Remove Windows Uninstall Entries

June 16, 2008 by
Filed under: Windows XP 

Installing additional software on your PC is a necessity. Windows XP comes with a lot of standard features and Windows Vista has even more, but Windows does not include software for everything.

Microsoft is limited in the integration of software with the operating system for reasons of competition. In the past the tight integration with Windows components like the Internet Explorer were forbidden and Microsoft now has a lot of extra programs with the operating system. This however also means that there are alternative software solutions for many computer applications.

As a result you might have installed a different browser, like Mozilla Firefox, or a different media player, like the RealPlayer. But also for advanced functions you would need additional software. Video editing, photo editing, music collections, many PC applications require additional software. Even though Windows Vista has new and more advanced features, you might stick to what you know.

Having a lot of additional software installed on your computer means it can get slower. The disks run full, or the Windows registry becomes too large, all potential causes of a slow PC. So occasionally you might want to clean up your PC and uninstall some programs. Most 3rd party applications come with both an installer and an uninstaller and the uninstall process should be simple.

But not all programs uninstall smoothly. Older program can have uninstall errors, or a computer error can cause an uninstall process to fail. This can result in a half uninstalled application, the files are gone but the program is still listed in the software list in the Windows control panel.

The steps below can help you remove these obsolete uninstall applications entries from the software list:

  1. From the Windows Start menu, select Run. In the Run box, type regedit and click OK.
  2. In the Registry Editor, locate the following key:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\
    CurrentVersion\Uninstall
  3. Open the key and look for the application name in the subkeys.
  4. Once you found the application name, right-click the application key, and in the popup menu select Delete.Tip: Some keys only have a hexadecimal value surrounded by {}.
    In that case, check the value of the DisplayName under the key to identify the application.
  5. Click Yes to confirm the delete operation.
  6. Close the Registry Editor. Select Exit from the File menu.

Make sure you only delete keys of applications that you have uninstalled or tried to uninstall. Once the key is gone you can not uninstall the program from the control panel anymore. If you are not sure, first try to uninstall the program from the control panel.

If you are not comfortable editing the registry by hand, you can also use a registry cleaner application to remove invalid entries from the Windows registry.

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