Classic Shell

Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6
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Author:  f.strietz [ Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:54 am ]
Post subject:  Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

Hi everybody,

I'm using Windows 8 64-Bit. I have a problem when trying to uninstall or upgrade classic shell:

- Everytime I try to uninstall classic shell using the windows uninstaller, a message appears "The configuration files for this product are damaged. Please contact the support".

- I downloaded the old version 3.6.6 and tried to run setup again, but there was no option to uninstall and when starting the installation again, a message appears that the old version of the programm cannot be removed.

- I downloaded the lates release and tried to update, but the same message appears: "The older version of classic shell cannot be removed. Contact your technical support group".

I deleted all registry keys regarding "classic shell" and "classicshell". Then I deleted the installation folder. I got other error messages and was not able to upgrade. I also tried the hint inside the F.A.Q and tried some command line options.

Any Ideas how I can completely uninstall or upgrade the product ??


Author:  Ivo [ Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

This is what normally works for people:
However after you messed with the registry all bets are off. The OS thinks the software is installed but the state is damaged so it can't uninstall it. There used to be software in the old days called TweakUI that was able to remove software from the install list without actually uninstalling any files. But I don't know if there's something that can work on Windows 8.

Author:  Gaurav [ Sun Sep 15, 2013 9:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

First, before trying this, try to download the installer of the version you have installed and see if can be removed. If despite running the installer of the version of Classic Shell you have, it can't be uninstalled, then read ahead.This is a Windows Installer issue (system related). It can happen with any other software that uses Windows Installer, not just Classic Shell, nor something that is caused by Classic Shell, but due to the installation system it uses.

There used to be an unsupported tool by Microsoft for cleaning up partially uninstalled Windows Installer-based applications called Windows Installer Cleanup Utility. Download this tool from here (link is dead): but Softpedia has it at, install it and open it. Note that you must install and run Windows Installer Cleanup Utility as administrator (with elevated rights). Be careful with the use of this tool. It should list all applications on your system which use Windows Installer including some version of Classic Shell. Select Classic Shell in that list (and make sure you don't select any other product) and click "Remove". Let it remove and then click Exit.
Now try installing the latest version of Classic Shell and it should work. If no version of Classic Shell appears in Windows Installer Cleanup utility, exit the tool without doing anything and remove the tool from Programs and Features.

Also, note this tool is recommended only for your convenience. Classic Shell does not bear responsibility for Windows related issues or anything that may happen from the use of third party tools we recommend for troubleshooting.

Author:  f.strietz [ Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:32 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6  Topic is solved


thanks to both for the information!

I tried the recommended steps from Ivo regarding the cmd-options before - no success.

The recommendation from GauravK helped! I was able to uninstall and to install the latest version - Thank you!

The Microsoft -tool was not ready for the installation under Windows 8 - but using the compatibility mode it works.

Thanks you all,


Author:  jonah8208 [ Sun Oct 13, 2013 3:56 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

Same irritating problem here fixed with the msi cleanup tool.
This tool however is no longer available at the link in the post above it has been removed by Microsoft.

I found several places the tool is available and used this link at softpedia ... lity.shtml
Because it is the least prone to misleading spam links and unwanted downloads - cnet is dire these days.

That worked fine and allowed me to finally upgrade v3.6.2 to v3.8 after a lot of wasted time and aggravation - it also appears to go straight into Windows 8 64 (not the 8.1 version) without issue and run fine.

As a matter of interest I am a system builder and a certified geek, I have recommended / pre / post installed Classic Start (with an exhortation to make a donation probably wasted but I tried) for 90% of my clients who are largely thrilled with classic start (if indeed they notice it - they sure as hell notice the start screen if I leave Win8 as standard). I have also had a number of frustrated and really angry users in some cases cursing me for this uninstallation error / upgrade issue which I can understand, they have better things to do and no clue how to fix it anyway. Even with my experience it has taken a few hours of faffing about(which I am not getting paid for either) to find this fix after trying all sorts of stuff

so ..................................

This issue is out there and affects some percentage of users who are potential donors and probably eventually paying customers, can I suggest that this thread is pinned, clearly labled as a probable fix for the cannot install / upgrade issue and linked on your sourceforge homepage with instructions.



Author:  tharvey6 [ Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

Regarding the suggestion to use the Windows Installer Cleanup Utility.

Have been having all kinds of trouble trying to update from 3.6.8 to 4.0.2
tried all other fixes on forum, finally found this today and works perfectly for me.
Agree with jonah above that this should be pinned as a fix, made an account here just to thank you guys for your suggestions
hopefully others find this useful and it saves a lot of time as classic shell is a need for any windows 8 pc

Author:  breodis [ Tue Nov 12, 2013 12:58 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

I'm unable to upgrade to 4.0.2. I have windows 8 and I consistently get an error telling me this program can't run on this system and to talk to the developer(s). Is this the same issue? Am I going to go to MS, find an outdated file to completely remove this version, then try to install 4.0.2 - or just settle for never updating this nice program?

Author:  Jcee [ Wed Nov 13, 2013 1:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

classic shell is definitely compatible with windows 8/8.1, so this MAY be applicable to you, have you tried regularly uninstalling trough windows add/remove programs menu?

Author:  Ivo [ Wed Nov 13, 2013 9:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

An error like "this program can't run" often means the download is corrupted. Try downloading the installer again.

Author:  gsmaga [ Sun Feb 07, 2016 4:44 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

For those having problem to uninstall classicshell, go to:

Install classicshell utility, it will remove classic shell very efficiently


Author:  MaximilianKohler [ Sat Sep 17, 2016 6:40 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Unable to Update or UnInstall ClassicShell 3.6.6

Just want to add another solution.

I was having a similar problem but with no error message. The progress bar just wouldn't move. This worked for me: ... l#16123574

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