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Don't Delete Windows Applications

I've had people ask me how to get rid of a program they tried out and don't want any more or that they need to delete to free up some hard drive space. For DOS progams it's simple, just

DELTREE directory-name

because chances are nothing outside of the program's directory will care. Windows is a completely different situation. When you install a Windows program, it doesn't copy files into a single directory, and it does more than just copy files. There will be additions to the \WINDOWS directory, the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM directory, changes to the WIN.INI file, possibly changes to the SYSTEM.INI file, added groups and icons to the Program Manager, etc.

Run your program's installation disk again. If there is an option on the first screen or so to uninstall or remove the program, use that because the program itself will know exactly how to remove it.

If you're really daring, try this: first, delete all the Program Manager icons this program created. Then make back-up copies of the the WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI files, edit them and look for all references to the program's directory, and delete them. Exit out of Windows, DELTREE the program's directory, and restart Windows. If you have problems getting back in, restore the backup copies of WIN.INI and SYSTEM.INI and reinstall your program.

It's really safest just to leave it alone.

Windows 95

Windows 95 tries to make removing programs easier by making the uninstall feature both mandatory and standard. Unfortunately, the Uninstall Programs feature only works with Windows 95 software; your older Windows programs still have to provide their own removal utility.

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