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.