Uninstalling applications from Windows, theoretically, is simple. You open up the Control Panel and then go to Add/Remove Programs. Most of the time that works just fine, but there are the occasions where Add/Remove doesn’t quite work as planned and you wind up with missing DLLs or some bits and pieces are left behind (such is the case with many antivirus applications). And, besides, the Windows uninstaller isn’t exactly flexible.
So if you are one of those users who prefer to make sure every part of an application is removed or perhaps you just want a little extra from you uninstaller, you should to take a look at Revo Uninstaller.
This blog post is also available in PDF format in a free TechRepublic download.
The Revo Uninstaller offers a few more options than the Windows uninstaller. Some of the features of Revo include:
- Force uninstall
- Real-time install monitor
- Multilevel backup system
- Hunter mode
- Junk files cleaner
- Auto-run manager
- Browsers cleaner
- MS Office cleaner
- Windows cleaner
- Evidence remover
- Unrecoverable delete
So, as you can see, we’re not talking about the simplified Windows uninstaller. Revo has real power behind it. Now, let’s see how it works.
Standard Revo uninstall
As you read above, there are a few ways to uninstall an application with Revo. Let’s take a look at the “standard” method.
After you install the application, start it up either from the desktop icon or from within the Start menu. The main window (Figure A) is surprisingly packed full.
This is a real-time listing of your applications. As an application is installed, it will automatically appear in this window.
Here are the steps to uninstall an application:
1. Select the application you want to uninstall.
2. Click Uninstall, and the process will begin (Figure B).
Revo Uninstaller will do a full registry backup and create a restore point — in case something goes awry.
3. Click the Yes button to tell the tool you are sure you want to uninstall the application.
4. Once the uninstall is complete, select the Scan mode you want to use (advanced does far more cleanup) and then click the Scan button to do the clean-up section of the uninstall.
5. After the scan is complete, you will be able to delete the application files Revo has discovered to be left over after the uninstall (Figure C).
In many cases, all that is left over will be registry entries that can safely be deleted.
That’s it. The uninstall is complete. Now let’s take a look at another method.
Hunter mode is a very powerful tool that can, if used incorrectly, easily delete applications, so be careful. When you click the Hunter Mode icon (from the Revo main window), a new cursor will appear on your desktop (Figure D).
A gun-like cursor on your desktop can mean only one thing — use wisely.
Once that cursor appears, you can then drag it to an icon on your desktop and a new menu will appear (Figure E). To uninstall, just select Uninstall from the menu and the process will begin.
The Hunter menu also allows you to keep an application from autostarting or even just kill the application.
When using the Hunter mode, the uninstalls are done using the Forced uninstall method. This does not mean that it will uninstall regardless of dependency breakage, but it will automatically remove all remnants that are left behind by a typical uninstall. This method will also search for a program-specific uninstaller and give you the option to use that instead. In some cases (especially for anti-virus tools), this would be a wise option to choose.
During a Hunter uninstall, the first window that pops up (Figure F) will ask you to select a Scan mode and then click Next.
You can see that the application to be uninstalled is listed, as well as the full path to the program file/folder.
If the application to be uninstalled has its own uninstaller, it will be shown in the next window (Figure G).
If you opt for the built-in uninstall tool, select it from the Scan Mode section and then click Next.
If you choose to stick with the Revo uninstall, the Analysis window will pop up ready for you to walk through the uninstall process. If you select the built-in uninstall, that application’s built-in uninstaller will open and walk you through its process. In some cases (as happened with CCleaner), I opted for the Revo uninstaller, and both the Revo and the CCleaner windows opened. If that should happen, just cancel the built-in uninstaller and continue with the Revo method.
NOTE: When you opt for Hunter mode, the Revo window minimizes to the notification tray. You can reopen the main window by right-clicking the icon and selecting Open Main Window. This action will also take you out of Hunter mode.
Junk Files Cleaner
The Junk Files Cleaner tool is quite handy. If you click on the Junk Files Cleaner icon, Revo will allow you to scan your hard disk (Figure H) for any “junk” files. This scan will find temp files and other files left behind by programs or Web browsing.
This junk scan found 100.92 MB of junk to remove.
Once you have scanned your drive, click the Delete button to remove the junk. Simple!
Revo is a powerful tool that is an outstanding candidate to replace the built-in Windows uninstaller. If you’re unhappy with the inflexibility of Windows uninstall, give Revo a try.