Innovative Solutions releases Advanced Uninstaller Free, a free version of their Advanced Uninstaller Pro

Not to be confused with IObit’s Advanced Uninstaller, Innovative Solutions – a software development firm most famous for their DriveMax software – recently released Advanced Uninstaller Free, a free version of their Advanced Uninstaller Pro software:

Advanced Uninstaller is a program that – like IObit’s Advanced Uninstaller and RevoUninstaller – aims to help user perform clean uninstalls. However, while IObit’s Advanced Uninstaller and RevoUninstaller approach the clean uninstallation problem by scanning the computer for leftover files and registry entries after a program has been uninstalled, Innovative Solutions’ Advanced Uninstaller provides a two-pronged attack.

Innovative Solutions’ Advanced Uninstaller has the ability to scan the computer for leftover files and registry entries after a program has been uninstalled, but it also has an “installation monitor” feature which tracks the exact changes made to your computer during and installation and “undos” the changes during uninstallation; users are given the option to use either method as they desire (the “installation monitor” feature is similar to how ZSoft Uninstaller works). The installation monitor method, of course, is the best way to do a clean uninstall because it tracks all changes made to your computer, making it easy to undo those changes. The only downside to installation monitor is that a user needs patience – your computer needs to be scanned before and after an installation in order for the program to figure out all the changes made on your computer by an installer.

In addition to the two cleaning uninstalling features already mentioned, Advanced Uninstaller has a handful of other features also. This chart gives a list of the features of Advanced Uninstaller and shows the differences between Advanced Uninstaller Free and Advanced Uninstaller Pro:

(Click on the above image to view it in full size.)

As mentioned in my earlier post on IObit Advanced Uninstaller, a clean uninstalling program is only as good as its performance; any program can good look on paper but performance is what determines its true usefulness. So, in that regard, I tested Innovative Solutions’ Advanced Uninstaller Free against RevoUninstaller. Of course since Innovative Solutions’ Advanced Uninstaller Free has an installation monitor and RevoUninstaller does not, I did not test that clean uninstallation method. Rather, I tested the scan-computer-after-uninstallation method because 1) it is the method common between the two programs and 2) it is the preferred method for clean uninstalling because most users don’t want to wait and scan their computer’s twice with the installation monitor method. Innovative Solutions’ Advanced Uninstaller Free failed; RevoUninstaller ran circles around it. For example, while uninstalling Kid Savvy PC (yes, I was too lazy uninstall the program ever since I reviewed it…) RevoUninstaller found 5 registry entries and 75 files leftover after the Kid Savvy PC’s normal uninstaller ran. Advanced Uninstaller Free, however, found 0 registry entries and 0 files. Results were similar when testing both programs with other uninstallations. On top of the poor performance, Advanced Uninstaller Free has no option to automatically create System Restore points before an uninstallation (a very useful feature of RevoUninstaller) and Advanced Uninstaller Free is a bit slow in scans.

While I wasn’t particularly impressed by Advanced Uninstaller Free’s ability to do clean uninstalls, I was impressed by the fact that Advanced Uninstaller Free’s “Quick Cleaner” (a privacy cleaner) supports cleaning traces from many, many third party applications. Of course, Advanced Uninstaller Free is aimed at being an uninstalling program and not a privacy cleaning program, so this fact really doesn’t help Advanced Uninstaller Free’s cause. However, it is something to consider.

You may download Advanced Uninstaller Free from the following link:

Version reviewed: v10.1

Supported OS: Windows 2000+

Advanced Uninstaller Free homepage [download page]

Thanks Sputnik!

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14 comments

  1. Helen Davis

    I tried to delete my first post and was not able to, so I am sorry, but reposting what I wanted to edit and repost:

    Ashraf, Fubar or anyone with knowledge,

    Would making a copy of the registry before you install software, (then if you don’t like the software), just delete the software and re-import your copy of the registry be the BEST way to do this? I would rather do that, since that would be the “cleanest” way to remove software I would think. Am I correct in this?

    Second question, could all your software be installed in another partition on your drive? Thereby keeping your “system” files seperate from your software files? Would that work and if so, how would you do it? And, is that how some geeks “in the know” install software on their computer? Thanks much!

  2. Helen Davis

    Ashraf Fubar or anyone with knowledge,

    Would making a copy or the registry before you install software, then if you don’t the software, just delete the software and re-import your copy of the registry? I would rather do that, since that would be the “cleanest” way to remove software. Am I correct in this?

  3. S Trew

    FWIW, my experience has been exactly the opposite to yours. In my testing of a variety of programs over an extended time, Advanced Uninstaller consistently found far more leftovers than Revo.

    The real advantage, though, is the feature that you disregarded, and that’s the monitored install. It works much better than others (including Revo, ZSoft, & Total) and has never really failed me in more than a year of usage. In fact, it works really well with GAOTD offerings: simply monitor the install, then uninstall it using the monitor and you can reinstall at any time

  4. michael

    The free version seems so slow to make it almost not usable for most.  My understanding is that the paid version uses a different “engine” and works much differently.  I hope that Revo comes out with Win 7 64 bit free version.

  5. Ken Stewart

    A better way before install of any program is to export the registry, or run a virtual pc application.

    If you don’t like the program – a virtual pc partition restores the pc upon reboot (depending of the applications features) as though the program was never installed, as well as uninstalling and then importing the registry values which could be saved to a USB drive for use thereafter.

    I use Revo in advanced mode with care and then run several registry cleaners afterward. Running a memory cleaner as well will force leftovers from the system which could reside there also, meaning writing binary to all memory addresses. System Restore first is a good choice except when kernel changes are made.

    Checkout Paragon’s Virtualization Manager since the installed program can be saved if you like it.

    Ken

  6. Joji

    Hey Ashraf! Here’s a big question for you:

    Between “Ashampoo Uninstaller 3″ and “Revo Uninstaller PRO”, which one is better?

    I did read your reviews… but I wasn’t exactly sure which one was better. :(

    Please help!

    ~Joji~

  7. MikeR

    Thanks, Ashraf, for the timely info: somehow you always manage to arrive on the scene at the precise moment when your expertise is most needed.

    (Cue: soundtrack from ‘Superman’.)

    I’d already DL’d this freeware version from a CNET site but haven’t had any time to play with it.

    I shan’t bother now: your report is good enough for me.

  8. alan

    @OldElmerFudd:

    I agree.

    I would add that if you monitor/install an application “J”, the probability is that you may subsequently install (with or without monitoring) a different product “K”.

    If you subsequently use the monitored data for un-installing “J”, perhaps the parent registry keys and parent folders will be zapped without recognition that they may now be additionally used by “K”, in which case “K” could be crippled no matter how much you wanted to keep it.

    This could especially apply if a single company has supplied both “J” and “K”, and if it has chosen to use the same company name for the registry and folder parents.

    Alan

  9. OldElmerFudd

    I’ve encountered install/uninstall programs like this and noticed they share a similar problem. The effectiveness of the uninstall depends greatly on the amount of overall registry changes made since the “monitor” or “snapshot” was made during a software’s installation. In other words, the farther away you get from the original installation, the harder it is to return the registry to its’ original state. This seems particularly true when other programs are added between the two events.

    In the case of AU Free, it seems to make little difference. Thanks for the head’s up about this software’s apparent inability to preform its’ purpose.

  10. AlanR

    Ashraf,
    Very amiss of you to have NOT tested Innovative Solutions’ Advanced Uninstaller Free installation monitor clean uninstallation method against that provided in Ashampoo Uninstaller (vr.3 a previous dotTech freebee.)
    Not to worry though, as I have both Ashampoo and Revo, seems I’m well covered.

    Keep up the good work – your above review is enough for me to give this one a BIG thumbs down.

  11. Ashraf
    Author/Mr. Boss

    @Emrys: Ssshhh. Don’t say that out loud or else the secret army of ninja-samurais run by Bill Gates and Steve Jobs will come after me. I could handle ninjas and/or samurais, but ninja-samurais? That is above my pay grade.