How to Uninstall Software Programs in Windows 7 and Vista - dummies

How to Uninstall Software Programs in Windows 7 and Vista

By Dan Gookin

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, you need to follow these specific directions for Windows 7 and Windows Vista:

  1. Open the Control Panel.

  2. From beneath the Programs headings, choose Uninstall a Program.

  3. Select the program you want to remove.

  4. Click the Uninstall button on the toolbar.

  5. 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 Programs and Features window lists all software installed on your PC.

  • Spyware and other types of malware don’t appear in either the Programs and Features window.

  • 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.