How to do a clean reinstall on a Windows 10 PC


This is probably a stupid question (but it would be even more stupid not to ask it).

How do I remove my existing Roon Core? I am in the middle of the trial period and I have undoubtedly screwed up my Library sufficiently that I should start again from scratch. I realize that I will lose all the links, settings, etc. but in this case that would probably be a good thing.

Presumably I could uninstall the Roon App from the Start button but I am worried that might wipe out every last trace of the program including the ability to reinstall. If that is the case, then I need to know which files to keep in order to do a reinstall and then how to initiate the reinstall after that.

A related question is that with the reinstall will I have to do anything with the Roon files on my laptop that I am using as a controller and if so, what?

Thanks in advance for your help.


P.S. I already searched for the answer but could not find exactly what I wanted.

Uninstalling does not remove the ability to reinstall. During the uninstall process you get the option to remove the program, but keep the database and settings. However, it sounds as though you want to remove everything, and this is probably the way to go if your library has been screwed up. If by “screwed up” you mean you have made edits that you now regret, you can easily revert every edit or a selection thereof, so perhaps try that first before invoking the nuclear option.

And no, you don’t have to touch the Roon install on your laptop.


When I first used Roon, I experimented with it quite a bit. I didn’t really know what I was doing so I am sure that I permanently screwed up a few things.
I first began with Classical Music; knowing the difficulties with this genre, I figured that if I could get Classical Music right, then everything else would fall into place. As Gustav Mahler is one of my favourite composers, I started with him. I am not sure exactly what I did but I could never get the Composition display(s) to work anywhere close to what it should be. And yet, for all the dozen or so composers that I tried, I managed to make things work for the most part. I strongly suspect that as a result of my naivety and total inexperience with Roon, I somehow permanently wrecked the metadata files for Mahler.

Incidentally, I did try reverts and rescans but to no avail. Furthermore, I did a thorough check of the underlying files on my hard drive and found no major problems. I used the MusiCHI program to tag all my files and that has led to a very high degree of consistency among the files. Allowing for the inevitable minor human errors, Mahler is treated exactly the same as any other Classical composer.

I suppose that this is a roundabout way of saying that the “nuclear option” is the best one for me. Fortunately, I have not invested an unreasonable amount of time in editing the Roon metadata but just enough to get a fair idea of how the program works.

Now that I have noted down the Roon Settings I am in a position to I invoke the “nuclear option”. However, because it is the “nuclear option”, I need to be absolutely clear of the steps to be taken and the consequences involved. These steps appear to be:

  1. Get to the “Uninstall or change a Program” screen in Windows 10
  2. Select Roon and then “Uninstall”
  3. At this point, I am guessing that I get some options. I want the option that allows me to get rid of the database and settings but still allows a clean reinstall of the program. Is this option obvious and if not, what should I choose?
  4. I am assuming that reinstalling the program is obvious at that point. If not, I hope you can provide guidance.

My apologies, for appearing to be a bit dense—I’m not really. I just want to be sure otherwise it might be a lot of hassle to make things right. Regardless, the potential upside to using Roon makes all my labours worthwhile.

Thanks in advance for your help and clarifications.


Jim, your steps are good.

  1. ‘Get to the “Uninstall or change a Program” screen in Windows 10’ - yes, that’s the “old” Windows 7 way. You can still do that, or go to the Apps screen in Windows Settings, and uninstall direct from there (click Roon in the list of Apps, and then click the Uninstall button that will appear).
  2. At this point, you will get the option to retain the database and settings, but you ignore that and proceed with the complete uninstall. There is no option to reinstall Roon from within the uninstall process - you are simply removing all traces of Roon from your system. It’s true that some Windows applications have a “Change” or “Repair” option within the uninstall process, but not all do, and Roon certainly doesn’t.
  3. Once the uninstall has completed, then simply download the latest version of Roon and reinstall, or if you still have the installer program in your Download folder, you could re-run it to reinstall a fresh copy of Roon. However, if you do the latter, you may have to update Roon to the latest available version.

Regarding the issues with getting your Mahler material right, what’s the folder structure of your music collection like? Roon has the best shot at identifying material when the structure is of the form …/Artist/Album/, i.e. the contents of a CD are together in a single folder. For box sets, there are a couple of approaches, but I’ve always found the …/Artist/Album/CD1, …/Artist/Album/CD2, etc. works for me.

If Roon can identify an album, then the composition(s) should also fall into place (for the most part!).

Let us know how you get on.


I’m glad you brought up the folder structure of my music collection as it reminds me to ask you about something closely related.

First, I believe my folder structure follows the practice suggested in Roon i.e. each folder matches a CD as it would appear on the shelf including box sets. An example would be the 10-CD box set of Kubelik’s Mahler cycle:

E:\Music\Classical\Mahler\Symphonies-Kubelik\Disc 1
…\Disc 2
…etc. until…
E:\Music\Classical\Mahler\Symphonies-Kubelik\Disc 10

Note that there are 2 spaces following “Disc” for discs 1 to 9 and only 1 space following “Disc” for disc 10 in order for the discs to file in order. I doubt if that makes any difference; it doesn’t seem to.

Hopefully, this is the correct practice for the file structure of my music.

Fortunately, you reminded me of something else, namely the composer listings.

For my tags, the MusiCHI program has set the format for the Composer field to “Mahler, Gustav (1860-1911)”. It also suggests copying the Composer Field into the Artist Field which gives the Artist Field the same format. I have done some tests and I believe that I can convert both these field to the FirstName LastName format namely “Gustav Mahler” (without the dates). Would it be a good idea to do this before I do the reinstall or is it going to matter?

As an aside, if this all works out and the Mahler problem is solved then Roon will have handled Classical Music in a manner far beyond my expectations. I don’t say this lightly as in my former life as a professional librarian I catalogued over 6,000 albums and have a large personal collection. I have thought a lot about how to handle the metadata for this type of material and, for the most part, Roon has gone beyond anything I could have dreamt up.


Roon much prefers simple Firstname Lastname format (no commas or dates) for both artists and composers. It has a better chance of correct identification in this case. If you can make this change before you import your collection into Roon, then I think that would be for the best.

Edit: don’t copy the composer field across to the artist field. I know that MusiCHI and Musicbrainz both suggest this as best practice, but I advise against this.

The Composer field should be just “FirstName LastName”. If you add the composer’s name to the Artist field you’ll likely end up seeing it given equal weight alongside the name of the conductor and orchestra; not desirable, in my opinion.

As someone with a very large classical music library with hundreds of recordings from my favourite composer, Mahler, a few more recommendations:

  • folder structure matters less than the tags embedded within the files, but I’ve had good success keeping recordings organized by <conductor, performing orchestra>/. For example: “Bernard Haitink, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra/Mahler - Symphony No. 9 in D major/1-01 Symphony No. 9 in D major - 1. Andante comodo.flac” (note that the “1-01” indicates disc and track number; I don’t use sub-folders for each disc)

  • use the Artist field for the conductor and performing orchestra, along with the names of soloists. Separate names with a forward slash, e.g. “Miah Persson / Ivan Fischer / Budapest Festival Orchestra” would be the Artist field for the 4th track (movement) of Ivan Fischer’s recording of Mahler’s Fourth symphony. On the same recording, the Artist field for tracks 1-3 would be “Ivan Fischer / Budapest Festival Orchestra” (as the soloist doesn’t perform on those tracks). This data will populate the “Primary Artist links” within Roon (which you can view or edit within Roon’s Album Editor).

  • I use the “Album Artist” field almost exclusively for the name of the conductor. This will translate directly to Roon’s Album Artist field. For compositions like piano concertos, violin concertos, etc, I’ll often put the name of the soloist in this field as it takes precedence over the conductor (in my opinion).

  • Depending on which metadata you give priority to (Roon’s database or your own file tags: Settings > Library > Import Settings), you may need to clean up each imported album manually by adjusting the credits associated with each track (Track Editor > Credits > Add/Remove). You can edit the credits for multiple tracks at a time by selecting them and clicking ‘Edit’.

  • A composer’s ‘Compositions’ list can be tricky. If you’ve imported an album and find that its composition didn’t match anything, make sure that the credits for each track include the composer’s name, credited as the ‘Composer’. You may have to do this manually. If that fails, try finding another of the same composition in your library that did match, and use the ‘Merge Compositions’ option.

As for uninstalling Roon and purging your database, I suggest the following:

  • uninstall Roon through Add/Remove programs
  • open your File Explorer and enable the option to show hidden files & folders
  • navigate to C:\Users<userid>\AppData\Local (or the equivalent on your computer)
  • delete the folder “Roon”
  • re-install




It WORKS! Not only that it works brilliantly.

I was able to figure out a way to convert both the Composer and Artist Fields in MusiCHI to FirstName LastName with no Dates. It took me hours to run it on MusiCHi but I did finally get those fields changed over the last couple of days.

Then I reinstalled Roon to make sure that the previous problems with the Mahler files did not exist. They had gone away but there remained of few others that seemed to revolve around titles/compositions.

Originally I had intended to do something with MusiCHI’s composition field. It is in the form “Composer: MusiCHI Composition Title; Performers”. A lot of the entries were being presented as compositions by Roon in exactly the same format suggesting that Roon was deriving them from the MusiCHI Composition field. I decided to wait until after the reinstall in case there was no solution to the Mahler problem. As the problem appeared to be resolved, I went back into MusiCHI and removed the “Composer:” part of the MusiCHI Composition field. This took some time but I finally finished it earlier this evening (GMT -7). Once Roon uploaded the changes, I had a go at editing the Mahler compositions.

Somewhat to my surprise and delight, I was able to get everything almost exactly the way I wanted it with the compositions as the “Merge Compositions” function worked perfectly. Furthermore it allowed me to fix various other problems with the Mahler file without too much trouble.

The only bad thing about this is that I will probably have to go through all 390 classical composers (and soundtrack composer as well) and double-check everything. This will undoubtedly take quite a bit of time but it will be a labour of love given that the results promise to be quite spectacular.

Many thanks again.



Thank you for your very thoughtful and detailed reply. I very much appreciate your efforts and I found your information to be extremely useful.

Once I clean up the composer/compositions, I will have a go at the “Album artist” field. Your information should be of considerable assistance. For what its worth, with my files, Windows File Explorer/dBpoweramp shows both an “Album Artist” field (metadata from the 4 dBpoweramp sources I assume) and an “ALBUMARTISTS” field which is the MusiCHI album artists field.

Again, thank you very much.



It’s my pleasure.

You might also wish to take a look at the file tagging software Mp3tag ( It’s free, very comprehensive, and offers very powerful find/replace features.


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