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Old 11-28-2016, 07:05 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Why does it take so long for Windows show a list of apps?

If I want to uninstall an app, I have to go to Settings, Apps. Then there is a l-o-n-g pause while Windows presumably builds the list of apps dynamically. Why in the world would this not be a microsecond response time? Shouldn't it have a list of apps built already in the registry?
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  #2  
Old 11-28-2016, 07:51 PM
wolfpup wolfpup is offline
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The best answer I can give is that it's a lot more than just presenting "a list of apps", although in theory it could have been written that way. You'll note that there's a fair amount of information displayed with each app extracted from the registry, and one of the things that Windows does is navigate the registry to discover the appropriate path and executable for the uninstall process.

Back in the Windows XP days -- and I don't know how much this has changed -- a syntax error in the value of the HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Uninstall\ subkey could cause an infinite wait for the "Add/Remove Programs" list to come up. You could wait until the sun turned into a red giant and engulfed the earth, or the universe ended, and it still wouldn't complete. You can thank the awesomely robust software standards of Bill Gates' programming teams!
  #3  
Old 11-28-2016, 10:03 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Hmmm. I have a software development background but I'm sure that programming an OS like Windows is way over my head. But still, there is no need to retrieve uninstall data to build the list. All it shows the user is date of installation. Navigating to uninstall is not needed until the user actually clicks Uninstall.

As usual, my claim is that Microsoft designs things for their engineers, not their users.
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Old 11-28-2016, 10:54 PM
GreenWyvern GreenWyvern is offline
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It's better to use a good 3rd party application rather than the uninstall feature in the Control Panel.

I've been using IObit Uninstaller for years. It works very well, and the freeware version is really all you need.

It displays a list of apps in less than a second on my machine.

Here's the (official) portable freeware version
http://portableapps.com/apps/utiliti...aller_portable

If you want a version with an installer, it's on their website, iobit.com

After uninstalling an app, it also optionally does a scan to find 'things left behind' that were not removed by the app's uninstaller.
  #5  
Old 11-29-2016, 05:19 AM
Keeve Keeve is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
If I want to uninstall an app, I have to go to Settings, Apps. Then there is a l-o-n-g pause while Windows presumably builds the list of apps dynamically. Why in the world would this not be a microsecond response time? Shouldn't it have a list of apps built already in the registry?
Same question applies to Control Panel's list of printers and devices.
  #6  
Old 11-29-2016, 07:10 AM
bob++ bob++ is offline
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I use Ccleaner. It will uninstall any app, as well as allowing easy alteration of the startup apps.

Last edited by bob++; 11-29-2016 at 07:10 AM.
  #7  
Old 11-29-2016, 07:43 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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Does Windows have "apps" now?
  #8  
Old 11-29-2016, 10:02 AM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Does Windows have "apps" now?
Yes. Settings > Apps & Features brings up the list of installed software. I have Windows 10 but this was probably introduced in 8, if not 7.
  #9  
Old 11-29-2016, 10:21 AM
TimeWinder TimeWinder is offline
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Originally Posted by Keeve View Post
Same question applies to Control Panel's list of printers and devices.
And Search. Spotlight on my Mac can find any document on the computer by name faster than I can type, but I usually just give up on searching for files on Windows after a few minutes of staring at the spinning dots. Plus, it's arbitrarily decided there's all sorts of files that it won't find in any amount of time; typically those with 'system' extensions of one sort or another, or those in even slightly nonstandard places.
  #10  
Old 11-29-2016, 11:15 AM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is online now
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Originally Posted by CookingWithGas View Post
Yes. Settings > Apps & Features brings up the list of installed software. I have Windows 10 but this was probably introduced in 8, if not 7.
I just checked: Windows 7 (which is the latest I've used) still has "Programs and Features."
  #11  
Old 11-29-2016, 11:23 AM
DrCube DrCube is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
Does Windows have "apps" now?
"App" is just a trendy name for an "application", AKA, a "program". Windows has always had apps. The term just got a new life when smartphones came out, and the marketing teams tried to pretend that "apps" were a new concept, when really the only difference between a smartphone and a feature phone was that the smartphone wasn't locked down quite as much, so the illusion of choice was a little more believable.
  #12  
Old 11-29-2016, 11:28 AM
DrCube DrCube is online now
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Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink View Post
I just checked: Windows 7 (which is the latest I've used) still has "Programs and Features."
I have Win10, and it has "Programs and Features" too. In addition to "Apps and Features" which appears to be the exact same thing, only with a larger font size and bigger icons.
  #13  
Old 11-29-2016, 11:43 AM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
"App" is just a trendy name for an "application", AKA, a "program". Windows has always had apps. The term just got a new life when smartphones came out, and the marketing teams tried to pretend that "apps" were a new concept, when really the only difference between a smartphone and a feature phone was that the smartphone wasn't locked down quite as much, so the illusion of choice was a little more believable.
Yeah, perhaps it wasn't part of official Windows nomenclature, but the term is decades old. I have an issue of Compute Magazine from 1991 that talks about "power apps" and I seem to recall C64 BBSes in the 80s having separate "app" or "appz" directories in the 80s. Now, back then, "apps" were a specific category of software separate from "games," and were not just a catch-all synonym for "programs," though. (Although I might argue that the distinction is still somewhat preserved. I'm not sure I'd call Counter Strike an "app," but Word I would. Maybe that's just me clinging on to the old definition, though, as I'm a fortysomething. That said, you do get games at the "app" store, so it probably is me being a bit of a fogie.)

Last edited by pulykamell; 11-29-2016 at 11:46 AM.
  #14  
Old 11-29-2016, 01:22 PM
Kinthalis Kinthalis is offline
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It still baffles me that we have to navigate to control panel --> programs and services to uninstall an app.

I think in Windows 10 there's a separate app list for windows "Store apps" too.
  #15  
Old 11-29-2016, 01:37 PM
GreenWyvern GreenWyvern is offline
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Originally Posted by TimeWinder View Post
And Search. Spotlight on my Mac can find any document on the computer by name faster than I can type, but I usually just give up on searching for files on Windows after a few minutes of staring at the spinning dots. Plus, it's arbitrarily decided there's all sorts of files that it won't find in any amount of time; typically those with 'system' extensions of one sort or another, or those in even slightly nonstandard places.
For Windows search, I also prefer a better 3rd party freeware solution.

Everything Search Engine is very, very fast and efficient, as well as being small and using few resources. Far better than the standard Windows search.
  #16  
Old 11-29-2016, 03:46 PM
wolfpup wolfpup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrCube View Post
"App" is just a trendy name for an "application", AKA, a "program". Windows has always had apps. The term just got a new life when smartphones came out, and the marketing teams tried to pretend that "apps" were a new concept ...
Not just Windows -- "app" is just short for "application", a term that dates back to the first commercial digital computers, and has become annoyingly trendy with the advent of smartphones and all the marketing-speak around them, as if it was something new.

From a user standpoint, an application is -- and has always been -- simply any sort of software that delivers value to the end user, as opposed to just being a system tool that supports running or programming the computer or being considered part of the OS itself.

FWIW, the meaningful distinctions I would draw are between an app, a program, and a process. From a technical standpoint, one could describe this as an increasingly precise hierarchy. A process (different OSs have different terms for this) is a set of instructions that can be independently started, stopped, and scheduled by the OS, which run independently of each other and are characterized in modern computers by having their own protected address space, their own privilege level and scheduling priority, and a unique ID.

A program is a higher-level concept and is a functionally coherent collection of code that may run as one or more processes and that may invoke OS services and further OS processes in its execution. A compiled executable program usually corresponds to a single executable image file.

An application, or an "app", is just a conceptual or marketing term and describes a program or related set of programs that do something useful for the end user. In simple environments an app and a program are frequently synonymous.
  #17  
Old 11-29-2016, 07:34 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by Kinthalis View Post
It still baffles me that we have to navigate to control panel --> programs and services to uninstall an app.
...
In WIn10 you can right-click on the entry in the Start menu or the tile and you'll find "uninstall" is one of the choices.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 11-29-2016 at 07:34 PM.
  #18  
Old 11-30-2016, 08:03 PM
CookingWithGas CookingWithGas is offline
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
In WIn10 you can right-click on the entry in the Start menu or the tile and you'll find "uninstall" is one of the choices.
And when you click on uninstall, it doesn't actually start the uninstall--it just brings up the Programs & Features list and you still have to wait for the list to load. This, however, seems to be a different list than when you navigate through Control Panel to Apps & Features.
  #19  
Old 12-01-2016, 08:18 AM
BorgHunter BorgHunter is offline
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It would appear that the displayed list isn't just a list of installed programs in the Registry, but for each entry, Windows goes spelunking in the Start menu and Program Files to get stuff like the icon and last used and frequency. At least, so says Raymond Chen (who would be more likely to know than anyone here, considering he is (was?) on the Windows development team). He doesn't say anything about how all this affects the speed of populating that list, but I'd be willing to bet it's a bit slow, considering it involves a lot of disk access.

Note that the blog post is from 2004, so it's possible it doesn't apply to Windows versions past XP. Bet it does, though.

Last edited by BorgHunter; 12-01-2016 at 08:19 AM.
  #20  
Old 12-01-2016, 08:30 PM
urban1a urban1a is offline
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I have used a variety of third party uninstall apps in my life and every one did the same thing as the Windows uninstall far faster than Windows was able to do it and I never understood why, because they must be looking at the same things. Basically, I think it was just never a high priority for Microsoft to make it faster.

The uninstall app I have now, following the install of the program I ask to delete, also looks around the hard drives for remnants of that app and presents a list of remaining stuff (files, folders, register entries, etc) which may also be uninstalled. Basically this is meant to save space, but with today's large drives it really isn't necessary (I just do it out of habit).

Bob
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