Which uninstaller is best?

  • Primo

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Regshot

    Votes: 1 1.5%
  • Mirekusoft Install Monitor

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Zsoft Uninstaller

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Soft Organizer

    Votes: 5 7.4%
  • Geek Uninstaller Free

    Votes: 21 30.9%
  • Wise Program Uninstaller

    Votes: 5 7.4%
  • IObit Uninstaller

    Votes: 19 27.9%
  • Windows add/remove followed by CCleaner/Kerish Doctor/etc

    Votes: 6 8.8%
  • Other (NOT Revo, see OP)

    Votes: 11 16.2%
  • Total voters
    68

vertigo

Level 2
The official uninstaller basically only removes the entry from Installed apps and basic files and that is it.
3rd party uninstaller tries to remove everything related to it (config, logs), some leftovers might cause issues.
Zemana, even portable version, leaves 2 services running, imagine, what it might cause, if you install other AV.
I understand this. My question was, is there any difference between using an uninstaller program and using the regular uninstaller followed by a cleanup program like CCleaner? IOW, would CCleaner/etc cleaning up the pieces left behind accomplish the same exact thing as an uninstaller program, making such programs nothing more than a redundancy and merely a way to perform the two functions as one?


Since Revo Free does have x64 support I guess I'll add it to the considerations, though I have a nagging feeling there was another reason I wasn't considering it.
 

AtlBo

Level 27
Verified
Content Creator
Note about Z-Soft. It is good for looking at the install log of an application. It records everything, so it appeared to me like a dangerous application to use for uninstallations. For example, not sure it recognizes the difference between an added registry key and an edited one. It picks up alot of system activity when it creates a record...
 

vertigo

Level 2
Comodo Programs Manager is by the far the best. It automatically monitors installs, without causing any loss in performance while doing so. However, I'm using it on a Windows 10 computer and from time to time it stops working and needs to be reinstalled.
CPM also requires some configuration to function on Windows 10.
I'm not sure how I feel about a program like an uninstaller, which deals very intimately with the system files, that's not even updated for W10. And what kind of configuration is needed? Just running it in compatibility mode, or is there more required?

Note about Z-Soft. It is good for looking at the install log of an application. It records everything, so it appeared to me like a dangerous application to use for uninstallations. For example, not sure it recognizes the difference between an added registry key and an edited one. It picks up alot of system activity when it creates a record...
Not sure about Z-Soft, but most, if not all, of the ones that monitor (at least the ones that do so through snapshots) would know the difference because they take before and after pictures, so they would just revert everything back to the prior state, whether that means deleting an added key or reverting a changed one to its previous value. The bigger issues would be 1) if something else caused a registry or other change while the installer was running (seems unlikely, but certainly possible) and 2) if another install made a second change to the same thing, in which case uninstalling the first program would screw up the install of the second (not sure if this ever actually happens).
 

TairikuOkami

Level 27
Verified
Content Creator
My question was, is there any difference between using an uninstaller program and using the regular uninstaller followed by a cleanup program like CCleaner?
Uninstaler knows, what it is looking for, the cleaner is just looking for obsolete entries, that can be used for reg cleaning, but not really for file leftovers.
I use the uninstaller, then various cleanups and yet there are always some leftovers, which I have to clean manually. A cleaner is more like a supplement.
 

AtlBo

Level 27
Verified
Content Creator
I'm not sure how I feel about a program like an uninstaller, which deals very intimately with the system files, that's not even updated for W10. And what kind of configuration is needed? Just running it in compatibility mode, or is there more required?
Configuration amounts to setting the installer to run in compatibility mode, then setting all the executables in the install folder to run in W7 compatibility mode, including the service. @roger_m can give you the details. Haven't set it up for W10 yet.

Comodo is an unusual company. Hard to explain why this app was dropped. The ambitions were very high for the app, which initially was designed to upload program files to the Comodo server for a gigantic database. This was supposed to then be used to reinstall programs over the internet in case of corruption, etc. The idea left out of the program in v.1.3 which became the final version.

This app is like finding a really old abandoned hotel in the woods someplace in the mountains where noone has been for 50 years or something, but the hotel looks like a new building, and the ghosts can be sensed lucking about in the shadows. No idea why development ended, while the download for the app is still featured for home use. Comodo apparently wants users to have the app but back off of asking alot of questions about why it's not being updated...as in Comodo's way of saying it's as good as it can be...

Then no update since W7...ghostly :) :sick:

Not sure about Z-Soft, but most, if not all, of the ones that monitor (at least the ones that do so through snapshots) would know the difference because they take before and after pictures, so they would just revert everything back to the prior state, whether that means deleting an added key or reverting a changed one to its previous value. The bigger issues would be 1) if something else caused a registry or other change while the installer was running (seems unlikely, but certainly possible) and 2) if another install made a second change to the same thing, in which case uninstalling the first program would screw up the install of the second (not sure if this ever actually happens).
Yes, it's true, and I have wondered about the same thing. But it's apparent to me that these apps aren't all as smart as each other. There is a good bit of activity that happens during an installation. Some programs are better than others at filtering it from the captured installation data, while some of them don't filter it at all. This is the reason why Comodo Programs Manager can be basically one button to finish, while the Z-Soft capture requires inspection. Also, during an installation, registry keys can be added, deleted, or even changed by the installer (other activity too as you mentioned). How does the uninstaller deal with this? Normally, the dev's standard uninstaller should at least handle this part of things. If it doesn't dev will probably find himself in trouble. Anyway, I have myself questioning how smart some of the full uninstallers are in comparison to the simple recorder, and it seems to be a good amount so to me in some cases.

5 really 6 years with CPM. It's flawless if you can get it to run in W10. You might find and remove slightly more with Revo in some cases, but CPM regularly removes 300 or 800 keys or files with programs, even over 1000. I haven't once used the backup feature, and nothing has once broken in 100s of uninstalls with CPM...
 
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AtlBo

Level 27
Verified
Content Creator
I do not remember that much, but comodo's program manager seems to have been watching the registry etc only for software installed after itself.
This is a very good point I forgot about :LOL:. Yes, it's really only worth using CPM with a new installation of Windows. It's always the first program I install after I do this, even before drivers.
 

roger_m

Level 29
Verified
Content Creator
Iobit driver updater is definitely a garbage, it finds nothing compared to other driver updaters, yet it is promoted as the best.
Wise Driver Care, definitely has a bigger database and does a much better job at finding drivers for less common devices. But, Driver Booster's database has slowly been increasing and like WDC it rarely finds incompatible driver updates.
 

roger_m

Level 29
Verified
Content Creator
This is a very good point I forgot about :LOL:. Yes, it's really only worth using CPM with a new installation of Windows. It's always the first program I install after I do this, even before drivers.
Version 2 (beta) of CPM can scan for leftovers after uninstalling programs it has not monitored. But IObit and Revo find more leftovers.
https://downloads.comodo.com/cpm/download/setups/CPM_SETUP_2.0.0.3_xp_vista_server2003_win7.exe
 

Evjl's Rain

Level 45
Verified
Trusted
Content Creator
Malware Hunter
any of them is good
1/ geek:
- sometimes I find it fails to remove locked files (cannot be deleted and it doesn't say anything) and it doesn't remove them on boot
- Lack of batch removal, important to me
- finds the least amount of leftovers
- in overall, good and it works

2/ iobit
- free and very powerful
- finds a lot of leftovers, sometimes better than Revo, sometimes less
- false positives of some processes from other program (comodo firewall for example)
- extra useful cleaning options (windows apps and winsxs: very useful for me)
- supports batch uninstall
- can delete locked files on boot perfectly
- block the outbound connection if you don't want it

3/ Revo:
- similar to IObit but paid
- the free version is quite limited, not as good as iobit
- batch removal is not good, it automatically deletes without letting me choose what to delete -> dangerous, I strongly dislike
- false positives too
- has snapshot, useful for stubborn apps (zemana)

I'm using all of them
- geek for simple program uninstallation (ccleaner, pdf readers,...)
- iobit for most programs, more stubborn ones
- revo for the most complicated programs (AVs, >1GB apps) but I find it similar to iobit

after using them, I always use Everything search to find leftover folders and files. It 80% of the time finds something

rarely use ccleaner to uninstall because it can't delete leftovers
 
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roger_m

Level 29
Verified
Content Creator
- false positives of some processes from other program (comodo firewall for example)
I get false positives with Comodo too, from time to time, although I think in my case it is for Comodo Programs Manager. I've been slack, but I'll report it to IObit and then it should only take a few days for them to release an updated version which fixes the issue.
 

tim one

Level 21
Verified
Trusted
Malware Hunter
Soft Organizer is a paid software but often in giveaway promotion for free.
Using the tracking feature you can record all the changes made by a software in the moment of its installation, then getting its (almost) complete uninstallation.
 

In2an3_PpG

Level 17
Verified
Content Creator
I didn't try the first 4 in the poll so I cannot speak for them.
Among others IObit finds the most leftovers when the program which is about to be uninstalled is scattered in multiple places : Program Files, Program Data, %Users% ,App Data etc.

I have to mention BC Uninstaller. It is probably the best in doing what it does. Like IObit it has batch uninstall mode, but BC has a nifty option to uninstall a bunch of programs without user intervention (Clicking OK, I agree, I understand etc.) It can show Windows updates and Metro Apps, but also some Windows components like .net and Gadgets (Windows 7).
When you install MS Office for example, and choose to install only Word, PowerPoint and Excel, installers for other components will sit on your disk aswell, in a case you change your mind and want to install additional programs in a future. Well, BC will detect those also. Of course, wanting to uninstall those will cost you to remove all preconfigured program protections in BC advanced settings.
When uninstalling is done, searching for a leftovers begins and BC can sort which items are safe and which items are questionable to remove from the system.

Personally, I don't expect of Uninstaller program to sit in a background and wait for a installation, creates a snapshot and boom, a miracle happened. That way, later uninstallation is the most accurate, yes, but only for the people who test software on real / host machines and don't want any interference. And that should be rare on many levels.
Never tried BC Uninstaller until you mentioned it. I must say it is definitely more detailed then some of the uninstallers I have used in the past. Thanks for mentioning it.
 

HarborFront

Level 53
Verified
Content Creator
I'm interest in the thoroughness in cleaning

Wise Program Uninstaller states that it can
Wise Program Uninstaller is the perfect solution for uninstalling Windows software, allowing you to uninstall programs quickly and completely using its simple and user-friendly interface. The built-in scan engine will scan and delete all the left associated files, folders and registry items after the de-installation, making sure the software is completely removed from your computer.
Wise Program Uninstaller - Uninstall, Remove or Force Uninstall Programs Completely

So, is it true without an Installation Monitor feature as in the paid Revo Uninstaller Pro or the paid Geek Uninstaller Pro as below?

At least the free Geek Uninstaller don't make such a claim

Geek Uninstaller - Download

Another thing is if I have Wise Program Uninstaller do I still need the Wise Disk Cleaner and the Wise Registry Cleaner? Does Wise Program Uninstaller scans and cleans as deeply as both?

Hmmmm.......someone over at Wilders tested and siad Wise Program Uninstaller missed quite a lot

Uninstaller Software
 
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