Programs in Programs but not Add or Remove Programs

Hewlett-packard / Rj181aa-aba a1600n
January 21, 2012 at 08:08:22
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, AMD Athlon 64 X2 3800+ / 958 MB

My computer froze and I shut it off by pushing the start button. When I restarted it the screen was still frozen. I shut it off again and then pressed F8 at startup and restored the system using the recovery console. After reloading the Windows Updates things appear to be normal.

Problem: When I do Start --> Programs there are programs listed which do not show in Control Panel --> Add or Remove programs.

Many of these programs are freeware which I downloaded and tried, did not continue using but never deleted so I just want to get rid of them.

Can I go into C:\Program Files and delete programs and then into C:\Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data and delete the files associated with the deleted programs

Similar quesiton -- If there is a program I was using and want to use again should I delete the old files using the above process and reload the program.

Thanks in advance for your help.

Please advise if I did not categorize the question correctly

See More: Programs in Programs but not Add or Remove Programs

Report •

January 21, 2012 at 08:49:43
To add or remove programs does not suffice to erase their occurrencies in Program Files and other directories or recreate them since they set entries in Registry and the reported practice may be harmful for system stability. Sometime after uninstalling a program some folders or entries in the Start Menu may remain as lost garbage. In that case trying to activate the entry leads to a Not Found message.

Anyway Registry's entries are the key point of this issue.

Report •

January 21, 2012 at 09:13:21
You can try an uninstaller like Revo. They have a 30 day eval that could possibly get you through your current issue. I used Revo and it works good. Not a solution for all uninstall problems but when it does a deep scan it finds all kinds of stuff in the registry for programs that are in condition like yours. Afterwards, yo ucan add to the cleanup task, ccleaner. It does a good scan of the registry for broken dll links and other things that are junk.

The grass may not be greener on the other side but might have less weeds...
Web Based Remote Support Software

Report •

January 21, 2012 at 10:25:09
The Start> Program menu is nothing more than a shortcut to the actual program. As such, they do not always get removed properly. There is no harm in simply deleting them from that list. Even is the program is still installed. When installing a program you are usually asked if your want the program to install a shortcut in that list.

Report •

Related Solutions

January 21, 2012 at 12:12:18
Click on the programs mentioned in the start menu to see if they are really there or not before deleting these shortcuts. If they function you will know that the programs are really there, if not it is safe to remove the shortcuts. If you just delete them without checking then the programs could still be in situ cluttering up the place.

For those programs still working make sure there is not an uninstall given. You can also look in the program folders (see targets in shortcuts) to see what is there - sometimes an Uninstall (or Unwise) file to click on. Anything that is there will either have to be reinstalled then uninstalled, or removed from the registry (not good if you are not used to it), or use Revo Uninstaller as already given.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

Report •

January 21, 2012 at 13:49:35

I assure you that you can delete shortcuts for programs you installed all day long and it will not affect the actual program. You may have more than one shortcut anyway. If there is a shortcut listed in Programs you may also have one on your desktop and possibly even a third in the tray. You can add a shortcut to any installed program at any time you wish.

Report •

January 21, 2012 at 14:51:44

Wow, did I give that impression somehow - cripes, I thought you would know me better by now LOL?

Of-course deleting shortcuts doesn't remove the programs, I was just trying to suggest that you can use the shortcuts as a quick way to see if the programs are still there or not. I normally leave shortcuts in situ until the programs themselves have gone but that's just my tidy mind. In fact that was my point - if you remove the shortcuts the programs will NOT have gone (despite their absence from Add/Remove in this instance).

On re-read it still seems clear to me but maybe I was a bit too wordy.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

Report •

January 21, 2012 at 15:08:08

After rereading I guess I misinterpreted your response. Considering the knowledge of chaz24 I felt it was important to stress the program files list is just shortcuts.

I have found recreating a deleted desktop icon for the core program that Windows installs can be more problematic.

Report •

January 21, 2012 at 15:17:16
Sure thing. Yes, most of the core Windows program desktop icons are not your regular shortcuts and usually don't include the tell-tale arrow. That is one reason I have never really approved of tweaks (which have been around since W95) that remove the arrows. It might look pretty but the arrows do have a useful meaning.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

Report •

Ask Question