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New Contributor II

Why is Forticlient 6.0 so difficult to uninstall?

I had Forticlient 6.0 installed in a Windows 10 VM for test purposes. (This is the VPN-only client without the other functions.) However after attempting to uninstall the program via "Programs & Features" it was still there despite no error messages from the uninstaller.


Additionally, the option to exit in the Forticlient system tray icon was greyed out. (Online instructions for uninstalling typically start with "Exit the Forticlient system tray icon".) Attempting to stop Forticlient processes with Task Manager resulted in the stopped processes automatically restarting. The Forticlient scheduler service could not be stopped through the Services panel. The IObit uninstaller was unable to uninstall it. (Removed it from "Programs & Features" but Forticlient was in fact still installed and running.) This thing is like a virus!


Finally the only way I was able to delete Forticlient was to reboot Windows into Safe Mode, delete the program files, and delete the Fortinet scheduler service using the command line. Of course this is leaving a lot of cruft in the registry and probably other places in the system.


Although this appears to have worked I hate to take that kind of sledgehammer approach - for future reference what is the best way to uninstall Forticlient when the built-in uninstaller doesn't do the job?








New Contributor

Hello slartibartfast,


I have the same issue with version  I'm not able to uninstall form the Apps & Features page in Windows and the Shutdown FortiClient option in the system tray menu is greyed out.

I believe that I did do an upgrade from version 5 to 6.0.2.xxxx initially, rather then an uninstall and fresh install of the newer version.  Is that the same case for yourself?

The reason I'm trying to uninstall is due to not being able to change any settings in the app even though I unlocked the settings.




It really is terrible. There is no excuse for this kind of thing.  On another PC I was working on I tried to update Forticlient 6.0 to 6.4 (once again the VPN-only version) but the installer complained that the old version had to be uninstalled first. As I found before, "uninstalling" the 6.0 client through Programs & Features did not actually uninstall it. Doing a "manual uninstall" as I did previously apparently left something behind (probably in the Windows registry) because 6.4 still refused to install. So I restored the old version (I had renamed rather than deleted the program directory) and just left the PC running the 6.0 client.


This is just ludicrous. It's like the IT version of a Monty Python skit. There just seems to be no reliable way to uninstall this thing.




I had the same issue and got some clues from another post which had _almost_ correct instruction:
see also the info in the "Configuration lock" link)


The point is that the system won't allow to uninstall the client (from control panel > programs and features) as long as the client's configuration settings is locked. It needs to be unlocked... and unlocked with a password (meaning, one needs to set a password and then unlock the configuration).


So what to do is this:

- Open the client

- Unlock the configuration settings (padlock icon in lower left corner

- Go to settings (button on the left side)

- Click "lock settings" (padlock icon in upper right corner)

- In the dialog, provide a password (remember it!!) and press LOCK

- Restart the FortiClient program

- Unlock the configuration settings (padlock icon in lower left corner)

- Enter the password that was given before and press UNLOCK


Now the configuration is unlocked with a password which should allow the program to be uninstalled...


- Click the FortiClient icon on system tray and select "Shutdown FortiClient"

- Go to control panel -> Programs and features (refresh it if it was already opened)

- Mark the line with FortiClient and press "Uninstall"


Over two year later and these instructions did the trick. Thank you!

Contributor III

Once you've 'shut down' Forticlient by right clicking the taskbar you can uninstall via add/remove programs. 


Problem being the option to exit Forticlient via the system tray icon is grayed out. (Since it's the VPN-only client it's not a matter of it being connected to the Fortigate for compliance.)

New Contributor

nope, the service will restart it and you can not shut down the service because the user who is the local ADMIN is denied.  this is the worst software ever.  i have been doing this for 20+ years and I have never seen a software lock out the admin user to uninstall it.  terrible. 

New Contributor

its 2024 and this issue is still around.  had a user install the full suite and I CAN NOT get it uninstalled and just use the free VPN client.  safemode does not work.  the app does not show up in safemode.  logged in as admin and do not have permission to stop the service or uninstall anything either from add/remove programs or in control pannel, programs and features.  Tech support pretty much told me to kick rocks.  GAH!  no company should lock their software on any PC.  this is totally unacceptable.


Have you tried to use the FortiClient Removal Tool, some details are shown in this article.

- Emirjon
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