Squeaky Clean

Did you ever notice, that even if you’ve uninstalled a program, the software still leaves some “stuff” around? Folders or files, worst case even registry settings. Personally I find this very irritating, if you do not often format your hard drive, which most people don’t, you’ll get a load of crap on your computer which you will never use.

This is usually a problem that windows users come across, so let’s review a few steps you can undertake to keep your computer clean after deinstalling software.
There is one thing I would like to get straight right away, a good installer asks you how you want to uninstall. If you select uninstall all including settings and preferences, it will as a matter of fact do just that, without leaving any leftovers on your hard drive. Sadly, installers like this are hard to come by. Most of the time you are on your own. So here is what you do…

1. Check your program files
Go to the location where the software was installed, the default install software of most windows software is program files, open this folder (probably under the c:\ drive) and check if the folder where you initially installed the software still exists. If you did already delete the program via the uninstaller, you can just delete this folder.

2. Check you profile folder
Since windows vista you have a hidden folder in your profile folder called appdata. Make sure your windows explorer is set to show hidden files (file >> extra >> folder options >> display >> show hidden files and folders). To open the appdata folder, click start, click your username and there it is, a hidden folder called AppData. Open it and you’ll find 3 sub folders, Local, LocalLow and Roaming. Check in all 3 of these folders if there is a folder which contains the name of the software or the name of the publisher of the software. You can probably delete this as well

3. Check the registry
Push the windows key + r and type REGEDIT, then hit enter. On the left hand screen you’ll see a folder structure. There are 2 folders you need to check: HKEY_CURRENT_USER and HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE. These both have a software folder, open them and check if there is a subfolder there with the name of the software you’ve just uninstalled. If it is you can most likely delete it.

Once you’ve done all this, you can be rather sure that you got most of the software leftovers.


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