I like video games, but they’re really violent. I’d like to play a video game where you help the people who were shot in all the other games. It’d be called ‘Really Busy Hospital’.
Epic Games recently launched its own digital storefront for Windows. Current games from the Epic Games’ stable can be easily downloaded through the medium. The company also announced that, going forward, its future releases will be exclusively available through the store. As a new entrant into the congested Windows gaming platform market, Epic has been trying its best to woo developers, especially those whose games are based on the company’s Unreal Engine, by offering mouthwatering revenue guarantees.
Still, you aren’t here to read lines upon lines about Epic Games’ quest for world domination, at least on the personal computing front. Chances are, you’re tired of the Epic Games Launcher and wish to remove it from your PC but are wondering about the best or safest means to do so. In that case, wonder no more. Read on to learn how to remove the Epic Games Launcher.
What Is the Epic Games Launcher?
As explained above, the Epic Games Launcher is Epic Games’ application for accessing the Epic Games Store on Windows (and macOS) operating systems. It is a culmination of the company’s efforts to compete with and cut into the market share of storefronts like Steam and GOG.com. Epic Games went all out to woo developers to their platform with promises they’d take a lower cut of revenue from digital sales.
Ubisoft has since taken the bait with the launch of Tom Clancy’s The Division II as an Epic-exclusive release. Other developers are thought to be joining soon.
For the end user, the Epic Games Launcher is to the Epic Games Store as the Steam client is to the Steam Store. Launching the application grants you access to the Epic Store, where you can browse through the games available. Listings might look relatively bare-bones at the moment, especially compared to the catalogs of more established competitors, but Epic Games is working on augmenting their own games with offerings from other developers.
Through the Launcher, a chosen game can be paid for and installed. You can also use this medium to update the game with patches or DLCs when those are available. Things like game trailers, summaries and system requirements are also available through the launcher.
Is Epic Games Launcher Spyware?
Despite its stated aims to give platforms like Steam a run for their money and make gaming on PC more democratic for the users and financially beneficial to the game developers, the Epic Games store and, by extension, its launcher have suffered from several controversies since release.
The most outlandish of these claims the Store isn’t legit but is actually a front through which the Chinese government spies on users who enter their personal information. The claims gained such mainstream attention that Epic Games was forced to issue a strongly-worded rebuttal.
More to the point, is the Epic Games Launcher a spyware application? The short answer is no. The longer answer is that the Epic Games franchise has indirect associations with the Chinese government but that doesn’t affect its game store in any material way.
The accusations gained traction because Tencent, who owns a 40% stake in Epic Games, is one of the biggest companies in China and required to maintain a close working relationship with the Chinese government. This sprouted allegations that it is using its investments in the West to spy on behalf of the Chinese government. However, there is no evidence of any sort to back up the accusation.
So, no, neither the Epic Games Store nor its launcher for Windows is Spyware. That doesn’t mean you cannot get tired of the app and wish to uninstall it. Doing so is relatively straightforward. Contrary to some of the wild rumours out there on forums like Reddit, you don’t require any cumbersome method to rid your system of the app.
All the same, should you really like some of the titles hosted on the Epic Games Store and wish to retain it but are wary of your data being spied on, you can go the extra mile and install an anti-spyware tool. Though Windows has the Defender utility, that program has a lot to improve upon in the anti-espionage department. You can do much worse than spending a few bucks on the Microsoft-approved Auslogics Anti-Malware for aggressive spyware and malware protection against any threats from anywhere.
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How to Uninstall the Epic Games Launcher from a Windows 10 PC
We have said removing the Epic Games Launcher from your PC isn’t a big deal, nor do you need to invite the FBI and CIA over for a coordinated surgical removal or something. This doesn’t mean you won’t experience a few issues in the course of uninstalling the app. Therefore, we recommend you do a couple things first before you actually remove the game from your Windows 10 PC.
First of all, you should close the launcher as an administrator. Sounds kind of funny, right? Most people have heard of running programs as an administrator, but closing it as one? Well, the point of doing this is to make sure that when you do close the app, it actually stays closed instead of leaving some stray hooks in the memory that can prevent it from being uninstalled.
With that cleared up, find the Epic Games Launcher on your PC, right-click it and select Run as Administrator from the context menu. Click Yes or OK should a User Account Control confirmation prompt show up. The Epic Store will be launched with administrative privileges.
You don’t need to do anything from within the launched app. Minimize it and move your cursor to the minimized app on your taskbar. Right-click the Epic Launcher icon and click Exit to close the game. Easy peasy.
The next thing to do is make sure that no pesky Epic Games Launcher process is running in the background. One common mistake people make is assuming that closing an app automatically means ending all its processes. Some applications have perfected the subtle and RAM-consuming art of staying in memory after being terminated.
So, make a beeline for the Task Manager through your favourite method. Ours is to select it from the Windows Tools menu, which can be accessed by pressing the Windows key + X. You can also hit the Ctrl, Shift and Esc keys at the same time if that’s more your thing.
In the Processes tab of Task Manager, scout for any Epic Games processes, be that the launcher or something else, and end them. Literally. Right-click the offending process and select End task. Do this for the rest of the relevant processes.
Now you’re ready to remove this bad boy from your system. The Control Panel on your Windows 10 is your next port of call. Navigate there by selecting the option from the Windows Tools menu. You can also select it by searching in the search menu or typing “appwiz.cpl” (without quotes) into the Run box and hitting OK.
In the Control Panel, ensure the View by option is set to Category. You have to click the “Uninstall a program” link under Programs & Features.
A window appears with a list of all the installed programs on your computer. For Windows 10, this list is only populated with desktop programs installed through a method that isn’t the Microsoft Store. Assuming that the Epic Games Launcher isn’t a Microsoft Store installation, you’ll find it here.
You may need to scroll down a bit till you find the Epic Games Launcher entry. Left-click it once and click the Uninstall button that appears. You may get a confirmation pop-up asking if you really wish to kick the app off your system [not in those exacts words, obviously]. Click Yes or Uninstall to proceed.
Windows will run the uninstaller program for the app and you just need to follow the onscreen instructions, clicking extra confirmation buttons if needed. When the process is complete, the uninstaller disappears, and so does the launcher.
However, if you installed the app from the Microsoft Store, we need to follow a slightly different process to remove it on Windows 10. Press the Windows logo key to bring up the Start Menu, then select Settings to launch that app.
In the Settings app, navigate to System > Apps & features to view a comprehensive list of all apps on your system. Microsoft Store apps will be here as well. Find the app you wish to remove, in this case the Epic Games Launcher. Left-click the app to expand it slightly. Two buttons will become visible — Modify, which is usually greyed out, and Uninstall. Click the Uninstall button and follow the onscreen instructions from that point.
To summarize the second method:
- Open the Settings app.
- Click System.
- Click Apps & features.
- Expand the Epic Games Launcher entry.
- Click Uninstall.
That’s it for how to completely delete the Epic Games Launcher from your Windows 10 PC. It’ll certainly come in handy if you feel Epic Games isn’t doing it for you and you want to move back to the familiar embrace of Steam or some other digital store.