UNINSTALLER – what is it?
An uninstaller, also called a deinstaller, is a utility software designed to remove other software or parts of it from a computer. It is obviously the opposite of an installer.
Components of an Uninstaller
Generally, a (third-party) uninstaller contains the following components:
· Logger – the logger is used to log installations (e.g. log which files were added or changed). This log is used when the user decide to uninstall the logged installation later at later date.
· Uninstaller – the uninstaller is used to reverse changes in the log. This way, the applications can be uninstalled because all changes that were made at the times of installation are reversed.
· Analyzer (optional) – the analyzer is used to uninstall programs of which installation is not logged by the uninstaller. In that case, the program analyzes the program and finds (and deletes, if the user decided to uninstall the program) all related files and registry entries.
· Watcher (optional) – the watcher watches running programs for installation programs (and usually offers the logger when such programs are detected). Usually, this works by watching the task list for any names that are usually used by installation programs (e.g., SETUP.EZE, INSTALL.EXE. etc).
· Other tools (optional) – some uninstaller may also contain other related tools like a junk file cleaner, browser history cleaner, cache cleaner, etc. These tools are not mandatory for uninstaller and are added mainly to improve the merchantability (since pure uninstallers are unpopular today).
Third-party uninstallers today
Nowadays, pure third-party uninstallers (uninstallers that only contain basic components) are generally unpopular and are not needed, any longer because:
· Most software programs come with their own uninstallers (which are generally better and more accurate).
· Most uninstallers are not entirely accurate (most often of them are known to leave leftovers, which should be deleted by uninstallers).
· There are many better and safer tools that can be used to replace uninstallers.