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How to Remove Windows Programs in Windows XP

Windows is technically an operating system. Despite that, it comes with lots of software, including utilities, simple applications such as Write and Paint, and games. If you don’t use these Windows programs and need to free up some space on your hard drive, you may want to uninstall them.

Obey these directions:

  1. Open the Add or Remove Programs icon in the Control Panel.

  2. Click the icon on the left titled Add/Remove Windows Components.

    The Windows Components Wizard window appears.

  3. To uninstall a component, remove the check mark by that component.

    Keep an eye out for that Details button. When it’s highlighted, click it and you can see various sub-items. For example, choose the Accessories and Utilities item and then click the Details button. Choose Games and then click Details. Only at the lowest level can you remove individual programs (such as Minesweeper) and Windows components.

  4. Click the Next button to proceed with removing the component.

  5. Click the Finish button when you’re done.

  6. Close the Control Panel window.

  • You’re warned whenever Windows cannot fully remove a component. There’s nothing more you can do in that situation; Windows tries its best to remove the component, but portions may still remain.

  • Don’t disable a Windows feature if you’re unfamiliar with it. For example, you may think, “.NET? What’s that? I don’t need it!” But you do. Otherwise, you may find parts of Windows not working properly and end up having to reinstall the feature.

  • Don’t remove the Notepad text editor. All operating systems need a basic text editor.

Notice that some programs are missing from the list. Microsoft hides a few of its installed programs from you, preventing them from showing up on the list. If you don’t mind getting a little technical and working from the command prompt, you can use these directions to add Windows XP WordPad to the Remove Programs window:

  1. Start a command prompt window: Choose Start→All Programs→Accessories→Command Prompt.

  2. Type cd \Windows\Inf and press Enter.

  3. Type notepad sysoc.inf and press Enter.

    The Notepad window opens with the SYSOC.INF document present.

  4. Locate the line that begins with MSWordPad=.

  5. Near the end of that line, delete the word EDIT. Keep the commas before and after it. The line looks like this:

    MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,ocEntry,wordpad.inf,,7
  6. Choose File→Save.

  7. Close Notepad.

  8. Type exit to close the Command Prompt window.

You now find WordPad listed in the Windows components you can remove.

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