In our whole life, we have probably uninstalled tens, if not hundreds of different programs. Sometimes, we only uninstall a program after enjoying a free trial. Meanwhile, we have also removed lots of software to free up storage space or simply wipe the unnecessary applications from our computers. However, there are times when we need a program that we have already deleted. That’s where our guide on how to recover uninstalled programs on Windows 11 comes in.
We often forget the name of the application or cannot retrieve the program-related files even after reinstalling it. That’s a problem many of us have suffered from. Therefore, in this article, we will show you how to recover uninstalled programs and related files on a Windows 11 computer. We will also sneeds the precautions every user need to take to avoid accidental app deletions. Let’s dig in.
Why Do People Uninstall Windows Programs?
Windows users uninstall their applications for different reasons. Here are some of the most common causes of Windows program uninstallation:
1. To Save Storage Space
Let’s face it—modern applications can be extraordinarily large and data-heavy, consuming gigabytes after gigabytes of your hard disk drive space. In recent years, the program sizes are inflating even more as the developers heavily rely on cross-platform frameworks. These allow the applications to run on multiple major platforms at the expense of their performance and size. This, in turn, ends up taking more and more gigabytes of your storage space, until your hard disk drive has no more space left. As a result, most Windows users simply choose to uninstall the relatively nonessential programs to free their storage space and avoid the side effects of a jam-packed HDD.
2. The Program No Longer Has a Purpose
There is no need to keep an application on your computer if you no longerExpertsr it, is there? In fact, experts recommend uninstalling any program that no longer has a purpose. That will help users avoid unwanted updates and the risk of possible cyber attacks in case you stop software upgrades. This is one of the biggest reasons for Windows users to regularly uninstall multiple applications from their computers.
3. End of Free Trials
A lot of programs offer free trials, so the users can experience the apps’ capabilities before making a decision about further subscriptions. Consequently, many people install a lot of programs on their computers to experience the free trials. However, most choose not to subscribe to the apps after the free trials are over. Therefore, instead of purchasing the license key, many Windows users decide to uninstall the programs after their free trial ends. After all, why should they keep an app on their computers when they have no plan to use it anymore?
In the end, no matter why you decide to uninstall an application, once you do so, the application as well as most files related to the application would be wiped out from your computer. Can you recover the uninstalled programs on your Windows 11 device? You sure can. But will you be able to recover the data related to the applications?
We are unsure—it varies depending on which application you use. Thus, if you cannot restore your files automatically once you reinstall the programs, you will have to employ other methods to retrieve them. Let’s see how using the methods below can help recover uninstalled programs and the related files on a Windows 11 PC.
1. Use System Restore to Recover Uninstalled Programs on Windows 11
System Restore is a great backup and restoration feature that comes pre-installed on every Windows 11 computer. It allows the computer to take snapshots of the Windows Registry, system files and settings, and even the applications installed on your computer. Finally, it allows you to restore them all to their previous states. This feature is automatically enabled in all Windows 11 machines, and it takes one snapshot of your computer every day by default. It may also take additional ones when there is a major change on your computers, such as a new app installation or a driver update. Here’s how you can use System Restore to get uninstalled programs on Windows 11 back:
- Click on the “Search” icon on the taskbar and type “Control Panel.”
- Once “Control Panel” shows up in the search results, click on it and the Control Panel window will open up.
- Click on the Control Panel’s search box and type “recovery.”
- Once the “Recovery” option shows up, select it, and then click on the “Open System Restore” option.
- Click on the “Next” option to open the available “Restore Points.”
- Choose a “Restore Point” of your choice and click on the “Scan for affected programs” option.
- Review the results and click on the “Next” button to proceed.
- Click on the “Finish” button to complete the restoration procedure.
With this, you should be able to recover the uninstalled apps. Now, once you sign in to the applications with proper credentials, you will find all the data that was wiped out along with the program in the past. However, if the program stores its files on your hard disk drive, you won’t be able to restore those deleted app files even after reinstalling the apps using System Restore. To restore the program-related files that were stored in your hard disk drive, please execute the next data restoration procedure with a data recovery application.
2. Use Data Recovery Software for Removed Windows 11 Program Restoration
As we mentioned before, whenever you uninstall an app, any app-related data will be wiped out from your computer. Additionally, if the program you have uninstalled stores data on your HDD, you can’t restore the app-related files even if you get the program back to your PC using the System Restore feature.
That’s why you need a data recovery application to retrieve the app data once you reinstall the app. Now, you can use any such program you want to start the recovery process. However, you need to make sure that the data restoration application comes from a reputable data recovery company and it has many positive reviews. If the data restoration software gets a thumbs up from one or more data recovery experts, it’s even better.
Therefore, once you decide which data recovery software you want to use, download and install it on your computer. Please note that most professional data recovery applications use a similar process. Thus, no matter which data recovery software you choose, the general steps used in this guide will still apply to the data recovery app of your choice. Now, let’s see how you can use the data restoration application to recover the data of the uninstalled programs on a Windows 11 PC:
- Open the data rescue application on your Windows 11 device.
- Now, select your hard disk drive and then click on the “Search for lost data” or “Scan” option. The application will start scanning your whole hard disk drive to find recoverable files.
- Once the scan is complete, the app will show you a list of files it was able to extract from your HDD. Search for the files that you want to recover and select them.
- Next, click on the “Recover” button.
- Select a folder where you would like to download the chosen files and click on the “OK” button. The files you have selected will be downloaded to your chosen folder.
Congratulations! You have successfully recovered both the uninstalled program and the files related to it.
Protecting the Programs from Accidental Deletion
While we have shown you the best ways to recover your uninstalled programs and the files related to them, you should take proper measures to prevent the accidental deletion of important programs and files. Here are a few actions every Windows 11 user should take to protect their programs from unintended deletion.
1. Create Regular Data Backups
You should always make backups of your important files and apps, and even include your whole computer’s data every once in a while. This way, even if you accidentally delete an important file or program, you can recover it within minutes. Windows 11 offers multiple ways to back up your files using the pre-installed features that come with every computer that uses it. Here are the two most popular ways to back up the files on your Windows 11 machine:
- File History: You can set up File History to back up specific files and folders at regular intervals.
- OneDrive: You can sync your Windows 11 PC with OneDrive. OneDrive, Microsoft’s online cloud storage service, will automatically backup your important files and folders as long as you are connected to the internet.
Don’t like File History and OneDrive? No problem. You can still use other third-party cloud storage services, such as Dropbox (no affiliation), to backup your apps and filregularlysis.
2. Edit User Permissions
Do other people in your family or office also use your computer? If that’s the case, it would be better to create a separate user account for the other users. In Windows 11, you need administrator privileges to uninstall any program from your computer. This means if you hold the administrator account and give the other users a separate user account, the other users won’t be able to uninstall any program from your computer—not even accidentally.
3. Check Your HDD Regularly
No matter how sturdy your hard disk drive is, it still won’t last forever. That’s why you need to check your hard disk drive’s health on a regular basis. You can either use Command Prompt to check the HDD health or third-party software to monitor it. If you decide to use a third-party application, we will leave the choice to your discretion. However, if you want to do a quick check, open your Command Prompt and execute these two commands in the following order:
- diskdrive get status
If your hard disk drive is working fine, the command prompt will show your status as “OK” just like the image above. However, if the result is “Pred Fail” or something else instead of the “OK” message, you should stop using your hard disk drive immediately and contact an expert to see what’s wrong with it.
On the other hand, if you hear a scratching noise from your computer or start losing your data without a prior notice, it might mean that your HDD is suffering from either mechanical damage or logical failure. In such a case, stop using it to avoid any further damage. Take it to an expert after you familiarize yourself with how data recovery centers work.
4. Be Careful During Uninstalling Useless Programs
It might sound a bit too obvious at this point, but you should still proceed with extreme caution when you’re uninstalling any program from your PC. After all, it’s quite easy to accidentally uninstall a wrong program if you’re not careful. One mistake and it’s going to take hours to fix it, even if you’re using this or any other guide.