[Windows] Best free clean uninstaller

As much as like to believe otherwise, many programs do not completely clean after themselves when you uninstall. In other words, many programs leave traces (in the form of files, folders, and registry entries) on your computer after you have uninstalled them. That is why clean uninstallers are so handy; they help you remove files, folders, and registry entries that programs leave behind after being uninstalled.

The program, however, is there are so many clean uninstallers out there that it is hard to know which one to pick. This is why we decided find and review (with your help, of course — thanks everyone for providing suggestions) the best free clean uninstallers for Windows. Enjoy!

This review is part of our Best Free Windows Software section. Check out more articles on the best free Windows programs by clicking here.

Before We Begin

Before we delve into the review, let me explain one important concept: the different methods of performing a clean uninstall.

There are three ways a program can do clean uninstalls — after- uninstall scan, snapshot comparison, and real-time monitor:

  • After uninstall scan is when a clean uninstaller runs the target program’s regular uninstaller and then scans your computer for files, folders, and registry entries that program may have left behind. These after uninstall scans typically add one to two minutes (maybe more or less depending on your computer and what clean uninstaller you use) to your total uninstall time because you have to wait while the clean uninstaller runs the scan after regular uninstallation. When a clean uninstaller uses the after uninstall scan method, it only comes into play when you go to uninstall a program — it isn’t actively running in the background.
  • Snapshot comparison is when a clean uninstaller takes a snapshot of your computer prior to you installing a program and takes a snapshot of your computer after you install the program. When you want to uninstall a program, the clean uninstaller compares the two snapshots to find and remove all new files, folders, and registry entries that were created during program installation. Using a clean uninstaller that uses snapshot comparison requires you to wait one to two minutes prior to installing a program, one to two minutes after installation of a program, and one to two minutes prior to uninstalling a program. (Times will vary, of course, depending on your computer and which clean uninstaller you use.) Like an after uninstall scanning clean uninstaller, a clean uninstaller that uses snapshot method is not actively running the background — you only run it when you need it.
  • Real-time monitor is when the clean uninstaller is actively running in the background and monitors, in real-time, the changes made to your computer by a program installation. When you go to uninstall a program, the clean uninstaller knows exactly what was added to your computer during installation and is able to remove it. Unlike the previously two method methods, a clean uninstaller that uses real-time monitor is always on in the background because it needs to actively monitor program installations. Depending on the program used, this real-time monitor may or may not have an adverse effect on computer performance. The plus side is you don’t have to wait during program installation, after program installation, before program uninstallation, or after program installation — everything is almost instant.

Take note none of these three methods is 100% accurate. However, of all three methods the “best” method is real-time monitor simply because it is more user-friendly due to no waiting and is the most accurate in removing leftover files, folders, and registry entries. Of course that does not mean clean uninstallers that use the other two methods are inaccurate in removing leftover files, folders, and registry entries; a good clean uninstallers that use one of the other two methods can be just as good as one that uses real-time monitor. However, the no waiting aspect to real-time monitor is very important because people — like myself — will often stop using a clean uninstaller if it makes us wait during installation/uninstallation.

The programs reviewed in this article utilize a mix of real-time monitor and after uninstall scan; programs that use snapshot comparison were reviewed but did not make the cut due to how annoying they are to use (too much waiting).

That said, let’s begin…

Table of Contents [Comodo Programs Manager vs Revo Uninstaller vs Advanced Uninstaller PRO vs IObit Uninstaller vs GeekUninstaller]

Best Free Clean Uninstaller

2013-03-14_211112Program Name: Comodo Programs Manager

Note: dotTech’s has a full review on Comodo Programs Manager.

Developer: Comodo Security Solutions

Download Size: 10.8MB

Version Reviewed: 1.3

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Server 2003/Server 2008 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Pros

  • Uses real-time monitor to track changes made during installation of a program
    • Using a real-time monitor allows Comodo Programs Manager to have very good accuracy in removing leftover files, folders, and registry entries, does not require users to perform any waiting during installation of programs, and allows for almost no-wait uninstallation of programs
  • Supports batch uninstallation
  • Works with all types of program installs, active installs that you install yourself and silent installs that are installed on their own (e.g. Firefox or Adobe Flash updating silently in the background)
  • Has a ‘Database Monitored’ feature which allow you to cleanly uninstall popular programs that Comodo Programs Manager did not monitor on your computer (i.e. programs you installed prior to installing Comodo Programs Manager)
  • Is able to remove leftover files, folders, and registry entries of programs that you uninstalled from elsewhere or failed/partially uninstalled programs
    • For example, let’s say you uninstall a program from Add/Remove Programs. If Comodo Programs Manager monitored that program installation or if that program is a database monitored program then you can run Comodo Programs Manager and clean leftover files, folders, and entries even though you didn’t uninstall the program with Comodo Programs Manager.)
  • Automatically removes locked files, folders, and registry entries (stuff that cannot be removed from within Windows) the next time you reboot your computer
  • Is able to perform force uninstalls
  • Can uninstall programs not monitored by Comodo Programs Manager (but uninstalls of programs that are not monitored by Comodo Programs Manager and are not database monitored programs is a simple uninstall, i.e. the same as from Add/Remove Programs)
  • Makes automatic backups of programs you uninstall, allowing you to reinstall/restore the programs easily with one click
  • Allows you to make self-extracting installers of programs you have installed. This self-extracting installer keeps your program settings and allows you to install that program on any other computer.
    • Note: A program must be monitored by Comodo Programs Manager (i.e. software you install after you install Comodo Programs Manager) for you to be able to create a self-extracting installer. You cannot create self-extracting installer for database monitored and nonmonitored programs (i.e. software installed before you install Comodo Programs Manager are not supported for this self-extracting installer feature).
    • Note: You cannot create self-extracting installers for programs that have kernel components.
  • Aside from programs, works for drivers, services, Windows features (enable/disable only), and Windows updates
  • Prompts you to make sure you want to remove shared DLLs
  • Has built-in search allowing you to quickly find the program you want
  • You can sort programs by name, developer, size, monitor status, and usage
  • Adds a convenient entry in right-click context menu to trigger a manual monitor or uninstall a program with Comodo Programs Manager
  • Displays a popup notification informing you of when a program install has been successfully monitored (you can disable this, if you wish)
  • Extremely easy to use with little to no learning curve

Cons

  • Can have false positives
  • Does not display the date of installation for programs
  • When performing an uninstall, there are two things that happen. First you are prompted to run the regular uninstaller of a program. Second you are asked to confirm you want to remove leftover files, folders, and registry entries. It would be nice if there was the option to automate the removal of files, folders, and registry entries after regular uninstaller has finished. Having the option to enable/disable this automation would attract both types of users, people who prefer manually looking at the list of leftover files, folders, and registry entries before confirming their removal and people who don’t want to look at the list and just want to cleanly uninstall programs
  • Batch uninstallation is not automated — you still need to sit there and manually confirm you want to uninstall a program and then clean up traces afterwards
  • It would be nice if Comodo Programs Manager also had an after uninstall scan feature which would help for those programs that have not been monitored by Comodo Programs Manager
  • The program claims that is checks the installer of every program for malware using Comodo’s cloud technology and that it has the ability to keep your applications up-to-date using Comodo’s “constantly updated” database. However, I see no evidence of these two features existing or being used plus there are no options to disable this behavior (if it exists) for those that don’t want it to happen.
  • Has not been updated in over an year. It still works fine on Windows XP, Vista, and Windows 7 but Windows 8 support is sketchy; some people report it working fine on Windows 8 while others say it doesn’t work.
  • Takes anywhere between 5-30 seconds to load programs list after you open Comodo Programs Manager (annoying!)
  • Does not have the ability to export list of installed programs to TXT, HTML, etc.

Discussion

I have been using Comodo Programs Manager for over an year and I absolutely love this program. Prior to finding Comodo Programs Manager, I used to use Revo Uninstaller to cleanly uninstall programs. However, after a while I stopped using Revo Uninstaller because I am impatient and hate having to wait after a program uninstall for Revo Uninstaller to scan my computer for leftover junk. Because it uses real-time monitoring, Comodo Programs Manager does not make you wait at all — not during/after program installation and not during/after program uninstallation. Everything with Comodo Programs Manager is very streamlined and quick. Really the only limit to the speed at which programs are cleanly uninstalled with Comodo Programs Manager is how fast you are able to click.

The best part about Comodo Programs Manager is that even though it uses real-time monitoring, it does not slow down your computer at all. Yes, it is running all the time in the background but computer resource usage (RAM/CPU) is extremely low (almost negligible) and Comodo Programs Manager does not interfere with your work or play. It simply sits in the background doing its thing, monitoring programs as they are installed.

As the proverbial cherry on top, there are two very useful and very interesting features of Comodo Programs Manager that go beyond clean uninstalling: backup feature that provides you with the ability to “undo” an uninstall by restoring the uninstalled program and the ability to make self-extracting installer files of installed programs. Probably the most interesting of the two is self-extracting installer which allows you to create an installer for your installed programs. Comodo Programs Manager throws in any and all files, folders, and registry entries that it associates with the program in question meaning you can “move” your program(s) to another computer along with relevant files and settings.

Simply put, Comodo Programs Manager is the best free clean uninstaller I have ever come across. The combination of intelligent features and user-friendliness help it blow the competition out of the water. However, no program is perfect and the biggest issue with Comodo Programs Manager is that it can sometimes overly accurate, i.e. risk of false positives.

There are two false positive issues in regards to Comodo Programs Manager, deleting files/folders/registry entries not belonging to the program being uninstalled and deleting files/folders that you don’t want deleted:

  • The first issue is deleting files/folders/registry entries not belonging to the target program. You see, as already mentioned, Comodo Programs Manager actively monitors programs to determine what files/folders/registry entries are changed/added. The risk is if you are multi-tasking while installing a program that Comodo Programs Manager may wrongly associate a file/folder/registry entry change with the program you are installing when in reality it is related to something else.
  • The second issue is deleting files/folders that you don’t want deleted. For example, when I uninstalled FileZilla (an FTP program) with Comodo Programs Manager, it wanted to delete files I downloaded from FileZilla, not just FileZilla program files/folders. I, of course, do not want to delete the files I used FileZilla to download — I only want to delete FileZilla program-related files.

The first issue (deleting files/folders/registry entries not belonging to the target program) is the lesser of two evils because all you have to do is not multi-task while installing a new program. This isn’t something I would worry about too much. The second issue, deleting files/folders that you don’t want deleted, is more a significant because it may result in deleting files that you want to keep or need. How often does it happen? Well, as I said, I’ve been using Comodo Programs Manager for over a year and have had no major issues but I did notice this behavior 4-5 times. So this is something you need to keep an issue on when uninstalling programs — be sure to give the files/folders list a quick look before accepting to delete them.

There is a compensating feature that helps you if you ever accidentally delete what you don’t want deleted — the automatic backup feature and undo uninstall feature I mentioned earlier. If you find you accidentally deleted files/folder while uninstalling a program that you didn’t want to delete, you can use the backup and undo the uninstall to recover the files.

Overall, despite its shortcomings, Comodo Programs Manager is the best free clean uninstaller around.

Runner Up

2013-03-14_211343Program Name: Revo Uninstaller Free

Note: Revo Uninstaller Free has a portable version

Developer: VS Revo Group

Download Size: 2.5MB

Version Reviewed: 1.94

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Win7/Win8

Note: Revo Uninstaller works on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows. However, the free version cannot cleanly uninstall 64-bit — only 32-bit programs. This includes 32-bit apps on 32-bit Windows and 64-bit Windows. You need to purchase Pro to be able to cleanly uninstall 64-bit programs.

Discussion

Due to its high accuracy and the fact that it basically popularized the genre, Revo Uninstaller is the most popular and widely respected clean uninstaller.

Revo Uninstaller Free uses the after uninstall scan method to cleanly uninstall programs (Revo Uninstaller Pro has both after uninstall scan and real-time monitoring, like Comodo Programs Manager); it also supports removing Windows updates. It takes a few minutes to perform scans after you uninstall a program, so you must have patience with this program. However, if you are able to wait those few minutes, Revo Uninstaller is one of the most accurate clean uninstallers I have ever used.

As much as I dislike the fact that VS Revo Group has sidelined the development of Revo Uninstaller Free to focus on Revo Uninstaller Pro, I have yet to find an after uninstall scanning clean uninstaller that is as accurate as Revo Uninstaller. I was hoping Advanced Uninstaller PRO, IObit Uninstaller and GeekUninstaller would one-up Revo Uninstaller but, while good, they aren’t as good as Revo Uninstaller. (Note: I don’t blame RS VS Revo Group for focusing on Pro — they need to make a living too. But I dislike how they seem to care more about pushing Revo Uninstaller Pro onto users than updating Revo Uninstaller Free.)

The biggest downside to Revo Uninstaller is what I just mentioned — you can to devote a few minutes to scan for leftover files/folders/registry entries after you uninstall a program. Aside from that, Revo Uninstaller’s after uninstall scan method is not as accurate as Comodo Programs Manager’s real-time monitoring. Indeed, if you look at Revo Uninstaller Pro the developer features its ability to real-time monitor as a selling point which should indicate to you real-time monitoring is typically a better way to cleanly uninstall than after uninstall scan. Of course that doesn’t mean after uninstall scan is bad; it isn’t. As I already said, Revo Uninstaller has one of the best after uninstall scanners. That means it just isn’t as good as real-time monitor.

On a similar note, Revo Uninstaller still suffers from the two drawbacks that I mentioned for Comodo Programs Manager — the risk of deleting files/folders/registry entries of unrelated programs and the risk of deleting files/folders you don’t want deleted. (These two drawbacks are inherent in pretty much all clean uninstallers, regardless of type, including the soon-t0-be-mentioned IObit Uninstaller and GeekUninstaller.) However, it should be mentioned the latter risk is a bit less in Revo Uninstaller because it won’t go after generic folders. For example, when discussing Comodo Programs Manager I mentioned how, when uninstalling FileZilla, Comodo Programs Manager wanted to delete files I downloaded with FileZilla because, as far as Comodo Programs Manager was concerned, FileZilla “created” those files and they should be removed along with the program. If I were uninstalling FileZilla with Revo Uninstaller, if those files are put in, say, my Downloads folder, then Revo Uninstaller would not touch those files — it wouldn’t even know they exist. However, if the files were put in something like a folder named FileZilla or in the Program Files folder of FileZilla, then Revo Uninstaller would also want to delete those files even though I don’t want it to delete them.

In the end, no method of clean uninstallation is perfect. The only way to get truly accurate and truly clean uninstalls is to have program developers make it so their programs cleanup after themselves upon uninstallation. However, that is likely never going to happen so we have to use third-party clean uninstallers to fill the gap. And which program and method you use depends on what you prefer; it is a balancing act between user-friendliness, accuracy, and false positives. In my opinion the balance is tilted most in favor of Comodo Programs Manager (which is why it is rated as #1) but Revo Uninstaller is also another excellent choice.

That said, five things should be mentioned about Revo Uninstaller. Firstly, it does not have the ability to do force uninstalls and/or clean failed or partially installed programs. Secondly, it does not create backups of programs prior to uninstall — it only creates a System Restore point. Thirdly, batch uninstall is not supported. Fourthly, free version of Revo Uninstaller works on 32-bit and 64-bit Windows but it can only cleanly uninstall 32-bit programs — you need to upgrade to Revo Uninstaller Pro to cleanly uninstall 32-bit and 64-bit programs. Lastly, aside from clean uninstall features, Revo Uninstaller has a basic startup manager, basic junk file cleaner, quick access to Windows tools, basic browser privacy cleaner, and basic Microsoft Office recent history cleaner.

Honorable Mention 1

2013-07-31_012428Program Name: Advanced Uninstaller PRO

NOTE: Advanced Uninstaller PRO comes bundled with bloatware toolbars during installation. Be careful while installing it.

Developer: Innovative Solutions

Download Size: 20.1MB

Version Reviewed: 11.20

Supported OS: Windows 8/7/XP/Vista/2003/2008 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

Advanced Uninstaller PRO used to be a shareware program that has become freeware in recent years. It is a feature-filled program. In fact, Advanced Uninstaller PRO offers the most features out of all the clean uninstallers reviewed in this article. Not only does Advanced Uninstaller PRO have the ability to cleanly uninstall by performing after uninstall scan but it also does real-time monitor — a combination of features not found in any of the other freeware clean uninstallers discussed in this review.

In addition to having the ability to perform both uninstall scan and real-time monitor, Advanced Uninstaller PRO has many other features and functionality: Startup Manager, Services Manager, Quick Cleaner (privacy cleaning), Start Menu Cleaner, Font Manager, Control Panel Manager, Registry Cleaner, Registry Optimizer, Registry Restore & Backup, File Shredder, Live File Compression, Duplicate Files, and Internet Browser Tools (delete IE, Firefox, and Chrome cookies, cache, and browsing history).

To top it off, in addition to being feature-filled, Advanced Uninstaller PRO is actually pretty good in performance. Not only can it uninstall 32-bit and 64-bit programs, but its clean uninstall capabilities finds quite a good number of leftover registry entries, files, and folders — not as good as Revo Uninstaller but still very good.

So with all those features plus good performance, you must be asking yourself: why the hell is Advanced Uninstaller Pro not ranked as #1? Three reasons.

First of all, Advanced Uninstaller PRO is painfully slow. The after scan uninstall is slow at scanning, so much so that, if you are like me, you will get frustrated and simply cancel the process. If you think Revo Uninstaller is slow, then you will want to stay away from Advanced Uninstaller PRO.

Secondly, I’ve never been able to properly use Advanced Uninstaller PRO’s real-time monitor. Sure it works if I manually trigger the real-time monitor but I’ve never been able to successfully get it to automatically monitor installations (despite the fact that it supposedly has this feature — you can enable it via system tray icon)… which is the whole point of a real-time monitor. Maybe I am just doing it wrong.

Lastly, do you really need all those extra features in a clean uninstaller? No, I mean do you really need them? In an uninstaller? I think not, and they just serve as a way to bloat the program — Advanced Uninstaller PRO is 2x the download size as the next largest program discussed in this review, Comodo Programs Manager.

That all said, however, Advanced Uninstaller PRO is definitely a great program and deserves recognition. I won’t fault you if you decide to use it… especially if you want after uninstall scan capabilities and are frustrated with Revo Uninstaller Free’s inability to uninstall 64-bit programs.

Honorable Mention 2

2013-03-14_211517Program Name: IObit Uninstaller

Note: IObit Uninstaller is portable. Be sure to grab it from Softpedia instead of its homepage because otherwise you will need to use FreeNew downloader.

Developer: IObit

Download Size: 1.5MB

Version Reviewed: 2.4.7.340

Supported OS: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Win7/Win8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

IObit Uninstaller, like Revo Uninstaller, is another clean uninstaller that uses after uninstall scan to identify and remove leftover files, folders, and registry entries. It is a portable program that supports batch uninstall (although batch uninstall is not automated — you still need to sit there and click-click-click at each prompt), is able to sort programs by name, size, and install date, works with Windows updates, has a module specifically dedicated for removing toolbars, can export installed programs list in a TXT file, and can do force uninstall.

When I sat down to write this review, I expected IObit Uninstaller to take the crown for #2. After all, it has receive heaps of praise from many people including reviewers and dotTechies. However, when I actually tested the program I quickly came to the conclusion IObit Uninstaller is not as accurate as Comodo Programs Manager and Revo Uninstaller. For example, after uninstalling Nitro PDF Pro 6 IObit Uninstaller told me the program left behind zero files, folders, and registry entries. Zero. I know (knew) for a fact Nitro PDF Pro 6 left behind more than nothing because Comodo Programs Manager had the install monitored and told me exactly what was left behind, which I went and verified myself, e.g. Nitro PDF folder in ProgramData.

That being said, IObit Uninstaller is not a complete failure. I am going to go out on a limb and say the Nitro PDF Pro 6 poor uninstall was a fluke because IObit Uninstaller performed relatively well for other uninstalls, although not was well as the previously two mentioned clean uninstallers. Generally speaking, I noticed IObit Uninstaller is better at identifying leftover registry entries than leftover files and folders. While this does decrease the accuracy of IObit Uninstaller’s clean uninstall capabilities, there is a silver lining — IObit Uninstaller is less likely than Comodo Programs Manager and RevoUninstall to delete files/folders you don’t want deleted. That doesn’t mean it won’t ever do it — it just means it is less likely to do it.

It should also be noted IObit Uninstaller’s force uninstall capabilities aren’t as user-friendly as Comodo Programs Manager’s, which makes it very easy to remove failed or partially uninstalled programs.

Overall, IObit Uninstaller is a viable option for clean uninstall needs if Comodo Programs Manager and Revo Uninstaller are not to your liking.

Honorable Mention 3

2013-03-14_211602Program Name: GeekUninstaller

Note: GeekUninstaller is portable

Developer: Thomas Koen

Download Size: 1.9MB

Version Reviewed: 1.0.4.7

Supported OS: Windows 7/8/XP/Vista/2003/2008 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Discussion

GeekUninstaller is another clean uninstaller that uses the after uninstall scan method to identify and remove leftover files, folders, and registry entries. (The paid Pro version supports real-time monitoring, if you want that.) It is a portable program that utilizes the minimalist approach, with a simple interface that is to-the-point and allows for extremely easy searching by simply typing. GeekUninstaller can sort programs by name, size, and date; supports force uninstall; can export installed programs in an HTML file; and supports Windows updates. It does not, however, support batch uninstall.

Similar to IObit Uninstaller, GeekUninstaller is a good program but it simply isn’t as accurate as Advanced Uninstaller PRO, Comodo Programs Manager and Revo Uninstaller. Generally speaking, I’ve found GeekUninstaller to be the inverse of IObit Uninstaller — it is better at finding leftover files and folders than registry entries.

Overall, GeekUninstaller is not as good as the previously mentioned clean uninstallers but it is still a good program and a viable option.

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138 comments

  1. Sonic98

    I’ve been using Revo. I really can’t install one with real-time monitoring where I’m using it, at least it probably wouldn’t do much good. Also, 64-Bit programs are rarely the problem. The only thing it’s missing I need is batch uninstallation.

  2. melen001

    [@Deb]

    Hello Deb…
    If your looking for the perfect “uninstall tool” i’m sure you know that “perfect” is not the correct word but maybe the best at “removing the most and leaving the least amount of ‘junk’ behind” would sound better. I would suggest you try one of the following: IObit Uninstaller V 3.2 and Geek Uninstaller V 1.3.0.32. Both can scan for files and registry left-overs (dlls) and they will delete them as well. I have been using IObit for over 18 months with excellent results and maybe for the last month or so Geek Uninstaller with even better results especially when performing “force uninstall”. They are both excellent and i would suggest that you should give them a try. Geek Uninstaller was recently up-dated so i personally would suggest that you look at Geek but both are excellent at what they do….. I would say that’s it’s a toss-up. If you’re wondering why haven’t i mentioned Revo Uninstaller, well Revo DOES NOT cleanly uninstall 64 bit programs unless you buy the Pro version. Let me know what you think…
    George

  3. Deb

    Ashraf, is there an updated edition of this article I’m missing somewhere? Unfortunately, some of the cons you have about several uninstallers have been fixed. They almost all include a number of other awesome features. Most importantly Comodo is no longer updating or supporting Program Manager. The only way you can even get it, so I was told by GeekBuddy, is in a suite called System Utilities, and they aren’t offered either. GeekBuddy has to install them.
    Therefore, I’m back where I started. Which of the available freebies are going to clean up my registry and dlls the best?

  4. melen001

    Hi…

    I was downloading Geek Uninstaller and noticed that they have a Pro version with the name Uninstall Tool 3.3.3. The truth is that i have never heard of it so i installed it and it seems to be very good. It has a install monitoring feature like Comodo Program Manager and it seems to work just fine. I have included the link if you want to look at it. It is the Pro version on the Geek Uninstaller page and it will take you to Crystalidea Software >>> http://www.geekuninstaller.com/download thanks and please contact me if you plan on reviewing it. Here is the direct link to the Crysttaldea Software page >>>> http://www.crystalidea.com/uninstall-tool Thanks,

    George Melendez
    Puerto Rico

  5. Neil from Ohio

    The best uninsotaller I have found so far is freeware Puran Uninstaller.

    I have tried several uninstallers that offered a list of registry entries to select for deletion. But the list is presented in a tiny pop-up window that cannot be enlarged. The tiny window is too small to display the full pathnames.

    Puran does not have that problem. All its windows can be resized and maximized.

    I tried Comodo Programs Manager. I liked the idea of the realtime monitor. But I did not like the way CPM frequently refused to uninstall some programs unless I gave it permission to also remove some totally unrelated programs at the same time,

    Puran uses the scanning method to find files and registry entries to suggest for deletion. Yes, it can seem a bit slow sometimes. But it finds both the files and the registry entries in one pass. And it does so by looking for the exact name of the program, so the chance of finding a false positive is extremely low.

  6. Keith

    I’ve been using Revo for a number of years now, however, I use the free portable versions and have never seen any “extras you can’t opt out of”. (I have v1.95…no “extra” anything included.) It could be that the normal “bloat-ware” is cut out of the portable versions to keep the file size down to a minimum.

    As with any software, I typically prefer portable versions if available. It saves a lot of headaches if it turns out you don’t like the software after testing it. Nothing to un-install…just delete the folder. :)

  7. Maximus

    In re: Revo Uninstaller.
    After reading good reviews over the last couple years, I figured it was time to give Revo Uninstaller a test drive. Version 1.94 reviewed here, version I downloaded was the latest v1.95 [Nov 2013].

    To make a long story short, v1.95 Revo Uninstaller comes packed with a lot more than I had expected. Even choosing out of the usual crap-ware, it still installs a lot of extras you can’t opt out of, or you can’t download the program.

    If you wish to download Revo, take precautionary measures to insure you can restore your computer [as prior to] should you not want all the extras it loads with.

  8. melen001

    [@BearPup]
    I get you clearly but I have not encountered any issues with IObit tools and have to say that they are quite effective. Speaking of IObit leaving behind files, REVO, when I uninstalled it, also left a few files and still appeared on my “Windows Control Panel” but that doesn’t mean that it it’s any good or that it has a flaw. On the contrary, it’s an excellent piece of software and the truth is that you will not find an uninstaller that can GUARANTEE a 100% complete and clean uninstall and removal of files all the time. Don’t forget that the software you want to uninstall comes with it’s own “uninstaller” supplied by the software developer and REVO, IObit and all the others basically scan for any left over files to be removed. There isn’t a PERFECT 100% uninstaller, period. I am happy and satisfied with IObit and REVO is excellent also. I have used both and either one is recommendable. Thank’s for your comment……

  9. BearPup

    [@jayesstee] Thanks for the heads up about IObit’s sneaky maneuvering. And you’re quite right about it leaving a file leftover after its own uninstall, what a very poor (telling) result.

    I’m basically done with IObit software. Some of their software really screwed-up, and some just seemed ineffective, but I had always been a true fan of IObit’s Uninstaller. I’m afraid no more. I get the same good uninstall results using Advanced Uninstaller PRO, without any of these downsides. Ah well, Live and Move On!

  10. jayesstee

    [@melen001]
    Nice UI.  But in spite of claims to be “portable”, it firmly installs itself @ “C:Program Files (x86)IObitIObit Uninstaller”.  Worse, it tries to install IE add-ons.
    Pretty, but not as honest as REVO!

    PS  It doesn’t fully uninstall itself!  Poor!

  11. melen001

    IObit released on September 11 2013, a new version of their uninstaller, IObit Uninstaller Beta 3 version 3.0.1.747, and it just as good, with more options a new GUI and stable, no bugs at all. It’s a beta version but I have not encountered any issues at the moment. Very good I must say. He’s a quote on their review: ” Change Info:
    + Brand-new UI for easier and better understanding
    + Added option to remove browser plug-ins of IE, Chrome, Firefox, and Opera
    + Added shredding leftovers feature in Powerful Scan
    + Added deleting leftovers in Powerful Scan on reboot
    + Added update feature to get the latest program always
    + Added option to uninstall the program itself
    + Improved work process for friendly use
    + And more to be discovered

    Integrated with up to date uninstall technology, IObit Uninstaller 3 helps you remove unneeded programs easily even when Windows “Add or Remove Programs” fails. Besides removing unwanted applications, it also scans and removes leftovers easily. The most attractive part is that it makes a restore image before every uninstallation. With the new added Toolbars Uninstallation Module, IObit Uninstaller 3 helps you remove unwanted toolbars thoroughly. ”
    http://www.majorgeeks.com/files/details/iobit_uninstaller_3.html
    Take a look and consider reviewing it. I find it an excellent piece of software.

  12. Godel

    One other negative against Advanced Uninstaller Pro — its crapware includes the dreaded AVG toolbar, and the permission box is positioned above the EULA text instead of the usual position below, where you may be less likely to notice it.

  13. V

    [@doug]

    We can guess that Comodo Program Manager is no longer supported because it has a VERY flawed design which captures background activity from other programs and uninstalls such with the target program to be uninstalled.

    After SEVERAL VERY problematic uninstalls with this program (which required re-imaging of the drive, btw) I finally gave up on CPM

  14. V

    Advanced Uninstaller Pro is slow and cumbersome for RT tracking BUT it *does* have one feature not available in most others and that is the ability to save a backup of the install to REinstall it later. Those familiar with the giveawayoftheday site might appreciate such a feature.

    Comodo offers this reinstall feature as well but because of the way it is designed, it includes some other *background* activity in addition; such that capturing one program for a reinstall might also install remnants of others on your disk. BTW, such is why I NEVER use Comodo PM to uninstall.

    FWIW, the best uninstaller that I’ve found is called Uninstall Tool. It’s not free (through regular channels, anyway) but it is SO quick and effortless that the first time I used it I thought it had not done a thing … until I uninstalled with it and searched the registry for flotsam. I tested it with a program renowned for leaving such items but Uninstall Tool caught ‘em all.

  15. kc4cop

    [@Ashraf]

    I take issue with it several comments that you make concerning Revo UnInstaller. A possible explanation for our difference in opinions might be explained if you are referring strictly to FREE versions of the unInstaller software that you reviewed. It has been quite a long time since I have used a free version of Revo UnInstaller as I liked the program so much that I purchased a number of copies of the Revo Pro edition shortly after the Pro version was introduced. I believe, but I cannot swear, (because of reasons I just stated), that the features that I will mention and discuss our as much a part of the free version of Revo as they are of the Pro-version of the UnInstaller program.

    To further clarify my position on the features included with the Revo UnInstaller program, I believe that all of the features I will mention are components of the free version of Revo and I know without a doubt that all of the features are part of the Revo UnInstaller Pro Program. I will discuss feature high points rather than concentrate on all of the features that you and I disagree on being part of the Revo UnInstaller Software.

    Some of our differences in opinion:

    1. Your statement concerning Revo, “it does not have the ability to do force uninstalls and/or clean failed or partially installed programs”. I believe that Revo has advertised and given detailed instructions on how to do a forced uninstall of a program since the first introduction of the Revo Uninstall program. The Revo program user is given several options for defining the program targeted for a forced uninstall. Name and location of a program’s directory are two of the ways that the user can use to target his forced uninstall. The forced uninstall feature has worked for me on programs that were either incompletely installed or incompletely uninstalled.
    A. “Revo Uninstaller Pro has a very powerful feature called Forced Uninstall. Forced Uninstall is the best solution when you have to remove stubborn programs, partially installed programs, partially uninstalled programs, and programs not listed as installed at all!” – Quoted from the Revo website

    2. Revo has two or more ways to follow the installation of a program. A program’s initial installation can be made through the Revo program itself, in which case a log is kept of all files installed during the installation process.

    As you have mentioned Revo has an excellent scanning feature that is used to discover left over program fragments after the program’s native uninstall process has been run.

    A. a quote from the Revo website follows: “With its advanced and fast algorithms, Revo Uninstaller Pro analyzes an application’s data before uninstall and scans for remnants after the uninstall of a program. After the program’s regular uninstaller runs, you can remove additional unnecessary files, folders, registry keys and values that are usually left over on your computer. ”

    3. You state that: “Secondly, it (Revo Uninstaller) does not create backups of programs prior to uninstall — it only creates a System Restore point.”

    A. In reality Revo backs up a program and backs up the registry before it begins the uninstall process.

    4. Among other areas where we disagree the following is included: you state that with Revo “batch uninstall is not supported”. Revo contends that “Using the Quick\Multiple Uninstall command you can automate the uninstall process and uninstall (a) few programs in a row.”

    A further testament to the accuracy that the Revo team has pursued is the statement that they make on their website:

    “Revo Uninstaller Pro offers you some simple, easy to use, but effective and powerful methods for uninstalling software like tracing the program during its installation. To remove a program completely, and without leaving a trace, you can monitor all system changes made during its installation, and then use that information to uninstall it with one click only – simple and easy!
    Even if you haven’t traced the installation of a program, it is still possible to uninstall it through an installation log. That can happen using the logs from the Logs Database. That module of Revo Uninstaller Pro contains logs made by our team. You can use them to uninstall your programs with one click just as if you have made the log, thus achieving the best uninstall results and experience.”

    I commend you on your excellent review of free unInstaller programs that run on the Windows platform. I hope that you will review my comments and look forward to reading your critique of my post.

    KC4COP

  16. janet

    To those of you who use Commodo and other install monitors:

    Don’t you worry that it might record something going on in the background unbeknownst to you and uninstall the action later on if/when you uninstall the program…???

  17. doug

    I contacted Comodo about their “Comodo Program Manager” asking if there was going to be an update to support Windows 8 64 bit.
    They told me that “Comodo Program Manager” was not being supported anymore.
    To bad. I was going to try it.

  18. Mike

    [@Mike] And yes as to my earlier question: according to comments above, Comodo can be used to create install versions out of Giveawayoftheday installs.

    And, the “No support for Windows 8″ comment directly above is a reference to Comodo. That’s just sad . . . .

  19. Mike

    And so, does Comodo’s ability to make self-extracting installer files of installed programs mean that it can be used for Giveawayoftheday offerings, to create installation files for those software offerings (after they have been installed the day of the offering), so they may be installed on other computers or after a hard drive wipe?

  20. Bill Snyder

    Thank you!

    I have been using Comodo Program Manager (and Revo) for some time, but had not noticed Comodo’s “ability to make self-extracting installer files of installed programs”.

    Again I say, THANKS!

    Bill

  21. RealBull

    I think they should put Advanced Uninstaller PRO at least on their Honorable Mention list, because it is better than Geek Uninstaller. Advance Uninstaller PRO has a monitoring feature for free, you need to buy the upgrade version to get that in Geek uninstaller. The article needs to be updated.

  22. melen001

    Great info on free uninstallers. Very useful and complete. Have used Revo and currently using IObit because it supports 64 bit programs. Have tried Comodo also and it’s very useful but I discovered that you can not uninstall Wins 7 updates if, for some reason, you had to. I’m assuming that it must be a safety feature that Comodo has implemented in the program. I can understand that the monitoring feature is very handy and more accurate but still it lacks features that IObit has. I will stick with IObit for now. I consider IObit to be as good as Comodo. Like you said, their not all perfect………. Thanks for such a great review and please keep up the good work. George, from Humacao, Puerto Rico

  23. Sputnik

    [@weylin]

    You said : “The shareware program Total Install works light-years ahead of the rest.”.

    I think that you surely meant “Total Uninstall” instead of “Total Install”…

    If it is the case, I fully agree with you.

    This shareware is really the best on the market, far away ahead of Revo Uninstaller.

    I know that for almost everybody Revo is the best, but I think that they never tried Total Uninstall or never took a closer look at it, or they are narrow minded…

  24. weylin

    Comodo Programs Manager
    -no Windows 8 support
    -abandonware

    Revo Uninstaller Free
    -no 64-bit support

    IObit Uninstaller
    -simple and works okay

    GeekUninstaller
    -also simple and works okay

    Wise uninstaller
    -dittoes to what I said above

    The shareware program Total Install works light-years ahead of the rest.
    -It can analyze the installer from a program (do not know another that does this) and determines where the program and settings are installed.
    Combine this with its installation monitoring and you’ve got a clean uninstall.
    One program worth buying, I will.

  25. taylor1277

    well as april 2013 i found that Iobit Uninstaller is better than Revo,which i have been using for years.Revo hasnt uodated in long time and Iobit finds every program i have on my system that i want to uninstall,Revo no longer does,seems like they all fell asleep over at Revo headquarters.

  26. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Everyone inquiring about Innovative Solutions Advanced Uninstaller Pro: I promised to test it out and update this review if necessary. I did use it for a while and learned two things:

    a) It is very, very slow with after-uninstall-scan
    b) It’s real-time monitor is very annoying and confusing to use

    After that, I uninstalled it and sort of forgot about it until now. I’m not saying Advanced Uninstaller Pro is bad. I only gave it what I would consider a quick view. However, I won’t be updating this review at this time to include it. Maybe next update I’ll give it more of a rundown to see if it is worth it.

    Sorry to everyone I disappoint, feel free to flame me!

  27. Frank D

    [@Eric989] Thanks, Eric, for that explanation.

    As a follow-up comment, Comodo Programs Manager is working beautifully on my Win7 Home Premium, 64-bit, SP1 PC. For all GiveawayOfTheDay programs that I install, and if it looks like they’re going to be useful “some day” even if I have no use for them now, I download and install them then create an SFX “installer” version using CPM. For the ones that I have no use for at the moment, I uninstall them. So when the need arises, I can reinstall them from the SFX installer. It’s the same as a full backup for each individual program, as distinct from a whole hard drive.

  28. Eric989

    [@Frank D] During the install process the actual installer will appear in a temp folder and this can be copied and pasted somwhere else and it will work later. Keep in mind that some of these programs will monitor the system clock and won’t install on a date other than the date of the giveaway but there are easy ways around that. On XP this temp folder will be located at C:\Documents and Settings\Administrator\Local Settings\Temp\GlarySoft or something similar. After you copy the installer and make a note of the date it should have been installed and the registration code, you can just cancel the installation if you don’t want it installed right away.
    Thermida is a DRM type thing that Giveawayoftheday uses now to stop the above from happening.
    [@Ashraf] I use 2 computers and the one that used Vista runs Comodo programs manager fine but my XP systems BSODs regularly with it installed. I have tried it many times over the course of months and it is always the same thing.

  29. jayesstee

    [@Godel]
    I know this is a bit late, but always, always install an upgraded version (as appose to a routine downloaded app. upgrade) in a separate folder.
    Revo Pro and Revo free happily co-exist in separate folders.
    If an app. doesn’t allow you to choose the install folder, stop the installation, set a restore point and preferably backup the registry.   Then restart the installation.

  30. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@Doug] Yeah, support for Win8 is sketchy as mentioned in our review. Some people report it works while some report it doesn’t. Officially, Win8 is not supported and from the sounds of it, Comodo won’t update CPM to support Win8 any time soon either.

    [@Godel] You can probably get your Revo 2 serial key emailed to you from Revo support. Sorry to hear about your troubles!

  31. Godel

    Somewhat OT since you’re talking about free uninstallers:

    I downloaded the trial version of commercial Revo Pro 3. Apparently when it installed it overwrote my paid-for version of Revo Pro 2, and when the 30 day trial period was up it ceased working all together.

    SO not impressed! Stay aware and don’t lose your receipts and registration keys, kiddies.

  32. Doug

    Tried to use Comodo Programs Manager in Windows 8 Pro, but it would not install right. So I contacted Comodo and here is their answer.

    “Comodo Programs Manager is currently not compatible with Windows 8 and there is currently no plan to make this software compatible with this platform. We apologize for any inconvenience.”

  33. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@Ed] I’d have to agree with you regarding Comodo products and BSoD. In fact, if you look at my original review on CPM, I dedicated a paragraph or two discussing BSoD. However, I have been using CPM for over a year and have had no BSoD; I suppose YMMV. Sorry to hear about your experience!

    [@AFPhy6] You are welcome — glad you like it!

    Yes, I ran across the same issue. I suppose I should mention that in the review. Thanks.

  34. AFPhy6

    [@Ashraf]

    Comodo: great program. I have used it a couple times now and like it. One situation I just ran into worth flagging for people who look at this in the future:

    Installing “AOMEI Dynamic Disk Manager”, then trying to create a “reinstall package” (thanks for your additional help) – I ran into message something like “Can NOT create reinstall package because this program modifies the kernal”. Interesting, but given the purpose of the program, perhaps that should not be surprising. I uninstalled, fired up “Total Uninstall” and monitored the with that, then saved the file…

    I still wish I could get a program that would give me a *.reg hive differences file after an install, but so far Comodo looks great.

    Thanks for your work.

  35. Ed

    [@Ashraf]

    Ashraf, I could understand if I had downloaded it from somewhere else, but I downloaded it directly from Commodo.
    It doesn’t really surprise me though, Everytime I give Commodo a chance they find new ways of driving me away from their products. Last year it was their antivirus, after a system scan it was picking up totally legit and safe software as trojans and viruses. The other day was the last straw, I don’t think I’ll ever try any of their products ever again. Before Installation of Programs manager my system was fine, after install BSoD, after removal my system is fine again so it’s not my system, it’s their software.

  36. Frank D

    [@Eric] Thanks, Eric, but I have to confess your response is a little over my head. Which temp folder? And what’s Thermida? Not that I need to know. All I want to do is have *one folder on my outboard USB drive* in which I can store the Comodo-generated SFX installers of the giveaways (or other programs that I consider “endangered species”), and if and when the day comes, just execute them to reinstall the registered, working programs. This means that I won’t have to do a complete system restore to get these giveaways back and working again.

  37. Eric

    [@Frank D] That really isn’t necessary for most Glarysoft giveaways as you can get the installer from the temp folder without actually having to install in most cases. Glarysoft works much like GOTD did before the addition of Thermida.

  38. Frank D

    I’ve found the answer to my main question: yesterday I used Comodo Programs Manager to monitor the installation of yesterday’s GiveawayOfTheDay (Aiseesoft 3D Converter 6.3.18_Win7_x64_SFX), then used Comodo to create an installer package for it, and then uninstalled the Aiseesoft program. Today I ran the installer and it reinstalled the program to perfect, registered working order. This shows me that as long as I retain the installer I can reinstall GotD giveaways without losing them after a HD meltdown. Today I tried the same procedure with a Glarysoft giveaway of the day. Tomorrow I’ll see how the reinstall works.

    Hope this helps others who had similar questions.

  39. Ed

    Decided to try Commodo’s Program Manager, the first thing I got after install and reboot was the dreaded blue screen…..I NEVER have gotten this in Windows 7 until now. Booted into safe maode and used good ole REVO to uninstall Commodo……Just like everything else Commodo makes, useless, totally useless. How this piece of sh!t could have been your top choice I’ll never know.

  40. David

    “the ability to make self-extracting installer files of installed programs”

    - according to the Help, this applies ONLY to monitored programs. So to transfer, you’d have to uninstall, reinstall (monitored)- but the program’s uninstaller might not remove everything so..

    - thought this looked really useful, as Softrescue, which creates a package by scanning installed programs for transfer to another PC/installation has recently died (site link required to run program seems dead)

  41. NickK

    [@RealBull]

    This has been going on for a while, so I thought I might contribute :) Agreed about YU. I picked it up from GOTD just over a year ago – Just like iOBit, it does seem to often leave behind empty folders, but does well cleaning left-over registry entries. No biggie, because you can always use your brain to delete left-behind empty folders.

    I’m glad Ashraf recommends an uninstaller that monitors installs, such as CPM, which is no doubt the most effective way to uninstall an application. It doesn’t matter which “left-over scanning uninstaller you use (Revo Free, iObit, Geek, etc), they will often never succesfully remove every entry in relation to the application (Just like most Reg cleaners won’t find everything, unless they break something).

    I also use Ashampoo Uninstaller 4 from a previous giveaway, which can use real-time monitoring, but I prefer its snapshot comparison method, only because it means I don’t need to have it always running in the background – Its also perfect for undoing exactly what was installed. Keep an eye out for Ashampoo giveaways.

    I would recommend against using real-time monitoring, or shapshop comparison uninstaller, for very large applications – especially programs that have had multiple updates over its course. Its too risky that it might just not get it right. Best to use an “after-uninstall scan based” uninstaller for these type of apps.

  42. RealBull

    Just for everyone’s information…
    I got a free copy of Your Uninstaller aka YU Uninstaller and it is a great one! I got it when I had Vista and will try to port it over to Win7 64-bit soon.

    Keep your eye’s peeled in case they have another giveaway again, it is worth trying out.

  43. Blackbird

    I hope this might be useful to some of you…

    Way too many times when I use Comodo Programs Manager,…. it WANTS to UNINSTALL one… or MORE… other Software programs that are TOTALLY unrelated to the software programs at the same time that I want to remove just one…. So far,…. I have not been able to get a response from them about this.
    Advanced Uninstaller Pro (It is free…) has a nice feature, which is that it shows you the last 4 MOST RECENT Software installed on your computer. This can be especially helpful, especially when you find Software there that you did NOT…. (Knowingly….) install!

  44. Godel

    Advanced Uninstaller Pro has the Monitor feature, but its scan is way behind Revo, IMO.

    Revo Pro has just advanced to Version 3.x so we can hope they may upgrade the free version to V.2.

    BTW, if you are looking for a badly behaved program to try an uninstaller on, try Dashlane. It left behind more junk in the registry than I can ever recall seeing before.

  45. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@Frank D] Well if your intention is for GOTD programs, first realize in theory that should work but has not yet been tested to see if registration details indeed carry over. Secondly, if your aim is for GOTD programs, why are you reinstalling? You can’t reinstall most of them without losing them.

    For other programs, however, I understand.

  46. Frank D

    [@Ashraf] Thank you for the confirmation. The reason I’d want to uninstall and then reinstall is to “capture” the program so it could be saved in a re-installable package via Comodo’s self-extraction feature. In this way, a GiveawayOfThe Day type program could be packaged (hopefully) for re-installation at a later date. I’ve lost many GotD programs due to disk re-installations. I know, having backups will save the day, but it would be nice to have insurance in a single, installable package. Does this seem reasonable?

  47. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@Frank D] Exactly. It only works with monitored programs, i.e. programs you install after CPM.

    Yes, uninstalling and reinstalling should work but I’m not sure why you would want to do that. Your call, though.

  48. Frank D

    [@Ashraf] Re your reply: “only monitored programs are supported for the self-extractor.” Does that mean that none of the programs *already* on my HD *after* installing CPM are eligible? That is: will only programs that are installed *after* CPM is installed and active be eligible for the self-extractor? If true, then would it be necessary to reinstall those programs for which I want a self-extracting version? This is not exactly clear. If so, then are all time-limited programs, such as those available from GiveawayOfTheDay in the past *not* be eligible — only *future* ones? I think I’m right, but could you please advise? Thank you.

  49. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@BearPup] Yep. See the issue with recommending a “best free” program is there is no one size fits all. I try to make my recommendations based on what is best for the largest amount of people and provide multiple alternatives so people with different needs can pick and chose the one they want. In this case, you need ability to remove 64-bit apps so RevoUninstaller is useless for you but there are three others you can pick from :-)

    [@RealBull] [@Mags] I downloaded it last night after Mags pointed it out. Working on it now although my first impression is a) the real-time monitor is very confusing to use b) after uninstall scan is very slow but good

    [@michel] There is a good case to be made there.

    [@Louis] In theory, yes. However, I haven’t tried it so I cannot confirm.

    [@janet] I believe some programs let you turn it off but not Comodo Programs Manager. However, as I said in the review, there isn’t much to worry about — it uses minimal (negligible) resources.

    [@AFPhy6] Welcome!

    [@AFPhy6] [@Frank D] Making a self-extracting installer is easy. Run Comodo Programs Manager, go to programs list, click on a program and in the bottom-right corner there will be a ‘Make Installer’ button. Take note, however, only monitored programs are supported for the self-extractor — database monitored and nonmonitored programs cannot be turned into a self-extractor.

    [@AFPhy6] You get no prompt while installing. You get a prompt after install has been completed and successfully monitored, a little popup in the bottom-right corner of your screen.

  50. Frank D

    I download, installed and used Comodo Programs Manager, and looked for the create an “exe” reinstaller on every one of my installed programs but did not see that button in the lower right corner that would create such a package. What am I missing?

  51. AFPhy6

    [@Ashraf]

    I picked up Comodo and installed. I am interested in your feature: “Allows you to make self-extracting installers of programs you have installed. This self-extracting installer keeps your program settings and allows you to install that program on any other computer.”

    Can you give a quick outline as to how to accomplish that? Perhaps I am not looking in the right part of the program, but I just can’t seem to find that capability.

    I started an install and expected a Comodo dialog box to pop up immediately asking me what I wished to do, but perhaps I didn’t get far enough into the install. Perhaps I am just not looking at the right part of the program. Perhaps after the install, a different dialog appears in Comodo’s control panel.

    Please help me here when you get a chance. How would I take advantage of that feature, as step by step as you can give me in a reasonable time. (I’m leaving my ‘puter for 8-10 hours, so there’s no hurry for your response.)

  52. AFPhy6

    Ashraf: I am looking forward to your updated comments including Advanced Uninstaller. One thing for sure: I will definitely be trying out and probably switching to Comodo (from TotalUninstaller)

    Thanks.

  53. Louis

    Hi, you mention that with Comodo you can “make (a) self-extracting installers of programs you have installed. This self-extracting installer keeps your program settings and allows you to install that program on any other computer”.

    Does this mean, just for example, that if you installed a program from a free give-away tied to a specific day, and something subsequently goes wrong and you lose that installation, that you can then re-install that give-away software on your system on another day ?

  54. RealBull

    [@Ashraf]
    Yeah, Ashraf, Advanced Uninstaller PRO is now free, but the website doesn’t make it look like it. I think it is a worthy uninstaller to at least be listed as honorable mention and definitely better than GEEK uninstaller.

  55. BearPup

    [@Ashraf] OK, we’ll agree to disagree, at least in part. For those with a 32 Bit system, you may well be right. For those of us with a 64 Bit system, I’ll stick with IObit which handles my 64 Bit apps with aplomb.

  56. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@BearPup] I disagree. The vast majority of people are still on 32-bit using 32-bit apps and many 64-bit users have many 32-bit apps, too. The fact that RevoUninstaller cleans 32-bit better than IObit makes it a better clean uninstaller, in my opinion, because recommending IObit over it would provide dotTechies with an inferior cleaner when it comes to the majority of programs, i.e. 32-bit programs.

    You can disagree, of course — difference of opinion is more tha nwelcome.

  57. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    [@BearPup] As badly as I wanted to rank IObit higher, it just doesn’t clean as well as RevoUninstaller… even though RevoUninstaller Free doesn’t clean 64-bit programs.

    [@Mags] That is so bloody confusing. They really need to update their website or consolidate it all into one webpage because when I see Advanced Uninstaller Free and a prompt to pay for Pro, there is no way I can guess that they made Pro free. I’ll take a look at Advanced Uninstaller Pro and update the review if necessary… soon, I hope.

  58. Mags

    [@Ashraf] I’m very disappointed in you Ashraf. :(

    When I mentioned Advanced Uninstaller Pro (which is free), I thought you would do a review on it.

    Their original free version is no longer available. They stopped charging for the Pro version and made it available for free.

    The correct link for Advanced Uninstaller Pro is http://www.advanceduninstaller.com/

    where you can download directly from the developer.

    The page you linked to is OLD and the download link takes you to Cnet where there is a list of free uninstallers of which Advanced Uninstaller Pro is second.

  59. BearPup

    First, thank you Ashraf for the review. I can only imagine the pain it was to test a half dozen uninstallers, then reinstall all the apps, then uninstall them again, then reinstall,…..etc. So again, my thanks.

    I’ve been leery of trying Comodo after some bad experiences, but I’ll give them another look. I must say however, that I’m very disappointed that Revo Free ranked as #2 solely because it doesn’t cleanly do 64 Bit programs. To rank higher than IObit which does do 64 Bit programs cleanly and totally without having to purchase anything, just doesn’t seem ‘right’ IMO.

  60. BearPup

    [@riya] I guess that depends. Its not part of the Portable Apps system, but as its a standalone executable, you can place it on a flash drive and take it wherever and run it by clicking on the executable – there’s no installation required. No installation = portable (no hard drive space required).

  61. BearPup

    [@PixelWizard] Lets not throw the baby out with the bath, to use a well-worn cliché!

    Some of their programs have caused problems – their antimalware program didn’t play nice with my computer. But, their uninstaller, which was at their website yesterday, and is available at CNET and Softpedia to name just two, is an excellent, fast, lightweight application. The only thing it does besides uninstall apps is to let you save and / or print a list of installed programs.

  62. PixelWizard

    [@RealBull]

    Sorry but I don’t recall real details since I switched years ago. It wasn’t about how many MB it occupied or similar.

    I can’t locate this product on the IOBit website: not a good sign.

    Their for-sure overly complex Advanced SystemCare product just about destroyed my computer in a few clicks. Yes, it was a few versions back, but I was and am unwilling to give the company another chance, so removed IOBit Uninstaller too.

    I had a third IOBit product going for a couple of years too – a malware guard, always on. It had the opposite problem: too simplistic, very short malware definitions list (reportedly ripped off from Malawarebytes at that); and the list never grew despite a continual, functioning updater.

    So, generally I have found IOBit programs (not just this one) heavy-handed or hard to understand and/or dishonest in some way. It’s been a while and my recollections could be fuzzy.

    If you get along well with their ways, it’s OK with me.

  63. MechaNic

    I am quite happy with Revo free.
    But I also installed Your Uninstaller and found it generates a list of installed programs much faster than Revo. Rvo takes quite some time to complete the list.

  64. Harry44Callahan

    I stopped using REVO about 2 years ago because I could not find certain programs listed that I knew I had installed. With some searching I discovered that the free version I was using didn’t do 64 bit programs but it still seemed to find some of them. Anyway it was no good to me if it wouldn’t list the programs I wanted to uninstall so I use, and like better, a free, small program called “iobit”. It doesn’t need installing itself, is small, does great job of finding most all the reg. entries, is fast and most of all finds all installed programs.

  65. RealBull

    [@BearPup]
    I think what janet means is that Revo free is not intended to uninstall 64-bit programs, but the Pro version will uninstall 64-bit rograms. I also read this from another blogger on a different site, but so far I had success with uninstalling 64-bit programs with the free version.

  66. jayesstee

    [@janet] My copy of “Revo free” offers 50% off for 3+ computers, zilch for one.
    I have just discovered that the offer I posted earlier is not for the latest version, but it is still very good.
    [@TonyB] More likely the nasty program you uninstalled caused Revo to find 2000+ items?  I’ve never had more than 100+ items.
    If you actually use Revo Pro to install a program and then decide to uninstall it (before installing anything else), Revo Pro will remove said program and all registry entries, files and directories without any ticking.

  67. Strahd

    The only two FREE uninstallers I have used were Revo Uninstaller for about 5+ years, and just recently (a week ago) IOBit uninstaller.

    Revo is great but when I had a program that wouldn’t uninstall and Revo free version did not have the option for Force Uninstall, I searched around and found IOBit came highly recommended by users.

    Downloaded IOBit and it did allow a force uninstall of the program and was much faster than Revo. Now I only use IOBit.

  68. BearPup

    [@janet] I beg to differ. Though many programs are 32 Bit, my 64 Bit OS system has numerous 64 Bit programs on it, and when its available, I always download the 64 Bit version of software to take advantage of my 64 Bit system.

  69. BearPup

    I’m a fan of IObit Advance Uninstaller. Its clean, simple (as in straightforward), allows for a ‘power search’ to look for leftover bits in the registry and file manager, and provides for the option of a restore point. Been using it since version 2.0 (they’re at version 2.4.7).

    It also provides for a listing of all installed applications exported to a txt file; a very convenient inventory feature; allows you to search for software; and allows you to search for and then uninstall Windows Updates.

    Its also completely portable as there is no installation required – you simply run the downloaded executable. And it works perfectly fine on 64 Bit systems, also showing which programs are 64 Bit programs.

  70. AFPhy6

    I used to use Revo… now I use Total Uninstall ( http://www.martau.com/ ) … I like the way I can view and save the list of changes easily.

    I WISH, though, that I could also get a list of the registry changes in a *.reg file format … If any uninstaller also included that facility, I would be in hog heaven.

  71. janet

    Revo Free is not intended to work for 64 bit programs–you need Pro version for that. But please note that it works fine for 32 bit programs (which most programs are) on 64 bit systems.

  72. Seamus McSeamus

    Comodo Programs Manager on my Windows 7 64 bit systems. I’ve never found anything better, but it hasn’t been updated in a while. I tried it on Win 8, but it didn’t install correctly. Others report having success with it, but I did not have those results.

    IObit Advanced Uninstaller is what I use on Windows 8. It’s portable and works very well. Batch uninstall is handy, as well.

  73. PixelWizard

    For me it’s Revo (free edition). IOBit seemed bloatware-ish. As far as I know, CCleaner merely accesses the Windows built-in uninstall feature, so it hardly counts in this discussion.

    As for the heavier-duty options which monitor installations for future processing if uninstalled: been there/done that/no thank you. Messy.

    I have a 32-bit system so can’t comment on Revo’s 64-bit performance.

  74. deyanick

    My favorite is Revo Uninstaller (pro), of course. I use Revo for years, and I still haven’t find better uninstall programme. Anyway, I’m looking forward to read about experience of others dotTech fans.

  75. Mags

    [@JackS] I have to agree with this.

    I have Revo on my WIN 7 32 Bit and Advanced Uninstaller Pro on my Win 7 64 Bit.

    I found that Revo just didn’t work properly on my 64 Bit pc so went looking for something else and found Advanced Uninstaller Pro.

    Advanced Uninstaller Pro is my first choice and Revo Second.

  76. RealBull

    I think Revo is the best. I’ve been using it since I had Vista. I use it on Win7 64-bit now, but I heard it doesn’t work well for 64-bit programs, the PRO version is needed. So far it works fine for me.
    Next, IoBit Uninstaller is very thorough and faster than Revo. I wonder if it is better than Revo sometimes.
    Last I would go with Innovative Solutions Advanced Uninstaller. It works just as well as the first, two I mentioned above.
    I really think these 3 uninstallers are solid and would be all anyone would need. I don’t think there is any other software better than them.

  77. Andreasvb

    CCleaner, really great not just for uninstalling.
    Maybe not as advanced as the others but works.

    I try to install portable as much as I can, trying to open setups with 7-Zip and just extract, works most times.

  78. Eric989

    [@Ashraf] One point about Geek uninstaller. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this or if they still do this but in the past I have had problems with the program expiring and forcing me to download the latest version before it could uninstall anything. This can be very annoying.

  79. JonE

    The very first uninstaller I ever used was Nirsoft “MyUninstaller”; I still use it today for the wealth of information it provides about the installation.

    But, for the actual Uninstall I use “Revo Uninstaller”; I used to use the Free version, but now use the Pro version which I use to monitor all my installations – makes the uninstall so much easier. And much faster than “Zsoft Uninstaller”

    I used to use “Zsoft Uninstaller” to monitor certain installations; especially those Game GOTD programs that usually don’t register themselves. I still have it installed.

    I still use “MyUninstaller” for the information it provides about the install, but I’d have to say my favorite is “Revo Uninstaller”; Free or Pro.

  80. Godel

    Revo is my favorite.

    I currently use the commercial Pro version, but I used the freebie for a long time before that.

    I also have Advanced Uninstaller Pro which I think USED to be commercial. It has a lot of features, but even the free Revo seems better at picking out what’ belongs to the uninstalled programs and what doesn’t.

  81. JackS

    I would go for Innovative Solutions Advanced Uninstaller because it has an install monitor so can really remove everything if you later wish to uninstall a program. Revo (second choice) has this facility but only in the paid version.

  82. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    So far on my list are:

    -Comodo Programs Manager
    -RevoUninstaller
    -ZUninstaller
    -IObit Advanced Uninstaller
    -Innovative Solutions Advanced Uninstaller Free
    -Geek Uninstaller

    Any other suggestions?