Advice Request Uninstaller Alternative?

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markstitovits

Level 2
Thread author
Sep 13, 2022
54
I'm currently working on updated version of my product and it includes a brand new, totally re-written software uninstallation engine. It will be released later this month (it's a paid product, but it comes with a fully functional trial version that you can use without restrictions other than the time limitation of 14 days).

I just wrote to my blog about the process of building a software uninstaller: Making the best uninstaller - jv16 PowerTools Blog

After the product release, there will be a new comparison test as well, probably early next month.
I'll be excited to try it!
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
82
So, how does jv16 do it instead?
Or maybe i should ask, how will the new product do it?

The Software Uninstaller in jv16 PowerTools has basically two main parts.

When you use it to uninstall some app, say, Winzip, it will first run Winzip's own uninstaller. This is trivial and standard, this is the exact same thing what happens if you use the Windows Settings (Apps & Features) to uninstall something. All that Windows does is that it starts the app's own uninstaller. This is also the first and last step that many other so called uninstaller programs do.

But this is where things get different with jv16 PowerTools. Because I have developed a custom engine that will detect what is happening on screen and automatically click any relevant buttons to 100% automate the running of Winzip's uninstaller. Only other uninstaller program that I'm aware that can do this is Bulk Crap Uninstaller, but that also sometimes fails at this step. For example, it often fails to automate the uninstallation of IrfanView, a popular free image viewer.

This is a very difficult thing to do, because there is sadly no standard way how apps are installed or uninstalled in Windows. Not only that, we need to take into account that not everyone speaks English. So just looking for strings like "do you really want to uninstall this? [yes] [no]" doesn't work, because the user's system might be in German or Chinese. But since jv16 PowerTools is entirely multi-lingual, it knows about what strings to search, even in non English uninstallers and systems.

The second step is that jv16 PowerTools runs its own custom uninstallation engine that basically finds all possible registry and file system left-overs relating to Winzip. Again, one could think that this is really trivial thing to do, but it's not. It's very hard. For example, say that you make an app that simply searches the hard drive and system registry for matches of the app's name that user wants to uninstall and removes those. Easy, right? Well, yes. Until the user wants to uninstall Steam. And then you will realize that every Windows system comes with a ton of files and registry entries referring to "MSteams", which would match "steam", and if you delete those, you just bricked the computer.

While I call the custom uninstallation engine part the second step of the uninstallation process, it is actually the very first step of the system scanning. That is, before you even uninstall anything with jv16 PowerTools, it will scan the system for traces of installed software. This is why it can show you every single file and registry item that it would remove, should you want to uninstall some software with it. This feature alone is something that many other similar programs can't do. Or if they do that, there is not much you can do about this. With jv16 PowerTools, you can freely edit this list.

So, basically, uninstalling something in Windows is a very difficult task with many nuanced steps, and if you get any of those steps wrong, the user's operating system might get damaged. That is why most uninstaller programs are very bad in my opinion. All they do is run the app's own unininstaller and the display some pretty UI animations saying they will clean up left-overs, which they usually do very poorly.
 

roger_m

Level 40
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Dec 4, 2014
2,990
Because I have developed a custom engine that will detect what is happening on screen and automatically click any relevant buttons to 100% automate the running of Winzip's uninstaller. Only other uninstaller program that I'm aware that can do this is Bulk Crap Uninstaller, but that also sometimes fails at this step. For example, it often fails to automate the uninstallation of IrfanView, a popular free image viewer.
IObit Uninstaller does this too. I just tested it with IrfanView and it uninstalled it without needing any user intervention. Also it's worth noting that it automatically monitored the installation of IrfanView. However, it typically finds far less leftovers than HiBit or Revo, which means that it is not a good choice for uninstalling apps that it hasn't monitored the installation of. I also tested HiBit and it didn't automate the uninstallation.

I don't know if this is an issue with your software Jouni, but there is an issue with the automated uninstallation or drivers with IObit Uninstaller. There are some cases where drivers add an uninstall entry to the registry. When uninstalling these drivers, you will typically receive an alert from Windows, asking if you want to reboot. IObit automatically clicks on Yes, causing Windows to reboot with no warning.
 

show-Zi

Level 36
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Jan 28, 2018
2,464
This is a very difficult thing to do, because there is sadly no standard way how apps are installed or uninstalled in Windows. Not only that, we need to take into account that not everyone speaks English. So just looking for strings like "do you really want to uninstall this? [yes] [no]" doesn't work, because the user's system might be in German or Chinese. But since jv16 PowerTools is entirely multi-lingual, it knows about what strings to search, even in non English uninstallers and systems.
If a message appears in a foreign language during uninstallation, you may indeed be making a choice based on intuition without understanding it.
 

Pico

Level 3
Feb 6, 2023
139
The problem with that is that you will also use all your data and all other software that you may have installed during the time. For most users, it's not worth it.
That's why I mentioned the last installed app.
I use this method often when I want to try out an app for a while and when I don't like it I push one button to rollback the HD image and everything is back to normal.
No uninstaller is capable to restore the file system and registry to exact the same state prior to last app install.
True, this method only works well to uninstall the last installed app otherwise you may lose other apps or too much of your data.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
82
It's a pity the JV16 Uninstaller isn't a separate program but a part of Power Tools? I'm not interested in the other features of Power Tools.

There are many other features in jv16 PowerTools, but if you don't like them, you don't need to use them. In fact, you can even hide them all from the UI simply by unchecking them from the Settings. Even with all the other tools and features unchecked, jv16 PowerTools is more lightweight than most other software on Windows today. Just this week, I found a Notepad replacement for Windows that was 40 MB. It's mind boggling.

That being said, I think it might be a good idea to have the software uninstaller as a separate program. Thank you for this idea!
 
F

ForgottenSeer 100397

I would suggest:
HiBit Uninstaller is a neat little software package with additional (non-intrusive) handy and effective tools. The uninstaller is on par with the popular premium uninstallers.
Total Uninstall Pro is well-developed software with quality updates. It is the best for users looking for a paid uninstaller.
Revo Uninstaller Pro works well and is a cheaper alternative to Total Uninstall Pro.

The uninstall tool in a suite such as Glary Utilities, Kerish Doctor, jv16 PowerTools, etc. does not match up to the stated specialists or standalone ones.

@jv16 I tried the uninstall tool in jv16 PowerTools to remove Icecream Photo Editor. It left the context menu "Open with Icecream Photo Editor" intact. The standalone ones mentioned removed the Icecream context menu item.
 
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Bot

AI-powered Bot
Verified
Apr 21, 2016
3,195
I am currently using Geek uninstaller, but I've heard other people say HiBit uninstaller or Wise uninstaller is better.
What do you prefer and why? I am looking for some advice.
Thank you for the responses!
Both HiBit Uninstaller and Wise Uninstaller are excellent alternatives to Geek Uninstaller, and they have their unique sets of features that may make them better suited for particular use cases. Here are some of their key features that may help you decide which one to choose:

- HiBit Uninstaller: It has a simple and straightforward interface, making it easy to use for beginners. It also supports batch uninstallation, which can save time when uninstalling multiple programs simultaneously. Additionally, it can remove stubborn programs that are hard to remove using the Windows default uninstaller. Moreover, it includes a force uninstall option that can remove programs that are corrupted or have incomplete uninstallation entries.

- Wise Uninstaller: It offers a wide range of features, including a deep scan that finds and removes leftover files, registry entries, and other remnants associated with the uninstalled program. It also has a search function that enables users to search for programs quickly. Moreover, wise uninstaller has an easy-to-use interface that displays installed programs, and it also includes a force uninstall option that can remove stubborn programs.

In summary, both HiBit and Wise Uninstaller are excellent alternatives to Geek Uninstaller, but your choice may depend on what features are important to you.
 

amirr

Level 27
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Jan 26, 2020
1,632
Revo Free version works very well. It also has an uninstaller tool for unwanted MS apps which I think works better than the MS uninstall. Revo has other tools too for cleaning junk files and clearing your browser history, things like that. Hibit is a very good tool as well but you have to really pay attention to it, it is so thorough that it can take out apps and files you don't want removed if you don't watch what it is doing. I had that happen twice with Hibit.

C.H.
Do you also recommend it on an Android phone?
 
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roger_m

Level 40
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Dec 4, 2014
2,990
How is JV16 Uninstaller compared to Total Uninstall Uninstall utility for Windows | Total Uninstall software with easy ?

Curious.
They work differently. JV16 just runs an apps uninstaller and then scans for leftovers. Total Uninstall creates snapshots when installing apps, so that it was a record of every file and registry key that is created. Then when you uninstall and app, for most apps it just uses this data to remove the created files and registry keys without even running the apps uninstaller. For some apps, such as security software, it will run the apps own uninstaller first. In both case, it will run a scan for leftovers afterwards, which will sometimes find files and registry keys that the app created after it was installed.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 100397

@roger_m

I think jv16 and Total Uninstall have a similar approach to uninstalling programs. Both analyze the installed program and list the data for you to check before hitting uninstall.

Total Uninstall can monitor new installations. jv16 doesn't have the monitored programs module.
 
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Sorrento

Level 9
Verified
Well-known
Dec 7, 2021
404
Using Revo I installed ESET today with Traced, as even using the ESET Uninstaller its still a pain to uninstall maybe due to ESET being a part of Reset? I'll see how it goes should I need to unnstall ESET - Though the older I get orphaned registry entries & folders in real like don't cause problems at all.
 
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