Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.

Removing a program from the Add/Remove programs can be done by accessing your Control Panel.

I have a program called PC Forest StartMan 1.3.96. I installed it and then deleted it, but it stays in my list of programs when i go to uninstall. Do you know the registry setting to get rid of this or how else can I get it off the list of programs installed in the "add/delete programs" from my control panel?

This has actually gotten better over time. In older versions of Windows you were kinda screwed in this situation. Yes, there were ways to grovel around in the registry, but ultimately the lesson learned was: use control panel to uninstall programs and don't just delete them from your hard drive.

However if you're running Windows XP, things get better.

If you're running Windows XP, just use control panel to try and uninstall it anyway. If Control Panel finds that the files aren't there, it will ask if you want to remove it from the list.

Answer yes, and it should be gone.

Article C2196 - October 6, 2004 « »

Leo Leo A. Notenboom has been playing with computers since he was required to take a programming class in 1976. An 18 year career as a programmer at Microsoft soon followed. After "retiring" in 2001, Leo started Ask Leo! in 2003 as a place for answers to common computer and technical questions. More about Leo.

Not what you needed?

October 11, 2004 6:44 AM

For older versions of windows, get TweakUI. One of Microsoft's Powertoys. It has a panel to remove items from the add/remove control panel.

January 9, 2006 6:32 AM

> If you're running Windows XP, just use control panel to try and uninstall it anyway. If Control Panel finds that the files aren't there, it will ask if you want to remove it from the list.

Setup.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.
If you were in the middle of something [such as trying to remove a spurrious listing in Add-Remove], the information you were working on might be lost [but only if you're *really* lucky].

Okay, so *now* how do I get rid of the listing?

I notice that Tweak-UI no longer sports this function. (Grrrr!)

Take care!


Phil C.
June 30, 2006 10:07 AM

I've removed all AOL software from my computer but "AOL Uninstaller (Choose which Products to Remove)" is still in my Add/Remove Programs list. It's probably harmless sitting there but I'd still like to get rid of it. How can I remove that item from the list?

July 8, 2006 5:30 PM

You might try this utility:

August 3, 2006 6:44 AM

The application didn't work for AOL

October 14, 2006 7:31 PM

i cant remove mcafee anti virus from add/remove programs list. i keep getting error 1721

Richard Coles
February 7, 2007 2:35 AM

I am trying to remove Creative Mediasource from Add/Remove Programs but I encounter an error message "Setup.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience." There is an option to 'Close' or 'Debug' but when clicking on 'Debug' nothing happens. I have also installed Windows Installer Cleanup Utility but the program for Creative Mediasource is not on the list.
Any help with removing Creative would be of great help! Is there a way to re-install Setup.exe that relates to Add/Remove Programs?

February 7, 2007 9:00 PM

i tried the unistall button in the control panel but it just says no files found and then goes back like nothing was ever done.

February 23, 2007 8:00 PM

Mcafee just won't leave add remove program. what's the problem

June 29, 2007 8:52 AM

for some odd reason on my control panel i cant remove programs on my machine? Do you know what went wrong?

September 16, 2007 9:23 PM

I am using win xp service pack 2 and i cant remove my programe from add/remove control panel list,actually the remove button is not appearing.
I will be glad if you will send me the right solution.

September 29, 2007 4:44 AM

I was experiencing the same problem with some other program. What I did to remove the program from the Add/Remove Programs list was delete the corresponding key in the "HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall", which I found by the Manufacture's name (I guess a search in the registry by the program name would succed too). And that fixed my problem!

October 17, 2007 10:38 AM


December 19, 2007 12:45 AM

When I open Add/Remove programs, there is no programs listed, however they are listed in safe mode, but some of the programs do not want to delete. How can I delete these files, or how can I see the files in normal boot in Add/Remove programs

December 25, 2007 11:43 PM

I want to remove an application from add/remove program in the control panel. The problem is I can't do that because no program listed in my control panel. How should I do to fix this problem without reinstall Windows ??

January 10, 2008 2:08 PM

when I try to remove motorola mobile tool programme from add/remove programme I get setup.exe has encountered a problem and needs to close.We are sorry for the inconvience. Can U help?

Sheena Simmons
March 7, 2008 5:16 PM

I tried to uninstall xp antivirus that my husband downloaded and now the add/remove programs are really messed up. The icons are gone from the side and if you click on any programs "used and rarely" are there but no add/remove button. What do I do?

Terry Oakes
March 26, 2008 8:47 PM

I have tried to remove McAfee from the add/remove tool but nothing seems to work and I need to remove this program completely before I can install a different protection.

Dean Ferris
May 6, 2008 11:43 AM

I had some viscious spyware on my computer xpantivirus, and it locked up my computer totally to the point where I did a system recovery.
I got the system recovered, removed the xp antivirus in safe mode, and re installed a few pieces of software I lost. the problem I am having now is that my Shield deluxe is all messed up, I reinstalled that and started it back up and that locks up my computer really bad to the point I have to shut it off. Also, all of my programs seem like they are Write Protected and can't be deleted from my add/remove icon on the control panel. I did a Process explorer and an auto run to delete any suspicious files without company names and did a reboot, but my control panel is still messed up, can you help me??



June 15, 2008 9:28 AM

i want to delete something on remove/add list but i cant see it please help me?

November 22, 2008 12:16 PM

how do I unistall a program that says error insetup.exe

November 25, 2008 12:47 AM

I am attempting to re-install a program on my computer...Windows XP". When I tried to install it, I got the message that the program was already installed on my computer. The program is NOT installed...but the folder for it is still on my computer...and I am totally unable to remove it. It also appears in the add/remove program in the control panel. When I attempt to remove it from there, I get a pop up box that says, "setup resource not found." Is there anyone that has a clue how I can get this empty folder from my that I can install the program?
Thanks! K

Roger Payne
March 7, 2009 11:11 PM

No matter what I do I still can't remove a program from my computer. it's an old Quickcam programme.

Melanie Anderson
March 10, 2009 7:04 AM

I removed MS office 2007 from the add/remove because it was just the trail part of it, when I did this it removed my old version of MS office and everything that comes with it, is there a way to get my old version restored. What should I do?

March 15, 2009 4:10 AM

how to remove a deleted program file in the add/remove program list?? the program in my list cant be remove, how can i remove that??

March 26, 2009 9:08 PM

How do I remove a deleted program file in the add/remove program list? The program in my list cant be remove. I have vista and it is not asking me if I want to remove it from the list when I try to uninstall it like XP does.

Kimberly Clark
May 10, 2009 10:12 AM

how can I remove itunes from my computer it says error creating a temporary file that is needed. I tried to override it by installing another version but it says that an newer version is already on computer and doesnt give me the option to replace it

September 20, 2009 10:36 PM

If you want to remove a deleted program from add/remove program list .. just do this...
1. press windows+R
2. type regedit
3. expand the HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT
4. then the find the Installer title and expand it
5. next the Products title
- in the list of products. search the title of the program you want to remove * you can verify that program by their productname
6. after you have found the programs just delete it in the products list.. XD

November 14, 2009 12:04 AM

i downloaded the ALPHA ANTIVIRUS accidently and now im unable to remove. it says the removal feature is disable. what can i do?

Denny A
November 4, 2010 6:51 PM

I downloaded software over the internet called Whitesmoke. I have tried to get rid of it using the uninstall from the control panel but I get an error message and it says it can't find the file. Even after I type the file string from my computer. How can I get rid of this software?

July 5, 2011 12:54 PM

hi sorry to bug you but after going back through my add/remove program the file i am trying to remove is still showing up it is called chief Viagra Online
architect it takes up 3.5g and i have never used it there is no option to remove it only a change option i did the stips you said and removed the key and sub keys but it still remains

Colin S
August 15, 2011 7:05 PM

i cant remove the bonjour program associated with itunes, it says that 'the feature you are trying to use is on a network resource that is unvailable' what do I do? Thank you

Comments on this entry are closed.

If you have a question, start by using the search box up at the top of the page - there's a very good chance that your question has already been answered on Ask Leo!.

If you don't find your answer, head out to to ask your question.