How to Uninstall Programs That Don't Show Up in the Control Panel

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Most applications utilize the Windows install manager to install programs, but not all. In these rare circumstances you must uninstall the program manually. The first thing to do is look for the documentation from the application's creators. You can usually find this in a folder on your computer named after the application. If you can't find it there, you will have to look for uninstall documentation on the developer's site.

  • Click the Windows "Start" button, and then click "All Programs." Look for your application folder. If you find it, click it and look for an uninstall program. If you don't see it, you will have to find the folder on the hard drive.

  • To locate the application folder, click the Windows "Start" button, type the application name in the search box and press the "Enter" key. Double-click the application folder in the search window.

  • Look for the documentation to uninstall the program. This will most likely be in a .doc or .pdf file.

  • Look for an uninstall program. If you find one, double-click it and follow the instructions to uninstall the program. If you cannot find the uninstall program or any documentation, you will have to uninstall manually.

  • Right-click the application folder and click "Delete." Click "Yes" in the deletion confirmation window. Then, if the program includes an icon on the desktop, right-click it and click "Delete." Again, click "Yes" in the deletion confirmation window.

Tips & Warnings

  • Some registry entries may be left behind when you manually delete a program. Without the correct documentation to find the application keys in the registry, you cannot remove them. With the rest of the application deleted, these files will not affect your computer, and they take up a miniscule amount of space on the hard drive.
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