IObit Uninstaller is one of the best free software uninstallers for Windows thanks to a batch uninstall feature, an installation monitor, support for most Windows versions, and a quick install itself.
Every piece of an application is searched for and removed completely, leaving no useless, junk files behind. You can uninstall software with IObit Uninstaller in a few different ways depending on your specific situation, like using the Force Uninstall or Easy Uninstall feature.
This review is of IObit Uninstaller version 11.6, which was released on July 8, 2022. Please let us know if there's a newer version we need to review.
More About IObit Uninstaller
IObit Uninstaller does everything an excellent uninstaller tool should:
- Works with Windows 11, 10, and older Windows operating systems
- Integrates itself into the File Explorer right-click context menu, meaning you can remove programs from the desktop or any other folder without having to first open IObit Uninstaller
- It can monitor other software installations automatically so that when you decide to remove one of those monitored programs, it'll know exactly which files/folders to delete to fully uninstall it without leaving behind any traces
- You can sort the list of installed programs by name, size, install date, or version number
- After uninstalling a program, IObit Uninstaller searches through and removes any files that may been left behind after the uninstall, in both the registry and the file system, and tells you how much free space was recovered
- Force Uninstall (more on this below) is a feature that can remove a program that was unable to be uninstalled by normal means
- A residual files cleaner can delete Windows patch cache files, invalid shortcuts, and unused files in the Downloads folder to recovery more storage space on the hard drive
- You can see a list of programs that you infrequently use, as well as programs that are taking up lots of disk space
- IObit Uninstaller lists out the Windows apps that were installed by default as well as 3rd party apps, and you can remove any of them
- Files that can't be removed while Windows is running will be scheduled to be deleted when you restart your computer
- You can find out more information on any installed program by right-clicking it and choosing to find the program in Windows Explorer, open it in the Registry Editor, or search for it online
- Keeps a history of everything you've removed so that you can see exactly what files and registry items were deleted
- Startup programs can be disabled or completely removed, and startup processes can be immediately terminated or removed from starting up
- In the Software Updater section is a list of installed programs that could be updated to a newer version. You can then go straight to the download page to get the most up-to-date version.
- Will detect a program's official uninstall tool (if one exists), and will download it for you to ensure proper deletion of the program files.
- Can also remove system restore points, toolbars, browser extensions, browser plug-ins, Browser Help Objects, and 3rd party programs that have been injected into your browsers
IObit Uninstaller Pros & Cons
There's a lot to like about it:
Really quick installation.
Creates a system restore point before removing software.
Supports batch uninstalls.
Remove updates installed with Windows Update.
Explains which installed apps could be updated to a newer version.
Several methods for deleting programs.
Also includes a folder and file shredder.
No option to remove a program entry from the list of installed software.
An advertisement is always shown at the bottom.
Other programs might ask to be installed during setup.
Doesn't let you remove all parts of bundleware (only tells you about it).
The Different Ways to Use IObit Uninstaller
IObit Uninstaller provides multiple ways to remove programs. The method you pick should depend on the specific situation you're in.
Open the Programs screen on the left of the software to see all the uninstall options. You can see a list of installed programs, a list of bundleware if multiple apps were installed simultaneously, a list of recently installed programs, a list of the programs taking up the most space on your hard drive, and a list of software you hardly ever use.
If those criteria are the best way for you to uninstall a program, then you'll want to open IObit Uninstaller that way and use one of those areas of the program to remove the application in question.
A quick way to uninstall software with this tool is to right-click the program's shortcut and click Powerful Uninstall. This will open IObit Uninstaller automatically and prompt you to remove the program.
This method is quicker than opening IObit's program first, and might be necessary if the program isn't listed in IObit Uninstaller.
If you open Programs and Features from the Control Panel, which is the regular uninstall method found in Windows, is another way to access Powerful Uninstall. Click once on any program you wish to remove and then click that button to delete it with the Powerful Uninstall function.
The Easy Uninstall feature is a small green dot that you can drop onto a program to tell IObit Uninstaller to uninstall it. It's very helpful if the program you want to remove is already open and running but you're not sure how it got there or how to delete it.
To use this feature, hit the Ctrl+Alt+U keyboard shortcut, or open IObit Uninstaller's tools menu at the top of the program to find Easy Uninstall. Drag the green dot onto the program window or desktop shortcut and select Uninstall to start the uninstallation process, Open File Location to learn more about where on your computer that program is stored, or End Process to promptly shut down the process.
If your computer shut down or crashed while trying to install or uninstall a program, it might not show up in IObit Uninstaller as an installed application, even though the program is still there. This is when the Force Uninstall feature is handy.
Just drag the program's shortcut, or any file related to that program, into the Force Uninstall window, and IObit Uninstaller will scan the computer for anything related to that file or shortcut. When it finds the related program, it will uninstall all of its files to effectively clean your computer of the half-installed software.
This is the best option if the above methods of removing a program weren't enough and you know that some files were left behind. Open one of those residual files in this part of IObit Uninstaller to forcibly remove the whole program.
You can open Force Uninstall through the tools menu at the top right corner.
Stubborn Program Remover
Some software might be difficult to remove even with all of the above options, which is why IObit Uninstaller includes yet another method: Stubborn Program Remover. It's available from the same tools menu as some of the above options.
This works by presenting you with hundreds of programs that the stubborn remover tool supports. Select the programs from that list that you want to delete.
Final Thoughts on IObit Uninstaller
Of all the several free program uninstallers out there, this one definitely creates a nice balance between a good set of features and an easy-to-use interface.
We explained the many ways to use IObit Uninstaller above to show just how versatile it can be to delete anything and everything, no matter the situation. If a malware program is running but you're not sure where it's installed or what it's called, just use that green dot to delete it. Or if you have a weird shortcut on your desktop that belongs to a program you're unfamiliar with, just right-click it to remove the whole program with IObit Uninstaller. You can see just how many situations this program could come in handy in.
We also love that you can easily view just the large programs you have installed. It says how much space the program is using on the hard drive so you know which to uninstall first if you're running low on disk space.
Uninstalling programs in batch will prove to be extremely helpful. If you've used a similar software uninstaller program, it might have launched all the uninstall wizards for every program you included in the batch process, at the same time, which is terrible to keep track of. IObit Uninstaller is different in that it doesn't open the next uninstall wizard until the current one has been closed, which is very nice.
Also, during a batch uninstall, the residual registry and file system scan isn't launched until all programs have been removed, which saves a ton of time so it's not looking for leftover items after each and every uninstall.
If you install bundleware by accident, IObit's program will alert you about it. Also, even if you uninstall a program without using IObit Uninstaller, you'll get prompted by this tool to remove all the residual files left behind by the other uninstaller—how cool is that!
The file shredder tool works not only with the forced uninstall function but also independent of it. This means you can open the file shredder to permanently remove any file or folder, not just the junk left over after an uninstall. This makes it less likely that a data recovery program will be able to restore your deleted files.
We highly suggest you try this software before trying any other uninstaller tool.
You can get the portable version of IObit Uninstaller at PortableApps.com, but it doesn't reflect the newest edition, so keep that in mind.