Best Free Program Uninstaller

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Introduction

The Windows Add/Remove Programs applet in the control panel constantly annoys more advanced users with its limitations. Its load time and lack of features are parts of the problems to say the least.

Thankfully, many freeware programs have emerged that allow for full deletion of programs, including those files, folders, shortcuts and registry entries that are left behind.

Here is a list of my favorites, divided into two sub classes: Application Uninstallers and Windows Uninstaller Replacements.

 

Application Uninstallers

Revo Uninstaller  

It works more uniquely than others


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free (Limited features)
Removes leftovers without needing to monitor before an installation, only product that is good at cleaning failed install, small footprint.
Can remove other unrelated files with disastrous consequences, can be slow in scanning.
Read full review...

GeekUninstaller  

It is very lightweight but it's not light on features


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free (Limited features)
Very lightweight, 64-bit support.
Does not list the program developer name under the list of 'installed programs'.
Read full review...

ZSoft Uninstaller  

It monitors an installation before you do the install


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free
Monitors before and after installation to remove files and registry entries.
Need to tell the program to monitor an installation before you do the install.
Read full review...

Total Uninstall  

A free app to monitor installation, and remove files and registry entries


Our Rating: 
3.5
License: Free (Last free version)
Monitors before and after installation to remove files and registry entries.
Slower than ZSoft Uninstaller.
Read full review...

Windows Uninstaller Replacements

MyUninstaller  

A more capable product than the Windows built-in uninstaller


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free
Give detailed info, delete orphaned and obsolete entries, save a list of installed applications into a text file. No installation is required.
Not as fully featured as other application uninstallers.
Read full review...

Safarp  

An uninstaller that loads in a flash


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Open source)
Loads in a flash, can be run as a standalone program or installed and integrated into the Control Panel.
Not as fully featured as other application uninstallers.
Read full review...

Related Products and Links

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Editor

This software review is copy-edited by Glyn Burgess. Please help edit and improve this article by clicking here.

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Average: 4.5 (92 votes)

Comments

AppRemover security uninstaller
I was asked to fix a computer for a friend of my brother, the computer was a complete mess, no password for windows , restore turned off ,windows corrupted. The main problem was trying to remove avast 5 which was completely corrupted, repair did nothing , avast removal tool couldn't run, install over also blocked. The uninstaller was missing I would have just started the computer over again but was worried I would lose the webcam software for the laptop. I planned to give up and put the computer away for him to use just to copy his photos Then I found AppRemover this products only job is to search for installed security programs list them and then offer to uninstall. To my surprise AppRemover saw avast 5 ( as no other remover did) and successfully removed this corrupted version . C Clean showed it left only 2 reg leftovers that were unimportant and now a new anti virus could be installed / AppRemover is now part of my repair toolbox . 5 stars

From the listed uninstallers I tried GeekUninstaller because it looked simple, clean and unbundled with other tools that I have covered with other programs (I'm not a fan of all-in-one solutions, because they are rarely equaly good at different tasks). In a few test uninstalls GeekUninstaller did the job and cleaned leftovers. But I missed extra security of backing up the deleted registry entries. So I tried Wise Uninstaller that I saw mentioned in the comments. It offers almost the same experience as GeekUninstaller, if not nicer interface. And it does keep backup of the deleted registry entries automatically (in the Log section). Also, I'm just prepearing my old computer for the move into my office and unlike GeekUninstaller (free version) it is allowed for use in bussiness setting. I did lots of uninstalls with Wise and didn't have any problems. Note that I did rarely found empty folders of uninstalled apps in User/AppData/Roaming. Don't know if that ever happens with GeekUninstaller, but I can live with that because I have backups of deleted registry enties and that seems more important to me than occasional empty folder.

I just installed GeekUninstaller Free version (1.3.4.52) on a Windows 8.1 system. After using it to uninstall a program, I noticed that the Geek window did not auto-refresh to show that the now-uninstalled program was now uninstalled. Then I used it to uninstall a second program, and this time it did auto-refresh. Have others seen this happen?

advanced uninstaller pro (which is a freeware, called pro). it can scan for left overs like revo, or monitor an install (before and after snapshot). it has 64 bit support. snap shot seems more thorough than others i've used (or slower), but very useful if trying out an antivirus or something potentially BSODish.

it seems to have opencandy bundled with it (according to malwarebytes pro) - which is not a biggy for such a complete free offering. just scan with malwarebytes free after to clean it up.

http://www.advanceduninstaller.com/

COMODO Programs Manager is the best!

because it monitors the installation process.

i didn't think they still made that? is it still in development?

IObit bundled with (Magic Barrage) third party software??? That sounds very strange to me. Where did you download it from??? I have been using IObit Uninstaller for over 2 years and have never had any issues and have upgraded also many time without any issues.... I currently have IObit v 5.0.0.49 Beta and all is good.

Has anyone happened to check this out recently (a 2014 comment from another site)?

"Based on advice in this thread, I installed IObit Uninstaller. I did not see any options during either download or installation offering additional programs. However, after several days, I started to see a popup appearing offering s game called Magic Barrage. I HATE such popups, because I assume they indicate some from of infection. After checking for malware, I googled Magic Barrage, and found indications that it was related in some way to IObit. I therefore uninstalled IObit Uninstaller, and the popups stopped appearing.

Am I correct in connecting these two? If so, be warned!"
_____________________________________________________________________________

P.S. Might be nice if the 'quick' recommendation of free Revo were amended to point out that the free one is 32-bit and does not remove 64-bit stuff.

You are right. I too searched about Magic Barrage, and found forums complaining about it, and in the end, it was found to be associated with IObit products. Also, someone spotted Magic Barrage being on IObit page, listed as partner or something. I did not find that now, but it was there earlier probably. Anyways, IObit products did seem to install some kind of update file in AppData folder in temp, which used to show pop-ups for Magic Barrage.

Strange as it sounds, but it seems to be true that it's associated with IObit products.

I myself downloaded and installed IObit Uninstaller in Sandboxie, and when I chose Custom, I was just provided the option to change the install directory, and nothing else. So, it looks like IObit are trying to sneak in adware on the users' computers, without giving them an option about it. And any adware that shows such pop-ups comes under malware IMO.

Sad to see that IObit have not taken lesson from their debacle years ago. I am sort of glad that editors do not feature much of their products on Gizmo's.

BTW, where did you download it from?

You are correct in that Revo Free does not support 64 bit software. IObit and Geek do.... and also free....

Geek.exe works just fine for me over about the last two years. The current version is 1.3.3.46

Uninstallers are all potential system corrupters. When I tried various ones, I found and manually fixed problems that they found and didn't fix or didn't even find.

For example, install an application--even using an uninstaller that takes a pre-install snapshot--and then install more applications, and then try to uninstall that first application you used the with the pre-install snapshop uninstaller. The result is often such a mess, including breaking the subsequent applications, that you may be better off not uninstalling that first program. I have seen uninstaller use resulting in having to reinstall the entire OS and applications.

If you are going to install a big application (Microsoft Office, Adobe suites, CAD tools, etc.), you should consider creating and saving an image of your C: drive first. If you discover the big application causes conflicts or you don't like it, restore the C: image--you will lose any applications you installed between the image creation and restore, but the system will not have been corrupted by the big install. To be safer, you can even create incremental images before every application installation--a 4TB drive can hold a LOT of incremental images--and then you have a choice of when in time you want to restore back to.

P.S. If you use an uninstaller, be sure it has the option to find what it thinks are things to change, but allows you to approve/disapprove--or manually fix--each one individually.

What happened to IObit Uninstaller? Why isn't it even mentioned? REVO is a very good uninstaller but it will not uninstall 64 bit software unless you use the paid version while IObit, I find, is better removing "left over" files and registry input from the uninstalled program and I'm talking about the FREE IObit Uninstaller. I also use GEEK Uninstaller which I consider to be better than REVO.

The IObit product was removed some time ago due to their persistently spamming this site. I am only acting as caretaker for this category so nothing will be radically changed, or added, until someone volunteers to take it over. MC - Site Manager.

Hi MidnightCowboy or anyone that might like to respond.

Sorry in advance if this is getting redundant, but I landed here looking for an alternative to the (free) Revo because I'm so fed up with it after a few years of being fine with it (seems like the latest free Revo has remained the worst). Ever since my forced upgrade from Windows 8 to 8.1, my Vaio is way too slow, & Revo can't seem to 'see' half the stuff Windows uninstaller can 'see' & vice versa.

I was gonna try IObit - only because it was used in a YouTube video I used to successfully fix Firefox on an old Acer (running XP) that Revo very recently basically destroyed (I was trying to update it for a friend/make some room).
SO my main question is re: the Revo review & comment after UNHAPPY FACE: "Can remove other unrelated files with disastrous consequences..."

Since it's #1-ish - is there another free one you would recommend that's Revo-ish without the "...disastrous consequences..." for someone that doesn't know which files to save or put back & more 64-bit friendly? THANK YOU!

One issue is probably that you are now running 64-bit Windows 8 and installing 64-bit applications which Revo Uninstaller Free cannot see because it is 32-bit. The paid Pro version does provide 64-bit compatibility but at a price. The Best Free Program Uninstaller article tells you this but the comment is under GeekUninstaller which sounds like it would be your best option to try: Although Revo will work on a 64bit system the free version doesn't fully support 64bit, whereas GeekUninstaller supports and works on both 32 and 64bit and when running on 64bit Windows system GeekUninstaller runs as a native 64bit application. One last point to mention GeekUninstaller doesn't automatically create a system restore point before uninstalling a program so it may be ideal for the user to remember to do that themselves when they intend to uninstall a program.

Hi MidnightCowboy...

Thanks for the comment. I was not aware of that issue. I have used IObit Uninstaller for more than 2 years with excellent results and no issues so far. Maybe you should try posting IObit Uninstaller again. I'm sure that you might not have that issue again. IObit's Uninstaller is really an excellent tool and GIZMO'S readers should have info and access to IObit's software.

I use Revo and ZSoft also Geek Uninstaller as I change programs frequently as many dis appoint or install pups or try to. The problem with free programs is that they dont uninstall every register entry and some even re-instate themselves.Like a poster above I use other programs to show up those registry entries one of which is Everything thats can show if it is really removed or still lurking in the registry.Leaving those alone is not a good choice as they often come back and hit you. This also helps with the speed of your system

Revo takes so much time to load the entire list, not for someone who install/uninstall apps regularly.Use it only if you have a program which you can't remove using any other Uninstaller

ZSoft :- don't know why it is here.it's search functionality is poor.Not at ll user friendly.

Geek uninstaller: I would recommend it to anyone and everyone. It's fast, portable and easy to use. Resource friendly too.

I would recommend Advanced uninstaller, IObit uninstaller and Wise uninstaller also.

It takes longer - cause with default setting it displays a more detailed info about the installed applications (app name, install date, version, size, company,website,comment, uninstall string, registry key) compared to Geek Uninstaller (app name, size and install date).

You can make Revo load faster while still displaying that info - by disabling icon appearance. Go to Revo "Options" - click Uninstaller tab and check "Enable fast loading mode".

I have tested various versions of Revo over the last few years, and I've given up using it or recommending it because other apps and the os (XP or 7) start to mess up after a while of using it with the default settings. I install and test apps and games constantly, and I can't waste time scanning every list of left-overs before I allow an uninstaller program to clean up. Of course I do analyze the results for more intensely integrated or tricky installations, so I'm referring to 'normal' apps and games that aren't trying to do anything too fancy or transparent.
I've had very few problems with Advanced Uninstaller Pro [beware of unwanted bundled components] for the last year since I learned that it is basically free. It is loaded with tools and tweaks, but I perform most of those additional functions with special apps. It has been a very reliable uninstaller, and I highly recommend that anyone try it out.
[Commercial reference removed]

Please update the review for Geek: everyone saying it's incompatible with 64 bit is *wrong*. I've been using it on a 64 bit system for over a year.

I used Revo before that and to be fair I'd never go back to it: Geek finds as many leftovers as Revo, is less heavy on unnecessary stuff and is much faster.

I remain convinced that Geek is not fully x64 bit compatible, at least in the free version. See this from their own developer: http://forums.crystalidea.com/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=464 It was always the case that the program (free version) would "run" in x64 bit systems but would only support the clean removal of x32 bit programs installed in it. There is no mention of any changes to x64 bit related performance in their log for the free version: http://www.geekuninstaller.com/download Only for the pro version: http://www.crystalidea.com/uninstall-tool-version-history?ref=geek What it says is "Compatible with Windows 7/8/8.1/XP/Vista/2003/2008", without specifying if this relates to x64 as well as x32. IMO this whole issue is a fudge on behalf of the developers who also chose not to respond to a contact I sent regarding this ages ago. Until they make the information on their site more clear, we will still be listing it as is. MC - Site Manager.
I'll be really disappointed if it's not as I was hoping to try it out for the best free Windows 64-bit uninstaller. Comodo Programs Manager is no longer being developed. :( Anyway, I will be testing it in a couple of weeks.

Please review decrap.

Just a thought:

I've recently switched from revo to geek. As stated by others revo does not support
64 bit in the free version. Geek seems to do a great job in removing the program and the associated entries.
What I do ,and I'm sure many others also do,is run ccleaner after uninstalling, especially a large program with tentacles scattered throughout your hard drive.
It's like those guys that follow the elephants at the circus cleaning up after them with a shovel and dustpan. ccleaner gets the rest of the garbage.

Really love your anal ogy. A bit of colour in comments makes them more enjoyable to read.

Cheers.

Advanced Uninstaller Pro (also free, x64-compatible and offers additional functionality) has been updated to version 11.32 (2014.02.07); Softpedia review - http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Advanced-Uninstaller... .

Geek Uninstaller (Free Edition) now stands at version 1.2.1.25 (2014.01.09).

Wise Program Uninstaller has been updated to version 1.57.76 (2013.10.28; 1.78 MB).

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