Why do some applications appear on the Add/Remove list on the Control Panel
while others do not?
In this excerpt from
Answercast #71, I look at how programs get added to the uninstall list and
options when they don’t.
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Why is there no uninstall?
Very simply because the applications did or did not put themselves
As it turns out, the Add/Remove Control Panel applet is really a front end
to a little bit of a database that individual applications have to add
themselves to. So for example, when you install something (like say, Microsoft
Office), it’s the Microsoft Office set-up program that makes sure that its entry
in the Add/Remove list is correct, is there, and is available to be
used later if you want to change or remove Microsoft Office.
Now, most programs that you install using a setup program do exactly that.
It’s actually a side effect of setting up the program – where they will go
through the motions; go through the steps to add themselves properly to the
add/remove programs list.
Programs not on the list
Sometimes, they don’t. Sometimes, they don’t – and they provide an uninstall
application of their own that you might access through whatever entries they
may have added to the Start menu.
Sometimes, they don’t provide an uninstall option at all. Then you’re kind of,
sort of stuck. You have to resort to some brute force methods for uninstalling
Uninstalling unlisted programs
What I recommend is: if you’re having a problem with an application that
does not appear in the Add/Remove Programs list and you want to remove it, I
would do two things:
One, start with Revo
Uninstaller and see if it can find the application.
Sometimes, Revo will in fact be able to find traces of the application that
will allow it to give the application a good go at uninstalling the
Ask the developer
If that doesn’t work, then I would actually go to the application vendor (the
manufacturer of that program) and say, “Hey, what’s the deal? I want to
uninstall your program. There’s nothing in Add/Remove. There’s no uninstall
program on the disc. What am I supposed to do?” And see if they have
Very often they do.