How To Remove Programs Completely in Windows

To get rid of a program in Windows, all you need to do is to go to the uninstallation corner (in the Control Panel) and uninstall the software. The question is, do you think that can really remove all traces of its presence? The answer is unlikely. Most of the uninstalled applications is not removed entirely. Some files may remain in the installation folder, in the Documents folder or somewhere else in the file system. The worst case, some of its registry keys remain untouched and inflate the Registry. As more of these leftover files and registry keys increased, your computer become slower and performance decreases.

What is the solution? Find a powerful uninstaller tool to completely remove the remains.

Revo Uninstaller is one such software that can completely eradicate a software from your system. It can uninstall an application and remove all traces of its presence (be it files/folders or registry keys).

Select the program to be removed

After you have installed and run the software, Revo Uninstaller will scan your system for all installed apps and list down the apps in the window. You can then right click on any app to uninstall it.

After confirming your decision to uninstall the app, a popup window will appear to offer you 4 uninstall methods. Each of them runs the default uninstallation utility. The difference is hidden in the efficiency of the system scan performed by Revo Uninstaller.

Built-in: Nothing extra, it is the same as the uninstallation process launched from the Windows Control Panel.

Safe: After completing the default uninstallation process, this method scans the registry and the file system for the leftover information, that you can remove safely. This is the least comprehensive but the fastest method.

Moderate: This method extends the capabilities of the Safe method with a more comprehensive registry and file system scans. This method is set as default.

Advanced: This is the slowest but the most powerful method. The capabilities of the Safe and Moderate methods are included and extended with a deep scan to detect all the leftover items of the application being uninstalled.

Note: be very careful when you choose the Advanced method, especially when you have installed different versions of an application (e.g. Firefox 3 and Firefox 4 Beta). The remained items for both versions may be listed and you may find a bit difficult to distinguish the items belonging to the version you want to remove.

Before Revo Uninstaller proceeds to uninstall the application, it will first create a system restore point so that you can restore back to the original settings if your computer malfunctions after the uninstallation.

Uninstall procedure

Once it has completed creating the system restore point and analyzing your application, it will launch the default uninstaller utility of the program.

Run the built-in uninstaller

After the installation is done, it will proceed to detect the obsolete and remained registry keys.

Obsolete keys in the registry

The bold items indicate that they were left by the default uninstall utility of your removed application. When you press the Select All button, all the items will be selected, but the ones in bold style will be deleted. To complete the removal, press the Delete button.

Obsolete files and folders

For some uninstallation that require a system reboot, select “Reboot later” and continue with Revo Uninstaller. Revo will detect the files in use and leave them intact until the next reboot. After restarting your computer, these files will no longer be around.

The Hunter mode is one feature of Revo Uninstaller that allows you to quickly uninstall an app. When you click the Hunter Mode button, the main window minimizes to the notification area and a hunter sight takes over its place. When you aim it at a shortcut on the desktop, on the Quick Launch Bar or at the icons near the clock, it can capture the application in place and bring it to the uninstallation corner.

Hunting Mode

Alternatively, you can also drag and drop an app shortcut icon to the Hunter Sight to uninstall it (Right click the sight and select ‘Drag and Drop mode’).

Uninstallation by drag and drop

When you click the Tools button on the toolbar, a sidebar with two sliders will come in sight, providing CCleaner like functionality to optimize your system and cover up your traces.

Extra tools

If you have not used Revo Uninstaller, I urge you to give it a try now. It is a great way to uninstall an app and remove all instances of its presence. Most important of all, it gives you a piece of mind, knowing that your computer is not bloated with unnecessary files.

Revo Uninstaller