How to Delete Programs Not Listed in Add/Remove Utility of Windows XP

by Contributor

Many software programs provide their own removal or uninstall programs. When you need to get rid of a piece of software due to limited space or it no longer fulfills your needs, there are three main ways to dump the piece of software. There are a few ways to remove the software other than the Add/Remove Programs section of the Control Panel. Read on to learn how to delete programs not listed in Add/Remove utility of Windows XP.

Open the "Start" menu and then the "Programs" list. Open the menu selection for the software that you want to remove and check to see if there is an uninstall program listed. If there is one, select it and follow the directions presented during the programs execution. If there is no uninstall option, open "Windows Explorer" and find the location of the program files for the software. Search the files and folders of this piece of software to see if there is an uninstall program listed. If so, then execute it and follow the prompts to uninstall the program.

Check at the software manufacturer's website for instruction on how to remove the software from your system. Often there are uninstalling programs available from them to remove their software. If there is, then download the program and scan it to make sure it is safe and then execute it. It should remove all the files, registry entries and registry keys. Any data files that you have created with this program you will need to remove yourself, including folders.

Open "Regedit" and view the registry. Before doing anything with the registry, back up the registry and save it so that you can recover from any mistake made during the editing of the registry. View the following location for the software that you wish to remove: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall. There will be a sub key for every piece of software that your machine has installed on it. Two fields will be important in deleting a program, "UninstallString" and "DisplayName." DisplayName will tell that program the sub key is for and the UninstallString will indicate the location of the uninstall program. Make your first attempt to remove the program by running the uninstall program listed in this sub key. If this doesn't work then delete the whole sub key and then delete the program directory and all associated files. There will still be some orphaned dll files but they won't hurt anything.