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The Uninstallers

The Uninstallers

Usually, when most people want to uninstall a program for some reason or another, they usually go to Windows’ own Add or Remove Programs utility right within the Control Panel. (If you’re not sure how to use that, here is an article you can read that will help you).

But, oh boy! Isn’t it a pain?! I mean, it takes forever to load up, it doesn’t give you a whole lot of information about what the programs are and it seems to miss an awful lot.

So, what else can you do?

Well, there are a number of free programs available that do a far better and more complete job. So, what do you say we check them out?!

Basically, they fall in two categories:

1.) Improved versions of the Add and Remove programs utility – These ones give you more information and a more complete listing. Plus, they generally take a snapshot of your system before you install a new program and they then compare it with a snapshot afterward, just to see what has changed and what needs to be removed.

2.) Clearly, the second option is the more thorough choice, but it does take more time when it comes to installing and uninstalling your programs. Also, you must remember to make sure the program is actually running when you go to use it.

Alright, let’s give a quick rundown of two programs (one in each category) so that we can see what improvements over Windows you can get with them.

1.) MyUninstaller

This is obtainable from this Web site. But, keep in mind that the download link is a long way down toward the bottom of the page, so be prepared to scroll down until you see the link.

Download the program to your hard drive and then extract the file of “myunist.exe” from the zip file and place it anywhere on your computer that you want. (There is no installation as such. It just runs straight “out of the box”).

Once you run the program for the first time, you will see a screen somewhat like this:

As you will see, not only is it quicker (and I’ll tell you how to make it even quicker in a minute), but it’s also far more comprehensive in its scope. You get a fuller description of where a program is located and a whole host of other relevant information.

Also, note the two icons circled at the top of the page. The first one is the one you can use to carry out a standard uninstall, but the second is used to remove an entry for a program that has previously been uninstalled. (Now, this can sometimes happen with Windows and it normally means delving into your Registry Editor to get rid of it, but don’t worry, MyUninstaller does all that for you instead).

Now, if you remember, I mentioned a way you can list the programs even quicker when you fire up the MyUninstaller program. To do this, first look at this screenshot:

If you go to View and then select Quick Mode, MyUninstaller will save a copy of the previous listings and bring them up again the next time you use the program. Of course, if you have installed new programs since then, they will not show. In this case, just press F5 to refresh the list if you want to see them too.

And that’s about all there is to that!

Now, on to the second category of uninstallers.

2.) ZSoft Uninstaller

The Web site for this download can be found here.

Note: Make sure you download from where I have circled above. The download link above is for a beta version instead.

That will then take you to another page on the site where you will need to click on another link to get to the Web site of www.download.com.

Taking you here:

So, go ahead and download it and then install it in the normal way.

The first running of the program will give you this screen:

Then followed by this one:

Basically, it can be used as a “normal” uninstall program. But, note what happens if you right click a selected item.

You then have the option to get more information, like what’s show below, about the program:

Now, let’s move on to its “extra” feature that allows you to enable a complete uninstall of a program.

First, click on the Analyze button.

You’ll then get the following options:

If you are installing a new program, you would click on the first button that says, “Analyze an installation.”

You can then indicate which drive or drives you want to analyze (drive C: is usually sufficient).

The program will then start to go through your files and all the registry entries you have at that moment. By doing that, the program can then form a “before” image of your system.

Now, still keeping the program running, begin the installation of a new program. When that has finished, go back to the ZSoft Uninstaller and press the After Installation button. It will then go through the same process, only now, it will take a snapshot of the files after the installation.

Next, you are asked to give a name to this installation.

The program then does a quick calculation and it will shut itself down.

That’s it! Well, at least until it comes time to delete that program, if you ever want to.

So, go on and fire up the ZSoft Uninstaller. On the main screen, select the Analyzed Programs tab.

Select the program you wish to uninstall and then right click your mouse.

Click on the Uninstall button to get to this screen:

You will notice that the author has put in a lot of boxes for you to checkmark, which is just him covering himself in the event of problems. You will have to checkmark them if you want the program to work. Also, do make sure you click the bottom box that says, “I don’t want to confirm every delete.” Otherwise, you will have to say “yes” to every single file it seeks to delete, which can be a very tedious process!

Well, that should be that. A full and compete uninstall!

By the way, the ZSoft Uninstaller has a few other tricks up its sleeve that I don’t have time to go in to now, but read the Help file and see what else you can do. The options are endless!

Happy deleting!

~ David Woodford