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Mirekusoft Install Monitor: cleanly remove any application with a couple of clicks

17 August 2012, Mike Williams

Uninstalling an application doesn’t seem like it should be such a difficult task: make a note of what you add to a PC during installation, then remove it all when you’re asked, right?

In reality, though, many installers leave assorted files, folders and Registry keys behind to clutter your hard drive and slow your system down. But grab a copy of Mirekusoft Install Monitor and you’ll be able to quickly identify these leftovers, and clean up them all with a click.

The program works by tracking the files and folders added to your PC during an application installation. And a major plus is that it does this quickly, and transparently. There are no pop-up “installation detected” dialogs, no lengthy pauses while the system takes a full system snapshot, in fact on our test PC there was no sign that Install Monitor was running at all.

If you’d like some evidence that it’s working, though, just install something, launch Install Monitor, select your most recently-added application and click the Content tab. This displays a tree of all the folders, files and Registry entries added by the installation. (And this may actually be useful in itself if you’d like to know what an installer has done to your PC.)

Install Monitor tracks all the files, folders and Registry keys a program adds to your PC

And if you’d like to fully uninstall that program later, launch Install Monitor, select the application and click Content > Uninstall. The regular application uninstaller will appear, so proceed through that as usual, and as it removes items Install Monitor will delete the corresponding entry from the Content Tree.

Once the uninstaller has finished, then, you’ll immediately see on the Content screen whether there’s any junk left over. And if there is, you can remove it with a click: easy.

While in our initial tests Install Monitor worked very well, we’re not sure how reliable it might be long-term. Monitoring installers rather than taking snapshots is better for performance, but increases the chance that you might miss some items which have been added to a system.

And of course you need to be careful with any tool like this, as there may occasionally be a good reason why an uninstaller has left something behind. Don’t use Install Monitor unless you have a full and recent system backup to hand.

In general, though, Install Monitor (also available in 64-bit) is a neat tool, fast, unobtrusive and free for personal use. If you’re tired of manually cleaning up after feeble uninstallers then it could be just the program to help.

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