Arduino Uninstall Library- How to Uninstall and Install an Arduino Library

Welcome to this Arduino uninstall library guide that gives exquisite instructions for this critical process.  By the end of the article, we’re hopeful you’ll clearly understand the basics of removing an Arduino library and installing …

Arduino servo motor library.

Welcome to this Arduino uninstall library guide that gives exquisite instructions for this critical process. 

By the end of the article, we’re hopeful you’ll clearly understand the basics of removing an Arduino library and installing a new one.

So without further ado, let us dive right into it. 

Table of Contents

What is an Arduino Library?

It would be best if you had Arduino libraries to introduce different functionalities to your basic Arduino sketches.

Hence, a library is primarily a file (or many files) with a specific unique feature that is imperative in the functioning of a particular program. 

An Arduino library is not just limited to adding new functionality to the Arduino. It can also be an add-on code that improves an already existing program. 

Arduino libraries come in the ZIP file format. Hence, to add one to your Arduino, you need to select “Add . ZIP Library” on your Arduino IDE menu.

Also noteworthy, it is ready for use immediately after you upload a program. 

Another way to add a Library to the Arduino is by copying the file with the code to the ‘libraries’ folder.

You can locate this from the sketchbook directory. 

Uses of Arduino Libraries

  1. An Arduino Library will be useful in enabling you to handle all hardware you interface with an Arduino board.
  2. Also, all functionalities on Arduino are possible thanks to the presence of different libraries. 

Types of Arduino Libraries

Digital abstract bits data stream.

Digital abstract bits data stream.

There are two types of Arduino Libraries: 

Default libraries.

These are preinstalled in all Arduino IDEs, and their primary role is to enable you to perform basic operations with your board.

So where do you find them on your IDE?

Check the Arduino Library Reference.

The default libraries will include many essential functions, such as the following: 

  • Communication protocols,
  • Analog input/output,
  • Mathematical functions.

Also noteworthy, the Arduino developers team writes and updates these codes.

But, we also have default libraries by those that create Arduino-compatible hardware. 

Lastly, since default libraries are by Arduino, every new Arduino IDE release comes with a new set and updated version of the existing libraries. 

User-installed libraries

A Code Under Development. 

A Code Under Development. 

As their name suggests, these are not official Arduino libraries.

Rather, developers in the Arduino community create them. 

Also, Arduino-compatible hardware manufacturers create these libraries to enable the interfacing of their components with Arduino boards. 

The good thing about the user-installed libraries is that they allow you to perform virtually everything and anything on your Arduino board. 

Where do you source the user-installed libraries?

There are numerous repositories online, but first, consider checking from sources such as Bitbucket and GitHub.

The two feature almost any library you need for your Arduino project. 

But beware, some user-installed libraries do not receive regular updates.

Nonetheless, their primary upside is that they have more user-specific functionalities than the official Arduino libraries. 

Why Uninstall an Arduino Library

A Free license code from GitHub / C Code Style. 

A Free license code from GitHub / C Code Style. 

What would prompt you to remove an Arduino library? 

  • If you have a library that no longer serves you, consider uninstalling it to free up space in the sketchbook directory.
  • Also, you can uninstall a library if you find a better version or say the old one is not as equipped. 

Nonetheless, beware of uninstalling a library when unsure if you need to use it in the future, as you cannot recover it after removal.

The only way to reinstate it is to download and install a new one. 

How to Uninstall an Arduino Library

A developer software source code screen.

A developer software source code screen.

Let’s now explore the two main ways to uninstall an Arduino library. 

Using a File Manager

You can remove an Arduino library using a file manager such as Finder if you’re using a Mac or Windows Explorer on Windows.

First, you must select the sketchbook folder where you have stored the specific library you’d like to remove. 

If you’re on a Mac, you’ll find it under the following address: 

If you’re using a Windows OS, check out the folder below:

Find the libraries subfolder.

Deleting only the files you want to remove from your sketchbook directory is essential.

Hence it would be best if you took the necessary precautions to achieve this. 

Primarily, all the libraries in any Arduino will be in the sketchbook folder.

Hence, once you visit it, you’ll have access to all the libraries, and you need to narrow it down to the one you intend to remove. 

You may consider backing up the libraries first before embarking on deleting them.

It will ensure that if you delete libraries you still need by mistake, you can recover them. 

After you’re done, exit the IDE and restart it to update the library list.

Now you have your new library list without the old ones you wanted to remove. 

Using the Library Manager

Code redactor (IDE) with an open javascript project. 

Code redactor (IDE) with an open javascript project. 

The library manager helps you to perform various actions on your Arduino libraries, such as the installation of new ones and deletion. 

Hence, with the library manager, you perform all these actions on the IDE without manually searching for file folders like in the above case. 

Here are the main steps to access your library manager: 

Select ‘Go to Sketch,’ then choose ‘Include Library’ and ‘Manage Library.’ Now you have access to all the libraries available on your IDE.

Next, find the specific library you’d like to delete. 

You can find it by skimming through the available libraries or entering its name on the search bar.

Once you have found it, place your cursor above the ‘INSTALLED’ button.’ This will prompt it to change to a ‘DELETE’ button. 

Click on the button to confirm that you want to erase the library. Lastly, click on the ‘Yes’ prompt. 

How to Install A New Arduino Library

An Upload button. 

An Upload button. 

Often, you’re most likely uninstalling a library to replace it with another one.

Luckily, the installation process is straightforward, as we’ll explain below:

  1. Download the new library’s Zip File. 
  2. Copy the downloaded zip file to your IDE’s library directory.
  3. Now restart the Arduino IDE to access the newly installed library. 
  4. Say you want to use the library features on a sketch. All you have to do is to open the sketch, and your Arduino IDE will include the functions from the new library you have installed. 

Managing Libraries on Arduino

Below are some things you need to uphold when dealing with Arduino libraries. 

Precautions when Uninstalling a Library

Do not delete libraries in the sketchbook directory that you must keep, as this will bring issues to your sketches.

Only delete the specific library you need to remove and install via the abovementioned process if there’s a replacement. 

Download Arduino Libraries from Safe and Trusted Sources

Avoid downloading Arduino libraries from third-party sources, as they could be infected with malware affecting other libraries in your sketchbook directory. 

The safest and most trustable libraries are from the Arduino official site.

Alternatively, use the library manager to download Arduino libraries. 

Install Antivirus

Sometimes, you may find that the library you need is unavailable from Arduino’s site or library manager.

This may compel you to download it from a third-party source. 

Although we don’t advocate for this, you can still download your library from such sources but under the condition; you have an antivirus.

This will scan all the library files for viruses before you install the new library to your sketchbook directory. 

Common FAQs

Where are Arduino default libraries stored?

You’ll find the Arduino default libraries under the following sections on your computer: 

  • Linux: “~/sketchbook/libraries”
  • Windows: “My Documents\Arduino\libraries”
  • Mac OS X: “Documents/Arduino/libraries.”

Sometimes, your default libraries are not stored in the folders highlighted above. 

In such a case, searching where you have set your Arduino to store the files would be best. Select ‘File > Preferences.’

Next, check the “Sketchbook location” and see where your IDE saves the files. 

How do I change the library in Arduino?

You can change your Arduino library in two main ways: 

  1. First, you may change it manually by removing the new library and installing a new one to replace it. 
  2. Alternatively, you can use the library manager by selecting ‘Sketch > Manage Libraries.’ Next, please find the new library you’d like to install and install it. 

Similarly, you can uninstall a sketch via the following steps:  ‘Sketch > Include Library > Manage Libraries.’


Removing an Arduino library is sometimes necessary, and although this is a simple, straightforward process, it can be daunting if you don’t know the steps.

But we walked you through the journey to remove it from your IDE. 

Also, in our guide, we have told you what to do whenever you intend to install a new library and further listed the fundamental precautions to follow.

Thanks for your time. 

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