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Windows 7: Best for uninstalling


01 Feb 2014   #1

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 
Best for uninstalling

What is the best way to uninstall software? I mean every trace.

Thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2014   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I use the free version of Revo Uninstaller where it uninstalls software then scans and removes all traces.
Download Revo Uninstaller Freeware - Free and Full Download - Uninstall software, remove programs, solve uninstall problems
THW
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2014   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Revo is a good start. But it does not catch every trace. Some registry and file entries remain. That is particularily annoying when you want to uninstall a program that you mucked up and reinstall it afterwards. Then you discover that the new install picked up the old errors. There is nothing better than a hand job.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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01 Feb 2014   #4

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by whs View Post
... There is nothing better than a hand job...
I agree but how do I remove all traces of the program?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2014   #5
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

That is an art and requires years of experience. Each program has dufferent corners where it hides. If you are not an expert in registry work, I suggest you leave it alone.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2014   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium
 
 
Removing all trace

Hi,

I have to agree with WHS. It's best not to mess about with it!

However it's possible to install third party software that monitors software installations and in theory at least can uninstall without leaving a trace. In practice I find that a manual search after software removal nearly always finds traces in various places.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2014   #7

Windows 7 x64 Professional
 
 

Not cool... but what can you do? *philosophical smiley*
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2014   #8
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

Best thing is not to install programs that you don't really need. Because each program also can bring a heaping of .dlls which makes your winsxs folder grow. And those .dlls you can never get rid of.

Check the size of your winsxs folder once. It is probably already 10GBs. The folder is in C:\Windows.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2014   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
 
 

Uninstallers generally receive little attention from software developers who often find it difficult to understand why anyone would want to uninstall their product. Many will deliberately leave user settings in the event that the software is reinstalled. Some types of software are particularly difficult to uninstall (from the technical standpoint) and having multiple users of the software only makes it more difficult. In some cases it is questionable if removing all traces is even safe or desirable.

Software such as Revo Uninstaller and those that which monitors changes during installation help. But there is much that requires the attention of an expert. This is an age of instant everything but no one ever became an expert at anything without a lot of time and hard work. There are no shortcuts.

A registry editor is a powerful tool - in expert hands. In the hands of a novice user it is dangerous. Unlike a text editor changes are not deferred until you save your work. All changes are immediate, and there is no undo facility. And there is no backup you can revert to unless you manually make one yourself.

It is not an ideal situation but that is the reality of uninstalling software.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
01 Feb 2014   #10
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

This is a good summary of reality. And even if you clean the registry, they have stuff hiding in other places.

I recently had that problem with VMware Player that I had completly mucked up. I uninstalled it with Revo, did some manual cleanup and reinstalled the Player - but it picked up the same mucked up status. Had to reset to an earlier image to get out of the deadly loop.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Best for uninstalling




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