Under normal circumstances, we uninstall software by using the uninstall icon in the software program group or by using the “Programs and Features” module in the Control Panel. However, sometimes we may find that the uninstall icon does not work, or the uninstall icon is simply missing, and even the uninstall function in Control Panel does not work. In this case, you need to find another way.
1. Uninstall software in safe mode environment
Sometimes, we can’t uninstall a software through the normal channel via the “Applications and Features” module of Windows Control Panel. However, when we enter Safe Mode to uninstall software, we find that Windows Installer Uninstaller does not work in Safe Mode. This is due to the fact that the Windows installation service is disabled in Safe Mode. In this case, you can solve the problem by the following methods.
First, we can turn on the Windows Installer service by using the free tool SafeMSI in Safe Mode. After running the tool, the Windows Installer Service has been enabled prompt is displayed. This means that the service has been enabled, just click the OK button (Figure 1).
If the Windows Installer service cannot be opened even with this tool, it is most likely caused by a corrupted system file associated with the service. In this case, you can solve the problem by replacing the system files with the same version.
First, copy Msi.dll, Msihnd.dll, Msiexec.exe from the C:WINDOWSSystem32 folder of another computer of the same version of the three files to spare (Figure 2). Then in the safe mode of this computer, press the Win+R key combination to launch the Run dialog box and execute the command “msiexec /unregister”. Then delete the Msi.dll, Msihnd.dll, Msiexec.exe files in the “C:WINDOWSSystem32” folder (if the files are locked, you can Unlocker or file shredding tools to unlock and delete).
After that, copy the above three files prepared earlier to the local C:WINDOWSSystem32 folder. Finally, execute the command “msiexec /regserver” to re-register the software installation and uninstallation service (Figure 3). In this way, you can uninstall the program normally in Windows Safe Mode.
2. Borrow the registry editor to uninstall software
In fact, the most direct and effective way to get software uninstallation information is to use the registry. When the direct uninstall link or shortcut of a software is missing, or the “Applications and Features” management module in the system control panel cannot be uninstalled, you can get its uninstall information through the registry.
First run the REGEDIT command to open the Registry Editor and locate the following branch “HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESOFTWAREMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall” in order. Under this branch, we can find many installed software names, and some long numeric numbers that we don’t even recognize. In fact, if you click on any of the numbers, you can see the name of the software after the DisplayName item in the right pane (Figure 4).
If you want to uninstall the software, also look for an UninstallString string item in the right pane, double-click on it and select the command under “Value Data” in the window that opens (Figure 5).
Next, go back to the Command Prompt window and paste and execute the above command to start the uninstall process for the selected program (Figure 6).
Tip: How to use 64-bit Windows, 32-bit program uninstallation may be redirected to “HKLMSOFTWAREWow6432NodeMicrosoftWindowsCurrentVersionUninstall” in the registry path. If you can’t find the software in the above path, you can go here to find it. 3.
3. Uninstall the software with free special tools
First of all, we can use Revo Uninstaller, a free software to solve the problem. After running Revo Uninstaller, it will show you all the icons of installed programs on your system and their names. When using it to uninstall a program, it will complete a system scan first and then uninstall the software after the uninstallation is completed. Even if there are unfinished or corrupted installation files left behind, it will show them along with registry entries for easy removal (Figure 7).
In addition, the free uninstaller Glarysoft Absolute Uninstaller can be used to uninstall software that is difficult to uninstall. Within this software management window, in addition to forcibly uninstalling selected software, you can also automatically repair invalid entries (Figure 8).