How To Perform A Clean Uninstall Of Waves Plugins

Waves have recently revamped their licensing application again and moved from the "Waves Licence Center" (WLC) to a new "Waves Central" system.
This means if you have been a previous waves plug-in user with WLC you'll need to uninstall your current WLC setup in order to use the new Waves Central.
For some this has proven a little difficult or troublesome to totally clean out the old components and has caused issues with plugins showing up in Pro Tools after installing Waves Central.
So we decided to put together this little guide to help you make sure any leftovers from WLC don't cause problems for you running Waves Central.


Uninstall Waves License Center


First go to Windows control panel/programs and features (on your keyboard press the Windows key and type "Programs and Features" without the quotation marks) and from the list of Installed Programs

this "should" uninstall all Waves plugins from your system, and then move down to the "Post Uninstall clean-up" below.

Uninstall Waves Central

If you have already moved passed this stage and have installed Waves Central but are experiencing problems follow on with these instructions below to start again and clean up that problematic install.

Launch Waves Central,

Click the "Install" tab and select "Uninstall"


Select the tick box in the middle column labelled "All Waves Plugins V9" and click Uninstall in the bottom right corner.
This "should" remove all of the Waves Plugins on your system but we'll check that in a moment.


You can then go to Windows control panel/programs and features (on your keyboard press the Windows key and type "Programs and Features" without the quotation marks) and from the list of Installed Programs.

The Post Uninstall Clean-up

Ok now we are in the position to go and clean out those possible left over files that may cause us problems later on,

The first thing to do is make sure you are able to see some hidden files that we'll need to be cleaning out - primarily what is referred to the "Waves Cache"
This is a database record of the waves plugins that have previously been scanned on the launch of Pro Tools rather like the Pro Tools plugin databases that can be trashed to fix problems.

Navigate to your Windows "Control Panel" (press the Windows Key on your Keyboard and type Control Panel and left mouse click it from the search results that appear).


Double click folder options,


click the "View" tab from the top and under "Hidden Files and Folders" select "Show hidden files,folders and drives".
Click ok and exit Control Panel.

Next we want to navigate to the following folder locations and delete the folders.

C:\Program Files (x86)\Waves
C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Roaming\Waves Audio

C:\Users\YOURUSERNAME\AppData\Local\Waves Audio
And lastly you can delete the contents of the C:\ProgramData\Waves Audio folder except the Licenses folder (you need to keep this).

And then making sure no waveshell files are presnt in:
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Avid\Audio\Plug-Ins
C:\Program Files\Common Files\Steinberg\VST2
C:\Program Files\Common Files\VST3
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Steinberg\VST2
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\VST3
C:\Program Files (x86)\VSTPlugIns
C:\Program Files\VSTPlugIns
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steinberg\VSTPlugins
C:\Program Files\Steinberg\VSTPlugins
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\Digidesign\DAE\Plug-Ins
C:\Program Files (x86)\Common Files\WPAPI


Then just to make double sure you have caught everything in Windows explorer navigate to your C: system drive and in the top right corner of the Windows perform a search for "Waveshell" and delete anything that comes up.

And restart your computer.

The new install

Go to and download the latest Waves Central installer to your desktop, Right click it and select "Run as Administrator" when it has installed launch Waves Central and follow the Waves "Easy Install and Activate" guide here

If you still experience technical difficulties contact Waves tech support at 865-909-9200 or message them directly here:

I hope that helps please leave a comment  in the discussion section at the bottom and consider signing up to our blog post mailing list using the form below to be notified by email when we post more content, Thanks !
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