How to remove the .NET Runtime and SDK
Over time, as you install updated versions of the .NET runtime and SDK, you may want to remove outdated versions of .NET from your machine. Uninstalling older versions of the runtime may change the runtime chosen to run shared framework applications, as detailed in the article on .NET version selection.
Should I remove a version?
The .NET version selection behaviors and the runtime compatibility of .NET across updates enables safe removal of previous versions. .NET runtime updates are compatible within a major version band such as 7.x and 6.x. Additionally, newer releases of the .NET SDK generally maintain the ability to build applications that target previous versions of the runtime in a compatible manner.
In general, you only need the latest SDK and latest patch version of the runtimes required for your application. Instances where you might want to keep older SDK or runtime versions include maintaining project.json-based applications. Unless your application has specific reasons for earlier SDKs or runtimes, you may safely remove older versions.
Determine what is installed
The .NET CLI has options you can use to list the versions of the SDK and runtime that are installed on your computer. Use
dotnet --list-sdks to see the list of installed SDKs and
dotnet --list-runtimes for the list of runtimes. For more information, see How to check that .NET is already installed.
.NET uses the Windows Apps & features dialog to remove versions of the .NET runtime and SDK. The following figure shows the Apps & features dialog. You can search for core or .net to filter and show installed versions of .NET.
Select any versions you want to remove from your computer and click Uninstall.
The best way for you to uninstall .NET is to mirror the action you used to install .NET. The specifics depend on your chosen Linux distribution and the installation method.
Preview releases are manually installed, and must be manually uninstalled. For more information, see the Scripted or manual section.
For Red Hat installations, consult the Red Hat Product Documentation for .NET.
You can remove the following types if .NET installations:
There's no need to first uninstall the .NET SDK when upgrading it using a package manager, unless you're upgrading from a preview version that was manually installed. The package manager
refresh commands will automatically remove the older version upon the successful installation of a newer version. If you have a preview version installed, uninstall it.
If you installed .NET using a package manager, use that same package manager to uninstall the .NET SDK or runtime. .NET installations support most popular package managers. Consult the documentation for your distribution's package manager for the precise syntax in your environment:
- apt-get(8) is used by Debian based systems, including Ubuntu.
- yum(8) is used on Fedora, CentOS, Oracle Linux, and RHEL.
- zypper(8) is used on openSUSE and SUSE Linux Enterprise System (SLES).
- dnf(8) is used on Fedora.
In almost all cases, the command to remove a package is
The package name for the .NET SDK installation for most package managers is
dotnet-sdk, followed by the version number. Starting with the version 2.1.300 of the .NET SDK and version
2.1 of the runtime, only the major and minor version numbers are necessary: for example, the .NET SDK version 2.1.300 can be referenced as the package
dotnet-sdk-2.1. Prior versions require the entire version string: for example,
dotnet-sdk-2.1.200 would be required for version 2.1.200 of the .NET SDK.
For machines that have installed only the runtime, and not the SDK, the package name is
dotnet-runtime-<version> for the .NET runtime, and
aspnetcore-runtime-<version> for the entire runtime stack.
To remove a Snap package, use the
snap remove <package> command. For example, to remove .NET Runtime 3.1, use
snap remove dotnet-runtime-31.
Scripted or manual
This information is written for Linux, but also applies to macOS. On macOS, the root directory is most likely
/usr/local/share/dotnet/. Substitute the directories accordingly.
When you manually install .NET, it's generally installed to the
/usr/lib/dotnet/, or the
$HOME/.dotnet directory. The SDK, runtime, and .NET host, are installed into separate sub directories. These "component" directories contain a directory for each version of .NET. By removing the versioned directories, you remove that version of .NET from your system. These directories may vary depending on your Linux distribution.
There are three commands you can use to discover where .NET is installed:
dotnet --list-sdks for SDKs,
dotnet --list-runtimes for runtimes, and
dotnet --info for everything. These commands don't list the .NET host. To determine which hosts are installed, check the
/usr/share/dotnet/host/fxr/ directory. The following list represents the directories of a specific version of .NET, where the
$version variable represents the version of the .NET:
The runtime is based on specific .NET product runtimes, such as
Microsoft.NETCore.App(the .NET runtime specifically). These are installed to the
$productis the product runtime. For example, you may see the following directories:
/usr/share/dotnet/shared/Microsoft.NETCore.App/$version/ /usr/share/dotnet/shared/Microsoft.AspNetCore.All/$version/ /usr/share/dotnet/shared/Microsoft.AspNetCore.App/$version/
rm -rf command to remove a version of .NET. For example, to remove the 6.0.406 SDK, run the following command:
sudo rm -rf /usr/share/dotnet/sdk/6.0.406
The version directories may not match the "version" you're uninstalling. The individual runtimes and SDKs that are installed with a single .NET release may have different versions. For example, you may have installed ASP.NET Core 5 Runtime, which installed the 5.0.2 ASP.NET Core runtime and the 5.0.8 .NET runtime. Each has a different versioned directory. For more information, see Overview of how .NET is versioned.
If you're using an Arm-based Mac, such as one with an M1 chip, review the directory paths described in Install .NET on Arm-based Macs.
Prior to .NET Core 2.0
.NET Core installations earlier than 2.0 didn't uninstall the .NET host application when the SDK was uninstalled using the package manager. Using
apt-get, the command is:
apt-get remove dotnet-host
There's no version attached to
.NET Uninstall Tool
The .NET Uninstall Tool (
dotnet-core-uninstall) lets you remove .NET SDKs and runtimes from a system. A collection of options is available to specify which versions should be uninstalled.
Visual Studio dependency on .NET SDK versions
Before Visual Studio 2019 version 16.3, Visual Studio installers called the standalone SDK installer for .NET Core version 2.1 or 2.2. As a result, the SDK versions appear in the Windows Apps & features dialog. Removing .NET SDKs that were installed by Visual Studio using the standalone installer may break Visual Studio. If Visual Studio has problems after you uninstall SDKs, run Repair on that specific version of Visual Studio. The following table shows some of the Visual Studio dependencies on .NET Core SDK versions:
|Visual Studio version||.NET Core SDK version|
|Visual Studio 2019 version 16.2||.NET Core SDK 2.2.4xx, 2.1.8xx|
|Visual Studio 2019 version 16.1||.NET Core SDK 2.2.3xx, 2.1.7xx|
|Visual Studio 2019 version 16.0||.NET Core SDK 2.2.2xx, 2.1.6xx|
|Visual Studio 2017 version 15.9||.NET Core SDK 2.2.1xx, 2.1.5xx|
|Visual Studio 2017 version 15.8||.NET Core SDK 2.1.4xx|
Starting with Visual Studio 2019 version 16.3, Visual Studio is in charge of its own copy of the .NET SDK. For that reason, you no longer see those SDK versions in the Apps & features dialog.
Remove the NuGet fallback directory
Before .NET Core 3.0 SDK, the .NET Core SDK installers used a directory named NuGetFallbackFolder to store a cache of NuGet packages. This cache was used during operations such as
dotnet restore or
dotnet build /t:Restore. The NuGetFallbackFolder was located under the sdk folder where .NET is installed. For example it could be at C:\Program Files\dotnet\sdk\NuGetFallbackFolder on Windows and at /usr/local/share/dotnet/sdk/NuGetFallbackFolder on macOS.
You may want to remove this directory, if:
- You're only developing using .NET Core 3.0 SDK or .NET 5 or later versions.
- You're developing using .NET Core SDK versions earlier than 3.0, but you can work online.
If you want to remove the NuGet fallback directory, you can delete it, but you'll need administrative privileges to do so.
It's not recommended to delete the dotnet directory. Doing so would remove any global tools you've previously installed. Also, on Windows:
- You'll break Visual Studio 2019 version 16.3 and later versions. You can run Repair to recover.
- If there are .NET Core SDK entries in the Apps & features dialog, they'll be orphaned.