Serious Discussion Uninstalr 2.0 + a benchmark comparing all the popular Windows uninstallers

jv16

From Macecraft Software
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Developer
Jan 2, 2023
91
Uninstalr is a fast, lightweight and accurate way to uninstall software in Windows.

This is how it looks like in dark mode:

uninstalr_main.png


With this major new version, I’m also releasing an updated benchmark to show you how Uninstalr is able to uninstall apps in Windows better than the other popular uninstallers.
By better, I mean two objective factors:
  1. Uninstalr can perform an unattended batch uninstallation of the test apps where every other uninstaller failed to do this.
  2. After Uninstalr is done, there are way less leftovers remaining from the removed apps than with any other of the tested uninstallers.
To see the benchmark results, the full Change Log of what is new and to give it a try yourself, please visit: Uninstalr

If you want to read more about its development and what goes one behind the scenes, you can read my blog post about it: Uninstalr 2.0 - Or why making this Windows software uninstaller was the hardest thing I have ever done - jv16 PowerTools Blog

Uninstalr is freeware and comes as a single file portable version that is only about 6 MB in size. A setup version is also available.
 

JohnR

Level 2
Feb 19, 2020
75
Gave 2.0 a try and uninstalled Google Chrome without checking to see what was being removed, as many will do.
Upon re-boot Chrome had gone; however (and perhaps by sheer coincidence) I now had no WIFI icon in taskbar and required to do a network reset, Hibit Uninstaller dark mode wasn't found, fixed by toggling to default and back to dark, plus Google Earth desktop app had mysteriously reset to the equivalent of a fresh install.
 

DavidFH16

New Member
Feb 17, 2024
3
I don't usually comment on software, but I'm pissed because I spent over an hour restoring my windows. I uninstalled the "BurnAware" program with Uninstallr last night and this morning my Windows won't boot. It seems that your app deletes other files, because there were only files and keys related to the program in the list, and in the process of uninstalling, the shortcut related to the My Projects folder on the desktop was also deleted. I have been using Hibit for over a year now and have never had any problems with it. I expect you to test your app more before publishing it.
 

Ink

Administrator
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Staff Member
Well-known
Jan 8, 2011
22,370
I don't usually comment on software, but I'm pissed because I spent over an hour restoring my windows. I uninstalled the "BurnAware" program with Uninstallr last night and this morning my Windows won't boot. It seems that your app deletes other files, because there were only files and keys related to the program in the list, and in the process of uninstalling, the shortcut related to the My Projects folder on the desktop was also deleted. I have been using Hibit for over a year now and have never had any problems with it. I expect you to test your app more before publishing it.
If you were familiar with using HiBit Uninstaller, why risk your system with new uninstaller software?

Were you able to review the files before they were removed?

Were you able to restore lost personal data files from a previous backup?
 
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DavidFH16

New Member
Feb 17, 2024
3
If you were familiar with using HiBit Uninstaller, why risk your system with new uninstaller software?

Were you able to review the files before they were removed?

Were you able to restore lost personal data files from a previous backup?
I usually freeze Windows with "Shadow Defender" to test system software, but this time I didn't because I wanted to uninstall "BurnAware" permanently.
Personal data was not deleted, only a shortcut on the desktop was deleted and Windows didn't boot, which was solved with the system restore.
 

upnorth

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Jul 27, 2015
5,458
I spent over an hour restoring my windows.
solved with the system restore.
If you wish a quick/fast restore, avoid Microsoft system restore. In worst case those can take hours depending on your system/config. Your way better off fiddle with this type of software testing in a genuine VM ( virtual machine ) and if you haven't already, learn how to use the SnapShot/checkpoint feature. Either with Microsofts own Hyper-V, or VMware ( VMware Player, requires another "backup" workaround ) or Virtualbox. All three options 100% free.
 

TairikuOkami

Level 36
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May 13, 2017
2,515
I don't usually comment on software, but I'm pissed because I spent over an hour restoring my windows.
I have this software on my blacklist, but are you using HDD? Still, keep system partition as small as possible to keep backups small and restore fast.
I have NVMe and my system partition is 20GB, so it takes literally 1 min to restore, it actually takes longer to boot preOS than to restore OS, lol.
 

DavidFH16

New Member
Feb 17, 2024
3
It took less than 10 minutes to restore. The problem was that Windows would not enter automatic repair mode. I turned the laptop off and on manually several times. I thought I had this problem because I was using a customized version of Windows. Finally, with the Windows recovery drive that I borrowed from my friend, I was able to enter Windows automatic repair mode.
I tested Uninstallr yesterday in virtual machine it works without any problem but in my Windows with more than 100 software installed it has serious problem.
 

Fel Grossi

Level 13
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Jan 17, 2014
621

simmerskool

Level 31
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Apr 16, 2017
2,073
I had the previous version of uninstalr, and the other day Checkpoint Harmony detected it as malicious, and I deleted uninstalr. (fwiw)
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
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Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
91
I had the previous version of uninstalr, and the other day Checkpoint Harmony detected it as malicious, and I deleted uninstalr. (fwiw)

Obviously a false positive. It's annoying how many false positives antivirus programs produce these days. Usually due to low effort AI based scans.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
91
I don't usually comment on software, but I'm pissed because I spent over an hour restoring my windows. I uninstalled the "BurnAware" program with Uninstallr last night and this morning my Windows won't boot. It seems that your app deletes other files, because there were only files and keys related to the program in the list, and in the process of uninstalling, the shortcut related to the My Projects folder on the desktop was also deleted. I have been using Hibit for over a year now and have never had any problems with it. I expect you to test your app more before publishing it.

Sorry to hear this. I tried to reproduce what you described in multiple VMs but I was unable to. Also, did you review the data before proceeding with the uninstallation? This is what the program tells you to do. It also automatically creates a System Restore Point before any uninstallation starts. Were you not able to restore that?

This version went through 158 test builds in our internal testing plus a few public beta builds. No issues like this were ever detected. And as I said, I was also unable to reproduce this issue myself.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
91
Gave 2.0 a try and uninstalled Google Chrome without checking to see what was being removed, as many will do.
Upon re-boot Chrome had gone; however (and perhaps by sheer coincidence) I now had no WIFI icon in taskbar and required to do a network reset, Hibit Uninstaller dark mode wasn't found, fixed by toggling to default and back to dark, plus Google Earth desktop app had mysteriously reset to the equivalent of a fresh install.

Hibit Uninstaller saying that dark mode isn't found is a known bug in Hibit Uninstaller. In fact, I experienced the same issue with it when I tested it for the uninstaller comparison.
 
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jv16

From Macecraft Software
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Developer
Jan 2, 2023
91
PS. Version 2.1 of Uninstalr was released yesterday. One of its main improvements is that it will try to detect cases when user is doing something that looks risky, and in such case it will show an additional warning message to the user.

I think it's sad that we live in a world where a cup of coffee needs to come with a warning that its content is hot, but it is what it is.

Also for the record, there have been thousands of downloads of the version 2.0 already. So far I have seen about ten reports of something being wrong in the way Uninstalr analyses the system. That's a very good accuracy per cent in my opinion. Of course, I'm going to continue to work on improving that.

Most of the reported issues have been non-critical, i.e. the software not detecting some installed app for example, or it detects some property of an installed app wrong.

Out of all the reports of the analysis being wrong in a way that wrong data would be removed, I have been able to reproduce 0% of the cases and in 100% of the cases, any kind of issues would have been avoided if the user had followed the program's instructions to review the data before proceeding. Also, interestingly, the vast majority of all such reports have not been sent to me directly, but to discussion forums around the internet.

Which is very frustrating, because if I don't happen to notice such reports, I obviously cannot do anything to study the reported issue or fix it.
 

roger_m

Level 41
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Dec 4, 2014
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Sorry, I posted in the wrong thread before. The current behaviour is not like Installed Apps in Windows, because in Windows you can't select multiple apps. I just personally find it frustrating that you select multiple apps just by clicking. As far as I know, no other uninstaller behaves this way and I've used pretty much ever uninstaller ever published.

I just went to uninstall Microsoft Office. I don't actually want to remove it, but I wanted to see what files and registry keys would be listed. I received this message. Fairly obviously, all if not just about all of these are unrelated to Office.

MS Office.png
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
91
Sorry, I posted in the wrong thread before. The current behaviour is not like Installed Apps in Windows, because in Windows you can't select multiple apps. I just personally find it frustrating that you select multiple apps just by clicking. As far as I know, no other uninstaller behaves this way and I've used pretty much ever uninstaller ever published.

While I personally prefer a checbox based UI, the versions 1.0 and 1.1 of Uninstalr had this and I received a lot of critique about it. That is why I removed it. Another reason is that if you display both a checkbox and the app's icon, it looks visually rather unpleasing in my opinion.

Most uninstallers that I can think off uses the same no-checkbox style UI. For example, Bulk Crap Uninstaller allows the exactly same style of selecting of multiple rows to select multiple apps. The same is also with Geek Uninstaller. This is also the default behavior in Windows: You can select multiple files and folders in File Explorer by simply selecting all the rows.

I just went to uninstall Microsoft Office. I don't actually want to remove it, but I wanted to see what files and registry keys would be listed. I received this message. Fairly obviously, all if not just about all of these are unrelated to Office.

MS Office.png

This is an additional warning message that is shown to user when Uninstalr is detecting user to do potentially something dangerous. I agree it's sad we live in a world where a cup of coffee needs to come with a warning that the coffee might be hot, but it is what it is.
 
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