by February 6, 2002 0 comments

You may have often installed an application and removed it later, to only discover that you get all sorts of errors. These errors can often be traced back to an improper uninstall. Here’s how to uninstall properly and clear all the leftovers.

Windows software installation copies files to different locations in the hard disk–specific installation folder, Windows’ and its system directories, etc. It also registers itself and its components with the Windows Registry, and generates log files. Simply deleting the installation folder will not remove the application completely.

Almost all software comes with its own uninstaller. If not, use Windows’ Add/Remove Programs feature, which can be accessed through the Control Panel. While uninstalling, you might come across messages that you are about to remove a file that is no longer needed. The default option is to keep the concerned file. But soon you will have lots of them on your hard disk, taking up disk space, increasing the clutter and also bogging down your machine. In such situations, manually search for the file, determine any dependencies and then remove it. Many third party utilities allow you to do this.

You would not be able to remove partly removed software this way. Also, the Control panel does not show all installed software. In such cases, run utilities like ‘Remove’ by Mika

The bigger the registry, the more sluggish your PC. Traces of uninstalled programs that are left behind can be deleted using third party tools like RegCleaner (on this month’s CD).

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