Sometimes, even after uninstalling a program, its entry remains in the Add or Remove Programs or Programs and Features list in the list of installed programs in Control Panel.
This is usually caused by a poorly written program that is not removed properly. The entry is not removed from the registry and therefore remains on the list. If you try to uninstall it again, you will most likely just get an error message.
Newer versions of Windows will detect this problem and ask you if you really want to delete the entry, which is nice. However, if you are still using Windows 7, Vista or XP, you will still face this problem.
Remove Stuck Programs – Registry
Fortunately, there is an easy way to manually remove these stuck entries from the list. This does require some registry editing, so be sure to back up the registry first in case you get confused.
To open the registry, click Start and type regedit. Now go to the next registry key and expand it.
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Uninstall
You will see quite a few entries in the list, some with friendly names and some with a very long identifier.
You can easily identify programs by their long ID simply by clicking on it and searching for DisplayName on the right. In the above example, you can see that one of them is for the VMware Tools program.
Find the program that is stuck in the list of programs, then right-click it in the left menu and choose Uninstall.
Now, you might be wondering why all the programs listed under Programs and Features are not showing up in this registry key? The reason is that you might have 32-bit programs installed on 64-bit Windows.
For all these programs, you need to navigate to the next registry key, where you will likely find many more entries:
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE SOFTWARE Wow6432Node Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Uninstall
Here, for example, you will find all entries for Java, if you have it installed. You will also find many entries for Microsoft Office if you have 32-bit installed. Again, just right-click the entry and select Delete to delete it.
Finally, if the program was installed via a .MSI package, which may be the case in corporate environments, you should also check this registry key:
HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT Installer Products
You need to restart your computer and then open the list of programs in Control Panel to see the changes. Hopefully it won’t be there anymore.
Microsoft Fix It solution
If you don’t want to mess with the registry yourself, Microsoft has a free Fix It tool that you can download specifically to fix this problem with programs that cannot be completely uninstalled.
https: // support .microsoft.com / en-us / mats / program_install_and_uninstall
The program will work in Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.1. This doesn’t work on Windows 10, but hopefully you never have this problem on Windows 10.
Finally, there is another way to solve this problem – by using third party tools. One of my favorite registry cleaners is CCleaner because it is very safe to use. In fact, this is the only program I recommend for fixing problems in the Windows registry
Hopefully, using one of the above methods, you can delete all the entries that you refused to delete! If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!