How to Completely Remove a Program from a Computer

Most users install a lot of useful programs on their computers and laptops – system, office, gaming. However, periodically all this software has to be removed to free up space, avoid compatibility problems, and even reduce the load on the PC. We tell you how to do it.

It is necessary to remove the software completely – so that there are no “tails” in the form of extra folders, files and entries in the registry. To do this, there are many ways to remove, including using built-in system tools or third-party software.

How to manually uninstall software on Windows OS 

Before you completely remove the program, it is worth considering a list of the most common methods. These include methods for manually removing software, which are considered traditional and have hardly changed over the past 20 years. Among the changes is only the new location of the services responsible for removing services in the operating system settings.

Method number 1. Manually delete programs on Windows OS through Program Files 

One of the most common methods for completely removing almost any software is using the Uninstall executable located in the root folder.

For some programs, the name may be different – “unins” or “unins000″. And in order to find the root directory of a program, sometimes it is enough to know just its name. The folder you need is usually located at C:\Program Files\”Program Name”.

To uninstall, you need to run the file, confirm your actions and wait for the uninstaller to complete. The result of running Uninstall is the almost complete removal of all application-related information from the computer. But sometimes the user fails to quickly find not only the desired uninstaller file but also the folder where it is located. To search, follow these steps:

  • Right-click on the specific program to open the context menu of the shortcut that launches the program and is located on the Desktop or in some directory.
  • Select the option to open the file file location
  • In the folder opened on the screen, find the file Uninstall.

In most cases, the required uninstaller is located in the same folder as the file that launches the application. Rarely, in a separate directory with a similar and easily recognizable name Uninstall.

Method number 2. Removal through the use of built-in Windows services 

Another way to completely remove program-related information involves using the built-in Programs and Features Cleanup service. To do this, the user must perform the following actions:

  • Open the control panel through the start menu or search box.
  • Find and open Programs.uninstall programs through control panel
  • Find the name of the program to be removed, open the context menu and select uninstall.

The same result can be achieved in Windows and through the Start menu. To uninstall:

  • You will have to find the desired program in the list – displayed as a folder.
  • Then – open the directory and find the item that allows you to uninstall the program. Its name may begin with “Uninstall” or “Uninstall”. Clicking on this item launches the uninstaller provided by the developer.

But this method also has disadvantages. The likelihood that undeleted folders with files and registry entries remain on the PC or laptop is high. Programs that will have to be downloaded and installed manually will help get rid of the former. The registry is cleaned using the built-in Regedit utility.

Method number 3. Cleaning the registry on Windows

One of the best ways to completely uninstall a program in Windows 10 requires doing the following:

  • Call the command execution window. The easiest way is to use the special keyboard shortcut Win + R.
  • Enter the name of the system utility “regedit” in the form that opens and press Enter.
  • Select the “Edit” item, click the “Find” button.
  • Enter the name of the program, files and records about which you want to delete.
  • Each found key should be checked for connection with the program and deleted.

The procedure may take a long time. And it can lead to problems in the operation of the operating system if you accidentally delete the wrong entry. Therefore, the registry file should be saved in advance and restored if necessary. But even more, reliable and easier is to use third-party software.

Using Applications to Uninstall Programs

The advantages of uninstalling with the help of specially designed utilities are time-saving and guarantee of complete removal. Moreover, almost any such software has a number of additional features.


One of the best ways to completely remove unnecessary programs from your computer is to use the CCleaner program with a large set of functions. Its main task is to clean the computer from garbage – unnecessary files, registry errors and cookies. The procedure for working with the utility:

  • Run the program.
  • Find the inscription “Service” on the left and click on it.
  • Select the desired program on the right side and open its context menu.
  • Select uninstall. Uninstall programs on Windows with CCleaner

If you choose to uninstall only, you will simply erase the program from your computer. But there is a chance that its files will remain on the disk and related entries in the registry. You can only achieve complete uninstallation is by selecting “Uninstall”.

Geek Uninstaller 

An application that is specifically designed to remove system services. To work, you should download the utility on the developer’s website, run it and find the desired program in the list that opens. Then – open the context menu and select uninstall. After completing the installation, the utility shows the keys remaining in the registry, which you should remove manually.

Revo Uninstaller 

Another good way to completely remove a program from a laptop is the Revo Uninstaller utility. To use it, you will need to follow these steps:

  • Open utility
  • Select the desired software from the list.
  • Open the context menu, select delete.
  • Specify the uninstall level. By default, a medium is selected, which allows you to delete all files and find traces in the registry.

The procedure for erasing entries in the registry is almost the same as when using the Regedit system utility. The user specifies the name of the software, looks for traces of it and deletes each one in turn.

Uninstalling programs on a macOS computer 

The procedure for uninstalling programs on a macOS computer will differ depending on how you installed it. For apps from the App Store, there is one way. For separate software installed from developer sites, it is different.

How to remove software from the Mac App Store 

The process for completely uninstalling programs from the Apple Store is as follows:

  • Launch the Launchpad utility from the Doc-panel, from the Applications folder, or using the Spotlight bar.
  • Wait for the icon screen to appear.
  • Select the desired program, press and hold until a wiggle and a cross appear.

A cross means that the software is from the Mac App Store. Others will not have this icon. To remove the program, you must click on the cross.

How to uninstall programs from other sources 

For third-party software, there are three ways to completely remove a program from a MacBook. You can try to use the uninstaller, which sometimes comes with the program, to remove it. One such application is OnyX, which can be uninstalled from the Help menu. For some programs, you can download uninstallers from the Internet.

The second way is to use a third-party utility, such as AppCleaner. For it, follow these steps:

  • Download the program from the official site.
  • Run the utility.
  • Drag the icon of the program to remove into the open AppCleaner window.
  • Click Remove.

Another utility for macOS is CleanMyMac. Its tasks are to remove the cache, search for unnecessary files and outdated backups. You can completely uninstall programs by selecting the “Uninstaller” section, specifying the desired software and clicking “Delete”. But the utility has a small drawback – to use it, you will have to buy or pay for a temporary subscription.

The third method involves using the built-in Optimize Storage tool but is only suitable for versions of macOS 10.12 and higher. User procedure:

  • Open the About This Mac menu.
  • Go to storage.
  • Select “Manage”.
  • Go to the section of programs.
  • Move the cursor over the name of the software so that a cross appears, and click on it.

The third method is the simplest, does not require additional downloads and payment. But the removal may not be complete – folders and files remain on the computer from the program.

How to uninstall a program in Linux 

Before you completely remove a program in Linux, it is worth considering the presence of two whole methods. The first is with the help of the Gnome Software utility, which is included with some distributions. To use it, follow these steps:

  • Run the utility.
  • Find the program to remove.
  • Open it and choose delete.
  • Confirm your actions by entering the superuser password.

You can also achieve complete removal using the package manager. This is suitable for those programs that were installed in the same way. The command syntax will be similar, but slightly different depending on the platform distribution. So, for example, to remove the Firefox browser in Debian and Linux Mint, you will need to enter “sudo apt remove firefox”. And to permanently remove the remnants of the program, use the purge option by entering “sudo apt purge firefox”.

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