When most people wish to clear a program out of their system, the usual way is to go to Control Panel and then Programs and Features , select the program and click on Uninstall. Some people, though, don’t like the way Windows handles program uninstalls. They prefer to use a third-party uninstaller. Third-party programs aren’t just for geeks, though. They can be useful to anyone.
What’s wrong with the regular Uninstall button in Programs and Features?
On mobile operating systems like Android and iOS, all installations are completely controlled by the OS. When an app installs, the OS knows what files are sent to what folders. When you need to uninstall an app, the OS simply consults its list and removes all the files that were installed. This is the way Modern apps are uninstalled in Windows 8, too.
On regular desktop Windows, the OS has nowhere near the same kind of control over installing programs. When you install the program, the installer is able to scatter files all over the system, place DLLs everywhere and create system services. When installed programs run, they often make their own deep system changes, sometimes even at the registry level. Windows does not keep a record of any of these changes.
Most programs come with their own uninstaller software. When you run these purpose-built programs, they are supposed to be able to locate every file that was installed by the installer. Unfortunately, these programs are often not thoroughly designed. They just remove some of the main files that the installer scattered around your system.
Here’s where a third-party uninstaller comes in
Third-party uninstallers by vendors like IOBit are designed to seek and eliminate the files that the regular uninstallers miss. Third-party uninstallers work in a special way. You keep them running in the background all the time. When you install a program, it watches the installer and keeps a record of all the files that it installs. When it comes time to uninstall that program, the third-party uninstaller consults its records and makes sure that everything is cleared out.
If you need to uninstall a program that you installed even before you got the uninstaller program, you could still get results. If the program that you’re uninstalling is a well-known one, your uninstaller software will have a record of the files that usually need deleting. It will simply go after them.
Should you get third-party uninstaller software?
The only reason vendors of third-party uninstallers have a reason to stay in business is that many programs do terrible a job clearing out every last file. If Windows were to announce that their next version would take excellent care of uninstalling software on its own, vendors of uninstaller software would have no reason to stay in business (they would go the way of Netscape). For now, though, these programs are useful. To make sure that you remove every vestige of an old and unused program can be a great idea.