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

TairikuOkami

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This is clearly no-go for me.
capture_07272023_210702.jpg

It is nice that it can show leftovers without actually uninstalling anything, but some are not even there. I guess it uses definitions for known apps?
capture_07272023_211205.jpg
 

jv16

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This is clearly no-go for me.
View attachment 277456

It is nice that it can show leftovers without actually uninstalling anything, but some are not even there. I guess it uses definitions for known apps?
View attachment 277457

Don't you have PowerShell installed in your system? Since it's a standard part of Windows, Uninstalr assumes all installations have it. But I shall add a check for that. It is used in one module of Uninstalr, but there is also a fail-safe mechanism in case PowerShell fails, so it's not absolutely required.

In some cases, the uninstall.exe of apps does weird things, such as actually creates files, folders or registry data. Yes, I know, the mind boggles. I would like to sit down in that meeting where someone is explaining that their app's uninstaller needs to create data during uninstallation.

To take that into account, the "this data will be removed if you uninstall this" view in Uninstalr will sometimes include paths that do not exist at the time, but could be created during the uninstallation and hence they are listed as paths that will be also removed (if they are created by the app to be uninstalled).
 

jv16

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Can it totally remove remnants and left behind registry entries by an AV?

I tried using the AV's own removal tool but Everything still detect some leftovers.

It depends whether the antivirus is protecting itself against removal. If it is, then you need to run its builtin uninstaller and let it do its job, and you can later use Uninstalr to see whether it finds any leftovers.

Also, might be worth noting that Everything is only able to find file system leftovers. My WinFindr (WinFindr) that I also used in this testing, can search for file system and registry leftovers, and by using multiple search terms at the same time. Everything seems to just die if you try to use it with too many search terms at the same time.
 
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HarborFront

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I'm using a screen resolution of 3200x2000 on my laptop

WinFindr Portable 's GUI text is just too small. See below as compared to Everything. Can increase in the next release?

I have a 5K monitor at home. It's resolution is 5,120 × 1440. You think can see your screen text? Thx

1690526226153.png
 
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jv16

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I'm using screen resolution of 3200x2000

WinFindr Portable 's GUI text is just too small. See below as compared to Everything. Can increase in the next release?

I have a 5K monitor at home. It's resolution is 5,120 × 1440. You think can see your screen text? Thx

It should be using the default font size from your system, but I will have to check. For that kind of screen resolution, I would set a bigger font system wide from Windows settings.
 

HarborFront

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It should be using the default font size from your system, but I will have to check. For that kind of screen resolution, I would set a bigger font system wide from Windows settings.

With my current icon size and font size on my 16-in LG laptop it's just nice for my use. Anything bigger will result in larger icon and font size............don't look nice

Look at the size of the minimize, maximize and close icons on the top right hand corner and you can tell the difference.

You also need to increase the size of the GUI to cater for larger font size. The software must cater for higher screen resolution.
 
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HarborFront

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It depends whether the antivirus is protecting itself against removal. If it is, then you need to run its builtin uninstaller and let it do its job, and you can later use Uninstalr to see whether it finds any leftovers.

Also, might be worth noting that Everything is only able to find file system leftovers. My WinFindr (WinFindr) that I also used in this testing, can search for file system and registry leftovers, and by using multiple search terms at the same time. Everything seems to just die if you try to use it with too many search terms at the same time.

Look at the screenshot below. McAfee AV comes with my laptop when I bought it recently. I used Revo Uninstaller Pro and McAfee's removal tool to uninstall and yet Everything still shows up remnants. McAfee seems to tie in with my LG software in some manner. Looks like not advisable to remove the remnants. Will your Uninstalr remove ALL McAfee remnants if some are also tie in with my LG software?

1690527407188.png
 
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jv16

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Look at the screenshot below. McAfee AV comes with my laptop when I bought it recently. I used Revo Uninstaller Pro and McAfee's removal tool to uninstall and yet Everything still shows up remnants. McAfee seems to tie in with my LG software in some manner. Looks like not advisable to remove the remnants. Will your Uninstalr remove ALL McAfee remnants if some are also tie in with my LG software?

Uninstalr will attempt to remove everything you tell it to remove. If two software are connected somehow, for example, McAfee and LG software in your case, Uninstalr is going to assume you know what you are doing if you ask it to remove McAfee.

I have often used the hammer example. A hammer won't ask you whether you want to hit the nail into a wall that has water pipe behind it. You will need to know how to use a hammer or you might end up in trouble. Similar logic applies to Uninstalr, or any other equally powerful tool.

That is also the reason why it lists every single file, folder, registry key and registry entry for you to review before any uninstallation begins. It is for you to confirm you want these items to be removed.
 

jv16

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With my current icon size and font size on my 16-in LG laptop it's just nice for my use. Anything bigger will result in larger icon and font size............don't look nice

Look at the size of the minimize, maximize and close icons on the top right hand corner and you can tell the difference.

You also need to increase the size of the GUI to cater for larger font size. The software must cater for higher screen resolution.

The GUI supports larger font sizes via the normal Windows font size settings. There are some limits to it, of course. If you crank it up really big, the GUI might look pretty bad, but it should be able to handle the typical settings.

The top right corner icons are custom in WinFindr as well as in Uninstalr, their size is determined by your screen resolution, not by your font settings. They are smaller than the standard Windows icons by design. They are big enough that one can click them, but small enough not to waste a lot of space.
 

HarborFront

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Uninstalr will attempt to remove everything you tell it to remove. If two software are connected somehow, for example, McAfee and LG software in your case, Uninstalr is going to assume you know what you are doing if you ask it to remove McAfee.

I have often used the hammer example. A hammer won't ask you whether you want to hit the nail into a wall that has water pipe behind it. You will need to know how to use a hammer or you might end up in trouble. Similar logic applies to Uninstalr, or any other equally powerful tool.

That is also the reason why it lists every single file, folder, registry key and registry entry for you to review before any uninstallation begins. It is for you to confirm you want these items to be removed.

So you are saying if it lists 10 000 entires I need to look through ALL of them before removing?

There are uninstaller/registry cleaners which don't overdo its cleaning and there are those that do. I believe Revo Uninstaller's advanced cleaning don't remove every McAfee left-behind is because of some reason. Similarly, for McAfee's own removal tool.

Maybe Revo has AI to see what can or cannot be removed, right?
 
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HarborFront

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The GUI supports larger font sizes via the normal Windows font size settings. There are some limits to it, of course. If you crank it up really big, the GUI might look pretty bad, but it should be able to handle the typical settings.

The top right corner icons are custom in WinFindr as well as in Uninstalr, their size is determined by your screen resolution, not by your font settings. They are smaller than the standard Windows icons by design. They are big enough that one can click them, but small enough not to waste a lot of space.

Then why is Everything so nice looking and big to the eyes with default Windows settings as compared to yours?
 

jv16

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So you are saying if it lists 10 000 entires I need to look through ALL of them before removing?

There are uninstaller/registry cleaners which don't overdo its cleaning and there are those that do. I believe Revo Uninstaller's advanced cleaning don't remove every McAfee left-behind is because of some reason. Similarly, for McAfee's own removal tool.

Maybe Revo has AI to see what can or cannot be removed, right?

My guess is that Revo is just pretty bad at what it does. As my comparison study shows. It literally leaves thousands of leftovers. If one believes that it is done on purpose, I suppose that's possible, but even in that case, one could simply use Uninstalr and not remove those leftovers and only let it automate the batch uninstallation. Another thing Revo cannot properly do, as shown in the comparison I did.

I'm saying that if you use a hammer to hit 10 000 nails, yes, you need to be careful with each of them, or you might end up hitting your thumb with the hammer. Similarly, if you are asking Uninstalr to remove 10 000 entries, you should review them first. Or you could trust Uninstalr in what it does. It's up to you, but the data is shown for you to review.
 

jv16

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Then why is Everything so nice looking and big to the eyes with default Windows settings as compared to yours?

That is a matter of opinion. I think it looks okay, but not great. Its latest official version doesn't even support Windows dark mode, and it fails if you try to search with too many search terms at the same time. But if you like the way it looks and works, you should use that. I use it all the time, too. I think it's great in finding that one file you know is somewhere but don't remember exactly where. For finding a lot of data, I don't think it's the ideal solution. That is one reason why I made WinFindr in the first place.
 
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jv16

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When i try to go the link above, BD TrafficLight extension block the page access.

These false positives happen quite often. You should report it to Bitdefender, or just wait a day or two. They are usually quick to fix these. Unfortunately, there is nothing I can do about it.

Before any release, we show our files to all the major antivirus companies and use VirusTotal to check them, but even so, these false positives sometimes happen.
 

jv16

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Win 11 Pro, 10.0.22621 Build 2261
Tested three times in a row, had the same bluescreen on all three attempts.

I tested this now on Windows 11 and after five times in a row uninstalling HiBit Uninstaller with Uninstalr, no bluescreens or any such problems.

This is actually bad news for me. It means that the problem is not generic (i.e., happening each time with the same parameters), and it will be more difficult for me to find and fix this issue.

But, I will continue to test this and when I can reproduce it, I can surely fix it. Thanks again for letting me know!
 

jv16

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I just tested this myself in Windows 11 and I cannot reproduce any problem. No bsod, no error messages, and also zero leftovers after uninstalling Uninstalr with Uninstalr.

It seems that some very specific conditions need to be met for the problem to occur with Windows 11. I'm currently testing this with multiple test systems, but so far I have not been able to reproduce it.

I will keep you posted when I have found and fixed the issue. Thank you again for reporting!
 

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