Uninstalled programs remain on system?

Dennis Faas's picture

Infopackets Reader Joel K. writes:

" Dear Dennis,

As a frequent sampler of all kinds of software offerings, I try them and if I like them, I keep them. If I don't like them, I delete them. The problem is that, a lot of the time, programs I remove from my system end up remaining in my Start Menu or as part of a right-click menu [I.E.: the Windows shell]. My question is: how do I remove these items? As far as I understand, the program has been removed from my system, so why do these objects remain on my system? "

My Response:

Excellent question.

The answer is that (unfortunately) the Windows operating system does not provide a mechanism which actively monitors applications as they are being installed. As such, there is no guarantee that an installed application will be completely removed from the system.

Since there isn't a standardized method defining how applications are installed or uninstalled in Windows, it is up to the software vendor to decide how these procedures are carried out.

Sadly, some programmers don't take the necessary precautions to ensure that an application is installed or uninstalled properly, and so critical system files are haphazardly overwritten, the system registry becomes bloated with invalid entries, and hundreds -- or even thousands -- of files are left orphaned, scattered throughout the hard drive.

Simply said, the "gook" left over from botched installs (or uninstalls) pile up inside your computer over time. If left unmanaged, Windows performance begins to deteriorate, error messages appear, the system may become unstable -- and in Joel's case, objects appear (or fail to disappear) in strange places.

For many users, the only way to reverse these unwanted "side effects" is by using specialized cleaning tools, restoring Windows to a previous state, or by reinstalling Windows from scratch.

But, thankfully, all of this can be prevented in the first place.

A little while back, I wrote a review on a program called UnInstaller Suite -- a nifty utility that is capable monitoring program installations so that applications can be *completely* removed from the system. The review illustrates key features of UnInstaller Suite, while reiterating much of what I just said in greater detail (using simple English). It's definitely an interesting read!

Ashampoo Uninstaller Suite

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