Uninstallers have been provided with software for 15 years or more, but even though it is old technology and you might expect programmers to have mastered it, some uninstallers still don’t fully remove software. It is odd that this happens, but fortunately there are utilities that can thoroughly remove all traces of a program.
There are thousands of programs on the internet and is exciting to explore software download websites. You never know when you will find a gem of a program or whether the next download will be a dud. If you regularly install software on the computer, the disk drive and registry will slowly accumulate junk – files that were not removed by a program’s uninstaller, and registry entries that remain long after software was uninstalled.
At best, these leftovers do not actively interfere with the system, but even so, a gradual accumulation of junk will reduce the efficiency of the disk drive and registry and slow them down. If you have a solid state disk drive it is probably quite a small capacity one and so it is important not to let the junk build up and diminish the free space available.
Get an uninstaller
There are many uninstaller utilities, but one you might like to try is Wise Program Uninstaller. This free tool has a simple interface and like Programs and Features in the Control Panel, it lists all the installed software on the computer.
Click a program and three buttons are displayed. Safe Uninstall, Forced Uninstall and Modify. A few programs enable you to modify the installation, perhaps to add or remove optional components and the Modify button lets you do this where possible. Not all programs provide modification.
The button you will use most is Safe Uninstall. This runs the selected software’s standard uninstaller. When this has finished, Wise Program Uninstaller scans the disk and registry for leftover files and settings. These are presented in a list with tick boxes so that you can choose which items to remove. They are all ticked by default because this is nearly always what you want and all leftovers are removed with one mouse click.
The Forced Uninstall option is used whenever the Standard Uninstall fails. It doesn’t rely on the software’s uninstaller and it attempts to remove all the files and registry entries without it.
The utility works well and it seemed to detect items that programs leave behind. The result is a cleaner system that will have fewer problems.
Software ratings and reviews
There is one other feature and this is software ratings. Many installed programs have ratings and you can see what other people think about them. This can be helpful when deciding which programs to uninstall from the system and which are worth keeping.
You can also rate programs yourself and write mini reviews – just a few sentences will do. Everyone needs an uninstaller utility and Wise Program Uninstaller is free and works just fine on all versions of Windows from XP to 8.
There is just one thing to watch out for and that is unwanted extras bundled with the install. You need to pay attention during the installation and clear the ticks against the extras (changing the home page, adding a browser toolbar, and so on).