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Thread: Clean registry to remove any trace of uninstalled software completely

  1. #1
    s_acharya is offline Beginner
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    Apr 2014

    Question Clean registry to remove any trace of uninstalled software completely

    how do i clean registry or what changes do i make to Windows Registry so that there is no trace of the s/w i have uninstalled in win8 as well as xp (ie, it is removed completely)?

  2. #2
    HappyAndyK's Avatar
    HappyAndyK is offline Site Administrator
    Join Date
    Jun 2008


    There is no sure-shot way of doing it. Even if you search manually, you may still miss out some registry entries. Using a safe registry cleaner is one way, as it will remove most orphaned registry keys.

    Using a tool like Revo Uninstaller which traces the registry during installation, will while uninstalling, remove all the traced key. But it may miss those which have been created later on, by the software.

  3. #3
    whs's Avatar
    whs is offline Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008


    Anand is right. Revo uninsrtaller does a good job but I have seen Reg entries after Revo did the cleanup.

    The 'advertised' Reg cleaners are too dangerous. They can make more damage than they help. The only one I would trust is the Reg cleaning function of CCleaner. That is a 'softy' with the downside that it also may not catch all.

    CCleaner - PC Optimization and Cleaning - Free Download

  4. #4
    Digerati's Avatar
    Digerati is offline Windows Enthusiast
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    Apr 2010
    Nebraska, USA


    There is much controversy over the use of Registry cleaners but IMO, they (the well established cleaners) get a bad rap today because of the woes they "some times" caused YEARS AND YEARS ago (and when typically, users never backed up anything, let alone the Registry! ) And to some extent, there is reason to be extremely cautious as any time you dink with the Registry, problems can happen. Always, as in EVERY SINGLE TIME you mess with the Registry, back it up first. Fortunately, CCleaner prompts to backup before making any changes, and its restore feature actually works.

    I do not EVER recommend running a cleaner on a broken computer. I see them as "preventative maintenance" tools to "keep" the computer running smoothly, and not "repair" tools. For this reason, I always run CCleaner after I install Windows, major Windows updates, when swapping out major components that set deep hooks (like graphics cards, printers, network drivers or security programs).

    CCleaner's Registry cleaner is the only one I use and I use it for the reason WHS noted - it is NOT overly aggressive. That said, orphaned entries in the Registry cause no harm. It is the entries that point to the wrong place, or entries that need to point somewhere but don't that matter. And CCleaner seems very adept and taking care of those.

    Note that Revo Uninstaller is, in effect, a Registry cleaner too - just one that focuses on specific sections and entries, as prompted by the user.

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