How to Make Managing your Installed Programs Easier in Windows 7, 8, and 8.1


If you install and uninstall a lot of programs, here is a way to make the process quicker and easier. Use a little-known feature in Control Panel that allows you to group installed programs into useful categories. If you have a lot of installed programs, this makes it easier to find things.

One setting that I quite like is being able to group programs that were installed in a specific time frame. Here is how to use it. 

  1. Open Control Panel. This is straightforward in Windows 7 but is more complicated in Windows 8. See this tip for a Windows 8 shortcut. Windows 8.1 makes it easier. Right-click the new version of a start button and Control Panel can be opened from the context menu.
  2. Click Programs-Uninstall a Program
  3. Make sure that you are displaying the Control Panel dialog in “Details” view
  4. Place your pointer on the heading "Installed On"
  5. Click the down arrow that appears to the right of the heading "Installed On"
  6. The figure below shows the calendar that opens
  7. Click the generic boxes for pre-selected installment time periods or pick a specific date or range of dates. A range can be selected in the usual way by holding down the shift key.

A display of only programs installed on the selected dates will be shown. This can be useful if you do a lot of program installing as I do.

Group by date in Control Panel

Another useful grouping is to create a display that shows installed  programs from a specific publisher.

  1. Place your pointer on the heading "Publisher"
  2. Click the down arrow that appears to the right of the heading "Publisher".
  3. A list of all the publishers of your installed programs will appear
  4. Put a check by the name of the publisher you are interested in
  5. A display with only programs from the selected publisher will appear

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This tips section is maintained by Vic Laurie. Vic runs several websites with Windows how-to's, guides, and tutorials, including a site for learning about Windows and the Internet and another with Windows 7 tips.

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Howdy, folks.

I have Windows 8 64-bit on a 64 bit PC and am trying to look into the 8.1 (Windows 8.1 makes it easier.) as mentioned in the article. I am also using Classic Shell as Windows 8 is a such disaster on a PC (well, as far as I'm concerned.)

I wish I had stuck with XP. I think Windows took an OS that very simple to understand and use and totally bastardized it. Well, that's my opinion anyway. I think I read somewhere that 8 was actually designed specifically for Tablets and simpler.

While looking into updating to 8.1 all I can really learn is that is would cost a $100. Does anyone happen to know if the upgrade is worth the cost and effort?



Thank you, v.laurie. I'll take it over there.

I have been using this for a long time, specialy I am using it to sort installed programs by date, so I can find newly installed programs.
I also use the "search for" bar at the right top to find special programs, or programs starting with ... (you decide what to write).
But, yes this is a very good tip.

For Windows XP users, Nir Sofer's MyUninstaller is an alternative utility to the standard Add/Remove applet that provides additional information: product name, company, version, uninstall string, installation folder and more. It displays the list of all installed applications, and allows you to uninstall an application, delete an uninstall entry, and save the list of all installed applications into a text file or HTML file.

Vic, Thanks for that tip.
I never even thought of pointing my cursor to the headers.

Neither do most people. I only ran across this by accident.