Completely Uninstall/Remove any software in Windows manually|without using 3rd Party Software

How to Completely Uninstall/Remove any software in Windows  manually|without using 3rd Party Software? Well , it’s quite a straightforward issue, most users loves to remove an unwanted program from the system without leaving any traces.Usually we uninstall a software from Windows OS through Control Panel->Add/Remove Option that will launch  the default uninstallation utility  of the specific program but mostly as you know  those  utilities  doesn’t remove the installed  program completely or leaves some traces in your system.
So how to trash those leftovers without any 3rd party softwares like ccleaner/Revo uninstaller .it’s little tedious task but very useful as you follow these below  simple  steps to become a master in uninstalling any  program completely.

Uninstall Program from Control Panel

To begin with Uninstall the software using Windows Control Panel .As in many Windows OS versions Open Control Panel, double-click on “Add/Remove Programs”, select the program name and click on Uninstall button. It’ll remove it. OK! now about 60% of your specific program files are removed.Now where the rest 40% is hiding!

Delete the Leftovers from Default Application Folder

  • Visit the Program files Folder [Probably or usually the default path of installed program – for eg:C:\ProgramFiles\Softwarename ] ,If you find any folder with the name of the software program which you uninstalled using 1st step, delete it. you can also launch the above Path by just type in Run box “%programfiles%”.

NOTE :  “\Softwarename” is the name of the software you wants to uninstall : Also 64-bit system users will  need to check  “C:\Program Files (x86)” folder. Here we assume your Windows is installed in C: drive. If you installed Windows/the program in any other drive, replace C: with that drive letter.

Delete leftovers of the uninstalled Program from individual user settings

In Windows Explorer, navigate to the individual user settings and delete any entries with the name of  program[Uninstalled ] references.For eg: if you uninstalled a program like ” Firefox” , check below paths with folder/file  name “Firefox” Common places to check would be:
C:\Users\All Users\Start Menu\Programs
C:\Users\All Users\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
C:\Users\%YourUserID%\Start Menu\Programs
C:\Users\%YourUserID%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu
[Do this for each User ID listed i.e for eg:Administrator user, guest user etc..]
C:\Users\%YourUserID%\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
C:\Users\%YourUserID%\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup
[Do this for each User ID listed]
C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\
Note: Some Windows  version for folder ” Users” there might be  “Documents and Settings

Delete Files from Temporary Folder.

To empty Temp folder, type following %temp% in RUN or startmenu search box and press Enter:
[Do this for each User ID listed] Also check below folders
Note: Some Windows  version instead  for folder  ” Users” there might be  “Documents and Settings”

Check for any program associated Tasks and delete [only] any associated files

Check in Windows Prefetch folder and delete[only] any associated files

Remove Software Keys from Windows Registry
When you uninstall a software program, many times its entry in Windows Registry is not deleted by the uninstaller.To completely uninstall the software, you’ll also need to delete its key from Windows Registry.Type regedit in RUN or startmenu search box and press Enter. It’ll open Registry Editor.[always Run as “Administrator”]

  • Now go to following keys one by one:look for a key with the name of your uninstalled software. If you find a key, delete it.Sometimes the key name might be based on the company name or developer name so if you suspect a key, expand it and check whether its related to the uninstalled software program. If yes, you can delete it. for eg : if you are uninstalling firefox , visit HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\SOFTWARE\Firefox – delete the key “firefox”

HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Management\ARPCache\
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\App Paths
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-18\Software   [Here the key name “S-1-5-18” might differ according to OS version ]
HKEY_USERS\S-1-5-19\Software [Here the key name “S-1-5-19” might differ according to OS version ]
Note:64-bit system users will also need to check following extra key:

  • To remove the application entry from Add/Remove Programs (if present) open regedit and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall and find the folder for the application. Delete the folder.
  •  Some applications have Services attached to them. If this is the case, navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services, locate and delete the service.

Make sure to take a backup before deleting anything from Windows Registry so that you can restore it later if something goes wrong. To take backup, right-click on the key which you are going to delete and select “Export”. It’ll save a .REG file containing the backup of that key.Also Expert users can also find all occurrence of the key with the name of uninstalled software using “Ctrl+F” and delete them. You’ll have to be very cautious for it. Delete the key only if you are absolutely sure that the key was created by the uninstalled software.
However in the back scene , a minor scenario that occurs is with the registered .dll files of those uninstalled programs  dropped into system32 / system folders & the windows folder .If you are an expert knowing those .dll files , search it , and delete manually.


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Posted on September 13, 2011, in Tips'n'Tricks, Windows. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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