Author Topic: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?  (Read 1477 times)

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Offline pastywhitegurl

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Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« on: May 23, 2020, 07:27:21 PM »
I decided to uninstall Opera browser.  So I uninstalled from the Apps page in Settings (Windows 10-64bit)

I don't use it, and it had developed an annoying habit of showing up running in Task Manager uncalled, and some weird little Opera helper icon had started displaying on the task bar near the clock.  Unacceptable behavior, Opera!  It had to go.

The Opera folder is still in  Windows(C): Program files (x86) and still contains an .exe file. 
The rest of the folders just hold one debug file each.

It doesn't seem wise to leave an .exe just laying around.  But maybe its not a big deal?   Can I delete the whole Opera folder safely? 

I'm sure there are other remnants hanging out in various places, but I don't mind if they are not vulnerable.

Offline Aaron Hulett

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #1 on: May 23, 2020, 07:32:51 PM »
What's the EXE's file name?

Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #2 on: May 23, 2020, 07:34:38 PM »
O, forgot to attach my screenshot of the Opera folder contents:

the file is named:  launcher.exe15902261668.old

Offline Aaron Hulett

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #3 on: May 23, 2020, 07:40:08 PM »
In theory, that file shouldn't be running.

Is that Opera helper still running? If so, let's see if we can figure out where it's at. While it's running, see if you can open Task Manager (click Start and type Task Manager to find it). Then go to the Details tab. Then look through there to see if you can find something running that's using the same Opera icon as you see on the taskbar. If you find something, right-click it and select Properties, and that will tell you the filename and its location. The location may actually go beyond what's shown there, but if you right-click it and then click Select All, then you can right-click it again and select Copy to copy the full location out of there.

Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #4 on: May 23, 2020, 08:02:24 PM »
Its not running after the uninstall.

Checked the Details tab on Task Manager, and there are no Opera icons there.  I'm assuming that uninstalled along with the Opera browser uninstall.

Weird how it all of a sudden started displaying.  I hadn't opened Opera browser for months at that point.

Apparently Edge thinks it should be loaded up and ready to launch, because its showing on that Lists page.

Offline winchester73

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #5 on: May 23, 2020, 09:04:03 PM »
When Opera updates, it leaves the older version folder and the older launcher.exe behind. 

launcher.exe.xxxxxxxxxx.old ... If memory serves, the "xxxxxxxxxx" is a timestamp.

If you don’t use Opera (and I assume that is the case since you uninstalled it), it is safe to nuke the entire folder, not just the launcher executable.  Then again, there is nothing malicious involved in leaving the folder alone.  Your choice.  You can always reinstall Opera.
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Offline Digerati

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #6 on: May 23, 2020, 09:24:35 PM »
The .old file extension is a good clue the program is not running because .old is not an executable extension (like .exe is).

A trick I learned many years ago when wondering if safe to delete an unfamiliar file or folder (if Bing Google does not tell me what it is for) is to simply rename the file or folder by appending the name with the date and the word "delete", then see if something breaks (get a file not found error). 

To illustrate:

Old folder name: de34juidfj277eu
New folder name: de34juidfj277eu-5-23-20-delete

Old file name: readmesqlexp2005.htm
New file name: readmesqlexp2005.htm-5-23-20-delete[/indent]

Then, I just go about my business for the next few days and see if everything is still working. What typically happens for me is I forget about it until weeks or even months later when I stumble on the file or folder again. By appending the folder or file name with the date and the word "delete" I can see how long it has been since I renamed it, and "delete" reminds me of my intentions. If all has been working since that date, I know it is safe to delete.

If something breaks, since I only "appended" text to the name instead of totally renaming it, I don't have to remember the original name - I can easily see what it was, and simply cut off my appendage :o  ??? ummm, I mean rename it back and be good to go. ;)
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Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #7 on: May 23, 2020, 09:42:45 PM »
Quote from: Winchester
If you don%u2019t use Opera (and I assume that is the case since you uninstalled it), it is safe to nuke the entire folder, not just the launcher executable.  Then again, there is nothing malicious involved in leaving the folder alone.  Your choice.  You can always reinstall Opera.

So if I ditch the whole folder and want to reinstall Opera later, it will just create everything new? 

If Opera is reinstalled...what happens to the extra stuff that was left over like in application data and such?  Do they just overwrite it?

Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #8 on: May 23, 2020, 10:17:18 PM »
Digerati, thanks. Thats a great idea to rename those suspect files to be sure its ok to delete.

Offline winchester73

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #9 on: May 23, 2020, 10:57:40 PM »
So if I ditch the whole folder and want to reinstall Opera later, it will just create everything new? 

If Opera is reinstalled...what happens to the extra stuff that was left over like in application data and such?  Do they just overwrite it?

First question ... Yes, it will be like any other fresh install, Opera will put anything it needs wherever it needs it.

Second question ... a fresh install will leave all those other things alone. It won’t overwrite them since they are remnants from prior versions of the browser.
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Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #10 on: May 24, 2020, 12:21:29 AM »
Opera folder deleted.

Thanks guys!

Offline winchester73

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2020, 12:35:54 AM »
Quote
FireFox latest
Edge Latest
IE (turned off)
Chrome Latest
Opera Latest
Pale Moon latest

Don’t forget to remove Opera from your specs signature  ;D

Do you use all of those browsers on a regular basis?
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Offline pastywhitegurl

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #12 on: May 24, 2020, 02:19:50 AM »
Thanks for noticing that.  (updated)  I was doing some web designing  a while back and was using Opera, Chrome, IE and Edge for testing.   I  need Chrome for a couple of applications, so I still use it occasionally.  But I'm mainly a FF/PM user for most things.

I'm currently moving back to FireFox after being on PaleMoon for the last two years.

Offline v_v

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #13 on: May 24, 2020, 02:39:10 AM »
pastywhitegurl,

You might also wish to go to the "Users" section of the C drive and check to see if there are any remnants of Opera there.

Depending on how your computer is set up, for Windows 10 64-bit that could be:  C:\Users\[name of user]\AppData\Roaming\. . . .

In the Roaming folder look for an Opera-related folder, probably "Opera Software".  This folder will have lots of other folders and data inside, mostly connected with the personalization/customization of the browser.  It is probably basically harmless without the operating aspect of the program (the .exe aspects).  So the choice to delete it would be yours to make.  If you do a reinstall at some point in the future there is chance that the new reinstall will make use of whatever "personalizations" are left over from the previous installation.

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Offline xrobwx71

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Re: Safe to delete Program folder after uninstalling browser?
« Reply #14 on: May 24, 2020, 12:17:47 PM »
For future reference when uninstalling something.

I use Revo Uninstaller Free https://www.revouninstaller.com/revo-uninstaller-free-download/. It gives the option to remove all remnants even in the registry.