How To Completely Remove Software
Every time you install a new program, browse
the Web, or create new directories and files on
your computer, information is added to the hard
disk and the registry. Many times, we install
programs on our PC just to check them out.
However, we fail to uninstall them if they are
of no use to us. What’s worse, is that most of
the time we don’t even follow the correct method
to uninstall these programs—just select the
installation directory and press the Delete
Incorrect program uninstall is the worst
enemy of your Windows computer. When you install
an application, one or more directories are
created on the PC to store the files related to
the application. Additionally, a number of
entries are added to the Windows registry. If
you do not uninstall the program by following
the correct procedure, many of these orphaned
files and registry entries will stay behind and
unnecessarily fill up the hard disk and the
registry and clutter them. Accumulation of a
large amount of this unwanted data eventually
affects the performance of
PC and may also generate
errors and cause system
freezes. Therefore, to prevent such problems
from occurring, it is very important that you
follow the correct program uninstall procedures.
Let’s now have a look at some of the common
and not-so-common methods that you can use to
perform a proper program uninstall.
Depending on the application, there are
various methods that you can use to uninstall
unwanted applications from your system.
Using Add or Remove Programs
Most of the programs that you install on your
Windows computer add an entry in the Add or
Remove Programs list. Therefore, when you are
trying to remove an application, your first step
would be to check Add or Remove Programs and run
the uninstall if you find an entry there. To
uninstall from Add or Remove Programs, follow
the steps listed below:
- Open Start menu and
select Control Panel.
- Select the Add or Remove
- Scroll down the Currently
list and search for the program you want to
- If you find an entry, select it, and
select the Change/Remove or
the Remove button.
- Follow the screen instructions to
complete the uninstallation process.
Program Uninstall Option
Many programs come with their own uninstaller
and are not added to the Add or Remove Programs
list. To uninstall such programs, perform the
- Open the Start menu,
point to All Programs, and
point to the program you want to uninstall
to display its submenu.
- If a shortcut with a name similar to
Uninstall This Program is
available, select it to start the
- If the shortcut is not there, then open
the Search window from the Start menu and
perform a search to find out the folder
where the installation files of this program
- Open this folder, and if an uninstall
file is available double-click it to start
the uninstallation process.
To help you perform a clean program
uninstall, many third-party tools are available
that you can use to effectively uninstall
unwanted programs from your system. On the
websites of many software manufacturers, such as
Symantec and MacAfee, you can find removal tools
that you can use to uninstall applications.
Whichever method you choose, to ensure
complete removal, it is important that you
follow up your uninstallation process with a
registry scan to check for any left over
orphaned registry entries. The simplest and most
efficient method to do this is to use a
tool. These tools are simple
to use and they make the task of registry
cleanup quite easy.
Thus, next time you want to
uninstall Windows Media Player, or
uninstall toolbars that are plugged into
browser, remember to follow
the correct program uninstall methods discussed
here. And finally, to ensure a complete
uninstall, after the uninstallation process is
complete, run a registry scan to weed out any
left over entries.