I love cygwin, the software that allows my Windows computer to function more like a Unix or Linux computer. But one day, I noticed that the cygwin shell and pretty much all other cygwin features stopped working with no error messages hinting toward the reason why.

Luckily, completely uninstalling cygwin removed the defective installation.

To completely uninstall cygwin, all I had to do was complete the following steps:

  • I deleted the C:\cygwin folder
  • I ran regedit and deleted the following keys and their subkeys
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\CygnusSolutions
    • HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Cygwin

Once I had done those things, I was able to install a fresh copy of cygwin by downloading the cygwin setup file from the Cygwin website and then running it.

After completely uninstalling cygwin as demonstrated above and then reinstalling cygwin, Cygwin ran perfectly on my computer again.