how does uninstalling a software work? Why is it so quick, when installing takes longer?


how does uninstalling a software work? Why is it so quick, when installing takes longer?

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Installing something requires writing the data to the hard drive and adding an entry of where that file is stored to the drive’s table of all files.

Deleting a file just means removing that entry on the table. It’s much faster. Typically uninstalling a software involves a program simply deleting all the files unique to that software.

And yes, this does mean that the data from deleted files is still there until it gets overwritten. Programs like Recuva can be used to recover recently deleted files, and they’re reasonably effective.

When you’re installing it, you’re making changes to the data on the hard drive. The computer then keeps a list of where on the drive it’s safe to install stuff, and where there’s already data it should keep.

When you’re uninstalling it, all you’re really doing is telling the computer that the place the software you’re removing is safe to overwrite. You can get software that wipes free hard drive space, and you can get software that can read or recover data from it as well.

Uninstallation deletes files from disk and entries from the registry which instruct some files to be called in specific situations, such as when a document file is opened or a peripheral device is connected.

Deletion can be faster because the space freed up is marked as free but not immediately cleared out. It can be reused later as needed. Often some registry entries are left behind to avoid deleting settings that the user might want to keep, and it could be too hard to track all settings and unambiguously associate them with this program. This has created a market for 3rd party programs that aim to provide a more thorough uninstallation.

The speed of installation and uninstallation is influenced by the number of operations done. Many small files sometimes found in software ported from linux would take longer than larger packs.

Installation can be further slowed down if the application runs a more complicated code to tailor the files to the specific system. For example, a game might convert textures from one color format to another. This is a bigger job for the processor than direct extraction.

It is similar to setting up a desktop computer in the first place. You have to open the box (unzip the software), connect all the cables to the computer and monitor. Turn it on, wait for it to boot. Then there are all the settings to set (software need to do all these settings base on the established system parameters).

To get rid of the computer you just unplug it and throw the whole thing in a dumpster. The only choice is are you going to keep anything (sometime you keep some of the data, just like in the analogy you knight keep the monitor).

When you store a file, system writes a particular sequence of 0s and 1s in binary. Down there, everything is in binary. Writing this particular sequence takes time. When you delete, system just mark that location to be freed. It doesn’t write 0s everywhere in that location. So that’s fast.