How do I perform a clean installation of MATLAB?

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For diagnostic purposes, how can I uninstall MATLAB? 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 23 Aug 2022
Edited: MathWorks Support Team on 23 Aug 2022
While it is not necessary to perform a "clean" installation of MATLAB, remnants from a previous installation of MATLAB may cause problems with a new installation of MATLAB. To perform a clean installation of MATLAB:
  1. Uninstall MATLAB and manually delete the installation folder
  2. Manually delete the installation folder (Windows Only)
  3. Delete the user preferences directory
  4. Remove the MathWorks Installer
  5. Re-install (without interference from third-party-apps)

1. Uninstall MATLAB

Uninstall MATLAB. Detailed operating system-specific instructions can be found here:
Delete any desktop shortcuts for MATLAB.

2. Manually delete the installation folder (Windows Only)

After this is done, open a File Explorer window and navigate to the MATLAB root folder. By default on Windows, this folder is located at:
C:\Program Files\MATLAB\
Note: If you are unable to locate MATLAB in these locations, please check with your system administrator to find the MATLAB installation directory.\n\n

3. Delete the user preferences directory

Windows:
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".
macOS:
  1. Open the Finder, the blue face on the dock
  2. In Finder, click on the “Go” menu and select “Go to Folder”
  3. Go to this folder: ~/Library/Application Support/MathWorks/MATLAB
    1. For R2016a and earlier: ~/.matlab
Linux/UNIX:
  1. Open the Terminal Application (usually found in Applications or Utilities).
  2. In the terminal window and run the following commands:
cd ~/.matlab
Delete the folder corresponding to the MATLAB release you are removing, e.g. "R2020b." There may also be a licenses directory for the release in question, e.g. "R2020b_ 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 directory, not the administrator's.

4. Remove the MathWorks Installer

Finally, delete the MathWorks installer you previously downloaded from your Downloads folder. This folder can change depending on your internet browser settings, but the default location is listed below:
Windows:
C:\Users\%username%\Downloads
macOS:
  1. Open the Finder, the blue face on the dock
  2. In Finder, click on the “Go” menu and select Downloads
Linux/UNIX:
~/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 placeholder for your specific release of MATLAB.

5. Re-install (without interference from third-party-apps)

Install MATLAB. Operating system-specific install information can be found here: https://www.mathworks.com/help/install/install-products.html
If you still face issues, please note that third-party apps like Antivirus programs can sometimes interfere with the installation process. You have several options to work around this:
  • Work with your internal IT to temporarily disable security software
  • Install on a different network or machine 
  • Reboot the machine in Safe Mode to prevent third-party-apps from starting up

More Answers (1)

Alex Madsen
Alex Madsen on 17 Mar 2022
I unstalled and removed files. It still have a issue installing simulink and other addons.

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