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Windows 7: How to completely uninstall Handbrake (or any program)

08 Feb 2016   #1
pooksahib

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 
How to completely uninstall Handbrake (or any program)

Hi. Until yesterday, I had Handbrake 10.2 installed. On launch, a message appeared (within the GUI) inviting me to click for 10.3. Which I did. I can't recall the exact sequence of events but it appeared to have gone smoothly and I was left with a popup saying Do you really want to uninstall 10.2? I said Yes as that seemed logical.

I then went to open up 10.3 nothing there. The only Handbrake related file I could find was a defunct link to the shortcut I had on my desktop. Ah well, so off I went and downloaded the 10.3 installer. But before I ran it, I used regedit to delete all registry entries referring to Handbrake. That way, my PC would be 'clean' right?

After the install, 10.3 launched and immediately showed a message about my previous presets and there it was 10.3 had the custom preset that I'd made with 10.2! Not only that, but 10.3 was able to load a DVD with DRM protection. To do that with 10.2, I had to copy a 'special' dll file into Program Files/Handbrake.

It seems I was mistaken then. Uninstalling a program and then deleting registry entries doesn't 'clean' your PC. Otherwise, my Handbrake 10.3 wouldn't have known about my old preset nor would it have the 'special' dll file.

So how DO you completely remove a program?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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08 Feb 2016   #2
wasnotwas

W10 Pro x64, W7 Pro x64 in VMware
 
 

Software settings are often stored in hidden folders eg for Handbrake on my pc -

C:\users\<my name>\AppData\Roaming\Handbrake

There may also be other locations. To see this AppData folder you have to go Control Panel, Folder Options, View and click 'show hidden files, folders'. Some softwares delete everything on uninstall, but most leave some settings behind. To fully uninstall, you might like to look at Revo Uninstaller - after uninstall it will search for leftover files etc (incl Registry) if required. The free Revo only uninstalls 32 bit programs - you need the paid version for x64 stuff (the free version doesn't even see x64 programs).

Download Revo Uninstaller Freeware - Free and Full Download - Uninstall software, remove programs, solve uninstall problems

The AppData folders are hidden for a reason ie to stop accidental deletion of important files. I'd also steer clear of seach + delete in the Registry - it's easy to turn a pc into a brick.

BTW, the first time I reinstalled a program - to fix a problem - and it magically had the same settings, I was somewhat surprised to say the least.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Feb 2016   #3
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

That is actually a very good question. My research found that it is actually not possible. Only a system reset with an image can accomplish that - and that may not always be practical.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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09 Feb 2016   #4
pooksahib

Microsoft Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit 7601 Multiprocessor Free Service Pack 1
 
 

Thanks to you both. I'd forgotten about AppData - that's no doubt the reason.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How to completely uninstall Handbrake (or any program)




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