There are a few built-in ways to get rid of unwanted software in Windows 10 and Windows 11, but there are also a number of third-party programs that can do the same thing.
If there are programs on your computer that you no longer want, you can easily get rid of them to make room on your hard drive and clean up your Start menu. Windows 10 and Windows 11 have a built-in uninstall feature that you can access from the Start menu, the Settings screen, and the Control Panel.
If it’s a Windows 10 Universal app, you can quickly and cleanly get rid of it using the uninstall feature in the Start menu and in Settings, but not the Control Panel applet. If you try to uninstall a full desktop application using Windows built-in tools, the process often leaves behind folders, files, and Registry entries that can slow down your system.
This is why you might want to use a third-party uninstaller, which can remove all traces of an application. Let’s go over your options.
Uninstall in App Settings
You can also look at all the programs on your computer more easily by going to Settings > Apps > Apps & features. This screen shows both Windows Universal apps and regular desktop apps, so you should be able to find every program on your PC here. Scroll down the list until you find the program you want to get rid of, click it directly in Windows 10 or the three-dot icon in Windows 11, and then click Uninstall.
Uninstall Through Control Panel
Control Panel is still an option in Windows 10 and Windows 11, if you like to use it. Click the Search box on the Taskbar, type “Control Panel,” and then choose “Control Panel” from the list of results. Click Programs and Features after switching to icon view.
Note that this view doesn’t show Windows Universal apps. Instead, it only shows standard desktop apps. Choose the program you want to get rid of, then right-click it and choose “Uninstall” or go to the top of the list and click “Uninstall.”
Uninstall From the Start Menu
First, you can remove a program from the Start menu in Windows 10 or 11.
If you want to get rid of a program in Windows 10, click the Start button and look for it in the All Apps list on the left or the tiled section on the right. Click right on the program. If you can get rid of it this way, the pop-up menu will have an Uninstall option you can. Once you click it and confirm that you want to get rid of it, it will be gone.
Click the Start button in Windows 11. Find any pinned apps that you want to get rid of. Click the “All apps” option in the upper right corner of the menu to see all the programs on your computer. Right-click on the app you want to get rid of and choose “Uninstall.”
Applications tend to spread their folders and files all over your system, and they may even add settings to your Registry that can be hard to find. Windows’ built-in uninstall tools might not get rid of all these leftover files, so a third-party uninstaller is needed to get rid of an app completely.
Finding the right balance is the hardest part of completely getting rid of a Windows desktop app. Several programs use the same Windows files and Registry settings. So, an uninstall utility needs to get rid of all traces of the program you’re getting rid of without causing problems for other programs that still use those traces.
Because of this, many of the best uninstallers have backups and other safety measures in place. If something goes wrong after uninstalling an app, the app can be restored to fix the problem. Here are three uninstallers from outside sources that can do the job.
Revo Uninstaller (Opens in a new window) can remove desktop apps, Windows apps, and even browser extensions in a clean and complete way. The free version is a good place to start because it has basic features. For $24.95, the Pro edition will remove browser extensions and clean up leftovers from programs that have already been uninstalled. The Pro Portable version costs $29.95 and can run on more than one computer and from a USB drive.
Revo Installer’s interface shows you all the apps on your computer, so it’s easy to find the ones you want to get rid of. The program can even help you install apps, which lets it watch the whole process and uninstall the app more completely in the future.
To see how Revo works, click the program you want to get rid of twice or right-click it and choose “Uninstall.” Revo starts by making a restore point that you can use to go back to if it deletes files and Registry entries too quickly. Next, Revo uses the program’s own way to uninstall itself to get rid of it.
Revo then looks through the Registry for settings that were left behind and asks you if you want to get rid of them. Depending on how aggressive you want the program to be, you can choose between three modes: Safe, Moderate, or Advanced.