Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:44 am

Uninstalling large programs

Mon May 03, 2021 1:19 pm


I have a very large project for which I'm building an installer. The installer works fine, but the uninstall of this project takes literally ten minutes. I ran the verbose uninstall with the log, and it is deleting every file separately. Provided that this project has thousands of files, this takes forever (as a reference: the uninstall log is 125k lines long). Is there a more reasonable way to delete the program? The root directory consists of about 10 files and 10 directories, and it seems much more effective to just delete the directories in one go (as in let the OS deal with how to delete a directory recursively) than to issue a separate command for every delete.

One thing I noticed is that when adding the source folders, is that it automatically registers a Component for every directory. Is there any way to indicate that this is not necessary, and that a directory can just be deleted completely on uninstall? The closest I've gotten is manually checking "Do not register with Windows Installer" for every feature (which will recursively apply it to all components), but I can't find any way to trigger that from the command line/aic.

For completeness: I'm currently using 11.5.1. If there are solutions for this problem in a more recent release, please also include that, so I can consider upgrading.

Posts: 4086
Joined: Wed Jun 13, 2018 7:49 am

Re: Uninstalling large programs

Fri May 07, 2021 5:26 pm


Please note that the action that removes the files is proprietary to the Windows Installer technology:

RemoveFiles Action

I'm afraid we do not really have any "power" over this action (e.g. altering it to make it faster).

Regarding registering the product with Windows Installer, a global option for your package could be found in the "Product Details" page --> "Product Details" tab --> "Register product with Windows Installer" option.

However, please note that if this option is not checked you cannot remove, repair or reinstall the application by using the Control Panel, the Windows Installer command-line options or the Windows Installer application programming interface (API).

Best regards,
Catalin Gheorghe - Advanced Installer Team
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