Give unwanted software an eviction notice
Most programs come with their own uninstallers, but these often don't do a thorough job, leaving superfluous registry entries and system files in their wake. Antivirus programs are particularly notorious for leaving mucky footprints behind in the form of temporary files and small programs, which can cause software conflicts when you try to install another tool later.
Other software is even more troublesome, not even appearing in Windows' Add/Remove Programs tool. These programs might be totally benign, or they might have been piggybacked their way onto your system along with a legitimate download.
That's why you need GeekUninstaller. It's completely free, and doesn't need to be installed – just save the EXE file to a USB stick, then double-click to run it on any PC that needs a good scouring.
Clear up the leftovers
GeekUninstaller is incredibly simple to use. Run the EXE file and it performs an instant scan of your system, then displays a list of all the programs currently installed. The ones installed most recently are highlighted in orange, which is a thoughtful touch (if you're in a hurry to remove something, it's probably only appeared recently). You can also search for a program by name.
When you've found the program to evict, right-click it and choose how to remove it. The standard option uses the program's own uninstaller, after which GeekUninstaller will sweep your system for leftover files and registry entries.
Simple and thorough
For particularly tough programs, or ones with broken uninstallers that throw up errors about missing components, the Force Uninstall tool performs a deep scan then mops up every trace.
Other uninstallers include extra bells and whistles like drive cleaners and file shredders (tasks often performed better by a dedicated tool like CCleaner), but GeekUninstaller is a master of one trade and a jack of none.
The only drawback is that you can't use it to remove pre-installed Windows 10 apps, but it's superb for cleaning up after downloaded software.
Get daily insight, inspiration and deals in your inbox
Get the hottest deals available in your inbox plus news, reviews, opinion, analysis and more from the TechRadar team.
Cat is the editor of TechRadar's sister site Advnture. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better)