Best Ways to Remove Software Leftovers on Windows 11


On Windows devices, software leftovers are folders, files, or even registry entries not deleted from your computer after the related program is uninstalled. In most cases, they are harmless, but there are a few situations that will warrant you to remove these software leftovers.

These software leftovers will often lead to reduced disk space and slow performance. Sometimes, they may lead to specific system errors; a common example is ‘The program cannot start because [filename] is missing’. Let us show you how to remove all software leftovers on Windows properly.

Why Do I Have Software Leftovers After Uninstalling a Program?

If you notice software leftovers on your computer, they may have been created as a result of any of the following:

  • Incomplete software uninstallation
  • Registry values that an uninstaller does not remove
  • Undeleted temporary files that remain after closing the related program
  • Residual files, like cache files or log files

Let us now show you how to remove these leftovers. Note that you should have uninstalled the program before proceeding.

How Do I Remove Software Leftovers?

1. Manually Delete Files From the Program’s Folder

On Windows devices, files for installed programs are stored in the program folder, typically C:\Program Files. These files are usually executables and other files that are needed in running the program. After installation, all associated files in the programs’ folder may not be removed, and you may manually delete them.

Step 1: Press Windows + E to open File Explorer.

Step 2: Navigate to the installation path, often it is the directory below:

C:\Program Files (x86)

Step 3: Check for a folder with the name of the uninstalled program and delete it.

2. Clear the AppData Folder

The Appdata folder on Windows 11 devices is a hidden folder that holds important app information. These may be saved games, configuration files, browser bookmarks and more. After uninstalling a program, you may delete its corresponding appdata file, as shown below.

Step 1: Press Windows + R to launch the Run dialog.

Step 2: Type %appdata% and hit Enter.

app data - Best Ways to Remove Software Leftovers on Windows 11

Step 3: Look for a folder that matches the uninstalled program and delete it.

3. Delete the App Keys From the Windows Registry

The Windows registry holds low-level settings for the operating system and applications in a hierarchical database. After installing a program, some of the app’s information is left behind in the registry, and you may manually remove it by following the steps below.

Step 1: Press Windows + R to launch the Run dialog.

Step 2: Type regedit and hit Enter.

regedit 5 - Best Ways to Remove Software Leftovers on Windows 11

Step 3: Navigate to the registry path below:


Step 4: Search through the folders on the left and delete any key with the associated program’s name.

left over registry keys 600x326 - Best Ways to Remove Software Leftovers on Windows 11

Step 5: Navigate to the two paths below and also delete the associated apps keys:


Step 6: Restart the computer.

4. Use a Third-Party Uninstaller

Uninstalling the application is a prerequisite to removing software leftovers. However, rather than using the built-in Windows Uninstaller, you may use third-party solutions. In most cases, they are very robust and offer a more thorough uninstallation and additional features. They are recommended for removing stubborn programs, orphaned registry entries, and are great for batch uninstallation.

There are many options you may try, including IObit Uninstaller and CCleaner.

FAQ on Removing Software Leftovers on Windows

1. Does uninstalling an app remove all files?

The default action of an uninstalled app is to remove its data and cache. This implies that any user data saved in the app and its temporary files will be removed. There are a few exceptions to this rule, though. So, in some cases, there will be leftovers.

2. What is the best way to remove apps?

The best way is to use third-party solutions that will uninstall the apps as well as all possible residues.

Last Thoughts

Now you have completely removed all leftovers from an application; you should no longer have any traces of the application. We have not made any of these solutions in any particular order, so we recommend using what seems the most practical.


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