Generally speaking, the Add/Remove Programs tool, built-in to Windows, doesn’t remove every trace of an installed application. It relies on the installed application to uninstall itself, reversing the install process. This works in some instances, but when the original installer writes files to your System folder, your Registry and leaves read-only files in the installation folder, it can cause problems.
Some rogue software companies might not actually want you to completely remove their software. For instance, commercial trial applications are designed to work for 30-days from installation and, when you attempt to install in the future, the software realises it has been previously installed.
The ideal scenario would be a third-party tool that enables you to monitor the files an installer is placing on your system and then removes these files when you want to uninstall the application.
Total Uninstall is a tool that performs this function – it helps monitor any changes made to your system during the installation of a new application. It allows you to perform a complete uninstall without having to rely on the supplied Add/Remove program which can leave files or changes behind.
Total Uninstall creates a snapshot of your system prior to installing a new application. It then takes an additional snapshot after the installation has completed. It then compares the two snapshots and displays all changes in a graphical tree view, marking all registry values and/or files that have been added, changed or deleted. Total Uninstall saves these changes and if you decide to uninstall the application, it will reverse the changes to the previous state.