Best Free Program Uninstaller

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Introduction

     

     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. 

 

Detailed comparison

     

     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:

     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. 

 

Application Uninstallers

 

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.  

HiBit Uninstaller  

An amazing tune-up suite that masquerades as a simple program uninstaller


Our Rating: 
5
License: Free
Supports many different uninstall modes - batch, force, manual, context menu, silent, drag n drop etc., Powerful scanning and removal of leftovers with auto-clean feature, Monitor program installers manually for thorough removal, Continue uninstall process after reboot, Create restore points & registry backups to undo if required, Browser extension and Windows updates manager, Has many optimization tools available - junk files, empty folder, registry, disk cleaner, processes, startup, services, context menu manager etc., Supports skins & themes, Portable version available
Developed by a single author - FAQ's, forums, user manuals are unavailable, No automatic real time monitoring - only manual program installer monitoring, Doesn't support concurrent program uninstalls like BCU
Read full review...

Bulk Crap Uninstaller  

A geek's dream uninstaller software that boasts advanced features


Our Rating: 
4.5
License: Free (Open source)
Supports uninstall of concurrent programs & hunter mode, Beautiful colored legends separating uninstallers with verified & unverified certificates, having missing uninstallers, orphaned apps & Windows store apps, Allows you to filter system components, hidden/protected items & even program updates for uninstall, Cleans leftover files of programs uninstalled by other 3rd party uninstaller, Advanced search feature to filter programs, through comparison methods & target properties, Create custom rules, scripts & tweaks for install/uninstall programs and adding entries
Leftover removal not as good as HiBit or Revo application, Complex UI & uninstall screens that are better suited for power users rather than newbies, Slow startup to generate detailed information on installed components
Read full review...

Revo Uninstaller  

A popular uninstaller that works better than most in finding leftovers


Our Rating: 
4
License: Free (Limited features)
Hunter mode to easily uninstall programs, Powerful leftover files cleaning, Different scan modes for leftover files for safe, moderate, advance use, Various useful optimization tools - autorun manager, junk files cleaner, Windows & MS office cleaner etc., Well documented user manuals, video tutorials, FAQ and Email support, Portable version available
Various features restricted in free version - no batch uninstall or force uninstall or real time monitoring of system changes, Lacks other uninstall modes like context menu, silent uninstall, manual or concurrent program uninstall, No option to uninstall Windows updates or browser extensions Doesn't support resuming uninstall after system reboot
Read full review...

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Editor

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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Comments

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).

This software has been unchanged for as long as this site has existed. Or so it feels.

Time to check out some new things soon?

Well, this one got high grades at Cnet:
[cnet download link replaced with one to a clean source: http://www.softpedia.com/get/System/OS-Enhancements/Advanced-Uninstaller...
More information in the article below:
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/cnet-downloadcom-wrapped-install...
Beware of the bundled unwanted software included with Advanced Uninstaller Pro anyway. Care is needed during the install process. MC - Site Manager]
http://www.techsupportalert.com/content/what-else-have-you-just-download...

I have used REVO and COMODO uninstallers and they do perform very well but I was wondering, have you ever done a review on IObit Uninstaller? I am currently using this software and it seems to do it's job very well. Have to say that the reviews on the software you guys do is very thorough and explained in such an understandable manner that even I, which I'm not a GEEK, can understand. Thanks for the time you guys put into the reviews.

We are less than impressed with the operational ethics of IObit, including their attempts to spam this site, which is one of the reasons why some editors choose not to feature their products. MC - Site Manager.
dUninstaller is stand-alone, portable, definition based automatic application uninstall utility. Based on d7′s Auto Uninstall feature, it functions in the exactly same way, and utilizes the same definition file; however it has the additional ability to run silently uninstalling what it can, and reporting what it cannot uninstall automatically, as it can generate a log file and/or send an email with the results. The intent of dUninstaller is to push out via group policy to workstations, or to managed PCs from remote monitoring / managed services software such as Kaseya, nAble, Level Platforms, GFI, etc. etc.: http://www.foolishit.com/vb6-projects/duninstaller/

Revo Uninstaller free does not uninstall or even show 64-bit programs! And you really gave it 10 stars???

As you can see from the review, it currently has no editor and needs updating. Maybe you would like to take this on and give something constructive back to the freeware community? MC - Site Manager.

Looks like Revo Uninstaller's free edition is stuck at 1.94 version, which has many bugs (very often doesn't see some installed programs, occasionally hangs when uninstalling, etc.).
(on WinXPSP3 and Win7 Home Basic)

One of the major cons in Geek Uninstaller is that, when a new version is released (according to a specific time period), the current version becomes inactive, and you won't be able to use it. It forces the user to update to the latest version. This isn't happy news for those who want to use it on offline computers. I believe that it's not according to the release of the newer version that the current version becomes inactive, but it depends on a set time period. Because, the program refused to start-up hinting that the current version is expired, on my laptop which is never connected to the internet.
The developer has now removed this feature with the latest release. MC - Site Manager.

"ZSoft Uninstaller
Our rating:
9
Product type: Runs as a stand-alone program on a user's computer
Pros:
...
*64 Bit compatibility: 32 and 64 bit versions available*
License type: Unrestricted freeware
Portable version available: A portable version of this product is available from the developer.
System requirements: 95 - Vista/7"

From the ZSoft site:

"A little about 64-bit support
*Let it be known: ZSoft Uninstaller v2.5 still does not really support a 64-bit OS.*
Further explanation: ZSoft Uninstaller v2.5 will run and work fine, for uninstalling, analyzing and whatnot, 32-bit programs on a 64-bit system. As a 32-bit program itself, it cannot (as standard) 'see', for instance, the 64-bit part of the registry -- but neither can other 32-bit programs, so it shouldn't be that big of a problem.
As said, this 'blindness' is 'as standard', and hopefully I'll be able to release a '64-bit-aware' version at some point."

Many thanks for pointing this out. I have amended the product details accordingly. MC - Site Manager.

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