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BEWARE: Uninstall leaves registry entries behind

Aug 9, 2011 at 10:43 AM
Edited Aug 9, 2011 at 10:46 AM

After installing & trying Browser Chooser I found it was breaking a number of things for me, (e.g. you couldn't edit your bookmarks in IE normally, the favicons were all gone from favorites, and links in other applications were not behaving correctly) so I tried uninstalling it.

Unfortunately, the uninstall process left LOADS of registry entries (ALL its entries?) behind afterwards, so I was left with the broken things still, and no browser to open links in (my URL handlers were still pointing to the now removed Browser Chooser!)

I exported my entire registry to .reg files, and went through and found all of the mentions of Browser Chooser.

I was fortunate to have a workmate with the same build of PC as me, who had a newly built PC with the same build as mine, and who was happy to export the same registry areas for me, so I was able to go through and compare and select the bits I needed and import the correct entries to over-write the mess & cruft that Browser Chooser had left.

My impression of Browser Chooser is that it's a great idea, but it's very poorly implemented and it's also not a well written piece of code.

It sadly also appears to not follow the appropriate standards for cleanly removing itself, so I would recommend people against installing it.

Below is the registry file I created to repair my registry after removing Browser Chooser.

The key entries with a minus ("-") at the start are to delete that entry, and the values with "=-" as their assignment remove that value within a key.

Please don't blindly run this as a reg file without checking what it will change, as your PC's config is bound to be different from mine and these entries may not be correct for you.

I am posting this here so you can look through it to use it to help you find what you need to remove or replace to repair your registry if you've uninstalled this program without having to spend all the time it took me to find these orphaned entries & work out what they needed to have done with them to correct them:

 

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT]
".htm"=-
".html"=-
".shtml"=-
".xht"=-
".xhtm"=-
".xhtml"=-

[HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.url]
@="InternetShortcut"

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\.xhtm]

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\CLSID\{42042206-2D85-11D3-8CFF-005004838597}\Old Icon\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\ftp\shell\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\http\shell\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_CLASSES_ROOT\https\shell\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.url]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\.xhtm]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\ftp\shell\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\http\shell\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Classes\https\shell\BrowserChooserHTML]

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.htm\OpenWithProgids]
"BrowserChooserHTML"=-

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.html\OpenWithProgids]
"BrowserChooserHTML"=-

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.shtml\OpenWithProgids]
"BrowserChooserHTML"=-

[-HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Explorer\FileExts\.url]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\BrowserChooserHTML]

[-HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes\CLSID\{42042206-2D85-11D3-8CFF-005004838597}\Old Icon\BrowserChooserHTML]

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Classes]
".shtml"=-
".xht"=-
".xhtm"=-
".xhtml"=-
".htm"=-
".html"=-

[HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Shared\HTML]
"KnownIDs"="htmlfile;FirefoxHTML;ChromeHTML"
Aug 26, 2011 at 3:18 AM

Those are not modified on install - you have to go to the options area and manually enable them yourself.  Therefore, my guess is that you have to manually revert it as well *before* uninstalling, else the uninstaller will not revert the keys since they were not altered during installation in the first place.

Looking in Default Programs in windows, I see that it is set for default for:

 

  1. .htm
  2. .html
  3. .shtml
  4. .xht
  5. .xhtml
  6. FTP
  7. HTTP
  8. HTTPS