How to remove entries from Add / Remove programs

How-to-remove-entries-from-Add-Remove-programs

Hi friends, it has been a long time since I've posted an awesome trick for Windows Operating System. So, this post is dedicated to Windows users. If you are not one, then you may read the post to get knowledge of what is Windows Registry and how to handle it safely.
This post is all about what is Windows Registry, how to manipulate it, and how to remove unwanted entries from add/remove programs wizard in Windows. Even you can learn how to backup specific entries of the registry to be safe all the time when you are going to play with Windows registry.

Why should you know about deleting entries from Add/Remove programs wizard?

In our casual routine on our computer, we might be installing hundreds of programs and uninstall them immediately after their usage. In some situations, we might encounter some programs that we cannot uninstall or even if we successfully uninstall them, their entries remain in the Add/Remove programs wizard.

Or we want to hide some programs such as system monitoring systems that we install to keep a log on what is happening to your system in your absence. Your family members or children might install some viruses or do something unwanted to your PC or whether some unknown person logged into your computer without your knowledge. In such a case, event loggers or keyloggers might become handy. If you've installed them, you certainly want them to be hidden from uninstalling by someone else.

In all the above situations, you need to know how to remove items from add remove programs. So, what now? let's start learning to hide a selected program from add remove programs.

Before you start

Before starting, you need to know certain key definitions and need to be clear of the disasters that might happen if you touch something called as Registry in your system without a proper knowledge of it.

what is Windows Registry? why is so important?

Windows Registry is similar to a database that stores configuration settings and options on Microsoft Windows operating systems. It consists settings for low-level operating system components and for applications running on the platform that have opted to use the Registry.
Every element on your system has an entry in the registry and you can literally change anything by changing the registry.

!!Warning!!

Editing the windows registry improperly might leave your computer in a problematic situation or entirely unusable. Don't worry, you can be safe by backing up the registry before you start. There are software packages available for backup on Google. If don't wish to install them, I've given a traditional way of saving the contents of the registry.

How to hide a program from  Add / Remove programs using registry

Carefully following these steps will hide your programs from registry and it becomes almost impossible to remove the program without locating uninstalling program.
  1. Create a System Restore point before you proceed.
  2. Start the Registry Editor through run box(press Windows+ R key and then type "regedit" into the dialog box).
  3. Navigate to the following key value in the left pane: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall.
  4. Right click on the Uninstall and select the "Export'" option from the menu. name it as  Backup.REG file so that you can remember and store it in a location you can remember. This is a traditional method to backup your registry. This step is essential so that you can revert back when you face any problems.
  5. Search for the specific key that you are looking for. Scroll down for each entry and search for the display name. Generally the key you want is the key that contains the same display name as you are trying to remove from the Add/Remove Programs menu. In case not it will have the name of the program itself.
  6. Delete the key and don't touch any other keys. Do not delete the entire Uninstall entry or any other entries.
  7. Close the Registry Editor and Open the Add/Remove Programs utility from the Control Panel and verify that the invalid entry is gone and that the other entries are still there.
Done!! By now you must have hidden the entry from Add / Remove programs.

If you have done something creepy then you can use the Backup.REG to revert back your system. even if this doesn't work, restore your system to most recent restore point. This will backup all the registry entries and get back all your programs to the normal way. Then try back the steps carefully.

Conclusion

As always, take care and enjoy the registry hacks to hide entries from Add / Remove programs. This is not a child's play. So, I don't recommend it for new bies.

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