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In order to obtain dry‐etched lasers with high spatial uniformity, the relation between the etching profile and the laser structure is investigated in detail for two types of GaAs/AlGaAs multiquantum‐well lasers, with and without selective Zn diffusion, with reactive‐ion‐beam‐etched facets. It is found that a laser structure with an abrupt step on the surface locally roughens the facets during etching through the generation of etching residues on the etched bottom. Such an abrupt step on a wafer can be typically introduced by the conventional selective Zn‐diffusion process including surface chemical treatment. The etched lasers fabricated with the selective Zn‐diffusion process show a wide distribution in the threshold current. In contrast, the lasers without the selective diffusion process realize a narrow distribution in the theshold current.