While I consider all registry cleaning and optimizing programs unnecessary, not all of them are considered potentially unwanted programs. Some are even hosted on reputable third-party hosting sites. In those cases, the anti-virus most likely would not detect or remove anything.
The correct way to remove most programs is from within its program group Uninstall shortcut in Start Menu > All Programs
or by using Programs and Features
) in Control Panel, so always check there first
. In most cases, using the uninstaller of the software not only removes it more effectively, but it also restores many changed configuration settings
Reboot when done and delete the Program folder if it still exists.
Keep in mind that not all programs show up in Add/Remove Programs or Programs and Features in Control Panel. Some will have their own uninstaller, which can be found in the program's folder via Windows Explorer
or Start Menu > All Programs
without the need to register in that location. This is typically by design as some vendors write installation routines so their program intentionally will not be included in the Add/Remove list. If the program is not listed in Programs and Features (Add/Remove Programs) look for an uninstall icon (shortcut) from within its program group. Click on Start > All Programs (or Program Files), look for the program folder by name and use the program's uninstaller. If it's not there, the next step would be to open Window's Explorer, manually navigate to the program's folder itself, look for an uninstaller file (i.e. uninstall.exe) and double-click on it to run.Note: Some programs can be difficult to remove completely due to the presence of related services and processes running in the background. Sometimes the uninstall works more effectively if you first stop and disable the program's service or perform the removal in safe mode so there are less processes which can interfere with the uninstallation.
After uninstallation, then you can run specialized tools like Malwarebytes 3.0
, Emsisoft Emergency Kit
, Hitman Pro
and JRT (Junkware Removal Tool)
to fix any remaining entries they may find. These tools will search for and remove many potentially unwanted programs (PUPs), adware, toolbars, browser hijackers, extensions, add-ons and other junkware as well as related registry entries (values, keys) and remnants. They also remove related files and folders wherever they hide...to include those within the AppData folder and elsewhere.