Uninstall Unused Software to Increase Computer Speed

March 3, 2014

When was your computer the fastest? For many users, it was the very first day. As the computer was used and more programs were added, the speed went downhill. Some of that speed can come back if you uninstall software you no longer need.

The first thing we need to do is find all of the software we have installed. You’ll find that in Control Panel in the Programs and Features app. A screenshot of just a few of the things installed on my computer are listed below.

Control Panel Programs

It is easy to tell you to simply uninstall anything that doesn’t sound like something you’ve used and that would not be a good answer. Those things not familiar to you could be an important driver and uninstalling them would cause something in your system to stop working.

So the first thing to find in the list is software you know you have installed that you no longer use. Can you find even one program fitting that description? I bet you can. Maybe it was a free trial that you wasn’t what you need. Or it could have been something you installed for a specific purpose and haven’t used in more than a year. Click on the name of that software and click the Uninstall button. If there are other obvious titles you don’t need, uninstall them as well.

Sure, you can uninstall other things as long as you are very careful. If the name does not ring a bell to you, Google it and find out exactly what it does. Only if you feel very comfortable that it will not cause any problems on your system should you uninstall it. When in doubt, leave it!

It doesn’t hurt to reboot your system after uninstalling software just to make sure everything is still working properly. When you have uninstalled all of the titles, there is probably some junk left behind that you’ll want to clean out. That’s where a utility like CCleaner can come in very handy. Read CCleaner Can Restore System Speed By Cleaning Up Junk for more information on this awesome tool.

Often programs no longer on your system will leave footprints in your system registry. Use the Registry Cleaner functionality of CCleaner to find those footprints and remove them. Just make sure to save a copy of your registry before deleting things. CCleaner will ask you to do this before it starts deleting. Then if something goes wrong, you can always bring back the previous version of the registry.

If you take the time every now and then to delete the software you no longer use and then clean out your registry file, you’ll find that your computer will be running faster!

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1 Comment

  1. ericjaytoll

    Foster,

    I think you’ve reviewed it before, but I recommend using Revo Uinstaller — the paid Pro version — to uninstall software — and then for installation of all future software. I’ve used it for several years and across a couple of different computers. It does a superb job of tracking what’s installed.

    One caution — when it says “don’t open or run other programs while installing,” it’s wise advice. Although 90 percent of the time, it’s not an issue, one time I was using an Adobe product while installing a program with Revo. Later when I uninstalled that program, it also uninstalled several Adobe-related registry settings. Luckily, I crate a daily registry backup.

    CCleaner is an excellent product as well.

    Eric

    Reply

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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