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Removing invalid entries from Add or Remove Programs

Sometimes when you uninstall a program, corresponding entry in the Add or Remove Programs listing may not be removed. This may be due to incomplete uninstall or poorly designed uninstaller itself. To manually remove the orphaned entries from the Add or Remove Programs applet, follow these steps:

  • Click Start, Run and type regedit.exe
  • Navigate to the following key:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE \ SOFTWARE \ Microsoft \ Windows \ CurrentVersion \ Uninstall

Note: Each subkey represents a program that you've installed. To determine which program that each key represents, click the key, and then view the DisplayName value data in the right pane

  • Select the subkey that you want to delete
  • Right-click on the subkey and choose Delete
  • Close Registry Editor

Still unable to remove an entry?

If the program was installed using Windows Installer, then you may use Windows Installer Cleanup Utility to remove the installer information for that program, and also the corresponding entry in Add or Remove programs.

Related links

Add/Remove program Cleaner is a free and useful program that allows you to clean up the Add/Remove programs list in the control panel. It should only be used to remove entries that are broken and cannot be removed by running the uninstall program.