Fix the Thunderbolt application is not in use and can be safely uninstalled


The Thunderbolt interface is a specific type of hardware interface developed by Intel Corporation in collaboration with Apple Inc. This interface is basically an input-output medium for connecting external hardware peripherals and devices to a computer. That is, this driver is required if you plan to connect Thunderbolt devices. See some interesting guides: How to Add a User to the Sudoers List in Linux, and Azure Monitor: Performance and Diagnostics in Microsoft Cloud. Below is the error we are trying to resolve. In this article, you will learn how to fix the Thunderbolt application is not in use and can be safely uninstalled.


Why was this error “Thunderbolt application is not in use and can be safely uninstalled” prompted?

But if you are running (deploying) Windows 10, then you should follow the steps described below to get rid of the legacy Thunderbolt Driver when performing a Windows 10 deployment or via MDT/WDS, you should import a new Thunderbolt driver to the deployment share and have it updated. In my next guide, I will be discussing how to protect Thunderbolt ports and why you should protect them. Kindly refer to some of these guides: What are the benefits of Azure API Management, and how to create an API instance in Azure, Some Azure Hybrid use cases and benefits for production purposes.

The original Intel Thunderbolt Controller driver that was released when Thunderbolt 3 systems were first introduced was based on a different driver model from Microsoft’s new DCH driver model. This driver package included both the driver and software management utility within the single installer. Subsequently, I will be showing you how to uninstall the driver and the controller, and have a new driver installed. The new DCH version of the Intel Thunderbolt Host Controller driver is provided separately from the software management utility. The driver is intended to be used in conjunction with the Universal Windows Platform (UWP) version of the Intel Thunderbolt Control Center application.

Because the non-DCH and DCH driver versions and utilities cannot be mixed, if a system is updated to the new DCH Thunderbolt driver, the non-DCH version of the software management utility will no longer work and the error message will appear.

Remove the Thunderbolt Driver correctly

To fix the Thunderbolt application is not in use and can be safely uninstalled, please follow the steps below. Here are the steps to remove the legacy Thunderbolt 3 driver. You will first have to disconnect any Thunderbolt 3 devices from the computer if there are any.

Then right-click on the Windows Start button and select Device Manager. Click on View from the application menu bar, and click the option Show hidden devices. Expand the System Devices category. Scroll down until you find the entry for the Thunderbolt Controller. Next, right-click on the Thunderbolt Controller entry and select Uninstall device from the context menu that appears.


From the Uninstall Device window that appears, click to place a checkmark within the Delete the driver software for this device option. Click the Uninstall button.

Close Device Manager. Next, search and launch the Command Prompt (CMD) in the Windows taskbar. Right-click on the Command Prompt search result and select Run as Administrator.

From the Administrative Command Prompt window, type sc delete nhi and press enter.


Wait for action confirmation [SC] DeleteService SUCCESS then close the Command Prompt as shown above. Next, you will have to type appwiz.cpl in the search window or in the run dialog box. This will open the Program and Features window. Please, check the Applications and Features for any Thunderbolt Software by Intel entries listed. If present, uninstall.


Install the Latest Version of Thunderbold Driver

After uninstalling the Thunderbolt software, download and follow the installation instructions of the latest Thunderbolt™ 3 DCH Driver for Windows® 10 for Intel® NUC.

Note: This driver is only required for Windows 10 and not Windows 11.


Next, you will have to download and install the Thunderbolt Control Center software from the Microsoft Store to approve and manage Thunderbolt devices.

When all these steps are completed as discussed, this error will no longer be prompted.

I hope you found this blog post helpful. In this article, you have learned how to Fix the Thunderbolt application is not in use and can be safely uninstalled and update the Thunderbolt driver on Windows 10. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comment session.

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