I have been looking for something like Revo Uninstaller for years. If you’ve ever used “Add or Remove Programs” on Windows, you know that it’s slow, uninformative, and sometimes not very good at its sole function: uninstalling things. Revo Uninstaller aims to correct those design flaws by being conversely fast, helpful and very effective at uninstalling just about anything you can throw at it.
The interface centers around the main uninstaller which is very easy to use. You can view your installed programs as either large icons or in a detailed list view. I prefer the list view because it lets you sort by name, size, installation date or company. Revo Uninstaller also displays the version number and the product’s website, if applicable.
When you find something you want to uninstall, simply click it and click the big, friendly ‘uninstall’ button. If you aren’t sure about the program or have had trouble uninstalling it in the past, Revo Uninstaller has several other options. Right-clicking any item give you the chance to:
- “Force Uninstall” it (probably overriding anything blocking the uninstaller from functioning)
- Remove it from the program list
- Search for it on Google
- Be taken to its location on your hard drive
- Open the program’s registry key
Revo Uninstaller is more than just a system maintenance program though. New computers almost always come with a ton of unwanted programs called “bloatware.” They fill up your hard drive and usually require some kind of subscription or purchase before they will work. In general you are better off without them. Sometimes it can be challenging to isolate, identify, and remove bloatware because computer manufacturers usually weave it closely into the operating system. Even professionals can have trouble scrubbing it all out.
The Hunter Mode on Revo Uninstaller is an absolutely genius feature. Upon selecting the Hunter Mode icon, the main interface vanishes and in its place pops up the cross hairs of a rifle. Dragging the cross hairs over a desktop icon, open window, quicklaunch icon, or taskbar icon will provide information about the related program. Selecting one of these will bring up the right-click context menu and display options similar to the regular uninstall menu. There are also extra options to stop running processes and follow the shortcut to the target program’s location.
If the Hunter Mode isn’t exactly what you need, you can right-click the cross hairs and change it into a burning flame. Dropping any icons into the inferno will prepare them for uninstall. This is a good option for brand new machines that have a lot of their bloatware conspicuously displayed on the desktop. Remember: Googling anything you are not familiar with is a good idea, as it is easy to delete important programs or drivers on an unfamiliar computer.
This uninstaller boasts a few tools that are becoming more and more common on freeware applications. There is an “Autorun Manager,” which is a fairly confusing name. It actually manages your start-up folder and programs that open at start-up. There is a “Junk File Cleaner,” which looks for files that have expired or were left over from a system crash. Revo Uninstaller also provides quick access to the most useful built-in tools for Windows (including system information, system properties, disk defragger, and services).
There are two “Tracks Cleaners:” one for internet browsers and one for Microsoft Office. The first is much like the “delete private data” option built into Firefox. The latter looks at specified MS Office programs for unnecessary files that have built up over time. I have not had a chance to test the Office scrubber, as my machine is fairly clean, but leave a comment if you decide to give it a try.
I really like this new uninstaller and may start using it as my main way to remove old programs from my machine. Until now I have used CCleaner as my primary uninstaller, but Revo Uninstaller seems to cut a few keystrokes off the process. I like how quickly the main screen indexes all of the programs on the hard drive and can be refreshed as conditions change.
Give Revo Uninstaller a try today! It’s worth figuring out if it’s right for you and good to keep in mind when debloating a new system.
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