Secure Uninstaller Review

July 28, 2010 by
Filed under: Software Reviews, Uninstall 

Trying out new programs on your computer can be a lot of fun. Whether it is just a new version of an existing program, or a program that offers something completely new, we are all installing software all the time.

If you have used Windows computer a little longer, you will also know the drawback of installing a lot of software. Your hard disk grows fuller and fuller, and, probably worse, the Windows Registry also gets larger and larger. With today’s hard disk sizes, the disk usage is not a big problem anymore, but a growing registry will make Windows slower.

The bigger problem is if we uninstall software, as program cleanup is not the strongest side of most software manufacturers, while the Windows architecture also does not help. Again, the disk cleanup is not a big problem, as long as you regularly defragment your hard disk.

But since most programs install settings and configuration in the Windows Registry, cleaning up the registry is also important. And most programs do not do a good job there for various reasons. Some software makers just don’t think it is important, and in other cases things are left in the registry deliberately to track trial periods or keep version history.

Although it is possible to uninstall a program, manually remove all files, and clean up the registry, it is a lot of work and you can not always be sure everything is gone. So why not use a program to do all this for you? In the past we reviewed Perfect Uninstaller, and today we are taking a look at SecureUninstaller.

Installation

The SecureInstaller program can be downloaded from the SecureUninstaller website. Installation is a matter of running the downloaded installer, and going through the steps in the installation wizard.

Secure uninstaller installation

The program will create a desktop icon which can be used to start the program.

Main Screen

The program window that comes up when the program is started is simple, and shows a list of all the software installed on your computer.

Secure uninstaller main windows

You can select a program to see the Program Information, which may or may not be available, depending on what the software manufacturer made available during the installation.

A very nice feature of SecureUninstaller is that you can actually Restore Programs after you uninstall them. The program keeps track of whatever is removed, even in the Windows Registry, and is able to restore the complete program using those details.

If we look at the Settings, we see that SecureUninstaller has three different modes of operation. Each level does a more thorough job of cleaning remnants of the software of your computer.

Secure uninstaller settings

The uninstall process will be slower for a more thorough cleanup, but it will also do a better job of cleaning the files and registry settings belonging to the uninstalled software.

Uninstall a Program

To test the program, we tried uninstalling a few program using SecureUninstaller.

When a program is selected, all that is required by the user is to click the Uninstall button. After a confirmation, the program creates a Restore Point and starts scanning for all traces of the program.

Secure uninstaller scanning

This can take a while, depending on the mode of operation selected in the Settings. From what we can see, it will check a number of folders commonly used for application files, as well as the Windows registry.

Once the scan completes, the SecureUninstaller invokes the standard program uninstall to complete the process.

When done the uninstalled program will show up in the Restore Programs list in case the user changed his mind and wants to restore the uninstalled software. We also tested that, and in the cases we tried, the software ran as before! I am sure these will be exceptions, where the certain software uses a licensing mechanism that does not allow it to be uninstalled and restored easily, but in most cases the folders, files and registry settings will be sufficient to restore the program.

One aspect that is confusing in the SecureUninstaller interface is the presence of both an Uninstall and a Delete button. Only by hovering over them with the mouse did we see what the difference is, the Uninstall button actually invokes the software uninstall, while the Delete button can be used to simply remove the software title from the Add/Remove Programs list in Windows. The latter can be useful in case a program was removed, but still shows up in the Add/Remove Programs list in the Control Panel.

Conclusion

SecureUninstaller appears to be a handy little program to remove software from your computer. It is not free, but at a price of US $29.95, it does what you would normally need a registry cleaner for anyway.

We especially like the option to restore programs after you uninstalled them, as it has certainly happened a few times that we had to reinstall software we previously thought we would not need anymore.

The SecureUninstaller program has a local help file with clear instructions on how to use it, and it has a link to a dedicated support site, which we have not needed, nor tested.

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Comments

8 Comments on Secure Uninstaller Review

  1. emyy on Tue, 10th May 2011 4:37 pm
  2. Realy gud, 1st afta instalin, it showed me a list of programs that control panel and a previously installed program (perfect uninstaller) could not show. showed the antivirus in my system.

  3. emyy on Tue, 10th May 2011 4:54 pm
  4. perfect uninstaller later worked perfectly well, secure uninstaller had no trial versions, so I cudnt use it. Perfect u. later showed the program I was looking for.

  5. ron on Sun, 29th Jan 2012 7:30 pm
  6. i would like to use this but i am afraid of losing some of my files etc ????

  7. Kyle on Mon, 30th Jan 2012 11:58 am
  8. @ron – I can understand your worry, but we have used the program to uninstall quite a few pograms on different Windows computers already and have not run into any problems with any of them.
    But of course it is always a good idea to make a backup of your Windows folder and Program Files folder in case you uninstall anything, since those are the main affected file locations. And make a restore point so your system configuration is also saved, that way you can easily revert to a previous situation.

  9. jen on Fri, 9th Mar 2012 12:56 am
  10. @Kyle —I am really not sure if i want to purchase this product.
    I have been having trouble with my laptop which about 6 years old (DELL windows xp service pack 3).
    Im trying to install the new version of trend micro on it but it clashes with and old program that would of been on the computer when it was made McAfee, now according to add remove programs etc etc.. it doesn’t exists anymore but when trying to install trend micro a message pops up that i need to uninstall McAfee.com Internet Security Super (ja)Retail My problem being is that i have run countless mcafee uninstallers to no avail non of them have found this file .

    so i am now doubting weather or not this will will find it either.. i previously read your review on Perfect Uninstaller and didn’t like what i saw in the replies so i checked this review out.
    It seems legit but im still just not %100 sure if it will find the file i need removed successfully.

    Also if this program supposedly able’s u to reinstall programs that you realize that you needed after all, doesn’t that mean its still storing the files and removing completely..I WANT THIS FILE GONE!! i dont want it kept aside for future reference!…

    what should i do?

  11. jen on Fri, 9th Mar 2012 1:06 am
  12. Oh wait i just read i think it actually uses Mcafee..It says on the purchase page MCAFEE SECURE.. SO HELL NO!! unless that means its secure against mcafee which i doubt..

  13. jen on Fri, 9th Mar 2012 1:37 am
  14. looks like im just going to have to buy a new friggin computer to really fix the problem.. because perfect installer also doesn’t work i tried the free trial and all it did was create a desktop icon that did nothing and now that is stuck in my comp!!! So frustrated, cause yeah sure i just have the money lying around to buy a new computer….grr

  15. Kyle on Fri, 9th Mar 2012 12:44 pm
  16. @jen – If the program was uninstalled already, chances are that a special uninstaller program will not be able to clean it up thoroughly anymore, simply because most of the information is gone from the computer.
    In general it is best to simply use the special uninstaller program in the first place to be sure all is removed (files AND configuration in the registry).

    Regarding the McAfee in the site, that actually means that the website is verified by McAfee, to ensure the website is clean and secure. It has nothing to do with the Secure Uninstaller software itself.

    The reinstall option is actually working a bit differently. When Secure Uninstaller uninstalls it, it can keep a copy of the files (not at the original install location), as well as information on the original location and the required configuration. After that it can reinstall the program using those details, but the “uninstalled” situation is really a clean uninstall.

    Coming to your problem: have you tried booting in Safe Mode and then removing the McAfee file? Or installing the Trend Micro software? That might still work.

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