What Does Uninstall Mean?

Uninstall is the process of removing or deleting an application or software from electronic devices such as a personal computer, laptop, smartphone, cellphone, etc. Uninstall helps in removing applications or programs that are not functioning or working properly, are outdated or are not being used anymore. It can also help if extra disk space is needed. However, uninstall, if done improperly, can result in performance issues and problems for the electronic device.


Techopedia Explains Uninstall

Typically, an application includes an uninstall program that can be used to remove the application if the need arises. In fact, this is the recommended way of removing a program or application from a device, as it removes all the configurations, registry information and other files, including the files generated by the program or application to ensure that no conflicts, if any, will occur in the future. In some cases, searching for the application file by means of a file browser can help in uninstalling the application. However, an uninstaller may still be needed to remove all the files, including the orphan files that were not deleted by a manual uninstall.

For electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets, app removers are available that perform a similar functionality to that of an uninstaller. For most operating systems, commands are available at the kernel level for uninstalling applications or programs. The commands and the method of removal vary according to the operating system and, sometimes, to the type of applications. If the program is installed on a Windows operating system, the user can uninstall it from the Control Panel using the "Uninstall a program" option. If this procedure does not work, the user can use the Windows system-restore-point feature to uninstall an application, which brings the system to its state prior to the installation of the program.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.