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How To Remove Unwanted Software From Windows XP

This is just a mini tutorial on how to uninstall software you no longer want or need and is taking up valuable room on your hard disk.

So, step by step this is what you need to do.

1.    Click Start

2.    After the start menu pops open you will need to click on the control panel option. (See the screen grab below for the location)

3.    Now when you click on the control panel you will be presented with one of 2 different screens. With either screen you are going to want to click on Add or Remove Programs. (see images below)

remove programs

4.    When you choose this option a new window will open that might take several minutes to fully populate depending on how much software you have installed.
remove software

5.    Once all of your software is listed you can scroll the list in order to find any software you no longer need.  Once you select the software you will be given the option to remove it.
software removal xp

(NOTE  you may have a button that says CHANGE/REMOVE this is essence the same thing as remove only button)
6.    Most software will ask you if you are sure you want to remove it. (NOTE: Most software programs also delete any saved data associated with them when you remove the files.)

7.    The next phase you will see the machine deleting the files, and then you will be back where you can select other programs you wish to remove.


19 Responses to “How To Remove Unwanted Software From Windows XP”

  1. william Tuck March 15, 2008 9:30 am #

    Thanks for Your Help It worked! (remove unwanted software from winows XP)

  2. Paul Morgan August 25, 2008 1:09 pm #

    I have something called “virus remover 2008” which cannot be removed by the above method. What is plan B?

  3. KAREN JOWLY October 11, 2008 5:10 pm #

    I have something called XP Antispyware 2009 which cannot be removed by the method you mentioned above… Is there another way… They want $49 to enroll me and I do not want this…

  4. Jacqui Best October 13, 2008 8:59 am #

    Karen and Paul,

    Both of you have the same problem. It is a virus. I have had success with removal with both AVG and Spybot Search and Destroy. Both are free. It is not a new tactic for these malicious/spyware to use names that we would tend to not worry about like “virus remover” “spyware checker” etc.. If you are unsuccessful in removal you have 2 options.

    1. Remove important data from the machine and reload it. This will be very time intensive and require you to re install all of your programs.

    2. You can bring it to a technician. I recommend one who will NOT reload the Operating System but will FIX the infection. This level of technician is hard to come by and is not usually at the bigger “chain” type stores. A small local computer store or traveling tech will be more likely to be able to help.

  5. pierce crank December 4, 2008 12:42 pm #

    how to eliminate pop ups??

  6. ken December 18, 2008 1:11 pm #

    PERFECT OPTIMISER keeps appearing on my screen. How can I get rid of it for good? By the way it does not appear in Control Panel listing of programmes.

  7. Bob Johannsen January 3, 2009 12:53 pm #

    Hello Jacqui:

    I reviewed some of your posts and I’m not sure my questions are answered. I have a hard drive which is full, less than 1% remaining. I need to keep the informaiton and want to keep my current computer system. I added a slave which is 25 times larger than my current master Hard Drive. Now I have installed it and formatted the slave I don’t know how to use it. I feel very foolish and would appreciate some guidance. Thank you in advance….


    • Jacqui Best January 5, 2009 6:05 pm #

      Tricky little problem you have here because of the lack of space. If you have very little space left on a drive when you try to copy large amounts of data across to another drive it could cause the machine to crash because of Windows cache to the disk to prepare for the copy. I would recommend
      Move any data files ( ie word, excel, pictures, mp3’s) off to the slave but you must do it slowly do not mare more the a few 10-20 mb at a time. Then verify that data by going in to slave and looking at the data if everything is copasetic with the moved data you can then .. and only then delete the data from your main disk.

      In order to move the filed you can select multi files by going in to my computer and then holding down either ctrl or shift and selecting the files if you want to know how much you have selected you can right click on a highlighted file and go to properties which should tell you the total amount of the marked files.

      As you get more and more moved and free up more room on the drive you will be able to move bigger chunks of data but at first the process will be tedious.

      After you have all of your data moved to the slave I would say it would be good idea from here on out to install your software to that drive if possible.

      I hope this has made sense and if not let me know 🙂

  8. Barbara January 14, 2009 11:53 am #

    I used the Add/Remove software option to get rid of 1100 Mb of a program file. It removed it but did not give me back the space. How can I recover the space on my hard drive? I thought there was a way using DOS or XP but do not know the procedures for doing this.

    Thanks for any help you can give me.

  9. Richard Fruechte February 26, 2009 11:02 am #

    A rogue program occupies much of my my monitor when I start my computer. aaaaai can work around it but it is an annoyance that I cannot remove by the uninstall method since it is not a listed program. It is titled:” PC Mighyty Max”. My operating system is Windows XP…

  10. anthony halbert June 28, 2009 8:16 pm #

    i have made the mistake of opening a program called system securty and it will not allow me to remove it . its blocking me from my music files and control panel. CAN ANY BODY HELP ME?

  11. nick celiberti August 16, 2009 2:44 pm #

    i’d li9ke to know how to uninstall a program called PERSONAL ANTIVIRUS that i got conned it to download.I’ve tried with add/remove program it wont let me remove it because is in the program files.The thing is a pest and i do not want it.Please help someone!!!!

  12. Brian Bosley January 10, 2010 8:09 pm #

    I am trying to remove the Maxtor One Touch 4 Plus software, and either start again from the top, or just junk the drive. I uninstalled the software using the Control Panel (XP SP3) and deleted the device from the USB list in Device Manager. Unfortunately, not all the program’s software was uninstalled, and when I try to reinstall, I Get an error telling me a “Higher upgrade is already installed” I’ve tried to manually remove the leftover files without any luck.

    How do I get rid of this software completely. Thanks for any help you can give me, because I’m getting none from Seagate.


  13. Michael April 10, 2010 4:40 pm #

    How do I make an existing ATA hard drive a “slave” on a new computer,
    What I wish to do is to remove an ATA hard drive from my currently used computer and make it a slave to a newly purchased computer. This will allow me to retrieve data files that are now hidden. My problem is my current computer is corrupted so that I cannot open files. The problem stems from a corrupted USB function.

    Thank you

  14. Aayush May 26, 2010 9:00 am #

    hello friends……..

    i ve installed a software of LabView 0f 16gb…
    when i am trying to uninstall that .. then its not removing

    cn u provide me the other way to do that..

    i smply tried that from control panel… add/remove program

    • DTI Data Recovery June 3, 2010 11:41 am #

      Did you try to remove it in safe mode? Some programs have an uninstall feature, look in the Windows Program Menu and see if there is a remove option.

  15. Mary Jean Belleville August 27, 2010 4:03 am #

    I have an unwanted program on my Dell desktop that is taking up over 2 million mb. I am unable to remove it from Control Panel/Add or Remove. The program is not listed in Windows Install Cleanup either. If I cannot remove/uninstall it through either of the above, how do I remove/uninstall it. Please help as this software is draining my hard drive space.


  1. Hard Drive Recovery and Business Continuity « - July 19, 2009

    […] I’m sure there are other places, too, but I found the resource center at a very helpful site in understanding hard drive failures and hard drive recovery techniques. You’d better be somewhat more technically inclined than I am to gain the full benefit from their writing, but there are some posts for the lay person like Restore Deleted Emails In Outlook Express or How To Remove Unwanted Software From Windows XP. […]

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