How To Repair the Add/Remove Programs List*
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?
A: 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] this 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, http://support.microsoft.com/kb/314481. 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.
* Orig post: 9/14/2009
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