Force uninstallation of stubborn apps with Puran's Uninstaller. | Download Product Review - CNET Download.com

Force uninstallation of stubborn apps with Puran's Uninstaller.

Uninstall even tough apps with this portable freeware.

Windows does it all, or nearly so, out of necessity: it's simply easier to integrate system utilities with the system. Most of the time, the built-in Windows tools are all you need, but there are exceptions. One feature we've long entrusted to third-party tools is uninstalling software. Not that the Windows Control Panel's uninstaller doesn't get the job done; it does, most of the time. But the alternatives build on the Windows tool's capabilities to do a better and faster job of uninstalling programs, especially those stubborn apps that the Windows tool often can't remove. Puran Software's Uninstaller is a simple tool with a simple name, but it has a few things going for it: It's free, it's totally portable, and it can forcibly uninstall programs that cling to the Windows registry, often because of a missing or corrupted uninstaller. It also verifies digital signatures and creates and exports HTML lists of installed programs. Recent updates include leftover cleaning and Windows 8 compatibility.

Much like other tools of its type, Uninstaller has a simple user interface, basically a list of installed programs. The list view's column headings display Program Name, Publisher, Version, and Size. We could drag the headings to resize the columns; although the column headings have a buttonlike action, nothing happened when we pressed them, though we'd expected rotating of the column headings for fast searching. More significantly, there's no column for Installation Date, something experiences has taught us to look for when shopping for an uninstaller. It's too easy to overlook apps you want to remove if you only go by the software's name, and date columns can make all the difference. We ran Uninstaller's Force Uninstall feature on a hard-to-remove program. The optional scan for remains is thorough and takes a few seconds. Clicking Get Program Info searched online for extra information about the app.

We'd like to see rotating column headings and, at a minimum, a column heading for installation date. Nevertheless, Uninstaller's ability to forcibly remove software that can't take a hint, verify digital signatures, and remove empty entries, all on the go, make it worth a look.

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