Most applications leave a pile of leftover files and registry entries when removed using their built-in uninstaller. The only way to safely get rid of this useless data, which can decrease your system’s performance but also cause more serious issues like system crashes, is to use an uninstall program.
Ashampoo Uninstaller is such a utility, designed to completely remove all traces of uninstalled software, but there’s more to it than meets the eye. Besides the significantly improved uninstall capabilities, this nifty application packs an impressive set of system maintenance and optimization tools to help keep your computer shipshape.
Ashampoo Uninstaller has a default 10 day trial period, but it can easily be extended to 40 days and you will be presented with this option during the program’s setup. The installation can be performed in “Express” or “Custom” mode, but we recommend the latter one since the “Express” mode includes the Ashampoo Toolbar, search engine and home-page and the only way to skip these features is by choosing the custom install process.
Because uninstalling applications can also be fun, Ashampoo Uninstaller will provide three cool-looking skins to choose from. When you’re done with the manual settings, the program will install in just a few seconds. Ashampoo Uninstaller’s requirements are the operating system itself. The program supports Windows XP and both 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows Vista, 7 and 8. You will also need administrator rights to use the application and 55 MB of free hard drive space (additional space will be needed for backups).
For all of the features is contains, Ashampoo Uninstaller’s clean, tab-based GUI is most likely an optimal solution into allowing users to easily navigate and benefit from the program’s capabilities.
The first tab, the Overview, displays the main features of the program, represented by large, descriptive icons: Uninstall, Install, Tools and Monitoring function. Both Uninstall and Install features come with easy step-by-step tutorials (these can be disabled at any time) to provide valuable guidance for new users. The Install/Uninstall actions can also be deployed from the Installations tab, where Ashampoo Uninstaller displays the full list of currently installed programs.
In its previous versions, the program recorded the state of files and registry entries before and after a program was installed to know what changes were made. Now, it features a new technology that monitors a program’s installer in real-time. This means that you can carry on with whatever you were doing at the computer even while the monitoring function is active because it only tracks the changes made by installers. The Monitoring function can be easily turned on/off from the Overview tab and even set to automatically start at system boot (which is probably the best way to go). Moreover, with Monitoring enabled, installations are logged even if you do not deploy them from within the program.
Ashampoo Uninstaller does a decent job when removing traces of unlogged programs but it really shines for the logged ones. We’ve tested several applications using the Monitoring feature and Ashampoo Uninstaller performed flawlessly as we weren’t able to find any leftovers after the cleanup. However, when launching installers from the program, it had trouble detecting the ones that are not executable files (in our case it was an .msi file – Windows Installer Package), but it did logged the changes when we deployed the installation process manually.
The Tools section comes as a welcomed bonus. It provides many useful tools that are indispensable for system optimization & maintenance such as hard disk cleanup and defragmentation, registry optimization, service and system restore management, undelete and permanent delete, duplicate finder and others. While all of these tools are of great help, you should be aware they provide basic functionality and are not a complete replacement of specialized programs.
The Settings menu can also be accessed from the General section of the Tools tab. The menu is packed with options as a result of the large number of features contained by the program, but it’s well-organized into tabbed categories for optimal accessibility and ease of use. As an alternative solution to access all of the program’s functions and tools, the grey Main Menu button present on top of the tabs menu toggles on/off the complete list.
- Modern, well-organized interface with 3 skins to choose from.
- Step by step tutorials available for Install and Uninstall functions.
- File list and registry changes logs of monitored applications.
- Real-time monitoring function for installers.
- Contains an essential collection of additional system maintenance & optimization tools.
- Ashampoo Toolbar, search engine and default homepage are included by default in the Express install mode.
- The program doesn’t detect all types of setup files when using the Install feature.
As a comfortable solution of making sure you have an “undo” option for installed programs, Ashampoo Uninstaller’s full potential is visible in the long run with its Monitoring function always on. Furthermore, through its extra set of optimization tools, the program has reached a new level of functionality, hard to find in similar applications.