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How To Get Rid Of Unwanted Programs

Jun 13, 2008
How to Uninstall Programs in Windows

When you install a program under Windows, the following two things happen:

1. The files that are needed to run the program are copied onto your computer, usually to "C:\Program Files".

2. The Windows registry is updated with configuration information for the program installed. The Windows Registry is a file that stores your computer's configuration settings.

That said, it is important that you do not attempt to delete a program by only deleting the folder in "C:Program Files"! This will only delete the files associated with the program, leaving all of it's configuration information intact in the Windows registry. This means that Windows still thinks the program is installed and you're likely to run into errors and in some instances can even crash your computer.

Windows provides an "Add/Remove Programs" application to completely remove programs and all of their configuration files - this is what you should use when you want to get rid of installed software. You will need to be logged into your PC using an account with administrative permissions for the following steps to work.

1. Open the control panel by clicking "Start"->"Settings"->"Control Panel" or "Start"->"Control Panel"

2. Click "Add/Remove Programs"

3. This will open the "Add/Remove Programs" box. This displays a list of all the programs currently installed on your computer. To remove a program, just click it and then click the "remove" button to the right

4. The next screen you see depends on the program you've chosen to uninstall - it will usually be a set of options that allows you to modify, repair, or remove the application. Select "Remove" and click "Next". Some programs will ask you to select between a manual and an automatic uninstall: in that case select "automatic".

5. You're done! Assuming that you didn't get any errors you should now restart your computer. Once you've removed a program it cannot be reinstalled without the original installation disk or file.
About the Author
Want to learn more? You can read more tips on this subject, plus information to get rid of practically anything else that ails you - from bad breath to telemarketers to cellulite - at How To Get Rid Of Stuff
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