Most software programs that you install on your system are added to the Add or Remove Programs control panel applet. This is done to provide you with options to uninstall the program again from a central location.
While you will find an uninstall option in the program folder and often in the start menu as well, it is not always the case.
Sometimes, you may not want a program to be listed under the Add or Remove Programs - or Uninstall a Program - control panel applet, for instance when you are sharing the same user account with another person or if you want to avoid removing it by mistake from the system.
You can use the following trick to hide a program from the list of installed programs without uninstalling or removing the program itself.
This could prevent that family members, friends or anyone else with access to the computer start to uninstall a software that you do not want uninstalled. It is still possible to uninstall it though but not by using the menu. Third party programs like Revo Uninstaller can be used for that for instance, and a manual deletion is also still possible.
All applications listed in this dialog are stored in the Windows Registry. Use Windows-R to open the run box, type regedit and tap on the enter key. Navigate to the Registry key HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall and take a look around.
It does list a lot of applications including all Windows Updates. Selecting an entry reveals more information about it such as the location on the hard drive, the display name in the Add or Remove Programs window and version of the software.
The important String in the left menu is DisplayName. If you rename (by marking it and pressing F2) that entry to QuietDisplayName it will have the consequence that this entry will no longer be shown in the Add or Remove Programs window. Changes take effect immediately.
To restore the program, simply change the display name again to another value, for instance the program's name or custom test. As long as its value is not QuietDisplayName, it will show up again in the listing of installed programs on the system.
Advertising revenue is falling fast across the Internet, and independently-run sites like Ghacks are hit hardest by it. The advertising model in its current form is coming to an end, and we have to find other ways to continue operating this site.
We are committed to keeping our content free and independent, which means no paywalls, no sponsored posts, no annoying ad formats or subscription fees.
If you like our content, and would like to help, please consider making a contribution:
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.