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Best 5 Ways to Remove Software Leftovers in Windows 11

Using the Windows Registry will help you easily remove leftover files from your computer

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If you frequently install and uninstall software on your Windows computer, you may see that some program files, directories, or registry entries remain even after the program has been removed. These files, also referred to as software leftovers, can occupy valuable storage space on your hard disk, slow down system performance, and result in errors, making it crucial to remove these software leftovers.

It can be difficult to manually delete these files, especially if you don’t know where to look. They might be dispersed throughout several system directories like Program Files, or in the Windows Registry. Fortunately, there are ways to completely eliminate these files, and in this article, we will cover these steps.

1. Delete temporary files

Uninstalled software frequently leave behind temporary files. This temporary information is stored in the Temp folder, and by clearing this folder, you can remove the leftover software. The steps below will show you how to do this.

  1. Press Windows + R to open the Run dialogue, type the command below in the text field, then hit Enter.
    %temp%
    Remove Software Leftovers
  2. Once you are in the Temp folder, press Ctrl + A to choose all the options.
    Remove Software Leftovers
  3. Lastly, right-click and select the Delete option to remove these leftover files.

2. Remove the AppData and Program Files

The two directories where you’ll typically encounter uninstalled software leftover folders are Appdata and program files. Appdata has a roaming subdirectory where app data is kept. You may occasionally discover remnants in the programs files folder, which is where software by default installs. Remove leftover files from these folders by following the steps below.

  1. Hold the Windows + R to open the Run dialogue, typethe command below, then click Enter.
    %programfiles%
    Remove Software Leftovers
  2. Choose a folder related to the uninstalled application and delete it.
  3. Next, open the Run dialogue again and input the command below.
    %appdata%
  4. Pick a folder related to the uninstalled application and delete it.
    Remove Software Leftovers

3. Make use of the Windows Registry

The configuration settings for the Microsoft Windows operating system and for programs that choose to use the registry are stored in a database called the Windows Registry. The registry can be used by various components, including the kernel, device drivers, services, Security Accounts Manager, and user interfaces.

By erasing the registry entries and keys related to the apps that have been removed, you can use the Windows Registry to delete any residual files. The steps below will show you how.

  1. Hold the Windows + R key simultaneously to open the Run dialogue, type the command below in the text field, the hit Enter.
    regedit
  2. Next, navigate to the path below.
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software
  3. Locate any key that has the same name as the application you just deleted. Once you find this key, delete it.
    Remove Software Leftovers
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 for the paths below.
    Computer\HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software
    Computer\HKEY_USERS.DEFAULT\Software

4. Automatically remove leftover files using the IObit Uninstaller remover

A third-party uninstaller utility called IObit Uninstaller offers a comprehensive method for getting rid of software remnants. This uninstaller, as opposed to Programs and Features, has a feature for automatically deleting leftover files and registry items. Therefore, using IObit Uninstaller to remove software will spare you the time and effort required to manually remove any lingering components. Follow the steps below to use this program.

  1. Navigate to the IObit installer webpage to get the application.
  2. Once the application is installed, navigate to Programs > All Programs to see your software list.
    Remove Software Leftovers
  3. Click the checkbox for the software to uninstall, then choose the green trash button for the seleted programs.
  4. Next, click the Automatically remove residual files checkbox.
  5. Finally, click Uninstall to delete the software along with its leftover files.

5. Make use of a freeware solution

Lastly, you can also use a Windows-enhanced program to get rid of all the residual software. After uninstalling the software, tools like Glarysoft for instance can remove all the garbage files in a matter of seconds.

This software provides a more user-friendly method to get rid of unused software and boost computer performance. The fact that this utility offers batch uninstalling is more significant. This implies that you can uninstall several programs with a single click.

Wrapping things up

By following the steps outlined in this article, you should be able to effectively remove leftovers files from your PC and get your system working without any problem. If you have additional questions regarding this topic, reach out to us via the comment section below.

Lastly, if you are facing errors when you try to update your system, check out the linked article for solutions.

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David Ogbor
David is a tech guru with extensive knowledge in technical articles. He is passionate about writing and presents technical articles in an easy-to-understand format for easy comprehension. He aims to present easy solutions for day-to-day problems encountered while using PC. In his spare time, he likes traveling, playing sports, and singing.