Fixing "This Thunderbolt Application Is Not in Use Anymore and Can Be Safely Uninstalled" Error Message

Last Update: December 23rd, 2020
Article ID: 705883

Synopsis – If your Thunderbolt 3 driver or utility version types are mismatched within a Windows host system, you may receive an error message stating, “Application Cannot run – This Thunderbolt application is not in use anymore and can be safely uninstalled” when attempting to run the Intel Thunderbolt Software management utility or the Intel Thunderbolt Control Center utility. This prevents proper management of Thunderbolt devices on the host system. (This problem does not occur on Apple Mac systems.)

Before proceeding with this or any other procedure that makes changes to your system, please ensure you have a full system backup of any and all important data and create a fresh System Restore Point as a precaution. Plugable will not be able to help restore any data or return a system to a working state should things not work as expected. If you do not wish to take this risk, please do not follow this procedure

You will have to be logged on to the system as a User with ‘Administrator’ permissions in order to perform these steps

1. Disconnect any Thunderbolt 3 devices from the host system (this is done to prevent Windows Update from automatically loading any Thunderbolt drivers).
2. Right-click on the Windows Start button and select ‘Device Manager’.
3. Click on ‘View’ from the application menu bar, and click the option ‘Show hidden devices’ (this is necessary because the Thunderbolt controller will not be active if no Thunderbolt devices are connected).
4. Expand the ‘System Devices’ category. Scroll down until you find the entry for the ‘Thunderbolt Controller’.
5. Right-click on the ‘Thunderbolt Controller’ entry and select ‘Uninstall device’ from the context menu that appears.
6. From the ‘Uninstall Device’ window that appears, click to place a check mark within the ‘Delete the driver software for this device’ option.
7. Click the ‘Uninstall’ button.
8. Close Device Manager.
9. Click the search button on the taskbar (looks like a ‘O’) and search for the letters ‘cmd’.
10. Right-click on the ‘Command Prompt’ search result and select ‘Run as Administrator’ from the context menu. If prompted, enter your Administrator password.
11. From the Administrative Command Prompt window, enter ‘sc delete nhi’ (without the quotes) and press enter. You should receive a ‘SUCCESS’ indicator. ** Be very careful to type this command correctly ** 

This command deletes the ‘nhi’ Windows service presently installed on the system.