Can't Uninstall a Program, Now What? by Gaelim Holland

Uninstalling a program should be easy. Often, simply clicking the program's uninstall feature starts an automatic process that removes all associated files from your hard drive. However, Windows often notifies the users that it can't uninstall a program. This phenomenon is is not always attributed to a faulty uninstaller.

Recent technology has allowed software to further embed itself into your Windows architecture. This action helps to cut down on the work your CPU needs to link and locate files and allows greater file sharing with similar programs. This also technology makes the uninstall process far more complex.

Sophisticated file sharing systems literally cause programs to become entangled with one another. For example, antivirus, internet security software, firewall and anti-spyware software can all share the same components. Often you can't delete one program without rendering another one inoperable.

An attempt to remove one of these software programs will often cause an error exclaiming that you cant uninstall the program. So, what should you do if you can't uninstall a program, using the software's uninstall application, follow the tips below for a sure fire method to removing the program form your operating system.

Can't Uninstall A Program Tip Number 1: Kill The Power to "Live" Programs

Windows can't uninstall a program that is "live". This means the program or some elements of it are actually running. The program or one its services may be running silently in the background. To discover the status and disconnect all applications associated with the program, Press Crtl-Alt-Delete to pull up the task manager. You will need to disable all the services associated with the program. Here is how:

1. Open your "Start" menu.
2. Click "Run"
3. In the command screen type "msconfig.exe"
4. In the "system configuration utility",click "service"
5. Uncheck all executable(.exe) files associated with the program you want to remove.
6. Click "OK"

After this procedure you may be able to use the program uninstall feature to remove the program.

Can't Uninstall A Program Tip Number 2: Use Windows Removal Tool

Windows Add⁄Remove Programs Tool can often be used as an administrative measure to override to the program when it stubbornly wants to remain installed. This is otherwise known as an "executive" uninstall. This is an extremely easy procedure to perform. You can open the ADD/REMOVE application by following the directions below.

1.Click "Start"
2.Click "Control Panel"
3.Click "Add Or Remove Programs"
4.Search for the program you would like to remove, then Click "Remove"

Note that the actual removal process is not perfect. Often registry keys and other files associated with the program may remain. For more tips on how to clean up files associated with the program check out "How Clean Up Your Computer" page.

Can't Uninstall A Program Tip Number 3: Check Online Resources

If Windows can't uninstall the program easily using Windows Tools, there should be more detailed instructions found on the program's website. Usually you will be able to download an updated uninstall application. If the program is very popular you can often find many tips and technique for complete removal in forums. Try typing the program name followed by the word "uninstaller" in the search line.

Can't Uninstall A Program Tip Number 4: Fix the Registry

If you still cant uninstall the program cleanly using the uninstaller. You may need to remove the registry entries caused by the program. This is a extremely delicate procedure if you make an mistake editing your registry you can seriously cause some serious damage to your computer's configuration. In this case, you make want to use a registry cleaner. Before you edit your registry make a backup of your entire registry. For registry edits and how to use a registry cleaner check out "How to Fix Registry Errors" page. You will need to check three areas for any elements related to the recently removed program. Here is how:

1.Click "Start"
2. Click "Run"
3. Type "regedit" into the command line and press enter. The registry should load for your review.
4. Search the following areas for any remnants of the program.


Search the above two registry keys for any folder associated with the program removed.


Review the services in the above folder. Look here for any services that are linked to the program. This action will ensure that the program is completely removed from your computer's registry.

For more computer tips and help visit Delete Computer History

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