How to remove leftover software in Windows 10 [COMPLETE GUIDE]

How to remove leftover software in Windows 10 [COMPLETE GUIDE] 1

  • Removing leftovers is a great way to avoid PC performance issues and remove junk files that clutter your disk
  • If you can't uninstall programs due to access errors, you can use various solutions to fix it
  • Even if a program makes too many changes to it Windows registry, can still repair corrupt registry entries

It is common practice for all computer users to install software programs regularly. As you know, every time you install a piece of software, it creates files on your hard drive and generally adds registry entries to work efficiently. It is perfectly fine while you are using the program and don't forget it.

Now, the problem arises when you choose to uninstall it, because the program might not be completely removed from your PC. That's where software leftovers come into play.

To delete a program in WindowsWe usually uninstall it from the Control Panel. Unfortunately, this does not always completely remove it. As a result, your system continues to have unused files that take up space.

Entries for older programs may also remain in the Registry, slowing down the performance of your machine. These leftovers may not pose a great threat. But they tend to slow down your PC, so there is no point in keeping them.


Various methods can help you get rid of these leftovers. In this guide, we will discuss two of the most commonly used methods of completely removing leftovers from software.

How can I completely remove the programs in Windows 10?

1. Manually remove leftovers from the software

This method is convenient since it does not involve the installation of third-party applications. This is the method you can use to manually clean the registry entries.

However, care must be taken when cleaning registry entries. A little mistake here could negatively affect the operation of your machine. We are going to use Mozilla as an example in this tutorial.

Note: It is important to make a backup before deleting something from the Windows log so that if something goes wrong, you can restore your system to its previous state. To make a backup, right click on the key you want to delete and select "Export". It will save a REG file with the backup copy of that key.

Step 1: Uninstall the software using the Control Panel

To do this, open the Control Paneldouble-click the Add Remove programs, choose the program you want to uninstall and click on the Uninstall button. This will remove the program.

uninstall software remove remnants of software

You cannot open the Control Panel in Windows 10? Take a look at this step-by-step guide to find a solution.

Step 2: Delete the remaining files and folders

Even if you have successfully uninstalled the program, some fragments of the file may remain in some of the system folders. To remove them, you will need to check the program files and application data. Check the following folders to see the leftovers.

Just type the text above one by one into the search box and hit Enter. This will open the folders directly. If you find a folder named after the program you just uninstalled, delete it.

roaming appdata remove remove remnants of software

Having trouble removing all your junk files? Follow this disk cleaning guide and save your drive.

Step 3: Delete software keys from Windows Registry

You will need to be very careful when performing this procedure. When you uninstall a software program, in most cases the uninstaller does not remove the program from the Windows Registry.

This increases the Windows Registry size To completely remove the software, you must remove your password from the Windows Registry. Follow the steps below to remove the keys from the program.

  1. Open the Start menu, type regedit in the search box and press ENTER. It will launch the Registry Editor.
  2. Type the following keys one by one:
  3. Find a key with the name of the program you just removed. If you find a key, delete it. You can also use CTRL + F to look for those keys.registry editor remove remnants of software

Can't access Registry Editor? Things are not as scary as they seem. Please refer to this guide and resolve the issue quickly.

Step 4: Empty temporary folder

The last step is to clean up the Temp folder. This is the folder that contains all the temporary files and its cleaning is safe. To empty the folder, open the Start menu and type the following commands one by one:

This will open the temporary folders. Now you can empty them. If the system displays an error message when deleting some files, please leave them. Files may be in use by Windows services or some running software.

how to uninstall leftover temporary software files

After following all the steps above, you will be able to completely uninstall a program without a trace on your machine.

Can't delete temporary files? We have the best solutions.

2. Use third party software to remove remnants of software

The manual method described above can be complicated and difficult, especially if you have never used Registry Editor in the past.

If that's the case, you can always install third-party software to completely remove all leftover old software with just a system scan.

Many free and paid uninstaller programs can do the job instantly. Below you will find some of them.

IObit Uninstaller Free (recommended)

IOBit uninstaller remove remnants of software

IObit Uninstaller is a fast cleaner for your computer that works without any unwanted program, Windows applications and accessories. Provides a simplified uninstall and automatic residue scanning to ensure complete removal.

Below you can read the most important features of this software:

  • IObit Uninstaller Free removes unwanted programs to free up disk space and increase overall PC performance.
  • This software detects all malicious programs, including adware, in real time, and allows you to get rid of them easily.
  • Automatically removes all remnants of programs.
  • You can count on IObit Uninstaller Free even for leftover file that other uninstallers can't remove.

You can get the software for free, and it's good to know that it is compatible with all versions of Windows.

Revo Uninstaller Pro (recommended)

revo uninstaller pro how to remove leftover software

Revo Uninstaller Pro is a paid program but it comes with all the features you need to effectively remove software remnants. The uninstall tool lists all installed programs and components for all users and checking accounts.

With a context menu and a view option, you can see all the program information. This includes registry entries, program properties, and links to the manufacturer's website.

Revo Uninstaller Pro uses advanced algorithms that are fast, accurate, and effective in finding traces of Windows services, file extensions, drivers, program settings and more. And for your convenience, a portable version is available.

Absolute Uninstaller (Freeware)

absolute uninstaller remove remnants of software

Absolute Uninstaller is an improved tool for Windows which you can use to remove all remnants of software. Consequently, the program can delete all the junk files in seconds after uninstalling the software.

Absolute Uninstaller offers an easier way to use to remove software scraps and improve the efficiency of your computer. Also, Absolute Uninstaller supports batch uninstall. This means that you can even remove multiple applications with a single click.

It also allows you to make backups so you never lose important programs in case of errors.

GlarySoft also has a handy registry repair tool for scanning computers, cleaning registry junk, and fixing registry errors.

Conduct in-depth and thorough analysis to Windows Registry. It also repairs invalid entries or references causing computer freeze, system failure, instability, blue screen and PC slowdowns.

GeekUninstaller (free version)

geekuninstaller remove remnants of software

GeekUninstaller handles stubborn programs very well and can even uninstall programs that other programs cannot. Since the tool is portable, you can download it to USB to help repair buggy computers on the go.

The tool performs a deep scan and removes all junk files and other software debris. It also features an efficient user interface and instant startup. GeekUninstaller offers clean uninstall and forced uninstall.

You can download GeekUninstaller from the official page of the tool. A free version is available for personal use. On the other hand, the Geek Uninstaller Pro version can be purchased with a lifetime license of $ 24.95.


Compared to manual methods, third-party programs are easier, faster, and safer to use. They also come with a friendly interface. This allows you to view even the registry entries as well as the link to the manufacturer's website.

They are also useful when you want to uninstall windows bulk programs.

Have you used any of the methods described above? Let us hear your experiences in the comments section below. Also, leave any questions you may have there and we will surely review them.

Frequently asked questions

How do I remove registry entries from uninstalled programs?

Use a third-party uninstaller from the list above to remove leftovers, including registry entries left by programs. If you're concerned about registration, you can also use these tools to monitor changes in the Windows registration (before installing and after uninstalling a program).

How are registry keys that cannot be deleted deleted?

Check out our solutions for errors when deleting registry keys.

Where are my leftover files after uninstallation?

If you uninstalled an Add / Remove Programs or Applications & Features tool in Windows, the leftover files may be in the AppData installation path, documents or folders. To automatically remove leftovers, use the best uninstall software instead of uninstalling the tool. Windows.

From the editor Note: This post was originally published in September 2016 and was completely revamped and updated in March 2020 to provide freshness, precision and comprehensiveness.

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