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. ...


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What is three minus 2?

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.

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