How to Eradicate Leftovers From Uninstalled Software in Windows 10 & 11

The Programs and Features applet in Windows 10 and 11 isn’t the most thorough uninstaller utility in the world. It usually leaves behind leftover residual files and registry entries. Accumulated leftover files and registry keys from uninstalled software waste drive storage space.


There are a few ways you can erase the leftover remnants from uninstalled software on Windows. You can manually delete the leftover data and registry keys for programs you’ve removed. Or you can use third-party software that does it for you. This is how you can eradicate leftovers in Windows 11/10 manually and with some third-party tools.


How to Delete an Uninstalled Software’s Folders From AppData and Program Files

AppData and Program Files and the two directories where you’ll usually find leftover folders from uninstalled software. AppData includes a Roaming subfolder for storing app data. Programs Files is a default installation folder for software where you’ll sometimes find leftovers. You can manually delete leftovers from uninstalled programs in those folders like this:

  1. Press Win + X and select File Explorer on the Power User menu.
  2. Click inside Explorer’s address bar, and clear the current directory path.
  3. Then input %appdata% in the folder address bar and press Return.
  4. Select a leftover folder there for any software you’ve uninstalled.
  5. Click the Delete option on Explorer’s command bar or Home tab.

  6. To bring up the Programs and Features folder, input %programfiles% in Explorer’s address bar.

  7. Look for and delete any leftover folders for software packages you’ve uninstalled from there.

How to Erase Temporary Files

Temporary files from uninstalled software will often be left behind. The Temp folder includes that temporary data. This is how you can eradicate all temporary files in that folder:

  1. Launch the Run dialog by holding the Win keyboard key and pressing R.
  2. Kind %temp% in the open box.
  3. Click Run’s OK button to bring up the Temp directory.
  4. Press CTRL + HAS to select everything in the Temp folder.

  5. Then right-click to select File Explorer’s Delete context menu option.

How to Manually Delete Leftover Registry Keys for Uninstalled Software

After erasing leftover files for uninstalled software, you can turn to remove their remaining registry keys. This will involve manually looking for leftover registry remnants from uninstalled software and deleting them. We recommend you back up the registry beforehand as follows:

  1. Open the Registry Editor, using one of the methods discussed in our guide on methods for opening Regedit).
  2. Then select computer in the Registry Editor.
  3. Click the Queue options menu.
  4. Select the export option.

  5. Then input a file name for the registry backup, choose a folder, and click Save.

Now you’ve back-upped the registry, it’s safer to proceed with deleting keys left from uninstalled software. You can manually erase keys for uninstalled software like this:

  1. Click the Registry Editor’s address bar, and clear the key location in it.
  2. Input this registry location and hit Enter:
    HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftware
  3. Then look for registry keys that match the names of software packages you’ve uninstalled.

  4. Select a registry key with a title that matches an uninstalled software package.
  5. Then click Edit > Delete in the Registry Editor.

  6. Select Yes if you’re sure the key you’ve selected to delete is one left behind from uninstalled software.
  7. Repeat steps three to six above to delete leftover registry entries from software at these other locations:

HKEY_USERS.DEFAULTSoftware
HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESoftware

How to Clean the Registry With CCleaner

Instead of manually deleting leftover keys, you can utilize a third-party registry cleaner. Registry cleaners are good for erasing keys from obsolete (uninstalled) software. Using a reputable registry cleaner to do the job for you is more straightforward and quicker.

There are many third-party registry cleaners for Windows to choose from. CCleaner is a reputable system maintenance utility that incorporates a comprehensive registry cleaner. Admittedly, that software has had a few incidents in the past; but users rate it 4.3 (out of five) on Trustpilot. This is how you can erase registry entries for uninstalled software with CCleaner:

  1. Open the CCleaner download page on that software’s website.
  2. Click the green Download button for the freeware version.
  3. Then select the Free Download option.
  4. Open the Downloads tab in whatever browser you use. Pressing the CTRL + J hotkey will do that in Chrome, Firefox, Edge, and Opera.

  5. Click ccsetup604.exe in the tab that shows your downloads.
  6. Select Install in the CCleaner Installation window.

Now that CClearner is installed, it’s time to use it:

  1. Click the RunCCleaner button.
  2. Select CCleaner’s Registry tab.
  3. Next, select the Obsolete Software, Appsand Application Paths checkboxes in CCleaner. Alternatively, you can select all the boxes for a bigger clean.

  4. Then select the Scan for issues option.
  5. Press the Review selected issues button.
  6. You’ll be asked to back up the registry. Click Yes if you prefer, but it probably won’t be necessary to back up the registry.
  7. Then select the Fix All Selected Issues option.

CCleaner also has a file cleaner tool with which you can eradicate temporary file leftovers from uninstalled software. Select the Custom Clean tab, which includes a Temporary Files option. Click the Temporary Files checkbox under Systemand press the Analyze button. Then you can select the run-cleaner option to erase the temp data.

How to Uninstall Software With IObit Uninstaller

IObit Uninstaller is a third-party uninstaller tool that provides an all-in-one solution for eradicating software leftovers. Unlike Programs and Features, that uninstaller includes a setting for automatically erasing residual files and registry leftovers. Thus, removing software with IObit Uninstaller will save you from needing to manually delete such remaining remnants. You can thoroughly remove software with IOBit Uninstaller in the following steps:

  1. Open the IObit Uninstaller 12 Free webpage.
  2. Click the Free Download option for IObit Uninstaller.
  3. Then open the Downloads tab within your browsing software, and click the iobituninstaller.exe queue.
  4. Select Install on the setup window for IObit Uninstaller.
  5. Click the No thanks radio button to decline to install additional software.
  6. Press Next to install IObit Uninstaller.
  7. Select Finish to launch the uninstaller tool.

Now it’s time to uninstall some programs:L=

  1. Click Programs > All Programs to view your software list.

  2. Select a checkbox for software to uninstall.
  3. Then click the green trash button for the selected program.
  4. Select the Automatically remove residual files checkbox.

  5. Click Uninstall to remove the software along with its leftovers.

You can also remove UWP apps from MS Store with IObit Uninstaller. To do so, select the WindowsApps tab. Then select a Windows or third-party app there, and click the Uninstall option for it.

To scan for leftovers from software previously uninstalled with Programs and Features, select the Software Health tab. Click the checkbox for the Uninstallation Leftovers option to select it, and press the Scan now button. Press Fix All to eradicate the remaining uninstalled software remnants found. Or you can click Details for the leftovers scan to select items manually.

Reclaim Drive Storage Space by Deleting Leftovers From Uninstalled Software

So, don’t let leftover files and registry entries for uninstalled software waste your PC’s drive storage space any longer. You can free up some drive space by manually erasing leftover folders and temporary data in File Explorer and deleting obsolete registry keys. Or purge uninstalled software remnants with the IObit Uninstaller and CCleaner software if you prefer a more automated approach.

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