 items shown are Machine Setting (expand dim) nothing there. & S-1-21......long number (expand dim) too. Please help. COM Surrogate crashes are affecting the building of my website & seems to crash while I am in the middle of big projects. Having to redo my work over & over again. Is there any resolve to Permanently deleting all games & all files related t them?
    Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:00 PM
  • "D'Nice" wrote in message news:9b744db5-98bf-4daa-881b-02a75a6c44c8...
    Hello Carey I just re-installed win 7 OS a few weeks ago with help from MS advanced tech team. Not knowing the game issue. I do not play any of them, so I could I of opted out of having them  installed at all? My concern is now that they are here. I am having COM Surrogate crashes often. The Reliability History report states the fault module name is igdumd64.dll which is in the games
     
     
    igdumd64.dll is actually related to the Intel Graphics drivers - I suggest that update your adapter drives, and see if that eliminates teh problem.

    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Thursday, April 12, 2012 6:59 PM
  • Hello Noel

    I have Intell's HD Graphics 3000 which Intell recommended...after I re-installed Win 7. I went a head & downloaded the Family Graphics to this computer, message came up during download  process,..& it asks if I want to  overwrite the new version & install old one...? What should I do? I do see in the device Mgr. has other things...programs listed in there... that say familiy graphics...those may not be clicking with the 3000? Not sure but I also have had visual performace diplay warnings popping up ....could these be related? Thank you for responding ...this COM thing is daily. I did not overwrite...is it ok to overwrite...just to see if COMs stop?

    Monday, April 16, 2012 5:06 AM
  • I want to delete games from my solid state hard drive to free up some space. Is it okay to use applocker to just delete the folder?

    How about the other Windows stuff such as Windows Journal, Windows Live, Windows Live Skydrive, Microsoft Works, MS Visual Studio...I am not aware of needing it.

    Tim

    • Edited by Timtak1 Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:39 AM more
    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:27 AM
  • AppLocker doesn't delete anything - merely removes access to it.

    MS games take an insignificant amount of disk space - you'd be far better moving your data to another drive.


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth


    Wednesday, April 18, 2012 10:34 AM
  • Hi Noel

    Thank you for the link. That is what I am running. Intel Graphics 3000. So I changed it back to the original Intel Family Graphics & nothing has changed in fact the switch back brought back the overlapping of letter & lines running my monitor, which with a swipe of the cursor over the problem area it snaps back into place. This has stopped for a  while, but now it worse. So I reverted back to 3000...This is ridiculous for a new 4 months old computer to have so many issues. . Also besides COM Surrogate, distorted  monitor...now 2 new issues. 

    WPLXPhotoGalley.exe - No Disk (asking me to insert disk into drive).....\Disk\Harddisk1\D7 error appears when trying to save snips...which will go away once i click continue....

    GFxUI has stopped working - error states problem caused by "the" program to stop working correctly.Windows will close program & notify me if solution is available.-...Yeah that'll be the day .....so I click X & it goes away.

    So Any suggestions? This is really a mess. 3 issues & now my cursor as I type double & splits my words up...

    Thanks for replying I hope someone can help me with these issues....

    Saturday, April 21, 2012 7:21 AM
  • "D'Nice" wrote in message news:e21e2cf9-10d2-44bc-916f-8a9e322c0732...

    Hi Noel

    Thank you for the link. That is what I am running. Intel Graphics 3000. So I changed it back to the original Intel Family Graphics & nothing has changed in fact the switch back brought back the overlapping of letter & lines running my monitor, which with a swipe of the cursor over the problem area it snaps back into place. This has stopped for a  while, but now it worse. So I reverted back to 3000...This is ridiculous for a new 4 months old computer to have so many issues. . Also besides COM Surrogate, distorted  monitor...now 2 new issues.

    WPLXPhotoGalley.exe - No Disk (asking me to insert disk into drive).....\Disk\Harddisk1\D7 error appears when trying to save snips...which will go away once i click continue....

    GFxUI has stopped working - error states problem caused by "the" program to stop working correctly.Windows will close program & notify me if solution is available.-...Yeah that'll be the day .....so I click X & it goes away.

    So Any suggestions? This is really a mess. 3 issues & now my cursor as I type double & splits my words up...

    Thanks for replying I hope someone can help me with these issues....

     
     
    Check out the system with the standard file checks....
    Please run CHKDSK and SFC scans -

    type in the Search box
    CMD.EXE
    right-click on the only file that is found
    Select Run as Administrator
    - the Elevated Command Prompt window should pop up
    At the Command prompt, type
    CHKDSK C: /R
    and hit the Enter key.

    You will be told that the drive is locked,
    and the CHKDSK will run at he next boot - hit the Y key, and then reboot.

    The chkdsk will take a few hours depending on the size
    of the drive, so be patient!

    After the CHKDSK has run, Windows should boot normally
    (possibly after a second auto-reboot) - then run the SFC

    SFC -System File Checker - Instructions
    Click on the Start button
    type in the Search box
    CMD.EXE
    right-click on the only file that is found

    Select Run as Administrator
    - the Elevated Command Prompt window should pop up
    At the Command prompt, type

    SFC /SCANNOW

    and hit the Enter key

    Wait for the scan to finish - make a note of any error messages - and then reboot.

     


    Noel Paton | Nil Carborundum Illegitemi | CrashFixPC | The Three-toed Sloth
    Saturday, April 21, 2012 8:07 AM
  • If you go to Microsoft fixit and follow steps and tell it to remove games it completely erases every game and every source of game file there is, I had the same problem with that and internet explorer and somehow i found a link in the microsoft help menu that let me download a specific fixit that erased games and internet explorer
    Sunday, September 30, 2012 2:18 AM
  • Try RT7Lite or SevenUA or WinToolKit by Legolash (google for this one as he is not at MSFN).   Plenty of different tools can properly remove files from the winsxs so that your games do not appear anywhere in your C:

    http://www.msfn.org/board/forum/167-unattended-windows-7server-2008r2/

    Wait, I guess this would work too well, these make it so that no user (not even administrator) can install them because they are fully removed from your installation disk and winsxs folders.  Probably won't work for the OP (i.e. 2010 post), but other hobbyists may be interested. 


    Don't forget to mark your posts as answered so they drop off the unanswered post filter. If I've helped you and you want to show your gratitude, just click that green thingy.


    Sunday, September 30, 2012 2:31 AM
  • Very interested in this topic. I installed FixIt but the Games are "not listed" so you have to enter the product code, which is an incredibly sequence of letters and numbers. where do I find it?
    Saturday, August 24, 2013 2:38 AM
  • I have donwloaded WinToolKit and spent 10 minutes looking at how it works, but for the life of me I do not see how it removes applications. Many thanks for your help
    Saturday, August 24, 2013 3:05 AM
  • This worked perfectly for me. The games show up in the menu but nothing is produced when you select them. THANKS!!!
    Tuesday, October 22, 2013 6:35 AM
  • FranklinDelRos, When you write 'this worked perfectly for me', which post were you referring to?  there were several. 

    Joan Arsenault

    Friday, December 06, 2013 10:47 PM
  • fantastic Nano Wrap! this has worked sweet on my windows 7 ultimate!
    Thursday, December 19, 2013 2:42 AM
  • Right click on it and select "Take Ownership". Then you can delete it.
    Friday, January 24, 2014 2:47 AM