From the very first moment that you own a personal computer your operating system is mostly preloaded with various software applications for general purpose usage. More often than not, many of these sofwares are bloatware that you necessarily don't require for your daily computational habits. Sadly, this is not the end, because over time as you continue to use your personal computer you install different softwares when the need arises. However, when these applications have served their purpose, they simply reside on your system taking up valuable disk space. Some of these applications might also run in the background, if they have installed any drivers or services that runs on startup, that consumes your system memory and utilitzes processor cores, which slows down your system.
Microsoft Windows is the most popular operating system in the world mainly because of the software ecosystem that it delivers to its users. An end user is provided with a multitude of softwares that can be downloaded from the internet or transferred to your sysem through external drives. To use them, they need to be either be installed on your system or used as a portable application usually by extracting the zip file where the program resides.
Now if you don't require an application anymore, you can simply delete it's folder for a portable application to remove it completely. However if the program is installed on your system, this task cannot be replicated to remove it completely. Thankfully, Windows provide a built-in uninstaller to remove applications that are installed on your operating system. But this does not completely remove the application because it still leaves various associated files or folders, registry entries and so on that are related to the application. Below I have listed various reasons as to why a third party uninstaller is useful on your system.
Why use a 3rd party uninstaller?
1. Leftover cleaning - Unlike package managers in Linux which keeps its own list of files it installs, installers on Windows are free to do any changes on the host system once they are elevated to admin priviledges. This usually starts with creating files in Windows program files directory, adding registry keys and values, creating desktop shortcuts, storing program settings, integration with various file extensions, dumping DLL's, installing system services & drivers, introducing additional registry entries during it's lifecycle, creating/overwriting files during updates and so on.
Ideally uninstalling the program using Windows control panel must remove all the files, folders, shortcuts, regsitry entries, services, drivers, DLL's that comes associated with it. Most software developers provides an uninstaller for their application that is registered in Windows apps & features menu to quickly uninstall their app. Sadly, most of them does not do a thorough job at detecting and deleting all components associated with their program during installation and usage. This results in leftovers or remnants on your host system. 3rd party uninstallers do a much better job at deleting these leftovers by using advanced scans after it calls the application uninstaller to remove the program.
2. Batch & Silent uninstall programs - Apps & features menu in Windows 10 allows you to remove only one application at a time. Imagine you have so much bloatware on your system that you need to get rid of, and manually going through the uninstall process one by one? A 3rd party uninstaller allows you to select all the application through a checkbox that you want to remove and invokes each uninstaller one after another. A good one also let's you to silently uninstall each program in the background without requiring user input.
3. Uninstall various components - A 3rd party uninstaller not only let's you uninstall normal Windows application but also apps installed from Windows store, remove unnecessary or problematic Windows updates, disable or remove browser extensions & toolbars, select individual program components for uninstall and so on.
4. Forced & manual uninstall programs - At times application uninstallers can get broken or corrupted, and in this situation it's not easy to remove the program using normal means. A 3rd party uninstaller allows you to remove these programs and their leftovers without calling their default associated uninstaler.
5. Various uninstall modes - Apart from the normal, batch, silent, forced and manual uninstall discussed above, a 3rd party uninstaller also lets you to easily remove programs by letting you uninstall through right click context menu, hunter mode uninstall by simply clicking on the program shortcut or .exe file, or draging and dropping the program into uninstall window.
6. Additional features - Softwares from HiBit & Revo goes beyond their basic feature of simply uninstalling programs by providing you useful advanced tools to optimize your system that are discussed in their respective sections below.
For this review nine free uninstallers were tested and compared against each other. The uninstallers included (in alphabetical order) and their overall ranking and rating in brackets:
- BulkCrap uninstaller (Top 3) - 4.5 stars
- ChemTable Soft Organizer (Top 5) - 3.5 stars
- Geek uninstaller (Top 7) - 3 stars
- Glarysoft Absolute uninstaller (eliminated, low rating) - 1.5 stars
- HiBit uninstaller (Top 1) - 5 stars
- IObit uninstaller (Top 7) - 2.5 stars
- Revo uninstaller (Top 3) - 4 stars
- Wise program uninstaller (Top 5) - 3 stars
- ZSoft uninstaller (eliminated, low rating) - 2 stars
Leftover files cleaning was tested by installing 11 different Windows applications namely: - CCleaner, Google Chrome, KMPlayer, Adobe Acrobat Reader, uTorrent, Adobe Flash Player, WinRAR, Internet Download Manager, YTD Video Downloader, ImgBurn, Media Player Codec Pack. (Note: some of the softwares tested with are commerial apps).
PS: Sorry if the layout doesn't look decent as it's a screenshot from my spreadsheet software, I didn't get time to finish some tests.
After extensive testing for about a month or so, here is my review of the Top 3 free uninstallers. For detailed reviews, click on the Read full review button.
An amazing tune-up suite that masquerades as a simple program uninstaller
Platforms/Download: Windows (Desktop) |
Version reviewed: 2.5.25
|Our Rating: 5/5
A geek's dream uninstaller software that boasts advanced features
Version reviewed: 4.16
|Our Rating: 4.5/5
A popular uninstaller that works better than most in finding leftovers
Platforms/Download: Windows (Desktop) |
Version reviewed: 2.1.7
|Our Rating: 4/5
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- Best Free PC Tune-Up Utility
- Best Free File Cleaner
- Best Free Registry Cleaner
- Best Free Startup Manager
- Tune Up Utilities Kit
This software review is maintained by volunteer editor George.J. Registered members can contact the editor with any questions or comments they might have by clicking here.
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