What’s The Problem With NCH Software & How To Remove It?

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Hijacking file extensions, forcing itself into context menus and downloading additional data – no, it’s not a virus, but any app you can mention from NCH Software.

They’re known online for providing good software, useful niche converters and media editors that can do the job for you at the drop of a hat. But should you take the risk of installing a useful app if it is liable to hijack your computer in such a way?

NCH Software: Who Are They?

A slightly shadowy software publisher originating in Canberra, Australia and with a Denver Colorado, USA office supporting North American customers, NCH Software develops and releases a huge number of media and file conversion utilities.


Launched in 1993, NCH apps often appear on cover disks and can also be found across the web through popular legal app download sites.

NCH Software’s customer care is notoriously limited, and their shunning of social media makes them far less easy to contact than many of their competitors.

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Useful Software, For a Fair Price

For an appropriate price, NCH Software provides a variety of useful media and file converter applications, the majority of which work as advertised.


A quick perusal of the NCH Software website may reveal a variety of “free” apps, but these are almost all trial versions with limited features. You’ll need to upgrade to the full version to unlock advanced features.

Whether you’re planning to edit photos, create DVD labels, edit audio files, digitize video or convert file formats, NCH Software has a tool that you can use.

The question is: should you?

Typical Problems Caused By NCH Software Applications

After installing an NCH Software app, you might find that it helps you deal with the urgent file conversion or media editing task that you had in mind.

It’s what you notice later on that will raise eyebrows.

The insidious creep of NCH Software will spread across your PC slowly at first. Perhaps you’ll launch an MP3, only to find it is playing in a completely different app: an NCH Software one, of course, and perhaps even one you weren’t aware of installing. File extension hijacking is pretty low, don’t you think? Certain malware scanners certainly do, highlighting some of NCH Software’s apps as malware.

Alternatively, you might notice the hijack of your context menus. Every time you right-click, something will happen, but the menu will take a while as the NCH Software entries are added.

Ultimately, you’ll realise that NCH Software has somehow taken over your PC. While McAfee and WOT don’t list these apps as malware, they’re certainly borderline and we wouldn’t advise installing any of them, free or otherwise.

NCH Toolbar Remove It

Also, NCH Software insists on bundling third party apps in its installer, taking you longer to install and run the app you were looking forward to use. The practice of adding bloatware to installers really should be banned. Sometimes they’re toolbars, other times, Google Chrome, which of course, you’re already using.

By now you may be thinking “surely NCH Software know about their software’s shortcomings and have provided support for users to deal with these issues?” It’s a reasonable point of view. Sadly, NCH has a pretty poor support system, with bug reports usually going unacknowledged.

This isn’t to say that bugs aren’t resolved – they are. However, to benefit from updates to the NCH Software that you have purchased over three months previously, you’ll need to pay for it again.

Yeah, just re-read that: pay for it again.

Problems Uninstalling NCH Software

One of the major complaints levelled at NCH Software is the difficulty users encounter when trying to uninstall the applications after discovering a bug or becoming fed-up with having other software installed.

For some reason, the standard method of uninstalling an app from NCH Software just doesn’t seem to work reliably. While their website includes steps that you should use, there are other methods that can be considered reliable. However, don’t put any money on these actually working – even if the software has been removed, the Windows Registry may remain tarnished, resulting in problems running other apps of a similar type.

You can use a slightly complicated method of uninstallation that involves browsing to c:\Program Files (86)\NCH SOFTWARE and renaming it to XXX.NCH SOFTWARE, using a familiar, easy to remember term for XXX.


From here, open the directory, and find the uninstaller program in the subfolder corresponding to the application you wish to remove. Once done, open the Windows Registry editor (WIN + R > enter regedit > OK - if this doesn’t work, press WIN + R > enter CMD and from the command prompt enter regedit) and with Computer selected open Edit > Find and run a search of the registry for NCH.

Once NCH has been found, right-click, select Rename and change this to XXXNCHXXX, where XXX is something memorable. Press F3 to repeat this action on all appropriate registry entries with that name. After you see the message “Finished searching through the registry” you can close all open windows and reboot your computer, hopefully safe in the knowledge that the NCH Software applications have been completely purged.

NCH Software? No Thanks!

Ultimately, the best thing you can do is avoid NCH Software. It might not be malware, but you’re unlikely to have a good experience. If you really must use it, perhaps install it in a virtual machine, so you won’t have to deal with it as part of your daily computer use.

Are you using NCH Software? Have you had any problems with it, or has your experience been remarkably pleasant? We’d love to know what you think, and any solutions you’ve developed to dealing with this company’s applications.

Hit the comments!

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Comments (48)
  • Mike Rebate

    How did I end up here? One guess. Yes, my laptop was molested by a NCH video editor which received rave reviews at LO4D site. NCH garbage hijacked file associations for documents which corrupted my filing system. Videos, WordPerfect and WordPad now share the same screwy NCH icon. I wouldn’t be posting here if ONLY the video file icons were changed. It matters not if the vids had Daum Pot Player or the NCH icon, but corrupting all my document icons is not acceptable.

  • Ivano Stefanelli

    Good news:

    It ‘just install the software after you create a restore point, even with the system of internal Windows.
    Then copy the installation folder that is located in Program folder, in another hd or flash key.
    After restoring windows to the point created earlier.
    Then paste the folder NCH copied first in the program folder.
    Start Debut.
    He only download codecs that are used like FFmpeg …
    For safety I still created a point of return with Rollback Rx. Now we monitor the behavior for two, three months and maybe more… I’ll let you know!
    Hello to all

  • Ivano Stefanelli

    I confirm. I have tested another one…
    the associations changed without notifying the user (It is very annoying and irritating) and you can not solve with normal tools.They had to go from the log files and deleting files and even restore some sys files windows.

  • Jim Kelley

    TBH I’ve never had these kind of problems with any of their software, and I’ve been using it for years, so I think that’s a crockpot of bull. There is a recent, unrelated problem however. They’ve become greedy. I’ve only ever needed the free versions of their software for whatever projects I’m working on- mostly Wavepad as it’s my go-to audio editor for nearly everything I do.

    But now all of their free versions are now just free trials, forcing you to uninstall and reinstall repeatedly if you want to keep working on your projects. And to make it worse, their customer service does absolutely bloody nothing. They don’t properly answer your questions nor take your complaints into account.

    You’re better off pirating their software really, if you’ve never had the problems mentioned above. Yeah the programs appear in the context menus? So? That’s never affected load time for me, so nbd.

    • Christian Cawley

      I’m delighted you’ve had no problems, but declaring all contrary experiences as “a crockpot of bull” is utterly ignorant.

    • Jim Kelley

      I apologize. I was cross at the time I read this and that was rude of me. Rather, I disagree with the article as I’ve never had such problems listed, however I have had problems with their customer service recently.

  • Ivano Stefanelli

    For years I install Debut. Only with the latest versions have had these problems. It is true that change associations. It happened to me just yesterday.
    I went on youtube and I wrote this, and also that you can not solve with a simple uninstalling.
    The other problems are not aware. Even if it was only this, that the associations changed without notifying the user It is very annoying and irritating.
    I’m sorry because it was one of the few, perhaps only to record directly to FLV.
    Hypercam it have installed from much time. Now install Techsmith Camtasia and try this big software.
    Fortunately I had installed on the PC Rollback RX and I restored all without problems.

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.
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