HELP : All Installed Software Uninstalled Themselves


  1. Posts : 2
    Windows 10
       #1

    HELP : All Installed Software Uninstalled Themselves


    Apologies if this isn't in the right place.

    In the midst of sorting an issue with one specific program, all of my installed programs uninstalled themselves. My system restore points all disappeared before the issue too so I am unable to restore back.

    Is there any fix at all for this, or do I really have to reinstall everything again?



    Windows 10 Home
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  2. Pejole2165's Avatar
    Posts : 866
    Windows 10 Pro
       #2

    First check that you haven't been logged in with a temporary profile or that you didn't accidently reset Windows using the keep nothing option. Check the folders where you installed your programs, games and see if they are still there. It would be an extremely unusual, unique situation for all apps to just "uninstall themselves", such a thing would need user interaction at some point.
    The missing restore points may suggest you have had a Windows build update, possibly from 1909 to 20h2 although even this doesn't usually remove all apps (some may not be transitioned if they are known to cause issues). See if you have a Windows old folder on your C drive.
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  3. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,717
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1348
       #3

    pronetopanic said:
    ... all of my installed programs uninstalled themselves ...
    Why do you think that?

    Denis



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  4. Posts : 2
    Windows 10
    Thread Starter
       #4

    Try3 said:
    Why do you think that?

    Denis



    Welcome to TenForums.

    It's really worth making time to browse through the Tutorial index - there's a shortcut to it at the top of every page.
    - At the foot of the Tutorial index is a shortcut to download it as a spreadsheet.
    - I download a new copy each month so I can benefit from Excel's filtering capabilities when I search for topics of interest.
    - Tutorials are also listed by category at Tutorials - there's also a shortcut to that at the top of every page.
    - Both tutorial pages are searchable.
    - You can also search for TenForumsTutorials in many general search engines, such as Google, by adding site:tenforums.com/tutorials after your search term. For example,
    taskbar toolbars site:tenforums.com/tutorials

    - And note that you can also search TenForums threads [rather than just searching tutorials] in many general search engines, such as Google, by adding site:tenforums.com after your search term. For example,
    Search for drivers by HardwareID site:tenforums.com
    [This is what the search box in the top-right corner of TenForums webpages does automatically]
    Because all my previously installed programs don't have an icon and when I click it the shortcuts do not exist. And when I go into Program Files which is where they should be, the folders or .exes don't exist either.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Pejole2165 said:
    First check that you haven't been logged in with a temporary profile or that you didn't accidently reset Windows using the keep nothing option. Check the folders where you installed your programs, games and see if they are still there. It would be an extremely unusual, unique situation for all apps to just "uninstall themselves", such a thing would need user interaction at some point.
    The missing restore points may suggest you have had a Windows build update, possibly from 1909 to 20h2 although even this doesn't usually remove all apps (some may not be transitioned if they are known to cause issues). See if you have a Windows old folder on your C drive.
    I have a Windows.old folder but the program files don't seem to be in there either.
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  5. Try3's Avatar
    Posts : 9,717
    Windows 10 Home x64 Version 21H2 Build 19044.1348
       #5

    pronetopanic said:
    ... And when I go into Program Files which is where they should be, the folders or .exes don't exist either ...
    Somebody or something has done that deliberately.
    - If the folders & files in Program files are gone then even some unknown form of Registry corruption can be ruled out.
    - Since the icon-less shortcuts still exist, it points towards Program files contents having been deleted rather than programs having being uninstalled in any normal manner.

    Assuming that nobody has had physical access to your computer or direct control [through your home network] at a very high "system" level of privilege, malicious action by a remote user probably means malware has been planted & has taken the deletion action.

    I suggest that a malware scan should be your first step even though I do not recall anybody having reported similar symptoms before.
    If nothing is detected then do a Windows defender "offline" scan next. Windows Defender Offline Scan - TenForumsTutorials


    Best of luck,
    Denis
      My Computer

  6. Pejole2165's Avatar
    Posts : 866
    Windows 10 Pro
       #6

    Apart from checking for malware as Try3 suggests, if you know for certain that no one else has had physical access to your machine it would be of help to detail exactly what the issue with "one specific app" as you originally stated was.
    What was the app, what was the issue, how were you trying to resolve it?
    A lot of software when uninstalled the correct way will pop up a dialogue during the process asking if you want to remove settings, custom files etc, depending on the type of app so I find it difficult to believe a mass uninstall could be automated and account for the variety of possible confirmation dialogues presented, at least doing it the correct way. Not impossible, just extremely unusual.
    So that leaves user interaction, especially as you say the app icons (shortcuts) are still there, knowing what steps you were taking that led to the current situation may help to determine what happened and whether you can rectify the issue or not.
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  7. dalchina's Avatar
    Posts : 33,736
    Win 10 Pro (1903) (2nd PC is 21H2)
       #7

    Pejole2165 said
    First check that you haven't been logged in with a temporary profile
    Information on temporary profile- and if you read this, you can see how to check:
    Fix You've been signed in with a temporary profile in Windows 10

    I have a Windows.old folder but the program files don't seem to be in there either.
    In the midst of sorting an issue with one specific program.... My system restore points all disappeared before the issue too
    There seems a contradiction here. Literally taking the description you give, you had a build upgrade. At that time your programs were intact. But you say Windows.old includes none of the programs you're concerned about.

    Subsequent to that upgrade, you then say your programs disappeared whilst trying to deal with a problem related to one program.

    It doesn't seem likely that both could be true- two events at different times related to programs disappearing.

    Considering
    My system restore points all disappeared before the issue too so I am unable to restore back.
    Restore points are deleted on any upgrade and are only applicable to the current major build.

    Perhaps your only hope is to try rolling back to the previous build in the hope you're wrong about Windows.old.

    Unless -- you have followed the endlessly given recommendation here to routinely and regularly use disk imaging and you have a recent disk image - e.g. using Macrium Reflect (free)- of your Windows partitions.

    This means you can almost always get back to a previous good state (and have a full backup of imaged partitions) without technical help - even if your disk fails.
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