Sunday, October 28, 2007

Freeware Software Uninstallers


So I might be remiss if I just got done posting utilities to help you keep your installed applications up-to-date if I didn't quickly mention some freeware utilities to help remove installed applications from your system as well.

Sure, you can use the "Add/Remove Programs" list in your Windows Control Panel, but it is sometimes slow to build the list and frequently doesn't display all the applications it really could.

That's why a third-party uninstaller program could be quite handy to have. Not only do all of them allow you to quickly uninstall a program, many also provide you the ability to remove a "broken" item from the list, and quite a few provide incredible detail about the installed application itself.  If you haven't ever used anything else besides the default Windows add/remove tool, you don't know what you are missing.

Here are the freeware uninstall tools I use, in order of preference...

  1. MyUninstaller - Nirsoft's tiny little application quickly scans your system for applications eligible for un-installation.  What really makes it useful is not only does it list the application, but it also provides version number, company name, description (if available), installation path, web-site, installation date, uninstall string, registry key, root key, and the installer software type.  Even if you aren't going to actually uninstall an application, it is great for getting information and doing research on what you do have installed on a given system. You can generate a report. And there are a wealth of "advanced" features for power-uninstallers. USB Portable. 

  2. Free Uninstaller 1.1 - Jacek Pazera's application has really taken me by surprise. Like Nirsoft's above, it provides a great amount of detailed information on each installed application.  In addition, you can run instant web-searches using one of three web-search engines on any item listed if more research is desired. It is very fast.  The interface is very modern but friendly and has a dual-pane view.  You can set a number of program options.  It lists "visible" entries, "invalid" entry items, as well as "system components".  I really like this utility and it may soon become my number-one choice.  USB Portable.

  3. Uninstall Tool (v1.6.6) - This was previously my #1 uninstaller pick.  It was fast, simple and did the job. Besides the normal "uninstall" support, the right-click feature allowed me to view the installed program folder, registry entry, or even the website if available. If you have an entry listed but it is incorrect, you can delete the item from the add/remove list without actually uninstalling the (non-existent) product.  While not something most users would be advised to try, it is great for pros who are cleaning house.  The latest version (v2.2.1) is much more feature-rich, but is no longer freeware. Version 1.6.6 is USB Portable.

  4. Revo Uninstaller - Really an "advanced" uninstall tool. Not only does it allow speedy cataloging and uninstallation of applications, it brings with it some power-tools for system maintenance; an auto-run viewer/editor, quick links to common Windows system tools, MS Office and web-browser cleaners, junk-files (temp) cleaner, and some secure-delete tools.  It also has a "hunter-mode" utility to uninstall, stop, or delete applications using a GUI interface...basically drag-n-drop.  Nice interface and pretty easy to use. USB Portable.

  5. EasyCleaner - ToniArt's wonderful tool. Another "swiss-army knife" utility.  Besides providing uninstall support, it also can scan the Windows registry for invalid entries for removal (be careful!), look for duplicate files, look for unnecessary files, clean invalid shortcuts, display space usage, display startup items, clean IE temp files, cookies, and history, clear the most recently used lists on the Windows system.  USB Portable

  6. Safarp - Small and Fast Add/Remove Programs.  It is pretty small. It is definitely fast..maybe the fastest here.  It doesn't provide all the bells and whistles of the other programs, nor the amount of details of each installed program.  What it does do is quickly list programs you can uninstall/repair and lets you pick what you want to do. Simple and pleasant interface. USB Portable.


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