Uninstall Useless Windows Components and Programs in XP

Too many useless programs in your computer can make it slow. Cause, some Windows applications run at the background automatically and consumes a significant amount of physical memory. You should always uninstall such programs to prevent your computer from running slow. Well, it is quite easy to remove any program from the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ option under the Control Panel. But if the program is not listed there, you should follow some advanced method to uninstall the useless components from your Windows computer.

What does happen when you install a program in Windows? It adds some entries in the registry like ‘Display name’, ‘Display Icon’, ‘Publisher’ etc. But, another important entry, UninstallString is also added to the registry when installing a program into Windows. It holds the execution path of the uninstallation process and plays the key role for uninstalling a program.

Case 1: The program is not listed at ‘Add or Remove Programs’ list but at Windows Registry:

If you can’t find the program at the ‘Add or Remove Programs’ list, you can use the registry information to uninstall it.

How to Uninstall Programs Using Registry Editor

Open the Registry Editor ( pres Win + R, type "regedit" and hit the Enter key) and navigate to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Uninstall

registry-editor-uninstall-programs

Expand the ‘Uninstall’ key using the ‘+’ sign and find out the program that you want to uninstall. Click on it. On the right-panel, you should see the entry named as UninstallString. Double-click on it.

uninstall-string

The ‘Edit String’ pop-up dialog box appears. In the ‘Value data’ field, you can see the path to uninstall the program. Simply, copy it.

edit-uninstall-string

Open the command prompt and paste the string that you copied and hit the Enter key to execute. The un-installation wizard should appear. Follow the onscreen instructions to complete the process. (Tip: Automatically close non-responding programs.)

Case 2: The program is not listed at both ‘Add or Remove Programs’ list and Registry:

Some Widows components still can’t be uninstalled. They appear neither in the ‘Add or Remove programs’ list nor in the Windows registry. In such a case, you can uninstall them from the Windows Components list.

Go to Control Panel > Add or Remove Programs and choose ‘Add/Remove Windows Components’ from the left pane.

uninstall useless windows components

Case 3: The program is not available at ‘Add or Remove Programs’, Windows Registry or Windows Components list:

Again, some Windows programs do not appear the Windows components list. As for example, you can’t see Windows Messenger, Wordpad or similar utilities in the list of Windows components wizard. Hence, you can’t uninstall them simply. But there is a catch. Windows XP has a setup information file called as sysoc.inf. This file controls which program should appear in the Windows Components Wizard. Now, you can edit this file to make the invisible items visible.

How to Uninstall Programs by editing sysoc.inf

The sysoc.inf file is generally located into the C:>Windows>Inf folder. Find out the sysoc.inf file and keep a backup so that you can revert to the original if any problem arises. Once done, open it with Notepad.

uninstall invisible windows components

Some lines contain a word HIDE (or hide) which indicates that the program is invisible in the Windows Components Wizard. As for example, look at the line Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,HIDE,7. This indicates that the game Pinball is invisible in the Windows Components list. Just delete the word HIDE and save the file. After editing, the line should look like this: Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,7.

Now the ‘Pinball’ entry will appear in the list. And then you can perform the un-installation process from the Remove Windows Component wizard.

The programs are short named in the sysoc.inf which is hard to understand. Here is the list of short names with their corresponding program name.

AccessOpt : Accessibility Wizard

CommApps : Communications components, including Chat,
Hyperterminal, and Phone Dialer

AutoUpdate : Windows Automatic Update

MultiM : Multimedia components, including Media Player,
Volume Control, and Sound Recorder

TerminalServer : Terminal Server

dtc : Distributed Transaction Coordinator

MSWordPad : WordPad

msmsgs : Windows Messenger

dom : COM+

WBEM : Windows Management Instrumentation

Pinball : Pinball game

So, you can make the programs visible which you need to uninstall by editing the sysoc.inf file.

Note: It is not guaranteed that all the program will be permitted to uninstall. You may still not be able to uninstall some Windows Components.

However, the above processes will help you to uninstall many useless Windows components and programs which consumes a good amount of disk space and physical memory and decelerate the system performance.

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