Uninstalling Software

  1. Prepare for uninstalling: There's always a risk that something will go horribly wrong when you install, uninstall or update software. Back up everything you don't want to risk losing before you install a program. You have to decide what that is. I make sure that I have recently backed up my whole system with a disk image before I install programs.
  2. Get your system ready:
    1. Close any programs you have open. [Use Ctrl+Alt+Delete or do a clean start with no unwanted programs running.]
    2. Optional, but strongly suggested: Run System File Checker to set a clean starting point. [Click Start > Run > type sfc]
    3. Alternatively, if you're running Windows XP, set a system checkpoint.
  3. Uninstall the program:
    1. Click Start > Settings > Control panel > Add/Remove Programs > scroll down the list until you find the program. Click Add/Remove and answer OK.
    2. It's a good idea to reboot your computer after you've uninstalled the program. Windows can't delete or replace some files that need to be changed except during startup.
  4. Keep a permanent record of the action you've taken (for example -- Uninstalled "Galaxy" - version 2.0 on 7/4/2002, along with any relevant notes or observations).
  5. It's a good idea to restart your computer after uninstalling a program before you install new software -- even if you did not get a notice that you "Need to restart your computer."

Uninstalling security programs is not always as easy as it is for ordinary programs. [suggestions]

Ctrl+Alt+Delete ^top^

Press Ctrl+Alt+Delete (This means press and hold down the first two keys and then press the Delete key for an instant. Often called the 3-fingered salute in deference to Bill Gates.

In the Close Program dialog box, click the program that you want to close, and then click End Task.

Backup ^top^

Before you install, uninstall or update any software, make sure you have a current backup of at least your critical documents and data. You can't afford to lose that. It's more likely that something will happen to your system (Windows mostly) though. It's a good idea to back your system up as well. The Windows XP System Restore function is an adequate alternative. It can take you back to a point before the time when the installation went bad.

Installation log ^top^

A log of each program you uninstall can be invaluable if you run into a problem. You can easily create a Log file that automatically enters the date each time you open it. Open Notepad and create a text file with the single line ".LOG" (Without the quotes.) Be sure to include the lead off period. Close and save the file. Now when you open it, you will see the current date. You can then complete your log entry. Put a shortcut for the file somewhere where you can easily find it when you need it -- on the desktop for example.