Leftovers are a serious issue when you uninstall programs in the Windows operating system. They both waste valuable disk space and may add to the clutter on the operating system. You may for instance see traces of programs left in the Windows start menu, the desktop, the user profile folder or the Windows Registry.
Programs like Revo Uninstaller or Geek Uninstaller have been designed to scan the system for leftovers after program uninstallations. While they are usually very effective in this regard, they are not the non plus ultra when it comes to these kind of operations.
Install Monitor may be even more thorough as it monitors the installation of a program to keep a record of every single file and Registry entry that gets created or modified by the application. Combine that with options to scan for and clean-up leftovers, and you have got a program that after all may be better suited for removing programs from the system.
Install Monitor uses SQL Server Compact by Microsoft, and will prompt to install the component if it is not already installed on the system. This could be an issue for some users who do not want to install the component on their system.
Once installed you will see the list of installed programs on the system. The program works similar to Revo Uninstaller for applications that have been installed before Install Monitor was installed itself. You can uninstall those programs and clean-up the system afterwards.
The clean-up process is not as revealing as that of Revo Uninstaller, as it is not displaying each item individually to the user. Here it is an all or nothing process with no option to see what is getting deleted if you select to clean-up the leftovers.
Install Monitor will automatically monitor all installation processes on the system when it is running. This is an automated process that requires no user interaction. The idea here is to record every change on the system to act as a record of an application's activities during installation, and as a log that the program uses to make sure that all files and settings are deleted during uninstallation.
It is interesting to note that you can delete individual entries in the Contents tab of the program. Just right-click on a file, folder or Registry key and select delete from the context menu to remove it from the system.
You can use the search that is integrated into the software to find applications. It allows you to find programs by name, and use additional variables like location, type or a date range to filter the results.
Install Monitor is a well designed program that does exactly what it is supposed to do. If you want to monitor software installations, this is a program that you can use for that task. The only downside is the lack of information during the clean-up process, and the SQL Server Compact requirement.
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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.