Installing and uninstalling a program in Windows is pretty easy. All you have to do is follow the installation and uninstallation wizard. But you can do the same thing efficiently using the dedicated uninstallers.
Why Use Dedicated Uninstallers?
Every time you install a program on your Windows system, it will do a lot of changes like creating new folders, creating registry keys, changing system settings, etc. However, when you uninstall the same program with Windows native uninstaller, it may not undo all the changes and delete all the folders it created. There may be several reasons like the other programs depending on the same files or registry keys, not being able to delete the folders due to permission issues, etc.
S, in those situations, you can use a powerful dedicated uninstalling software to uninstall the application without leaving any residue behind.
When to Use the Third-party Uninstaller?
Generally, you can use the built-in Windows uninstaller. However, if you want to completely delete the application without any residual files left behind or if there is any troublesome software (like antivirus, for example) that is not uninstalling properly then you need to use the below software. These dedicated uninstallers will completely remove the application from your system.
A good example of this is bluestacks — a popular Android emulator for PC. Many people failed to install bluetacks on their computer the first time. And if you reinstall it (by first uninstalling it with the native windows uninstaller), then it usually doesn’t work. But after completing uninstalling the software with dedicated uninstallers and then installing it again, fixes the problem.
Note: while using third-party uninstallers it is better that you create a restore point beforehand. This helps you to revert back if anything bad happens.
Best Third-Party Uninstallers for Windows
Over the years, Revo Uninstaller has been my go to third-party uninstaller for my Windows machine. It is available both in free and paid variations. The good thing about Revo Uninstaller is that it can perform forced uninstall of an application. Which is very useful when the application is misbehaving or is corrupted. Some of the features include but not limited to scanning for any leftover files and registry keys, forced uninstall, real-time monitoring, multi-uninstall, etc.
Moreover, the application also has a special feature called Hunter mode which lets you target an application to uninstall it quickly. This is very useful when the application is not listed either in the regular Windows programs list or in the Revo Uninstaller. So, if you are looking for a capable uninstaller software then do give Revo a try.
Pros: Very easy to use and has useful features like forced uninstall and hunter mode. The application is also available in portable version.
Cons: The free version is limited when compared to the Pro version but does the job for any general usage.
How to use it: Open the Revo Uninstaller, right-click on the software you want to uninstall and select the option “Uninstall”. Now, follow the regular program uninstallation wizard. After uninstalling, select one of the scan modes in the Revo and delete the leftover files detected by the application.
IObit Uninstaller is another popular uninstallation software for Windows that comes in both free and paid versions. Just like Revo, IObit lets you uninstall any software on your system including malicious browser toolbars and plugins without missing any leftover files. Besides that, IObit Uninstaller also enables you to easily manage the Windows updates. So, if you ever face a problematic update, you can easily uninstall it directly from IObit rather than messing with the Windows Control Panel.
IObit Uninstaller can also delete the Windows patch cache files to free up some hard drive space. This is especially useful if your C drive has a very limited space.
Pros: Along with regular applications, the software can detect and remove any stubborn browser plugins or toolbars.
Cons: Just like Revo, IObit Uninstaller’s free version is limited and there is no real-time monitoring or auto-clean features.
How to use it: Open the IObit Uninstaller, select the applications you want to uninstall and then click on the button “Uninstall”. After uninstalling, scan for any leftovers, select them and click on the “Delete” button.
Besides from Revo, Geek Uninstaller is my second favorite software to clean uninstall applications on a Windows system. Apart from removing leftover files and reg keys, the good things about Geek Uninstaller are that it is light-weight, portable, and is easy to use with its simple and straightforward user interface. Geek Uninstaller color codes the list of all your applications so that you can easily identify the recently installed ones from the bunch. If you are using Windows 10, you can also uninstall the Windows store apps directly from the Geek Uninstaller.
Pros: The application is lightweight with a simple and minimal user interface. Lets you uninstall Windows store apps in Windows 10.
Cons: The free version has no real-time monitoring and is limited in terms of features.
How to use it: Using Geek Uninstaller is easy. Being a portable application, there is no need for any installation. Just download and open the software. Now, right-click on the program you want to uninstall and select the option “uninstall”. After uninstalling, select all the leftover traces shown by the application and click on the button “Finish”.
Unlike other programs in the list, Absolute Uninstaller does not only remove programs without leaving any residue but can do much more. Like, fixing invalid program entries, remove and restore entries, backup and restore uninstallation info, command line support, sorting installed programs, finding large programs, etc. Moreover, Absolute Uninstaller has the batch uninstall feature. It is quite helpful if you have a lot of programs to uninstall.
Pros: The software is completely free and allows you to batch uninstall programs.
Cons: Absolute Uninstaller has no forced uninstall and advanced scanning to find deeply hidden leftovers.
How to use it: Just download, install and open the software. Now, select the program and click on the button “Uninstall this program”. If you want to batch uninstall then don’t forget to click on the button “Batch uninstall” appearing at the top of the window.
Wise Program Uninstaller is yet another uninstaller that is completely free. Using this free software you can uninstall programs without letting them leave any files behind. Wise Program Uninstaller also has the forced uninstall feature that lets you uninstall programs that are stubborn or causing problems while uninstalling. Moreover, just like Geek Uninstaller, you can uninstall Windows Store apps with just a click or two.
Pros: The user interface is modern, minimal and easy to use. Lets you uninstall modern apps if you are using Windows 10.
Cons: Tries to install adware. So, don’t forget to decline the offer while installing. Also, there is no batch uninstall feature.
How to use it: Compared to other software in the list, it is no different. Install the software and open it. Now, select the program you want to uninstall and click on the button “Safe Uninstall”. If the installed software is misbehaving then click on the button “Forced Uninstall”. After uninstalling, Wise Program Uninstaller will list the leftovers. Just select them and click on the button “Delete”.
Hope that helps and do comment below if you think I missed any of your favorite uninstaller software. Or to share your thoughts and experiences about the ones I shared here.
Also Read: 10 Tips to Speed Up Slow Windows 10 PC