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How do I perform a clean installation of MATLAB on a Windows system?

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For diagnostic purposes, how can I uninstall MATLAB from a Windows system? I would also like to completely remove any remaining files or settings so that the software can be re-installed cleanly.

Accepted Answer

MathWorks Support Team
MathWorks Support Team on 9 May 2019
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 9 May 2019
It is not normally necessary to perform a "clean" installation of MATLAB but if you believe there are remnants from a previous installation of MATLAB causing a problem with a new installation of MATLAB, this article will explain how to locate and remove them.
1. Uninstall MATLAB and manually delete the installation folder.
Uninstall MATLAB from the "Add or remove programs" menu in Windows. Detailed instructions can be found here:
After this is done, open a File Explorer window and navigate to the MATLAB root folder. On Windows 64-bit, this folder is by default located at:
C:\Program Files\MATLAB\
Delete the folder pertaining to the release that you wish to remove. Please also delete any desktop shortcuts for MATLAB. Note: If you are unable to locate MATLAB in these locations, please check with your system administrator to find the MATLAB installation directory.
2. Delete the user preferences directory.
In a File Explorer window, type the following into the address bar and then press Enter:
%appdata%
This will bring you to a folder called "Roaming" in the user account that you are currently logged in as. From here, open "MathWorks" and then "MATLAB".
Delete the folder corresponding to the MATLAB release you are removing, e.g. "R2014a." There may also be a licenses directory for the release in question, e.g. "R2014a_ licenses." Remove this folder as well.
Note: if you are an administrator performing this action for another user, you will need to do it from that user's Roaming directory, not the administrator's.
3. Remove the MATLAB Installer
Finally, delete the MATLAB installer you previously downloaded from you Downloads folder. This folder can change depending on your internet browser settings, but the default location is listed below:
C:\Users\<username>\Downloads
There will be a folder and EXE to delete for each MATLAB release. Please delete both and then re-download the installer from the MathWorks website.
Examples for the files are:
matlab_R20XXx_win64.exe
_temp_matlab_R20XXx_win64
Note: the XXx is a place holder for your specific release of MATLAB.

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