When it come to uninstalling a program in Windows, we are often surprised to find people are doing it incorrectly, resulting in corrupt files, system crashes and other problems. On a Mac, you simply grab the program folder and drag it into the Trash. Seems simple enough. But the Windows registry system is a bit more complicated. Dragging a Windows program into the Recycle Bin will not only cause problems with your computer, the program will not be uninstalled and may permanently reside on your computer until you reformat and reinstall Windows.
When you install a program in Windows, bits of the program are scattered throughout your computer. Often, when you think you have successfully removed a program, remnants of it still reside on your PC. There are often no serious repercussions because of this, but over time, these remnants might cause your system to bog down or behave erratically.
Below are various ways to uninstall programs.
Uninstalling Windows Programs The Right Way
A really good program will ship with its own uninstaller. This uninstaller will be located in the Start menu inside of the folder where you launch the actual application. Click the uninstaller to initiate the removal of the program. If the program did not come with its own uninstaller, follow these methods for removing programs you have on your computer based on the Operating System you are running.
Uninstall A Program In Windows XP
- Go to Start>Control Panel>Add / Remove Programs.
- Wait for the programs to populate the Window.
- Highlight the program you want to remove.
- Click Change / Remove and follow any prompts until the program disappears from the list.
Uninstall A Program In Windows Vista and Windows 7
- Click the Start button, then choose Control Panel.
- In the Programs section, click Uninstall a program.
- Or (if you are using the Classic View of the Control Panel, double-click on the Programs and Features icon instead).
- Wait for the programs to load, and then click Uninstall.
Remove Programs From Windows Conclusion
So before you attempt to remove a program, think before you delete. The last thing you want is orphaned bits of software strewn across your system.
We prefer to use commercial software titles like the popular Revo Uninstaller Pro or Secure Uninstaller to remove programs. These programs do a very thorough job of scrubbing your system for any traces of the program. Once the uninstaller completes, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders and registry keys that are usually left behind on your computer. These programs can also perform a forced uninstall, which might be necessary to remove a program that prevents you from uninstalling or re-installing the application.
Let us know if you’ve had problems uninstalling programs and how you fixed the issue.