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

F

ForgottenSeer 100397

I used the portable version. Uninstalr detected MS Office, Excel, and PowerPoint as individual components. It also found some MS Store apps: DesktopStickerEditorCentennial, LogonWebHost, and ClipChamp. It even found itself. There are some issues to be sorted out, but I will give more feedback after using Uninstalr to remove some apps.
 

upnorth

Moderator
Verified
Staff Member
Malware Hunter
Well-known
Jul 27, 2015
5,458

New thread created for the malware questions and tests. :coffee:
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
A nice addition to the app would be to offer the option to select the leftover files and/or folders and the registry entries to be removed.

It's already there. After you choose any software and click the Uninstall button, you can edit the list of leftover files and registry entries freely.

This is currently a bit confusing, as if you open the view using the Show All Data button, the list cannot be edited (this is by design), but the view also contains the Uninstall button, which in hindsight doesn't make any sense. In the next version, the Show All Data view won't display the Uninstall button, ensuring that before uninstalling anything, you can always edit the list of paths.

I have also added a new setting that allows you to choose the level of leftover analysis. This will be included to the next released version. As well as fixes to the two currently reported bugs: Windows 11 BSOD if "automatically close all running programs" option is checked and the app showing Out Of Memory error on some systems (typically systems with a lot of software installed).
 

roger_m

Level 41
Verified
Top Poster
Content Creator
Dec 4, 2014
3,029
I'm a simple engineer. I like simple solutions. Trying to automagically detect whether closing any apps or reboot is required would add too much complexity to the system, and just introduce cases when the app might be unable to remove something. I prefer the current method: user can choose to not do the app killing or reboot, but if they choose that, there is a warning text on screen saying that the uninstallation quality might suffer from that.
Yes that would be hard to do. But my thoughts on this would be when Uninstalr attempts to delete a file or folder, but fails, to give the user the option to have it close all running processes. If the file/folder still can't be deleted, then you could ask the user if they want to reboot.

Having now used your app to uninstall some software, one thing I find unusual, is that it shows what will be deleted, before uninstalling an app. Every other uninstaller I used, just show the leftovers after an app is uninstalled.

I've found a bug, where it sometimes shows the wrong publisher and sometimes shows the wrong software name.
Uninstalr.png

Uninstalr 2.png
 

simmerskool

Level 31
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Apr 16, 2017
2,073
Yes that would be hard to do. But my thoughts on this would be when Uninstalr attempts to delete a file or folder, but fails, to give the user the option to have it close all running processes. If the file/folder still can't be deleted, then you could ask the user if they want to reboot.

Having now used your app to uninstall some software, one thing I find unusual, is that it shows what will be deleted, before uninstalling an app. Every other uninstaller I used, just show the leftovers after an app is uninstalled.

I've found a bug, where it sometimes shows the wrong publisher and sometimes shows the wrong software name.
View attachment 277557
View attachment 277558
I had an O&O app installed many years ago, would not uninstall IIRC, I vaguely recall hacking some hex code (with friendly help) to get it deleted. Never used any O&O after that.
 

monkeylove

Level 12
Verified
Top Poster
Well-known
Mar 9, 2014
541
It removed a lot of leftovers (something like 40 apps). I decided not to choose which ones because most of them look old or sound weird. I also backed up the whole system a few hours ago.

It removed parts of the Emby Server, Ferdium, and Powerpoint apps because I think they were leftovers from previous installations. But I got them back and running by reinstalling the first two and using the quick repair feature in the MS Office app, although I should have probably run the new software monitoring feature first before doing so.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
Yes that would be hard to do. But my thoughts on this would be when Uninstalr attempts to delete a file or folder, but fails, to give the user the option to have it close all running processes. If the file/folder still can't be deleted, then you could ask the user if they want to reboot.

Having now used your app to uninstall some software, one thing I find unusual, is that it shows what will be deleted, before uninstalling an app. Every other uninstaller I used, just show the leftovers after an app is uninstalled.

I've found a bug, where it sometimes shows the wrong publisher and sometimes shows the wrong software name.

I think it's much more user friendly to show before the operation starts what would be removed, not after.

Thank you for the bug report! Sounds interesting. Looks like an uninitialized variable somewhere relating to the app publisher data detection. I shall see whether I can find and fix that.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
It probably is, but I like being shown afterwards, so that you can see what leftovers have been found. Do you have any thoughts on my other idea?

The current design philosophy is centered around the idea of unattended uninstallation. After user click the Yes button on the "Are you sure you want to uninstall these" confirmation, no further user input is required and the user can walk away to go make a pot of tea.

What you are suggesting, would no longer be unattended uninstallation in the same sense.

However, I do see your point. Perhaps a way forward would be to add an option to the Settings page where user can choose which way they prefer: The current method, or an attempt at the end to see whether a system restart is required and if so, that is suggested to the user via a new confirmation window from Uninstalr. I could see this to be useful, too, so I think I should add that option.
 
F

ForgottenSeer 100397

It just shows that for programs it has monitored the installation off. Not only will it remove the shown entries, after doing so it will scan to see if it can find any leftovers.
Are you sure? I never used the monitor feature of TU, but it displayed data for any selected app. Yes, it also runs a scan for leftovers.
 

jv16

From Macecraft Software
Thread author
Verified
Developer
Jan 2, 2023
90
Uninstalr version 1.1 is now released. The mentioned BSOD issue should now be fixed, too. I say "should be", because the issue was only occurring on specific systems and at no point were I able to reproduce it in any test system. But I had one volunteer who experienced the issue and they confirmed the new version no longer has that issue.

Based on the feedback here, I also implemented an option for the user to choose the level of leftover scanning. The default mode works as previously, but you can also choose a mode where no leftover data scanning takes place and as such, you can use Uninstalr to only automate the running of the uninstallers of each app.

Full Change Log and download available at: Uninstalr

Thank you all for your feedback! You helped to make this a better program!
 

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