Every piece of an application is searched for and removed completely, leaving no useless, junk files behind. A Forced Uninstall feature does a fantastic job of uninstalling programs that won’t for some reason.
Note: This review is of IObit Uninstaller version 5.
More About IObit Uninstaller
IObit Uninstaller does everything an excellent uninstaller tool should:
- Works with Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Windows 2000
- IObit Uninstaller integrates itself into the Windows Explorer right-click context menu, meaning you can remove programs from the desktop or any other folder without having to first open IObit Uninstaller
- You can sort the list of installed programs by name, size, install date, or version number
- After uninstalling a program, IObit Uninstaller searches through and removes any files that may been left behind after the uninstall, in both the registry and the file system, and tells you how much free space was recovered
- Forced Uninstall (more on this below) is a feature in IObit Uninstaller that can remove a program that was unable to be uninstalled by normal means
- You can see a list of programs that you infrequently use, as well as programs that are taking up lots of disk space
- IObit Uninstaller lists out the Windows apps that were installed by default as well as 3rd party apps, and you can remove any of them
- Files that can’t be removed while Windows is running will be scheduled to be deleted when you restart your computer
- You can find out more information on any installed program by right-clicking it and choosing to find the program in Windows Explorer, open it in the Registry Editor, or search for it online
- IObit Uninstaller keeps a history of everything you’ve removed so that you can see exactly what files and registry items were deleted
- Startup programs can be disabled or completely removed, and startup processes can be immediately terminated or removed from starting up
- IObit Uninstaller can also remove system restore points, toolbars, browser extensions, browser plug-ins, Browser Helper Objects, and 3rd party programs that have been injected into your browsers
- Includes an invalid shortcuts remover, Windows patch cache cleaner, and downloads folder cleaner
IObit Uninstaller Pros & Cons
There’s obviously much to like about IObit Uninstaller:
- Really quick installation
- Creates a system restore point before removing software
- Supports batch uninstalls
- Able to search through the list of programs, extensions, and plug-ins
- Supports removing updates installed with Windows Update
- The list of applications can be exported to a TXT file
- Allows drag and drop to uninstall a program
- Portable version is available
- Also includes a folder and file shredder
- No option to remove a program entry from the list of installed software (suck installer)
- An advertisement sometimes appears after removing programs
- Another IObit product tries to install right after IObit Uninstaller
IObit Uninstaller’s Forced Uninstall Feature
The Forced Uninstall feature in IObit Uninstaller is probably its best feature.
Say, for instance, you tried to remove a program using the regular uninstall method in Windows but your computer abruptly shut down while doing so. It’s very possible that parts of the uninstall process were corrupted, leaving your computer thinking the program is still there when in reality you can’t use it because most of its files are missing. This usually means you can’t finish uninstalling it or even re-install it unless you get rid of the current version, which is impossible because the uninstaller was corrupted.
This is when Forced Uninstall is useful. There are three ways to use the feature in IObit Uninstaller.
The first is from the program itself. When open, there’s a link at the very top called Forced Uninstall that you can click to browse for any file on your computer that is associated with the problematic program. If the program is only partially there, you should choose a shortcut link or some part of the program that still resides in its program settings. This can even be a text file or image file – it doesn’t really matter. IObit Uninstaller will use that file to help identify what it needs to look for when it runs the uninstall. You can also drag and drop the associated file into the IObit Uninstaller program if you’d rather not browser for it.
If you open Programs and Features from the Control Panel, which is the regular uninstall method found in Windows, there’s an IObit Uninstaller button called Powerful Uninstall. Click once on any program you wish to remove and then click that button to run it with the Forced Uninstall function.
The final method of opening the Forced Uninstall feature is to right-click any program shortcut on your desktop and choose the link called Powerful Uninstall.
The whole reason for Forced Uninstall is to scour the system for leftover items to ensure a program is completely removed. All of the above methods of launching Forced Uninstall will result in scanning the registry and file system for these residual files.
My Thoughts on IObit Uninstaller
I’ve tried several free program uninstallers and this one definitely creates a nice balance between a good set of features and an easy to use interface.
I explained Forced Uninstall above because it makes IObit Uninstaller very, very useful. This is actually how I remove every program since I’ve installed it. I just right-click the program’s shortcut and run a forced removal on it to ensure all the files were found and cleaned up.
I also love that you can easily view just the large programs you have installed. It says how much space the program is using on the hard drive so you know which to uninstall first if you’re running low on disk space.
Batch Uninstall has been useful to me on several occasions. I’ve used a similar software uninstaller program that actually launched all the uninstall wizards for every program I included in the batch process at the same time, which was terrible to keep track of. IObit Uninstaller is different in that it doesn’t open the next uninstall wizard until the current one has been closed, which is very nice.
Also, during a batch uninstall, the residual registry and file system scan isn’t launched until all programs have been removed, which saves a ton of time so it’s not looking for leftover items after each and every uninstall.
I also like that the file shredder tool works not only with the forced uninstall function but also independent of it. This means you can open the file shredder to permanently remove any file or folder, not just the junk left over after an uninstall. This makes it less likely that a data recovery program will be able to restore your deleted files.
I highly suggest you try IObit Uninstaller before trying any other uninstaller tool.
Download IObit Uninstaller
IObit Uninstaller has been converted to a portable program but it has been released and is hosted by PortableApps.com, so you won’t find it on IObit’s website
Note: Another free IObit program called Advanced SystemCare will automatically install after IObit Uninstaller unless you uncheck that option during setup. But I can assure you, Advanced SystemCare Free is also a good install.