Removing Programs with Ashampoo Uninstaller – System Optimization Series

If only Windows had an Undo function when it came to programs. When you uninstall a program so much of it is left behind that it’s like you never got rid of it. You end up with orphaned files and folders all over the place. VirtualBox has an awesome Undo feature that lets you throw away any of the changes you make to a machine. Install apps with reckless abandon, change what you want, but then shut the machine down and check the option to discard changes and everything is back the way it was. Too bad you can’t get Windows to do that…

Or can you?

Installation Monitor tools have been around for a long time. I even remember Symantec putting out the Norton Uninstall Deluxe for Windows, which was actually a pretty decent tool for removing apps from your machine. It was also great for monitoring the changes made during an install. Yet another good tool from their arsenal they abandoned.

Over time I’ve let my usage of these tools lapse and as I clean up my machine I can see remnants of dozens of programs scattered all over the place. It’s amazing how many web based tools leave junk all over the drive.

Enter Uninstaller 5 from Ashampoo. Now, the previous versions of Uninstaller were quite thorough, but also quite slow. They would take a snapshot of the files and the registry then do a compare to show the changes. Uninstaller 5 changes all that with a much more dynamic and much faster approach. It monitors hard drive writes and registry writes on the fly. You can watch the number of changes as a program installs.

I won’t lie, I install and remove a lot of apps. I’ll see something I like and install it just to check it out. Or I’ll use something once, do what I need, then remove it. But, that leaves junk all over the place. Uninstaller will now watch all that activity and help me undo all my software changes.

This new version is very lightweight and more responsive than previous versions. When you install a program it kicks in and begins to watch all the changes. I did a few test runs with GameStop, Steam, PhraseExpress and even Rise of Nations. It monitored each one of them without problem. It monitors for the usual setup.exe or install.exe, but you can also manually trigger Uninstaller and point it to the setup program of whatever you’re using. It will then monitor changes until you tell it to stop.

It’s so much faster than the previous version. I had the greatest intentions of using version 4, but it was far too cumbersome to be useful. It took far longer to take the snapshot than it did to install the program.

Uninstaller also comes with a host of tools you see in other "cleanup" utilities such as a Drive Cleaner, Registry Optimizer, Disk Defrag, Internet Cleaner. This means you can buy one tool and use it to clean Internet traces, defrag the drive, clean the registry and search the drive for old temp files.

It also comes with a Services tool, which is basically the same thing as Services MMC and a Startup Tuner, which lets you disable programs at Startup. There is also a File Undeleter, File Wiper and Duplicate File Finder. That’s not a bad set of additional tools for an Uninstaller.

Here’s the unusual thing though. Uninstaller 5 has a retail price of $39.99, but right now they have it on sale $15.99. You can skip all that and grab the upgrade for $7.99. You don’t need a previous version in order to use the "upgrade". So for $7.99 you get a pretty nice installation monitor that has a lot of the extra tools you see in the larger optimization tools.

Ashampoo Uninstaller 5 – $7.99

 

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