Add Remove Programs List Tweaking


Problem: Sometimes after uninstalling programs via the Add / Remove Programs Control Panel the name for that program remains on the list.

Solution :  Manually remove the registry key for the program.

Before you begin:  Create a system restore point that can reinstate the registry in case you have to undue changes and or repeating the steps below.

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How

For Windows 32-bit version:

  • Open the registry and drill down to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Uninstall

  • Scroll down each key in the left pane and find the name of the unwanted program and delete it
  • Also, for each key on the left side, there are sub keys in the right hand pane.  You will see the program’s name under “Display Name” sub key in the right pane.  If you  do, then delete its parent key in the left pane.
  • Then Close editor.
  • Re-Open  “Programs and Features Control Panel” or “Add / Remove Programs Control Panel” to see change or reboot to reload the registry.

For Windows 64-bit version:

  • Open the registry and drill down to this key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Wow6432Node \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Uninstall

  • Scroll down each key in the left pane and find the name of the unwanted program and delete it
  • Also, for each key on the left side, there are sub keys in the right hand pane.  You will see the program’s name under “Display Name” sub key in the right pane.  If you do, then delete its parent key in the left pane.
  • Then Close editor.
  • Re-Open  “Programs and Features Control Panel” or “Add / Remove Programs Control Panel” to see change or reboot to reload the registry.

Additional Information

Note:  Before you delete the key, double-check locations/paths noted in the sub keys in the right pane.  Then use that information to search for the folders via explorer and remove those orphaned folders and files from the disk.

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Warning:  Caution should be taken before removing any registry keys that you do not recognize or have seen on the add/remove list.   These keys may be needed by a parent / master program to perform a multi level uninstall of their software.  

However, unknown keys can also be useful for tracking down malware.  Therefore, do a thorough research before you decide to delete the key and remember that executing a system restore point will reinstate the registry if needed.

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