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  1.    20 Jun 2015 #1
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    Posts : 9
    Windows 8.1 update 1

    Will programs uninstall properly with Win10?


    I've been wondering, why when a program is uninstalled does it not uninstall every last bit of it?

    Will Windows 10 do a better job, or is it not as simple as that?
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    20 Jun 2015 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    UK
    Posts : 19,186
    Windows 10

    Traditional desktop programmes I would think will be the same as in previous versions of Windows, not seen anything to suggest there is any difference

    newer style store apps, should be completely removed when uninstalling, traditional style apps will be coming to the store at some point (if the developers want to do this), so uninstalling them might be better when this happens, time will tell on this one
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  3.    20 Jun 2015 #3
    Join Date : Jan 2014
    Oak Ridge TN, USA
    Posts : 24,523
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    There are third party uninstallers that will do a better job than the standard Windows uninstaller but none of them will be perfect.. just a better.
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  4.    20 Jun 2015 #4
    Join Date : Oct 2014
    Posts : 774
    Windows 7

    Quote Originally Posted by Autobahn View Post
    I've been wondering, why when a program is uninstalled does it not uninstall every last bit of it?

    Will Windows 10 do a better job, or is it not as simple as that?
    It is not as simple as that. With modern technology most things are more complex than they appear.

    Modern applications are complex. Typically the application will be contained in a folder in the Program Files folder but some components may be elsewhere. Program settings are typically in the registry but may also be in files in a variety of locations. There are no firm standards for this, only conventions, and they are frequently ignored. Only the application developer and installer know all the details.

    To remove the application the developer typically provides an uninstaller. Unfortunately uninstallers often do not receive the attention that is warranted. Human nature being what it is, developers often find to difficult to understand why anyone would wish to uninstall their application. As a result uninstallers are often an afterthought and are not fully tested. Fully removing an application can be very difficult, particularly when it has been used by multiple users. In some cases full removal is not practical or even desirable. In many cases application settings are left behind as a convenience for users if the application is later installed.

    Windows uninstaller merely serves as a front end for the developer supplied uninstaller. Installers being what they are Windows has no way of knowing for certain what registry entries and files belong to what application. In the interests of safety Windows makes no attempt to more fully remove the application. Some third party uninstallers do attempt this but they have been known to go wrong with unpredictable results. Windows prefers to err on the side of caution.

    With traditional desktop applications there is nothing more that Windows can do. New style Apps are a different matter entirely.
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  5.    20 Jun 2015 #5
    Join Date : Oct 2013
    Okotoks
    Posts : 8,810
    Windows 10 Home x64 Windows 10 Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by LMiller7 View Post
    It is not as simple as that. With modern technology most things are more complex than they appear.

    Modern applications are complex. Typically the application will be contained in a folder in the Program Files folder but some components may be elsewhere. Program settings are typically in the registry but may also be in files in a variety of locations. There are no firm standards for this, only conventions, and they are frequently ignored. Only the application developer and installer know all the details.

    To remove the application the developer typically provides an uninstaller. Unfortunately uninstallers often do not receive the attention that is warranted. Human nature being what it is, developers often find to difficult to understand why anyone would wish to uninstall their application. As a result uninstallers are often an afterthought and are not fully tested. Fully removing an application can be very difficult, particularly when it has been used by multiple users. In some cases full removal is not practical or even desirable. In many cases application settings are left behind as a convenience for users if the application is later installed.

    Windows uninstaller merely serves as a front end for the developer supplied uninstaller. Installers being what they are Windows has no way of knowing for certain what registry entries and files belong to what application. In the interests of safety Windows makes no attempt to more fully remove the application. Some third party uninstallers do attempt this but they have been known to go wrong with unpredictable results. Windows prefers to err on the side of caution.

    With traditional desktop applications there is nothing more that Windows can do. New style Apps are a different matter entirely.
    Very good answer. Its more up to the software provider than Windows. Just look at McAfee and the hoops you go through to completely uninstall.
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  6.    20 Jun 2015 #6
    Join Date : Feb 2015
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 18,078
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu

    Manually "cleaning up" after the uninstaller is pretty easy too.

    Just show Hidden Folders in File Explorer and go to C:\Users\YourName\AppData, in the Local & Roaming folders delete the files with the programs name.

    Then in RegEdit go to HKEY-LOCAL_MACHINE and HKEY_CURRENT_USER and delete the keys with the programs name(NOTE: only in these two places!!!).
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  7.    20 Jun 2015 #7
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    San Jose, California
    Posts : 2,207
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff S View Post
    Manually "cleaning up" after the uninstaller is pretty easy too.

    Just show Hidden Folders in File Explorer and go to C:\Users\YourName\AppData, in the Local & Roaming folders delete the files with the programs name.

    Then in RegEdit go to HKEY-LOCAL_MACHINE and HKEY_CURRENT_USER and delete the keys with the programs name(NOTE: only in these two places!!!).
    I am sorry but it's not as easy as you think. There are keys that the software developers put in the registry that cannot be removed and they often embed the key with non printable characters. For example, if you install a 30-day trial software and when it expires, you uninstall it then re-install. Do you think it will work just by deleting what you mentioned above ? I don't think so. The only way to completely remove them from your PC is to restore the backup image that you created before installing any 30-day trial software
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  8.    20 Jun 2015 #8
    Join Date : Feb 2015
    Bamberg Germany
    Posts : 18,078
    Win10 Pro, Win10 Pro N, Win10 Home, Win10 Pro Insider Fast Ring, Windows 8.1 Pro, Ubuntu

    That's how I clean up when I have to re-install a program(such as my USB mobile broadband software) that keeps re-installing using "old" installations settings. It has always worked good for me. You just have to stay away from WinSxS keys or it gets messy. I have also purged my Lenovo H530 of it's bulkware this way, the only thing remaining is the logo on Control Panel\All Control Panel Items\System.
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  9.    20 Jun 2015 #9
    Join Date : Jun 2015
    changes
    Posts : 67
    W10 B10135

    You can use free software deployment tools to make sure programs are installed correctly and more importantly uninstalled COMPLETELY without any zombie files or zombie registry entries remaining in the registry.

    One free open source tool for that is WPKG -> WPKG | Open Source Software Deployment and Distribution

    But there are other ones as well.

    They work after a simple principle. They record every step during an installation and basically revert the installation one by one when uninstalling. And they dont leave stuff out like some not so well implemented uninstallers do.

    Some uninstaller tools are advertising complete removals but don't actually use the "recording every step" - technique.
    Those maybe better than the standard windows uninstaller from "Programs & Features" but those are also not 100% efficient when it comes to removing really every hidden change of an installation (like shared system32 files, registry edits, user files).
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  10.    20 Jun 2015 #10
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,143
    Windows 10 Pro

    As LMiller says, most often this is simply lazy or incompetent developers that don't bother to clean up everything in their uninstaller.

    However, sometimes it's more difficult that that. If I write an application, and I need to install certain system files for it to run, I have no idea whether some other app might also depend on those files that was installed after me. If I remove those files, I can break other apps, so most developers opt to leave these system files alone during uninstall.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

 
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