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