To add, remove, or change a program on a Windows
2000-based computer, use the Add/Remove Programs tool in Control Panel. Occasionally,
a program may not be uninstalled completely and a reference to the program may
remain in the Currently installed programs dialog box. Changing or removing a program may
result in a number of messages about files that cannot be located, but are needed to
complete the change or uninstallation. This article describes how to remove these invalid
entries from the Add/Remove Programs tool.
For information about how to edit the registry, view
the "Changing Keys and Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add
and Delete Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in
Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it. If you are
running Windows NT or Windows 2000, you should also update your Emergency Repair Disk
The following steps remove only the registry entries related to a
program as it appears in the Add/Remove Programs tool. To completely uninstall a program
that was not completely removed by clicking the Change/Remove button in the Add/Remove
Programs tool, you need to clean up the physical directory structure on disk and in the
registry also. Use extreme caution when you perform either of these tasks.
- Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
- Locate the following key:
- Locate the key to be deleted by locating the key name created by
the program. If the name of the key is not apparent, browse through each key and note
the value for DisplayName. This is the viewable string in the Add/Remove Programs
- Using the Registry menu, export the selected registry key to
make a backup. Store the .reg file in a safe location in case you need to import it at
a later date.
- Delete the selected registry key and its values. Do not delete
the entire Uninstall key.
- Quit Registry Editor.
- Verify that the reference in the Add/Remove Programs tool is no
You may have to contact the manufacturer of the program you want to
remove if you need to clean up the disk and registry entries. The above procedure does
not remove all the files and registry entries used by the program, it removes only the
reference in the Add/Remove Programs tool.