Like other remote work apps, Microsoft Teams has become an essential part of work from home for millions of people around the world. Available for free or as part of a Microsoft 365 subscription, Microsoft Teams is a great collaboration tool, but not for everyone.
If you’re tied to Slack, or prefer open source alternatives like Mattermost, you can uninstall Microsoft Teams entirely. Unfortunately, there are indications that Microsoft Teams continues to reinstall if you don’t follow strict instructions to uninstall Microsoft Teams, as regular uninstallation methods don’t work for some users.
Why does Microsoft Teams keep reinstalling?
While it’s inconvenient to see the Microsoft Teams pop-up again after removing it, there is no cause for concern. The reason Microsoft Teams keeps getting reinstalled is simple – it was not completely uninstalled to begin with.
This can happen with some installations of Microsoft Teams, especially if they were packaged and installed as part of an organization-wide Office subscription. In this case, Microsoft Teams will ship as two installed programs. The first, Microsoft Teams, is what most users will look for and delete.
The second, the Whole Machine Teams Installer, is software used in organizational Microsoft Office deployments that is used to automatically install Microsoft Teams on multiple PCs. If you have the entire Teams machine installer installed, Microsoft Teams may continue to install even after you uninstall it.
You will need to uninstall this when uninstalling Microsoft Teams if you want it to no longer reinstall.
How to uninstall Microsoft Teams using Windows Settings
A Windows Administrator account is required to uninstall Microsoft Teams. If you can uninstall Windows software on your computer, you can uninstall Microsoft Teams using the Windows settings menu.
- To uninstall Microsoft Teams, right-click the Windows Start menu, and then click Settings Option.
- In the Windows Settings menu, click Applications> Applications & Features. In the Applications & Features menu, search for commands using the Search this list box. If you have a Teams native installer listed, it will appear next to Microsoft Teams in the list.
- Using this menu you will need to uninstall both commands and the machine-wide installer. First select the Microsoft Teams option, then click the Uninstall button.
- You will need to confirm if you want to uninstall Microsoft Teams. To do this, click the “Delete” button that appears.
- Please wait a few seconds – Microsoft Teams will automatically uninstall. Once this process is complete, repeat the steps above for the whole Teams machine installer. Select an option, then click Remove> Remove to remove it.
After a few seconds, the installer for the entire Teams machine will be removed. After that, Microsoft Teams should be completely uninstalled and you shouldn’t see it again unless you choose to manually reinstall it.
Clean up Microsoft Teams configuration folders and registry keys
Microsoft Teams should stop installing after uninstalling the installer for the entire machine. If the installation continues, you may want to clear and delete some additional configuration files.
You can also configure a registry key to block the installation of Microsoft Teams on PCs where Microsoft Teams was installed as part of an organizational deployment, although this may only work for some users.
- First, you will need to make sure the Microsoft Teams configuration folder has been deleted. Open Windows Explorer and enter% localappdata% Microsoft in the address bar. If the Teams folder exists, right-click and click Delete to delete it.
- You can also create a key in the Windows registry that can prevent Microsoft Teams from automatically reinstalling under certain conditions. To do this, you will need to launch the Windows Registry Editor: Press Windows + R to open the Run window, type Regedit and click OK to do so.
- In Registry Editor, use the sidebar to open the HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Office Teams Registry folder. If there is no PreventInstallationFromMsi key, you need to create one. Right-click and click New> String Value, naming the inserted string PreventInstallationFromMsi.
- Double-click the generated string and set it to 1, then click OK to save. At this point, you can close the registry editor.
Using Microsoft Office Removal Tool
For Microsoft Teams to reinstall itself, you will likely be using Office as part of your Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) subscription. If your subscription has expired, you should also uninstall Microsoft Teams when uninstalling Office to prevent this from happening.
While uninstalling Office (including Microsoft Teams) using Windows Options should work for most users, you can uninstall Office and Microsoft Teams together using the Microsoft Office uninstaller. This should completely remove all installation files and prevent automatic reinstallation.
- Download the Office uninstaller and run the file. After a few seconds, the Office uninstaller installer will open. Start the installation by clicking the “Install” button.
- The Office Uninstall Tool will start automatically after installation is complete – accept the terms by clicking Agree.
- Select your version of Microsoft Office in the Microsoft Support and Recovery window by clicking the check box next to it. When you’re ready to remove it, click the Next button.
- If there are any further instructions for your version of Office, confirm them in the next step. In the last step, check the box “I saved all my work” and click “Next” to continue.
- The Office Uninstall Tool will ask you to restart – if it doesn’t automatically, click to confirm and start restarting. After your computer restarts, follow the further onscreen instructions to complete the complete removal of Office.
The Office Removal Tool will complete the complete removal of all Office files from your PC, including Microsoft Teams. This should prevent any further automatic reinstallations of Microsoft Teams, and you’ll have to manually install it again if you want to use it again.
Microsoft Teams alternatives
If you’re looking to uninstall Microsoft Teams but are still looking for a good collaboration tool for remote workers and teams, then Slack is a good alternative. It offers built-in chat, file sharing, chat bots, and more. You can even use Slack as a second brain to keep track of your calendar, notes, and email.
However, if Microsoft Teams keeps getting reinstalled, you can give it a try – it’s one of the best tools for remote workers, with many Microsoft Teams tips and tricks you can try.