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Uninstaller for Windows: It's that easy to completely remove programs and apps

Installing programs usually works with just a few clicks of the mouse. Uninstalling, i.e. removing the programs, should actually be just as easy. Unfortunately, it often looks different in practice. Sometimes the removal fails completely or there are leftovers on your hard drive. We'll show you how to completely remove programs and apps under Windows 10.

What happens in the background when programs and apps are installed cannot be seen by users. You just have to click the mouse one time or the other and you can start using the new software. But Windows is being dug up under the hood. New files and folders migrate to the hard drive and SSD, and there are often registry entries and links in various places in the system. All of this makes removing the programs complicated. So do the right thing.

First point of contact with Windows standard tools

When it comes to removing programs or apps on Windows 10, the tools in Windows themselves should be the first port of call. Type in the shortcut [Windows] + [X] or right-click on the Windows logo in the lower left corner of the taskbar. Then select "App and Features" in the menu.

Windows 10 will now show you a list of all installed programs and apps that you can search for keywords. On our test PC the list starts with "7-Zip" and ends after 207 entries on "Xbox Live", no wonder that the SSD is full to the brim. Now select the program that you want to remove, click on the entry in the list and select "Uninstall".

So that users do not accidentally delete programs, there is always a security question, after which you often end up with an assistant that you can click through, similar to the installation. Some programs require a Windows restart to complete the uninstallation. There is not much more comfort in Windows 10 when uninstalling programs. This is fine for home use, especially if you only want to remove a few programs. For other requirements, however, there are tools that can do more and help you with the uninstallation.

Revo Uninstaller: Solid functionality in the free version

The Revo Uninstaller, which is now heading for around 3.5 million downloads, is far ahead in the favor of CHIP users. What we particularly like about the tool is its ease of use. Immediately after the start, a list of installed programs is displayed, which you can then uninstall with a click of the mouse. Revo Uninstaller also has the same for apps at the start. Practical: If you wish, a system restore point can be set before uninstalling, so that you can revert to the previous status in the event of problems.

Uninstalling programs is very easy and quick, after removal Revo Uninstaller tracks whether everything has really been removed. In this way, for example, registry entries or files with settings that were deliberately left behind can quickly be seen. Revo Uninstaller can rework at this point. In the "Extras" area you will find further cleaners and optimization tools, for example for autostart or browser data. Revo Uninstaller only offers the full range of functions in the paid Pro version. The multiple deinstallation of programs is of particular interest there.

Download: Revo Uninstaller

IObit Uninstaller: Removes several programs at once

In the popularity of CHIP readers, IObit Uninstaller is only just behind Revo Uninstaller. You can also use IObit without hesitation to remove programs and apps under Windows 10. The installer is currently receiving an optional VPN tool. By clicking on "No, thank you" you prevent it from being installed. Otherwise, IObit Uninstaller also uses a direct approach. Select programs from the list and click on the recycle bin to start the uninstallation. Here, too, there is the option of setting a system restore point and automatically removing leftovers.

The option of uninstalling several programs in one go is practical for those who want to start a major cleanup. Simply select the appropriate candidates from the list and then click on "Uninstall". The uninstaller then works through the jobs one after the other. Without you, however, this usually does not work, because the program wizards keep asking for confirmation clicks.

Download: IObit Uninstaller

Geek Uninstaller: Doesn't have to be installed by yourself

The third most popular uninstaller tool at CHIP is the Geek Uninstaller. The approach of the program is particularly nice, because Geek Uninstaller does not have to be installed itself, but can simply be executed. In contrast to Windows, the list of installed programs in Geek Uninstaller is extremely compact.

Select the program, press the ENTER key and off you go with the deinstallation. The freeware version cannot remove several programs at once; the paid Pro version is required for this. It also offers monitoring for installations. At least the remnants of the program can also be found by the free version. For programs, you can simply use the action menu to jump to the installation folder or to the appropriate registry entries. Also great for tracking down a program, all you have to do is start typing in the Geek Uninstaller.

Download: GeekUninstaller

Uninstaller for special cases

There are a few programs that need special handling when uninstalling. Adobe Flash Player is such a program. Adobe stopped support at the end of 2020, and the plug-in was deactivated at the beginning of 2021. The original Flash can no longer be used and is therefore superfluous on your system. The Flash Player Uninstaller removes Flash versions you have installed yourself without leaving any residue.

Even with third-party virus scanners, special treatment is often necessary when removing them. The providers then provide their own uninstallers for this purpose. You should keep this in mind if a virus scanner cannot be removed using conventional methods.

Download: Flash Player Uninstaller