How to Uninstall a Font Manually in Windows

The Fonts folder in the classic Control Panel lets you uninstall font files easily. However, the font file may be in use in some cases and can’t be uninstalled via the Control Panel. You get the following error when doing so:

<font name> cannot be deleted because it's in use

Close any open programs, and then click Try again.

cannot uninstall font - file is in use

(You may be able to uninstall the font by closing all programs or booting Windows in Safe mode.)

This article provides a manual uninstall method using the Registry Editor as an alternative.

Manually Uninstall a Font in Windows

Let’s see how to uninstall the “Roboto Black” font in this example. The procedure is the same for any font.

Step 1: Delete the font reference from the registry

  1. First, create a Restore Point.
  2. Start the Registry Editor by launching regedit.exe.
  3. Go to the following location:
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts
  4. In the right pane, right-click the “Roboto Black” entry (if it exists) and choose Delete.
    uninstall font using registry
  5. Go to the following location:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\Fonts
  6. In the right pane, right-click the “Roboto Black” entry (if it exists) and choose Delete.
    uninstall font using registry
    tips bulb iconIf the font were installed for all users, it would be listed in registry location #1. If it were installed for the current user, it would be listed in registry location #2.

    Additional Step: Check FontSubstitutes

    Ensure the deleted font is not configured as a substitute for any other system font. To do so, go to the following registry keys one by one:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows NT\CurrentVersion\FontSubstitutes

    If Roboto Black is configured as a substitute for any other font, delete that value.

    RELATED: How to Restore Default System Font Settings (to Segoe UI)

  7. Exit the Registry Editor.

Step 2: Delete the font file (.ttf)

After deleting the font reference in the registry, restart Windows. Then, open Command Prompt (admin) and delete the respective .ttf file (i.e., Roboto-Black.ttf) from the following locations:


That’s it. This uninstalls that font from your computer.

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Ramesh Srinivasan is passionate about Microsoft technologies and he has been a consecutive ten-time recipient of the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award in the Windows Shell/Desktop Experience category, from 2003 to 2012. He loves to troubleshoot and write about Windows. Ramesh founded in 2005.

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