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Thursday, June 4, 2009

uninstalling a program that has no uninstall feature

This trick lets you uninstall any program in windows XP/Vista/Windows 7 that doesn't feature an uninstall command or does not get deleted by simple removing it from the add/remove software option. Just follow the simple steps.

  • Make a backup of the registry
  • Shutdown the application, if it is running (If WinNT+ check also for services)
  • Search the registry for any references to the directory where the application resides, and remove them
  • Search the registry for any references to the name of the application, and remove them
  • Start Regedit and drill down to :

  • [HKEY_CURRENT_USER \Software \]
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software \]
    [HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \Software \Microsoft \Windows \CurrentVersion \SharedDLLs]


  • Rename the directory in which the application was installed in the first place
  • Reboot and if everything goes well, then delete the renamed directory
  • Use Explorer to to remove the entries from the Start Menu in either

    C:\Documents and Folders\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\ and/or
    C:\Documents and Folders\(your username)\Start Menu\Programs\

    If there is an entry in the Add/Remove list, start regedit go to:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall

    Locate the entry and delete it. If the app has a service, edit:

    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services

    and scroll down till you locate it. Then delete it. If this app starts automatically and there is no entry in the StartUp folder(s), then use Regedt32 to edit:

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\WindowsNT\CurrentVersion\Windows

    Aaron Stebner discribes another method in his Aaron Stebner's WebLog

    Also worth to check : http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314481 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/Q247501 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/Q247515 http://support.microsoft.com/kb/Q290301

    Add Remove Program Cleaner 2 :This program allows you to clean up the Add/Remove programs list in the control panel. It should only be used to remove entries that are broken and cannot be removed by running the uninstall program.

    SparksSpace023

    Add-Remove-Program-Cleaner |Sys Req:Windows NT/2000/XP/2003 Server/Vista | Freeware | 940KB

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