How many programs are installed on your computer? Whether you use it for work or recreational activities, it probably has dozens of programs. Each program typically serves a specific function. Some of them are used for word processing, whereas others are used for graphics editing, accounting or other functions. If you no longer want or need a program, though, you should consider uninstalling it.

Uninstalling vs Manually Deleting Programs

Contrary to common belief, uninstalling a program isn’t the same as manually deleting it. All programs consist of one or more files, which are typically found in a folder. You can delete folders and their included files, of course, by right-clicking them and choosing the “delete” option. But a better approach is to install the respective program.

When you install a program, it may make changes to other parts of your computer — besides the program’s actual files. Windows, for instance, may create new registry entries for the program. As a result, you can’t just manually delete it. Manually deleting the program may remove the files, as well as the folder, but it will leave the newly created registry entries behind. This is why it’s important to use the uninstall feature. Uninstalling the program will not only remove all of its files; it will reverse all changes the program made, such as the registry entries.

How to Uninstall Programs in Windows

Fortunately, Windows makes it easy to uninstall programs. If there’s a program on your computer that you no longer want or need, you can uninstall it with just a few clicks.

To uninstall a program in Windows, pull up the Control Panel and select the “Programs” tab, followed by “Programs and Features.” You should see a list of all programs installed on your computer. Scroll through the list until you find the program that you want to uninstall. Next, right-click the program’s icon and select “Uninstall.” Depending on the type and size of the program, it may take anywhere from a few seconds to 30 minutes to uninstall. Windows, though, will completely remove all of the program’s files while also reversing any changes the program made.

Keep in mind that you should also restart your computer after uninstalling a program. Restarting your computer will reduce the risk of technical errors while ensuring that all of the files are properly removed and all the changes are reversed. That’s all it takes to uninstall programs in Windows.

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