How to remove a partially installed/uninstalled application in elementary OS, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint

Not all applications installation and uninstallation go smooth. Sometimes application install/uninstall get interrupted or frozen, leaving a traces of the program in the computer. These traces are enough for elementary OS to think the application is installed and it won’t even let you reinstall the application. So you are struck with a program that won’t work.

The ‘Software Center’ isn’t useful in such case as the program doesn’t show up in the list  assuming it was installed from here. Time to go the command line way to remove the corrupt program completely. We shall use the PURGE command. In my test PC, the application ‘Elementary Tweaks’ got partially uninstalled and I’m going to use this scenario as an example.

Completely Remove Partially Installed Program

STEP 1: The first thing to know is the installed package name of the program you want to remove. Go to ‘Applications’ and launch ‘Terminal’. Type the following command and hit enter. Make sure to replace [program name] with your program’s name.

sudo dpkg -l [program name]*

In my example, I will search for elementary-tweaks.

sudo dpkg -l elementary-tweaks*

Uninstall using purge command
Uninstall using purge command

In my case the package name is exactly the same. It may not be the same in your case. You will see the package name listed in the Terminal along with Name, Version, Architecture, and Description.

STEP 2: The next step is to use PURGE and remove the installed package. The generic format is:

sudo dpkg --purge [package name]

Replace the [package name] with your package name.

For my scenario the command looks like this:

sudo dpkg --purge elementary-tweaks

That’s it. The program should be completely gone by now. Did it work for you? Do let us know in the comments below.

Kiran Kumar
Hi there! I'm Kiran Kumar, founder of I'm an avid Linux lover and enjoy hands-on with new promising distros. Currently, I'm using Ubuntu as a daily driver and run several other distros such as Fedora, Solus, Manjaro, Debian, and some new ones on my test PC and virtual machines. I have a day job as an Engineer, and this website is one of my favorite past time activities especially during Winter ;). When I'm not writing for FOSSLinux, I'm seen biking and hiking on scenic trails. Hope you enjoy using this website as much as I do writing for it. Feedback from readers is something that inspires me to do more, and spread Linux love!. If you find a time, drop me an email or feedback from the 'Contact' page. Or simply leave a comment below if you found this article useful. Have a good day!


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