Remove software leftovers on Windows 10/11 [Complete Guide]

by Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Madalina Dinita
Windows & Software Expert
Madalina has been a Windows fan ever since she got her hands on her first Windows XP computer. She is interested in all things technology, especially emerging technologies... read more
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  • PC users install and uninstall programs all the time. And the Control Panel should normally suffice for the latter.
  • But what if it doesn't? Here are the most commonly used methods for completely removing software leftovers.
  • You can use the manual method and carefully erase all traces from the registry.
  • Or you can use one of our reliable software recommendations to perform this for you.
Remove software leftovers

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It’s a common practice for all computer users to install software programs regularly to keep up with new technologies or to meet their needs.

As you know, whenever you install a piece of software, it creates files on the hard drive and usually adds registry entries to work efficiently.

How to delete leftover files from uninstalled program?

It’s important to remove bloatware from Windows, and leftover files fall into that category. You can always remove them manually, if you know the installation directory.

Do keep in mind that sometimes you might encounter You don’t have sufficient access to uninstall a program when trying to remove some of these applications or files.

Sometimes you need to rely on this methods especially if Windows uninstall feature doesn’t work, so be sure to keep reading to find out more.

What are software leftovers, and how can we get rid of them?

As long as you are using the recently installed program, and you don’t forget about it, it’s perfectly fine.

Now, the problem comes when you opt to uninstall it because the program might not completely remove itself from your PC. That’s where software leftovers come into play.

To remove a program in Windows, we normally uninstall it from the Control Panel. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always completely eliminate it.

As a result, your system continues to accumulate unused files that take up space and makes all the actions you perform over time on your PC more difficult.

Entries for the old programs can also remain in the Registry, which cuts back on the performance of your machine.

These leftovers may not pose a major threat, but they tend to slow down your PC, so there is no point in keeping them. Fortunately, there are various methods that can help you get rid of them.

In this guide, we are going to discuss the most commonly used methods for completely removing software leftovers, so be sure to check them out below.

How can I completely remove programs on Windows 10?

1. Manually remove the software leftovers

This method is convenient as it doesn’t involve the installations of third-party applications. Basically, you are manually cleaning entries from the Registry.

Nonetheless, care should be taken. A small mistake here might adversely affect the functioning of your machine.

Note icon
It’s important to do a backup before deleting anything from the Windows registry so that if something goes wrong, you can restore the system to its earlier state.

To do a backup, right-click on the key you want to delete and select Export. It will save a REG file with the backup of that key.

Not sold on the backup idea? We got your back! Check out our comprehensive guide to discover how to restore Windows 10 Registry without backup.

2. Use a reliable third-party software

We recommend you a premium cleaner for your computer that works its magic on any unwanted programs, Windows apps, and plug-ins.

This amazing tool provides a simplified uninstall and auto leftover scan to ensure thorough removal.

Below, you can read the most important features of this software:

  • Removes unwanted programs to free up disk space and boost the PC’s overall performance
  • Detect all malicious programs including adware in real time, and it allows you to get rid of them easily
  • Automatically remove all remnants of programs
  • Removes stubborn leftover files that cannot be deleted by other uninstallers
  • Updates all your software
  • Monitors all system changes while a program is being installed

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2.1 Uninstall software using Control Panel

  1. Open Control Panel.
  2. Double-click on Programs.
  3. Choose the program you want to uninstall, and click on the Uninstall button. This will remove the program.

Also, if Control Panel won’t open on Windows 10, you should take a closer look at our step-by-step guide to find the best solution.

2.2 Delete the remaining files and folders

Even though you have successfully uninstalled the program, some file fragments may be left in a few system folders.

To remove them, you’ll need to check the program files and app data. Check the following folders for leftovers.

appdata roaming delete remove software leftovers
  • %programfiles%
  • %appdata%

Just type the above text one at a time in the search box and press enter. This will open the folders directly. If you find any folder with the name of the program you just uninstalled, delete it.

Are you unable to delete all your junk files? Check out our detailed guide and see how to delete temporary files using Disk Cleanup on Windows 10.

And if you are looking for third-party tools to support you in removing any just file, we have an awesome article for you.

2.3 Remove software keys from the Windows Registry

  1. Open the Start menu, type regedit in the search box, and press Enter. It will launch the Registry Editor.
  2. Type the following keys one by one: HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftware HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWARE HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftware
  3. Look for a key with the name of the program you just removed. If you find a key, delete it. You can also use CTRL+F to search for such keys. registry editor remove software leftovers

You will need to be very careful when performing this procedure. When you uninstall a software program, in most cases, the uninstaller does not remove the program from the Windows Registry.

This increases the Windows Registry size. To completely remove the software, you need to remove its key from the Windows Registry.

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Also, if you can’t access Registry Editor, check out our detailed guide, and solve the issue quickly.

2.4 Empty Temp folder

The final step is to clean the Temp folder. This is the folder that contains all the temporary files and cleaning it is safe.

To empty the folder, open the Start menu and type the following commands one by one:

  • %temp%
  • temp

This will open the Temp folders. You can now empty them. If the system displays an error message when deleting some files, leave them.

The files might be in use by Windows services or some running software.

how to uninstall software leftovers temp files

After following all the steps above, you will be able to completely uninstall a program without leaving a trace on your machine.

Also, if you can’t delete the temporary files, we’ve got the best solutions. Take a closer look at our comprehensive guide, and fix it in no time.

3. Use a freeware solution

We suggest you use an enhanced tool for Windows that you can use to remove all the software leftovers.

Consequently, the program can wipe off all the junk files in seconds after uninstalling the software.

This software offers a more user-friendly way to remove software leftovers and improve your computer efficiency.

What’s more important, this tool supports batch uninstallation. This means you can even remove multiple applications in just a single click.

absolute uninstaller remove software leftovers

It also allows you to make backups so you will never lose important programs in case of mistakes.

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GlarySoft also has a very useful Registry repair tool to scan computers, clean registry junks, and fix registry errors.

It performs comprehensive and deep analysis for Windows Registry. It also repairs invalid entries or references that cause computer freezing, system crashes, instability, blue screen, and PC slowdowns.

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Another software-recommendation takes care of stubborn programs very well and can even uninstall programs that other programs can’t.

Since the tool is portable, you can download it on a USB to help fix buggy PC’s on the go.

The tool performs deep scanning and removes all the junk files and other software leftovers. It also features an efficient user interface and instant startup. It offers both clean uninstall and forced uninstall.

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Which method should you choose for leftovers removal?

In this article, we have provided you with two effective methods to successfully remove the leftovers that remain after uninstalling the unwanted software from your PC.

Of course, you can always use the Control panel if you want to uninstall a program. But afterward, some file fragments may be left in a few system folders.

And that means you need to remove software keys from the Windows Registry. As we all know, the actions we perform in the Registry Editor have immediate and irreversible effects.

Therefore, you need to be very careful when performing this procedure. But compared to the manual methods, third-party programs are easier, faster, and safer to use.

They also come with a friendly interface that allows you to see even the registry entries, as well as the link to the manufacturer’s website.

Have you used any of the methods described above? Feel free to share your experience with us in the comments section below.

Also, leave there any questions you may have, and we’ll surely take a look.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Use a third-party uninstaller from the list above to remove leftovers, including registry entries left behind by programs. You can also use these tools to monitor changes in the Windows registry.

  • There are a few easy steps you can follow that fix errors while deleting registry keys.

  • The leftover files might be in the installation path, Documents, or AppData folders. To auto-delete leftovers, use the best uninstaller software.

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