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Remove Orphaned Apps from the Add/Remove Applet in Control Panel

How can I remove orphaned apps from the Add/Remove applet in Control Panel in Windows 2000/XP/2003?

Sometimes after you uninstall a program its entry still remains in the Add or Remove Programs dialog box. This should not have happened in the first place, but if it does happen you’ll be really pissed off because when you click on Change/Remove in the dialog box, you get an error, telling you that the program no longer exists.

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To remove these orphan entries do the following:

  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).

  2. Locate the following key in the registry:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall
  1. Make sure you backup the keys by exporting them to a .reg file.

  2. Look for the name of the program with the orphaned entry.

  3. Delete the entire listing for the software with the orphaned entry.

  4. Close the registry editor.

  5. Restart your computer.

BTW, this can also be accomplished by use of many third-party tools such as TweakUI and others. To read more about these apps go to this article: Free Tweaking Tools.

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