How to Uninstall Programs and Clean up your PC

Reggie's-How-To's

So you have an application, such as software or a game, that needs to be removed from your PC?  Well, don’t just delete the application folder; Learn how to uninstall the programs you don’t without affecting your computer or related software components.
Now, most applications use what is called an Installer that essentially installs the software onto your PC. Almost all kinds of software that come with an installer provide the user an option to uninstall or maybe even repair it efficiently.
You usually finds the uninstall option for a particular software, under its listing in the Programs menu.
Start > Programs > ABC Software > Uninstall

Most programs do list an uninstall option as mentioned above, but there’s also a universal process of removing software from your computer, especially if the above option doesn’t exist.

Windows offers an uninstall process for removing software from your PC. The application is the “Add or Remove programs” tool available in the Windows Control Panel. Newer versions of Windows hide this tool within the control panel, but you can find it by conducting a search in the Start Menu search bar.

On a Windows XP machine the tool can be found by going to: Start > Settings > Control Panel > Add or Remove programs

Opening the “Add or Remove programs” application should bring up a window displaying the list of programs installed on your computer.

The Window’s options are explained below:

The list of software: The main section of the window that shows a list of installed programs on your computer.

  • Change or Remove programs: Selected by default, this is used to remove the software of your choice.
  • Add New Programs: To install/add programs from a CD/Floppy, Microsoft server (Windows Update) and from a network.
  • Add/Remove Windows Components: To remove specific Windows components and applications.
  • Set Program Access and Defaults: To specify default programs for specific activities.
  • Show Updates checkbox: If selected, shows the Windows Updates that are installed.
  • Sort By: Used to sort the listing by options provided.

Now that you are familiar with the window, uninstallation of a program is quite straightforward.

1.    Simply select the software you want to uninstall and you should see the Change / Remove option below the software title. Click on this button to uninstall the software.
2.    Now click on Uninstall and follow the prompts to uninstall the application.

Removing unneeded or unwanted software from your computer can have a number of benefits, from making more space on your hard drive, freeing up system resources such as RAM and boosting your Windows start time.

A word of caution: some applications may require the PC to restart immediately after the uninstallation process, simply to reflect the changes.

·       In some cases, during an uninstallation process, it might ask if you want to remove certain components that might be used by other applications. It is generally advisable to let them remain, unless you know for certain that they are safe to remove.
·       Make sure you don’t have files or other programs that are dependant on the software you are planning to uninstall.
·       To completely eliminate all traces (registry keys/values) of the uninstalled software it is recommended that you run a Windows Registry scan and clean.
·       There are plenty of third-party uninstallation software that act as an alternative to the “Add or Remove programs” option. Use them only if you are experiencing problems after an unsuccessful uninstallation, to completely eliminate traces of the software.

We hope this helps and as always, please let us know if there are any how to’s you would like to see posted!

The ReviverSoft Team

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  • http://Crossmark Jean

    Internet Explorer on my pc is optimized for Bing and MSN and another time I would like help to remove that application. Thank you

  • http://www.reviversoft.com Steve

    Hi Jean,
    Are you wanting to remove Internet Explorer completely? Describe the problem in more detail, and I’m sure I can help.

    Thanks!

  • Simon

    Might be a daft question, but “how do I know which programs I do/don’t need….?” I know which ones I deliberately start, but there are loads in the list that I’ve never heard of, have never knowingly used and certainly didn’t install for myself…. must have come with the machine. The names are mostly meaningless to me.

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