Technology in terms you understand. Sign up for the Confident Computing newsletter for weekly solutions to make your life easier. Click here and get The Ask Leo! Guide to Staying Safe on the Internet — FREE Edition as my thank you for subscribing!

How do I remove a program from the Add/Remove programs list?

I have a program called PC Forest StartMan 1.3.96. I installed it
and then deleted it, but it stays in my list of programs when i go to
uninstall. Do you know the registry setting to get rid of this or how else can
I get it off the list of programs installed in the “add/delete programs” from
my control panel?

This has actually gotten better over time. In older versions of Windows you
were kinda screwed in this situation. Yes, there were ways to grovel around in
the registry, but ultimately the lesson learned was: use control panel to
uninstall programs and don’t just delete them from your hard drive.

However if you’re running Windows XP, things get better.

Become a Patron of Ask Leo! and go ad-free!

If you’re running Windows XP, just use control panel to try and uninstall it
anyway. If Control Panel finds that the files aren’t there, it will ask if you
want to remove it from the list.

Answer yes, and it should be gone.

Do this

Subscribe to Confident Computing! Less frustration and more confidence, solutions, answers, and tips in your inbox every week.

I'll see you there!

32 comments on “How do I remove a program from the Add/Remove programs list?”

  1. For older versions of windows, get TweakUI. One of Microsoft’s Powertoys. It has a panel to remove items from the add/remove control panel.

  2. > If you’re running Windows XP, just use control panel to try and uninstall it anyway. If Control Panel finds that the files aren’t there, it will ask if you want to remove it from the list.

    Setup.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
    If you were in the middle of something [such as trying to remove a spurrious listing in Add-Remove], the information you were working on might be lost [but only if you’re *really* lucky].

    Okay, so *now* how do I get rid of the listing?

    I notice that Tweak-UI no longer sports this function. (Grrrr!)

    Take care!


  3. I’ve removed all AOL software from my computer but “AOL Uninstaller (Choose which Products to Remove)” is still in my Add/Remove Programs list. It’s probably harmless sitting there but I’d still like to get rid of it. How can I remove that item from the list?

  4. I am trying to remove Creative Mediasource from Add/Remove Programs but I encounter an error message “Setup.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.” There is an option to ‘Close’ or ‘Debug’ but when clicking on ‘Debug’ nothing happens. I have also installed Windows Installer Cleanup Utility but the program for Creative Mediasource is not on the list.
    Any help with removing Creative would be of great help! Is there a way to re-install Setup.exe that relates to Add/Remove Programs?

  5. I am using win xp service pack 2 and i cant remove my programe from add/remove control panel list,actually the remove button is not appearing.
    I will be glad if you will send me the right solution.

  6. I was experiencing the same problem with some other program. What I did to remove the program from the Add/Remove Programs list was delete the corresponding key in the “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall”, which I found by the Manufacture’s name (I guess a search in the registry by the program name would succed too). And that fixed my problem!


  8. When I open Add/Remove programs, there is no programs listed, however they are listed in safe mode, but some of the programs do not want to delete. How can I delete these files, or how can I see the files in normal boot in Add/Remove programs

  9. I want to remove an application from add/remove program in the control panel. The problem is I can’t do that because no program listed in my control panel. How should I do to fix this problem without reinstall Windows ??

  10. when I try to remove motorola mobile tool programme from add/remove programme I get setup.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close.We are sorry for the inconvience. Can U help?

  11. I tried to uninstall xp antivirus that my husband downloaded and now the add/remove programs are really messed up. The icons are gone from the side and if you click on any programs “used and rarely” are there but no add/remove button. What do I do?

  12. I have tried to remove McAfee from the add/remove tool but nothing seems to work and I need to remove this program completely before I can install a different protection.

  13. I had some viscious spyware on my computer xpantivirus, and it locked up my computer totally to the point where I did a system recovery.
    I got the system recovered, removed the xp antivirus in safe mode, and re installed a few pieces of software I lost. the problem I am having now is that my Shield deluxe is all messed up, I reinstalled that and started it back up and that locks up my computer really bad to the point I have to shut it off. Also, all of my programs seem like they are Write Protected and can’t be deleted from my add/remove icon on the control panel. I did a Process explorer and an auto run to delete any suspicious files without company names and did a reboot, but my control panel is still messed up, can you help me??



  14. I am attempting to re-install a program on my computer…Windows XP”. When I tried to install it, I got the message that the program was already installed on my computer. The program is NOT installed…but the folder for it is still on my computer…and I am totally unable to remove it. It also appears in the add/remove program in the control panel. When I attempt to remove it from there, I get a pop up box that says, “setup resource not found.” Is there anyone that has a clue how I can get this empty folder from my computer…so that I can install the program?
    Thanks! K

  15. I removed MS office 2007 from the add/remove because it was just the trail part of it, when I did this it removed my old version of MS office and everything that comes with it, is there a way to get my old version restored. What should I do?

  16. how to remove a deleted program file in the add/remove program list?? the program in my list cant be remove, how can i remove that??

  17. How do I remove a deleted program file in the add/remove program list? The program in my list cant be remove. I have vista and it is not asking me if I want to remove it from the list when I try to uninstall it like XP does.

  18. how can I remove itunes from my computer it says error creating a temporary file that is needed. I tried to override it by installing another version but it says that an newer version is already on computer and doesnt give me the option to replace it

  19. If you want to remove a deleted program from add/remove program list .. just do this…
    1. press windows+R
    2. type regedit
    3. expand the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
    4. then the find the Installer title and expand it
    5. next the Products title
    – in the list of products. search the title of the program you want to remove * you can verify that program by their productname
    6. after you have found the programs just delete it in the products list.. XD

  20. hi sorry to bug you but after going back through my add/remove program the file i am trying to remove is still showing up it is called chief Viagra Online
    architect it takes up 3.5g and i have never used it there is no option to remove it only a change option i did the stips you said and removed the key and sub keys but it still remains

  21. i cant remove the bonjour program associated with itunes, it says that ‘the feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unvailable’ what do I do? Thank you


Leave a reply:

Before commenting please:

  • Read the article.
  • Comment on the article.
  • No personal information.
  • No spam.

Comments violating those rules will be removed. Comments that don't add value will be removed, including off-topic or content-free comments, or comments that look even a little bit like spam. All comments containing links and certain keywords will be moderated before publication.

I want comments to be valuable for everyone, including those who come later and take the time to read.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.