How to Uninstall Software Programs in Windows XP

Perhaps the primary reason people remove software from their computers is to make room on the mass storage system. But even when storage space isn’t a concern, you should feel free to evict any unwanted or seldom-used software on your computer. It’s like cleaning up your office. An occasional purge of no-longer-used items keeps down the clutter.

To remove software, follow these directions in Windows XP:

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

  2. Select the program you want to remove.

  3. Click the Change/Remove button that appears to the right of the selected item.

  4. Heed the directions on the screen.

Generally speaking, you want to remove the program — all of it. You can leave some of the data files. For example, for a game, you can leave your high score or character profiles, just in case you ever reinstall the game and don’t want to earn your achievements all over again.

  • Do not delete or remove installed applications manually.

  • The Add or Remove Programs window lists all software installed on your PC.

  • Spyware and other types of malware programs don’t appear in either the Remove Programs window. They will have to be removed with an anti-spyware program.

  • If you haven’t yet installed a program but you downloaded an EXE or a ZIP file from the Internet, feel free to delete it.

  • Deleting a program’s shortcut icon doesn’t delete the program. Shortcut icons are found on the desktop, on the Start menu, on the Quick Launch bar, and elsewhere in Windows.

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