How to Uninstall Exchange 2003

In this article, we will discuss the following:

  • Uninstall Exchange 2003 automatically using the Exchange Server 2003 Setup program
  • Uninstall Exchange 2003 manually

How to uninstall Exchange 2003 automatically

Before uninstalling Exchange 2003, you need to disconnect all mailbox-enabled users from the mailboxes on your Exchange server.

To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Click Administrative Tools.
  4. Click Active Directory Users and Computers.
  5. Double-click Your_Domain and then click Users.
    Note: Your_Domain is a variable and refers to the name of your domain.
  6. Press and hold CTRL and click the user name of each user who has mailbox.
  7. Right-click any of the selected user names.
  8. Click Exchange Tasks and then release CTRL.
  9. Select Delete Mailbox in the Select a task to perform list, and then click Next.
  10. Click Next in the Delete Mailbox window.
  11. Click Finish after all the mailboxes are deleted.

After deleting the mailboxes, run the Exchange Server 2003 Setup program from the Add or Remove Programs utility to uninstall the installed components.

To do this, perform the following steps:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Control Panel.
  3. Click Add or Remove Programs.
  4. In the Currently installed programs list, locate and right-click Microsoft Exchange.
  5. Click Change/Remove.
  6. Click the Next button in the Microsoft Exchange Installation Wizard window.
  7. Use the drop-down arrows to select Remove against all the installed components in the Action column on the Component Selection page.
  8. Click Next twice.
  9. Click Finish.

How to manually uninstall Microsoft Exchange 2003

In case you are unable to remove Exchange 2003 using the Exchange 2003 Setup program, you can manually uninstall Exchange 2003.

To manually uninstall Exchange 2003, you need to complete the following tasks:

  • Stop and disable the Exchange 2003 services
  • Remove Exchange 2003 registry entries.

Stop and disable Exchange 2003 services

The following steps take you through how to stop and disable core Exchange 2003 services:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click All Programs.
  3. Click Administrative Tools.
  4. Click Services.
  5. In the right-pane of the Services window, locate and right-click Distributed Transaction Coordinator
  6. Click Stop.
  7. Next double-click Distributed Transaction Coordinator.
  8. In the General tab, select Disabled in the Startup type drop down list.
  9. Click Apply and then click OK.
  10. Repeat the steps from 5 to 9 for the following services:

Internet Information Services (IIS) Admin Service
Microsoft Exchange Event
Microsoft Exchange Internet Message Access Protocol (IMAP4)
Microsoft Exchange Information Store
Microsoft Exchange Management Service
Microsoft Exchange Message Transfer Agent (MTA) Stacks
Microsoft Exchange Post Office Protocol version 3 (POP3)
Microsoft Exchange Routing Engine
Microsoft Exchange Site Replication Service
Microsoft Exchange System Attendant
Network News Transfer Protocol (NNTP)
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol (SMTP)

Remove Exchange 2003 registry entries

Note: The steps listed below require you to edit the registry. Editing the Windows registry incorrectly can have dire consequences. That is why you perform the steps listed below exactly the way they are. Furthermore, back up the registry before editing it.  This way, you can restore the registry to its last working state in case any complication occurs. You may use RegGenie, which is a top-rated Windows registry cleaner, to make registry backups.

The following steps take you through how to delete an entry from your registry:

  1. Click Start.
  2. Click Run.
  3. Type regedit and press Enter.
  4. In the left-pane of the Registry Editor window, locate and click the following entry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Exchange.
  5. Right-click Exchange and then click Delete.
  6. Click Yes when asked to confirm deletion.
  7. Repeat steps 4, 5, and 6 for the following registry entries:


In case a Notes connector or GroupWise connector is installed on the server on which Exchange 2003 is running, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services and delete any registry entries in this subkey that begin with LME- and SERVERNAME-LME.

In case Microsoft Office 2003, Microsoft Office XP, or Microsoft Windows SharePoint Service is not installed on the server, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services and delete any entries in this subkey that begin with MSSEARCH.

After you have removed all the Exchange 2003 registry entries, remove and then reinstall the IIS components. Finally, reinstall any security updates and service packs that were previously installed on the server.