• David Moore

Uninstalling the uninstallable



Ever since computer programs started living on your computer on your hard disk, there's been some need for some form of "Installation" to get them there.


Depending on the environment you are in (Mac, Windows, Linux, Phones, Tablets, Game Consoles etc.) getting those programs off when you no longer want them, or when they misbehave, has been an ongoing battle.


Sure, most programs come with an "Uninstaller" these days. But not all and not in all environments.


Apple has been fairly proud of their "just drag it to the bin" process of removal but third party vendors have not always played ball.


With all sorts of automatic updates happening for all sorts of reasons it is very common to come across broken "uninstallers" and programs that simply can't be got rid of...


...or so it seems.


For most programs it doesn't matter too much if they hang around past closing. But for an increasing number of integrated and online applications, their need to be constantly online adds a bit of stink to the problem of them not going away.


The most problematic of these sorts of programs has traditionally been anti-virus products.


They are "always on" and always monitoring and protecting us...until they break and then just end of being in the way or worse.


I've experienced plenty of instances where a busted antivirus product has caused all sorts of weird issues even when it HAS supposedly been removed.


It is for this reason that manufacturers of these invasive products usually and surreptitiously provide, somewhere on their web site, a "Removal Tool".


Just Google "Norton Removal Tool" or "Removal Tool" and your current / favourite anti-viorus product to see what I mean.


So it is with this in mind that, when you bump up against a stubborn program that refuses to uninstall, that you try to remember to Google "<product name> removal tool".


Chances are you'll find a way of forcibly removing that puppy or, if not, at least find a community of victims like yourself.


Most recently I've had to do this with Microsoft Office because of a weird and stubborn license activation issue.


If there's no removal tool, and the issue is causing you unacceptable problems, then you are left with some very undesirable options:


1) Manually remove the program and its many tentacles.

Just look at the manual way of doing this for MS Office here.

It is horrible, complex and relatively unlikely to work (in my experience).


2) Forget about it and try to move forward with a different and alternate way of doing the same thing.


3) Scour the internet for hours trying to find a magic bullet (emphasis on "trying").


4) Reset your PC or re-install Windows and everything else from scratch (or buy a new computer - ouch!).


With cloud based systems, system repairs, system restores, system resets and all sorts of other tools at your disposal these unpalatable options aren't as bad as they used to be...but they still suck when considering what has brought you to them.


I do wonder if the "ease of reset" and cheaper products has brought about a new round of laziness when it comes to producing well behaved software.


Welcome to my life.


Google "Remove David Moore Tool".



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