As all Windows users know, a casual stroll through the Program Files directory invariably shows up a number of “old friends” — folders of applications we know we had uninstalled at some point, still bearing remnants of long-gone programs. In fact, despite using official uninstallers, removed apps more often than not leave behind little suprises for us. And the less said about Windows’ Add or Remove Programs section the better.
Which is why I was delighted to discover Revo Uninstaller, this week’s Saturday Night Freeware. Revo not only removes the software you don’t want any longer, but it scours the system for unwanted survivors, including leftover folders and configuration files, and even takes a peek into the dreaded Registry for stray items. A portable version is available as well.
Revo Uninstaller brings you four increasingly aggressive uninstall modes. The lowest one merely does a regular uninstall using the program’s built-in uninstaller, while the others give you detailed additional scans to ferret out residual items like Registry entries and other scraps.
The interface is a little Windows-XP-ish, but don’t let that put you off. The main window displays all installed apps, and right-clicking will get you not just an uninstall option, but other possibilities, such as looking up Google, finding the install location, viewing the Registry keys, program help, available updates and more. You can also choose the minimal Hunter mode interface, which reduces the app to a little crosshair icon on the desktop. Drag this icon over an item on the desktop, quick launch toolbar, in the system tray or to the open program’s window to get options to uninstall, kill the process, search Google, etc. An alternative to the Hunter mode is the Drag and Drop mode, which essentially does the same thing, but you drag items on to it instead.
Revo Uninstaller Free also gives you some additional system cleaning tools — Autorun Manager, Junk Files Cleaner, Evidence Remover and Unrecoverable Delete, to name a few.
While Windows isn’t my primary operating system, I do try out (for fun) and review (for work) many different kinds of apps on it quite regularly, so a good uninstaller is an absolute must for me, and in Revo I have finally found the app I want to keep.
While a Pro version does exist, I am happy with the free one. If you cough up the $40, you get a force uninstall option, real-time monitoring of system changes during installation, command line support and full 64-bit support, among other things.