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Many an end-user has met problems that some software can't be uninstalled completely with its own uninstall program or Windows Add/Remove program. In this case a lot of people will be harassed by surfing the internet for specific instructions in different tech forums or tutorial sites; some just save worry by hiring technical guys directly to fix problems at a large cost. Actually, you can get rid of these stubborn remained files by yourself at a much less cost or even no cost!
The first thing you should know is that it is not always the Windows Add/Remove program's fault or that of its own uninstall application. Some of the software can embed itself into the Windows system in order to speed up the operation that CPU pinpoints the location of its files. It is also convenient for similar programs to share files. However, in the meantime it will make uninstall process a bit more complex. As another point of view, uninstalling stubborn leftover files is as much art as science. Following are some approaches:
There are different ways to boot into Safe Mode for different version of Windows. Following are the instructions for most commonly used Windows XP and Vista:
Windows can't uninstall a program that is running in the background. To delete stubborn leftover files, you need to end the program first. You can pull up Windows Task Manager to end process:
If this still can't end stubborn processes, you can try to follow the instructions below:
If you know where the leftover files and folders exactly locate, you can go straight to delete them. Take care because some files are shared files and are used by other programs. If you just know the name of the files, you can search for them as below:
To completely uninstall the stubborn leftover files, the final step is to clean its registry entries. However, editing the registry is difficult and risky. If you delete the wrong file your computer may crash and only advanced users and professionals can accomplish safely. As a precautionary measure, please back up the Windows registry before editing it, so that you can quickly restore it later if something goes wrong. After that, launch the Registry Editor:
Note: most software' registry entries can be found here. It is recommended to check the registry keys above first. However, some stubborn programs may leave their registry information on other place; you should check other registry keys as the case may be.
If you feel the above guide is difficult for you and don't know how to perform the described actions, or you don't know why some steps are needed, you can find some professional uninstall tools to do it for you. I have tried many uninstall tools on the market and according to my experience, Final Uninstaller far transcends the others in simplicity of operation and solid results in removing stubborn leftover registry keys, files and folders. With it even computer newbies can handle uninstalling stubborn programs without any problem. If you would like to find out more about it you can view its features and download it at the link below.