Using the Control Panel to Remove Programs

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 8, 2014)


Over the course of time, you will undoubtedly install numerous programs on your Windows system. These programs may be shrink-wrapped applications or ones that you download from the Web. At some point, however, you may realize that you don't want a certain program to remain on your system and so would like to free up the resources it consumes. This is when you use the Control Panel to remove such programs.

The Control Panel is the starting point for a wide variety of functions, such as backing up your computer, modifying network parameters, changing the desktop background, etc. It's also where you go when you want to remove, or uninstall, programs.

To uninstall a program, follow these steps:

  1. Display the Control Panel.
  2. Click the Uninstall a Program link, under the Programs category. Windows displays the Programs and Features window. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Control Panel's Uninstall a Program screen.

  4. In the list of installed programs, click once on the program you want to uninstall and then click the Uninstall/Change button. (The button appears only after clicking on the program.)
  5. Follow the prompts that appear, answering each one as the uninstall process continues. Windows informs you when the program is uninstalled.

 This tip (12024) applies to Windows 7 and 8.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


Setting Limit Depth Spacing in the Equation Editor

The Equation Editor is a handy tool, particularly for those who must include mathematical equations in their documents. Learn ...

Discover More

Deleting Worksheet Code in a Macro

When creating an application in VBA for others to use, you might want a way for your VBA code to modify or delete other ...

Discover More

Displaying the PC Settings Screen

Need to customize how your Windows interface looks? If so, you'll want to use the PC Settings screen. This tip explains the ...

Discover More
More WindowsTips

Putting the Control Panel on the Desktop

The desktop is designed to hold all your most commonly accessed programs, files, and folders. If you access the Control Panel ...

Discover More

Changing Control Panel Views

The Control Panel is an important "dashboard" that leads you to various system-related applications. There are a few ways to ...

Discover More

Printing a Process List

There are programs (processes) running in your system all the time. You can view a list of these processes using the Task ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is seven more than 5?

2014-09-08 09:04:24

Henry Noble

Concur with Ashley regarding the use of Revo Uninstaller. Too many programmers cut corners when coding their uninstall routines. Understandable. Why would anyone want to remove MY program. Etc.

Revo does not catch everything, so a little manual cleanup of directories and registry entries may be needed if all traces of a program must be expunged.

Revo cannot uninstall every program. If a program does not appear in Revo's selection window, then you must fall back and use the built-in Windows function.

2014-09-08 08:10:18


Yes, I've heard that XP wasn't so good about this. Win 7/8 is supposed to be much better, but to be honest I never was on XP long enough to be able to compare the differences.

2014-09-08 05:35:49

Ashley Smith

I used to use Add/Remove programs in Windows XP to uninstall programs, but eventually discovered that this did not remove all the Registry entries, so resulting in Registry clutter build up and hence computer slow down. I subsequently switched to Revo Uninstaller, which does appear to remove all such clutter.
I haven't evaluated the built-in Windows uninstaller in Windows 7/8, to which you refer in this tip, but if it's as poor as Add/Remove, then I won't be checking it out any time soon.
I am sure that there are other equally good uninstaller programs available, apart from Revo, for example those provided in Ccleaner and Iobit Advanced System Care, but I remain content with Revo.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WindowsTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.