Serious Discussion Uninstalr: Or how I tested all the Windows uninstallers and ended up making a new one

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
I tested all the popular Windows uninstaller programs. That is: Bulk Crap Uninstaller, Geek Uninstaller, HiBit Uninstaller, IObit Uninstaller, Revo Uninstaller and Total Uninstall.

I found out that many of them had some very rudimentary user interface problems, none of them were able to perform a fully unattended, batch uninstallation of many apps at the same time - many claimed that they could, but when I tested them, they just failed.

And some of these uninstallers even come with pre-checked bundled junkware!

I thought all this was mind boggling. Is this really the state of Windows uninstallers in 2023? I suppose so. And it was pretty sad.

But the saddest part was yet to come.

The saddest part was how poorly these uninstallers were able to uninstall software. I tested all of them in a virtual machine, reset the vm between each test and they all left a lot of data behind after uninstalling common Windows apps.

I’m a simple engineer. When I see something that I think I could make better, I will probably give it a try.

Besides, how difficult can it be to make an uninstaller app for Windows? Very difficult, actually, as I soon realized.

Anyway, after many months of work, I did end up building something.

It’s simple, straightforward, it can batch uninstall many apps and most importantly, it’s very accurate, leaving only very few leftovers behind.

It also has a portable version and it's only about 4 MB. And it’s also free.

It’s name is Uninstalr.


Here’s the full story including all the details about the testing I did:
A Mad Journey: Comparing Windows uninstallers, getting upset and then deciding to make my own - jv16 PowerTools Blog


Or if you just want to see how Uninstalr looks like, you can see it here: Uninstalr - The Best Uninstaller for Windows

Please let me know what you think!


Malware Q&A thread:
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
I will definitely try it on a virtual machine, but just to clarify, IObit Uninstaller supports batch uninstall

It was one of those uninstallers that say to support it, yes, but it failed in the test.

From my blog post: "Claims to support uninstalling many apps at the same time. But fails to automate the uninstallation of AIMP, Core Temp, FileZilla, Internet Download Manager, iTunes, KMPlayer, Mailbird, Firefox and Spotify."
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
One question here @jv16: why did you develop a new software if you already have one that has an uninstall function included? I am referring of course to jv16 Power Tools. Thanks.

There were a few reasons but firstly, I wanted to start to offer the uninstallation feature as a separate, standalone tool. the original plan was to use as much code from jv16 PowerTools as I could, but in the end, I ended up using only some shared libraries and basically everything relating to software detection and uninstallation was rewritten from scratch.

That's just how software development sometimes work. To improve, sometimes you can't just keep improving existing code, but you need to rewrite. So, I did a lot of re-thinking and re-writing.

The functionality of Uninstalr will be naturally added to jv16 PowerTools in the near future.
 

pxxb1

Level 9
Verified
Well-known
Jan 17, 2018
446
Or if you just want to see how Uninstalr looks like, you can see it here: Uninstalr - The Best Uninstaller for Windows

Please let me know what you think!

Installed it to take a look and to see how much it leaves behind itself when uninstalling it. The uninstall failed due to blue screen - critical process died. So i am stuck with it.
Now i will use HiBit to uninstall it.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
Installed it to take a look and to see how much it leaves behind itself when uninstalling it. The uninstall failed due to blue screen - critical process died. So i am stuck with it.
Now i will use HiBit to uninstall it.

Do you mean you attempted to use the Setup version of Uninstalr to uninstall itself?
 

Sorrento

Level 9
Verified
Well-known
Dec 7, 2021
402
From my point of view I tried it on Revo, it did the best job I've ever had of removing the program & left nothing behind - I have never had that before, I'm talking about al findable reg entries & folders wherever they are - I then tried it on a program I've been dithering whether to remove for a while, again a clean remove - So far great! (any issues I have many Reflect images)
 

Sorrento

Level 9
Verified
Well-known
Dec 7, 2021
402
You can never really remove all traces from a Windows machine. True disaster. Reimage is the king. More Scamware.
How an earth can it be Scam-ware when it's free??

You may want to remove a program that's been on your machine for extended time, beyond the time it's reasonable to image back?
 
Last edited:

JohnR

Level 2
Feb 19, 2020
75
Tried to uninstall Hibit Uninstaller with it, immediate blue screen shutdown/restart with a critical error. SFC detected and repaired errors after restart. Screenshot 2023-07-27 185823.png
 
Last edited:

mlnevese

Level 26
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
May 3, 2015
1,544
Tested uninstalling Hibit as some people seem to be having trouble. It went without a problem. Here is what it detected:

Software: HiBit Uninstaller versão 3.1.25.100
Publisher: HiBitSoftware
Installation directory: C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\
Main executable: C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
Main shortcut: C:\Users\Public\Desktop\Hibit uninstaller.lnk
Uninstaller: "C:\Program Files (x86)\HiBit Uninstaller\Unins000.exe" /SILENT
Uninstaller registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432node\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Uninstall\{318af7d1-c350-4f69-8c13-83b88bff1355}_is1\

Found a total of 30 pieces of data relating to this software. 7 files or folders, and 23 registry keys or entries.

Software's files and folders:

C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\
C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Unins000.exe
C:\Users\All users\Microsoft\Windows\Start menu\Programs\Hibit uninstaller\
C:\Users\Mlnev\Appdata\Roaming\Hibit uninstaller\
C:\Users\Public\Desktop\Hibit uninstaller.lnk
C:\Users\Todos os usuários\Microsoft\Windows\Start menu\Programs\Hibit uninstaller\

Software's registry data:

HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Lnkfile\Shell\Hibituninstaller\
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Muicache\ : C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe.applicationcompany
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Muicache\ : C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe.friendlyappname
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Muicache\ : D:\Onedrive\Installers\Hibituninstaller-setup-3.1.20.exe.applicationcompany
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\Local settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Muicache\ : D:\Onedrive\Installers\Hibituninstaller-setup-3.1.20.exe.friendlyappname
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Hibit uninstaller\
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows nt\Currentversion\Appcompatflags\Compatibility assistant\Store\ : C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows nt\Currentversion\Appcompatflags\Compatibility assistant\Store\ : C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe\
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Explorer\Featureusage\Appbadgeupdated\ : {7c5a40ef-a0fb-4bfc-874a-c0f2e0b9fa8e}\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Explorer\Featureusage\Appswitched\ : {7c5a40ef-a0fb-4bfc-874a-c0f2e0b9fa8e}\Hibit startup manager\Hibitstartupmanager.exe
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Explorer\Featureusage\Appswitched\ : {7c5a40ef-a0fb-4bfc-874a-c0f2e0b9fa8e}\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\Software\Wow6432node\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Uninstall\{318af7d1-c350-4f69-8c13-83b88bff1355}_is1\
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Controlset001\Services\Bam\State\Usersettings\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001\ : \Device\Harddiskvolume4\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\Currentcontrolset\Services\Bam\State\Usersettings\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001\ : \Device\Harddiskvolume4\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001\Software\Hibit uninstaller\
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001\Software\Microsoft\Windows nt\Currentversion\Appcompatflags\Compatibility assistant\Store\ : C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Explorer\Featureusage\Appbadgeupdated\ : {7c5a40ef-a0fb-4bfc-874a-c0f2e0b9fa8e}\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Explorer\Featureusage\Appswitched\ : {7c5a40ef-a0fb-4bfc-874a-c0f2e0b9fa8e}\Hibit startup manager\Hibitstartupmanager.exe
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Currentversion\Explorer\Featureusage\Appswitched\ : {7c5a40ef-a0fb-4bfc-874a-c0f2e0b9fa8e}\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001_classes\Local settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Muicache\ : C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe.applicationcompany
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001_classes\Local settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Muicache\ : C:\Program files (x86)\Hibit uninstaller\Hibituninstaller.exe.friendlyappname
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001_classes\Local settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Muicache\ : D:\Onedrive\Installers\Hibituninstaller-setup-3.1.20.exe.applicationcompany
HKEY_USERS\s-1-5-21-2832634944-3571245477-129457411-1001_classes\Local settings\Software\Microsoft\Windows\Shell\Muicache\ : D:\Onedrive\Installers\Hibituninstaller-setup-3.1.20.exe.friendlyappname

I would certainly report the BSOD so the author can figure out what is causing the conflict.

Also, it reports some portable tools like Rufus as leftovers.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90

Sounds like a bug, thank you for letting me know!

The reason why this happened is because trying to uninstall Uninstalr with Uninstalr is not expected user behavior. The expected way for uninstalling a software is to run its uninstaller, such as from the Start Menu, or via the Windows Apps & Features, which both execute the app's uninstall.exe.

In any case, I shall fix this for the next version.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
Tried to uninstall Hibit Uninstaller with it, immediate blue screen shutdown/restart with a critical error. SFC detected and repaired errors after restart.View attachment 277455

Thank you for letting me know! What version of Windows is this? Also, does the problem reproduce? I just tested to uninstall HiBit Uninstaller with Uninstalr on Windows 10 and it worked perfectly five times in a row.
 

About us

  • MalwareTips is a community-driven platform providing the latest information and resources on malware and cyber threats. Our team of experienced professionals and passionate volunteers work to keep the internet safe and secure. We provide accurate, up-to-date information and strive to build a strong and supportive community dedicated to cybersecurity.

User Menu

Follow us

Follow us on Facebook or Twitter to know first about the latest cybersecurity incidents and malware threats.

Top