Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Uninstalled Program Still Appears

Reader Asks How To Repair the Add/Remove Programs List

Q: I have listing of programs which show up in my add/remove programs that do not exist on my computer. I would like to remove them from the add/remove programs. Is there a program or do you know an easy way to remove non-existent programs which still show up here?

AddRemoveA: When a program remains in the list of installed programs in your Control Panel’s Add/Remove Programs, after you have uninstalled it, it really doesn’t hurt anything to leave the entry there– but it is annoying and .. well, wrong. All it is is a key in the Registry didn’t get deleted by the uninstaller (which is why I use Revo to uninstall programs and not Add/Remove Programs or the Uninstaller)

The simplest way to remedy this ‘glitch’ is to click on the entry and launch the Remove process (as if it was still there) — Windows should “discover” that the program no longer exists, and ask if you want to remove it from the listing – answer yes, and it will remove the name.
(Vista and Win 7 are pretty good at this, but in XP [and older] it is more of a 50/50 proposition.)

If Windows doesn’t fix itself, then you can run the Registry repair/cleaner in CCleaner, which should find and delete the Registry key. When CCleaner asks if you want to make a backup, answer yes.

The direct approach is to manually edit the Registry. The Microsoft instructions for that are here, As always, I remind you that editing the Registry is risky and to make a new Restore Point (System Restore) and a Registry backup before editing the Registry.

Copyright 2007-9 © Tech Paul. All rights reserved.jaanix post to jaanix

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September 14, 2009 - Posted by | advice, computers, how to, tech, troubleshooting, tweaks | , , , , , , ,


  1. Also, often when you click uninstall for a program that doesn’t exists, windows informs you that the program is missing and gives you the option to remove the program from the add/remove programs list. Make sure to try it.


    Comment by cyb3rs | September 14, 2009 | Reply

    • cyb3rs,
      I appreciate and welcome comments from readers, but in this case I really need to know: did I not make that clear, or did you not read the article?
      I said try that first, I thought…


      Comment by techpaul | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  2. TechPaul,

    It is too bad we can’t take all your “how to” articles and publish them… This is the everyday stuff that people experience and need to know.

    Great work!



    Comment by Ramblinrick | September 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Rick,
      Complimentary statements like this are my only “pay”, and so they are always welcome. I thank you, sir.


      Comment by techpaul | September 15, 2009 | Reply

  3. This is the everyday stuff that people experience and need to know.


    Comment by Orlando Computer Repair | September 15, 2009 | Reply

    • Yes. I too am in the biz, and that is how this blog got started. I got tired of repeating the rudiments, and so now I can just direct them to a How To article.


      Comment by techpaul | September 15, 2009 | Reply

  4. what if no change or remove button appears?


    Comment by turbo | October 4, 2012 | Reply

    • turbo,
      If you mean, you did run the uninstall, but now when you go back to Control Panel and still see the program listed there (as this article references), then you do step 2 then step 3, described.

      There are many items you may wish to uninstall which do not appear as removable items in Control Panel (Add/Remove Programs only shows most installed programs) like, Updates and Service Packs, Microsoft “enhancements” like Messenger chat, and Internet Explorer, browser toolbars and plug ins, etc.. These have their own “uninstall methods”. Since I do not know what you are trying to remove, on what operating system, I can only suggest “googling” uninstall ____x______ (where “x” is the name of your item).


      Comment by techpaul | October 4, 2012 | Reply

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