How to Delete Programs Properly

By Techwalla Computers Editor

There comes a time in every computer user's life when programs must be deleted from the system. Remove programs the wrong way and you risk leaving portions of programs behind, which gums up remaining programs. You can also remove too many program files and leave remaining programs without needed files. Removing programs correctly only takes a few minutes and is worth the effort to preserve your computer's health.

Delete Programs in Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000 and XP-Classic View

Step 1

Click on the "Start" button at the bottom left of your screen and then select the "Settings" option. Click on the "Control Panel" option located mid-way down the right-hand column of choices.

Step 2

Select "Add or Remove Programs" in the control panel. Another window appears with the heading "Currently Installed Programs." Just beneath this heading the message "Please wait while the list is being populated" appears. It takes several seconds for the computer to assemble the list of all programs on your system.

Step 3

Locate the program in the list of currently installed programs when the completed list is displayed. Programs are in alphabetical order but are identified by their formal names, which may not be how you usually refer to them. Choose carefully so you do not accidentally select the wrong program.

Step 4

Select the program you've decided to delete then click "Add or Remove," or the "Change or Remove" button.

Step 5

Follow any instructions provided by the program wizard when it appears. Not all programs require further action on your part to complete the deletion process. Follow the instructions and wait while your system deletes the program.

Step 6

Exit the control panel and empty your recycle bin to finish the deletion process. The program is now deleted from your system.

Step 7

Reboot your computer to update the system registry. When your system comes back up, double check to make sure the program is no longer listed by clicking back through to the "Add or Remove Programs" window. It shouldn't be, but if it is, repeat the deletion process as described above.

Delete Programs in Windows XP-Default View

Step 1

Click on the "Start" button at the bottom left of your Windows screen and select the "Control Panel" option. There is no "Settings" option as there is with the classic view of the Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000 and XP operating systems.

Step 2

Follow the steps listed above. The remainder of the process to delete a program in the default view of Windows XP is identical to the deletion process required for the classic view of the Windows 95, 98, Me, NT, 2000 and XP operating systems.

Step 3

Exit out of the control panel and empty your recycle bin. Reboot your system to update the system registry.

Delete Programs in Windows Start Menu

Step 1

Delete programs directly from the Start menu when the program you want to delete is listed there. Not all programs appear in this list. Click on the "Start" button located at the bottom left side of your screen. The start menu box appears.

Step 2

Position the cursor over the name of the program you want to delete and right-click. A small box appears that lists several actions available for execution in regard to your selected program.

Step 3

Select the "Remove from this list." It is usually located third from the bottom of the list.

Step 4

Exit the start menu and empty your recycle bin. Reboot your system to update the system registry.