If you need a program that lets you cleanly and completely uninstall applications, fire up IObit Uninstaller 6. This free utility makes it a breeze to delete apps, including stray files that are often left behind when you use Windows to delete software from your hard drive or SSD. Competing free tools, such as Comodo Programs Manager and Revo Uninstaller, perform similar functions, but IObit Uninstaller bests those rivals with its community-based suggestions and ability to remove annoying Web browser toolbars and plug-ins. In short, if you use a Windows PC, you should download IObit Uninstaller to uninstall applications.
What It Does
Windows' built-in Programs and Features uninstaller lets you remove applications, but it has two issues. First, it only lets you remove one application at a time, which proves tedious if you want to uninstall lots of software at the same time. Second, the uninstall process often leaves behind junk files that may affect system performance. IObit Uninstaller, on the other hand, lets you queue up multiple applications and remove those stray files.
It's simple to do, too. The Windows 10-compatible IObit Uninstaller (also available for Windows 8/7/Vista/XP) has a clean interface that makes navigating the application's three main sections—Programs, Toolbars & Plug-Ins, and Action Center—a breeze. It's also quite visually appealing. Sure, a utility's attractiveness doesn't trump functionality, but it's a welcome bonus.
Uninstalling a single application, toolbar, or plug-in is as simple as highlighting a software listing (for example, Symantec Norton Utilities) in the All Programs section and clicking the large, lime-green Uninstall icon. Checking multiple application boxes lets you queue a string of program deletions, which is something that you cannot do in Windows' Programs and Features.
IObit Uninstaller lets you queue up multiple programs, but you must confirm the uninstall for each app before the removal process begins, much as you do with Comodo Programs Manager and Revo Uninstaller. That's a small inconvenience, but after that I discovered that IObit removed Geekbench, Steam, and other applications in a shorter time than Windows' built-in uninstaller. IObit also includes Force Uninstall, a feature that's designed to delete applications when they refuse to be removed in a traditional manner—very handy.
IObit Uninstaller's full 64-bit Windows compatibility means that your PC's 64-bit apps are thoroughly removed, leaving no junk files behind. IObit Uninstaller's been ahead of the curve in this respect for some time now; Revo Uninstaller only recently implemented full 64-bit compatibility.
Toolbars, Plug-Ins, and Community
IObit Uninstaller's ability to kick browser toolbars and plug-ins to the curb is what truly differentiates it from Comodo Programs Manager and Revo Uninstaller. I used IObit Uninstaller to remove an Amazon plug-in for Google Chrome, which is something I couldn't do using Comodo Programs Manager or Revo Uninstaller. In fact, Comodo and Revo didn't recognize the plug-in when I searched on "Amazon" using their respective search boxes. IObit's ability to remove browser toolbars and plug-ins isn't a common one. Of all the uninstallers I've reviewed, only Ashampoo Uninstaller boasts similar capabilities.
Like the SlimWare SlimCleaner Plus tune-up utility, IObit Uninstaller's Toolbar & Plug-ins section leverages community ratings to help users determine which items should remain installed. For example, Windows Media Player has a four-star user rating, while AFContextMenuCntrl Class has just three stars. Comodo Programs Manager and Revo Uninstaller lack this useful feature.
You should, of course, know what these toolbars and plug-ins do before you start uninstalling them. Unfortunately, IObit lacks comprehensive application descriptions. Instead, consult your favorite search engine before uninstalling toolbars and plug-ins. In addition, IObit Uninstaller doesn't possess Revo Uninstaller's Windows cleaning tool (though the application has file-shredding capabilities).
On the upside, you can also use the items in IObit's Tools section to close active applications, determine which programs launch when you boot your PC, and view your uninstall history.
Likewise, the Programs section opens the door to other options, including Large Programs (which is vital if you're looking to quickly free up storage space) and Infrequently Used (these may be programs you should ditch).
An Excellent Uninstaller
IObit Uninstaller 6 is easily the best Windows uninstaller utility I've tested. Despite some minor problems, its 64-bit-app compatibility, browser toolbar and plug-in removal, and well-designed interface make it a winner. It doesn't hurt that it's free, either. Ashampoo Uninstaller, Comodo Programs Manager, and Revo Uninstaller are no slouches, but IObit Uninstaller is the PCMag Editors' Choice for Windows uninstaller utilities.