(These comments not tested with Windows XP)
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Removing Spurious Entries From Add/Remove Window
This info no longer valid for newer computers with Winows 10
The question submitted by a reader:
Over the years many program and file names have filled up the window in the add/remove window. Although the program has been removed from hard drive, the name remains in the window. When I try to remove it. I get an error message that this file can't be found. My question is, Is there any way to remove these files from the add/remove window?
Yes there are 2 ways to remove them. They both involve editing the registry. You don't say what version of Windows you are using, but all versions work similar. Later versions remove the entry automatically after getting the message that the file can't be found. Refer also to this page for general instructions on removing programs.
methods for removing entries are:
Edit the registry manually. This is something that should only be
done by an experienced user. If this is something you want to try,
here are the instructions: Also see this page
for general instructions
Finally some advice: If you have been using the computer long enough to have a number of spurious entries, you probably have a lot of other garbage as well. The only sure way to remove all garbage and have a clean machine is to reformat and start over loading only programs you currently use. Be sure to look at my Weekly Cleanup procedure and add it. This is for XP. Some ideas may work on later Windows. It gets rid of temporary garbage, but long term stuff just adds up with no really good way to find and remove it. The programs that have been deleted never remove all of the support programs installed elsewhere. The classic example are .dll and .vxd files. The registry also contains tons of useless stuff and Windows has to look at every entry in various operations. If you are using Win 98 or Me, do you know how to use the "msconfig" program to eliminate unnecessary programs on startup? See my web page to learn how. This may be a lot more than you asked for, but let me know if you have any more questions.
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