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January 8, 2009

How To Correctly Uninstall Programs From Your Computer

To maintain a high performance, error-free PC for a long time, it is essential that you keep it free from unwanted software. When you install a program, it not only adds files and folders on the hard disk, but also makes several registry entries that enable it to operate. So, having a large number of programs means having a very large registry too. A hard disk full of unwanted programs and a registry full of unwanted entries can slow down data access speed and as a result deteriorate the performance of your computer. This is the reason why, experts recommend that you scan your computer on a regular basis for programs you no longer use and uninstall them.

When you uninstall a program, it is essential to ensure complete removal of its files and registry entries. This is the reason why it is essential that you use legitimate methods to perform program removal. Discussed here are some of the methods that you may use.

Add or Remove Programs

The Add or Remove Programs utility is included with your Windows operating system. You can launch this utility from the Control Panel. Next, look out for programs you do not need, select them one-by-one, and then click the Change/Remove or Remove button to uninstall them. For example, to remove Office 2007 beta versions from your computer, select the entry for Office 2007 in the currently installed programs list, and then select the Change/Remove button to uninstall it. If you want to remove a Windows update, for instance, if you want to uninstall Windows Media Player 11 update, in the Add or Remove Programs window, first select the Show Update check box. This will display all Windows updates including Media Player 11. Select the update, and then click Remove.

Program Uninstall Shortcut/File

There are some programs that do not make an entry in the currently installed programs list. These programs usually provide a shortcut to their uninstall file in their start menu folder. You can select this shortcut to remove the program. You may also choose to navigate to the program’s folder in Windows Explorer and then double-click on the uninstall file to remove it.

Program Uninstaller Tool

There are some manufacturers who release uninstall tools for their specific products. These uninstaller tools are designed to thoroughly scan your folders and registry to detect and delete any information related to the program you are trying to remove and ensure complete removal. 

At times, you may be unable to uninstall programs using the Add or Remove Programs utility because either the uninstall files are corrupt or the program is not listed in the currently installed programs list. In this case, you may seek the help of a good third-party program uninstaller tool to perform the program removal.

Registry Cleaner Tool

Although registry tools do not enable you to uninstall programs, they do help in ensuring complete removal by getting rid of any orphaned program entries in the Registry database.

There are certain programs on your computer that cannot be removed. For instance, you cannot uninstall DirectX 9 update from your Windows XP computer. To remove such programs, you may have to use the Windows Registry Editor tool to delete the registry entries of the program you are trying to remove and then restart your computer.

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