One of the areas I focus on in my effort to clean my PC is to remove unwanted programs. Unwanted programs are simply programs that are installed on my PC (either knowing or unknowingly) but are not used. They should be removed since they only used up the storage space. There are four ways of removing them.
1. Utilize the application’s Uninstaller.
2. Utilize the Windows Control Panel
3. Utilize third-party removal software.
4. Manually delete it from your system.
The simplest technique is of course using the built-in Uninstaller. Thus the order of preference is from top to bottom.
Nowadays most software comes with its own Uninstaller. By all means use it since this has been tested to work well with the software by the manufacturer. Follow these steps:
1. Choose Start > All Programs. Traverse} through the menu until you find your program menu option.
2. Examine the choices available. One of them should clearly be marked as Uninstall.
3. Click on Uninstall and follow the given instructions.
Some programs has an uninstall command but it is not added to the Start menu. For such cases, the uninstall command is usually in the program folder for the application (usually located in the Program Files folder). Some programs are not user friendly when comes to removal from the system. E.g. the program may need you to visit a Web site or go through some other hoop in order to remove it. I recommend you to refer the program’s Help file for unconventional removal method. Also, do check the Readme.txt file. It usually provides the information on how to remove the program.
The Installed Programs area of the Control Panel
The Control Panel is the central command center of Windows, and it enables you to change all sorts of configuration settings. The Control Panel also includes an area that allows you to add or remove programs from your system. This area, appropriately enough, is termed Add or Remove Programs. If you open the Control Panel, click the Add or Remove Program icon, you’ll discover a listing of which programs Windows thinks you have loaded} on your system.
You should bear in mind that the programs shown there doesn’t necessarily list all the programs installed on your system. It may include programs that you already removed from your system. This is because Windows lists only programs registered in a specific area of the Registry. If, during installation, a program doesn’t properly inform the Registry of its existence, that program won’t reflect in the list. Likewise, if an uninstall program doesn’t clean up the Registry or you remove a program manually without editing the Registry, the program may still show up in the list.
To remove a program, scroll through the list of available programs until you find the program you want removed. When you click the program name, the options at the top of the Control Panel window change to display a new option: Change/Remove.
Click the Change/Remove button, and Windows tries to remove the program from your system. Removing the program usually involves running the same setup program that you used to install the program. Programs have a tendency to group together. When you remove one, make sure you look for others that could be related to that program. If you find additional programs in the list, remove them immediately after you delete the main program.
The software that I discovered accomplishing} nicely} in doing a clean deletion is Cleanse. Cleanse is a general system cleaning utility, published by Zards Software (www.zardssoftware.com). The program’s main function is to remove programs from your system. All you need to do is start the software and you are given a complete list of programs installed on your system. You can then select the application you want to remove and make it disappear.
Among the cool features about Cleanse is that it doesn’t just stop at removing the software;it also looks through the Windows Registry for leftover items and then looks through your hard drives for orphaned files.
Manual Removal Method
Programs installation often store files not only in the program folder, but also in your system folder, your profile folder, drivers’ folder, and various other places. In addition, programs add overheads to the Registry. Thus, deleting a program from a Windows system involves two crucial steps:
1. Find the files that make the program work.
2. Clean up the Registry.
The manual removal method ought to be the final method that you attempt to get rid of programs. Frequently, programs install bits of themselves in various places on your hard drive. Just because you delete the main program file and remove, it from the Registry doesn’t mean that all the far-flung pieces and parts have been removed. The orphan pieces likely will not hinder the functioning of your other programs, but they do mess up your hard drive and consume disk space gradually. Therefore, manual removal involves a third step: doing away with the bits and pieces. To find an unwanted program and then erase it manually, follow these steps:
1. Right-click shortcuts or menu items and choose Properties. Look at the Target field, to find out the complete path and program name executed by the shortcut or menu item.
2. Open a Notepad window and copy the contents of the Target field to the Notepad window. If you’re not comfortable doing this, write it manually on a piece of paper.
3. Open the folder that has the program files.
4. Note in your Notepad, the program names in that folder. You need those filenames when you clean up the Registry.
5. Delete the items in the folder that are associated with the program you want to remove. If the entire folder is used for the program, delete the entire folder. If you’re not sure about what you’re about to delete, don’t delete it. Instead, move it to a different location on your hard drive or rename it. Doing so allows you to see whether your change makes any difference to Windows. If you hit into problems later on, you can always move back the file or folder or rename it to its original name.
Well, those are the techniques I recommend using to clean my PC from unwanted programs. Performing it will ensure my clean PC remains clean.