Microsoft

Tech Tip: Get rid of orphaned entries in the Add/Remove Programs tool in XP

Have you ever opened the Add/Remove Programs applet, only to discover that it still lists a program you've already removed? Find out how to get rid of these entries.

Have you ever opened the Add/Remove Programs applet, only to discover that it still lists a program you've already removed? If this has happened to you, chances are good that you attempted to clear the entry from the Add/Remove Programs tool by clicking the Change Or Remove Programs button again.

When you do, you receive an error message that states Windows no longer has the program installed. But the entry still remains in the Add/Remove Programs tool.

To get rid of these orphaned entries, you must resort to editing the registry. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Current Version\Uninstall.
  3. Expand the Uninstall tree, and locate the branch associated with the program that you've uninstalled.
  4. Delete the branch.
  5. Close the Registry Editor, and restart the system.

Note: Editing the registry is risky, so be sure you have a verified backup before saving any changes.

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