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Posted
18 January 2008 @ 11am

Tagged
Uninstall

What Are Uninstall Errors?

As easy as it is to install items onto your PC, it’s unsurprisingly difficult to uninstall programs from it. It’s unsurprising because software makers don’t want you to excise their precious program from your hard drive. (Some of them, for example, are making good money spying on you.)
This is all the more reason, then, when you want to uninstall a program, to uninstall it properly and completely, for when you don’t you are likely to find yourself faced with one or more uninstall errors.

How to Uninstall a Program Properly

Rather than manually deleting the individual files you know to be associated with the program (a dangerous venture destined for disaster), simply access the Remove Programs feature of your Control Panel.
But sometimes, even after you’ve done all this, you may still find yourself faced with a shocking array of uninstall errors.

How Do Uninstall Errors Happen?

When you tell Windows to uninstall a particular program, that program itself will usually search its own files in your Windows registry in order find complete directions on how to remove itself from the hard drive, cleanly and entirely – that means without leave behind the clutter of residual files and file fragments.
In a typically bloated (or worse, corrupt) Windows registry, that program is going to have a tough time finding the instructions it needs. This is often the cause of uninstall errors, and when it is, running a simple but thorough registry cleaner or registry repair tool on your PC can work wonders in getting your programs to uninstall properly and leave your PC running better than it was before.
How To Fix Uninstall Errors Manually: Reinstall to Uninstall
The first step to take in attempting to fix an uninstall error yourself is to reinstall the program you had tried to uninstall, and then uninstalling it again. This is a relatively safe and trustworthy procedure to try, as most programs are set to recognize when they’re being reinstalled on top of an existing version (or partial version) of itself and rest the uninstall directions in order to convey how to properly uninstall it now.

How Not to Fix Uninstall Errors Manually

Unless you know what you are doing, it’s inadvisable (so much so that this is its second mention in this article) to try and manually delete the individual files associated with a program. This is because you don’t simply delete the original program files – moving them to the Recycle Bin and emptying it. You would also have to remove the appropriate associated registry entries (without removing the ones – like shared DLL files – that relate to other programs or systems as well).

If you insist on handling uninstall errors by trying to remove one or more programs from your system manually, do yourself a favor and at least make a secure backup of your Windows registry so that, should you make a mistake, you can easily restore your computer to its current setting – and try again.