How to Recover an Uninstalled Program

Uninstalling a program removes it from your computer, but with Windows System Restore, it is possible to undo this action. The likelihood of successfully recovering the uninstalled program depends on how long ago it was uninstalled. Any new programs that were installed after the program you want to recover was uninstalled will also be lost if you perform the restore, so you have to decide if it is worth the tradeoff. System Restore is included in the Windows operating system, so no third-party software is required for the operation.

Portrait of a businesswoman using a laptop and smiling
System Restore can revert your operating system to a point before a program was uninstalled.
credit: Jack Hollingsworth/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Step

Type "Control Panel" (without the quotation marks) on the Windows 8.1 Start screen and press "Enter."

Step

Select "Recovery" and then select "Open System Restore."

Step

Select "Next" and then click the "Show more restore points" check box to view a list of previous restore points.

Step

Select a restore point before the program you want to recover was uninstalled and then select "Scan for affected programs" to see what other programs would be affected if you perform the restore.

Step

Select "Close" and then select "Next" if you agree with the changes that the system restore will make to your system.

Step

Save and close any programs that are open and then select "Finish."

Step

Select "Yes" to initialize the system restore process and recover the uninstalled program. A message stating that the system restore completed successfully is displayed after a reboot to confirm that the operation was a success.