This is a common question that might be asked when you try to uninstall a program. This may be asked through a message box or a checkbox that says keep/remove user settings. There are a lot of ideas as to what the correct behavior should be here.
Should you remove all user settings?
Some people claim that since you are uninstalling everything should be removed. This would make sense considering the potential for software rot. For instance the registry could become a junkyard littered with user settings for uninstalled programs. However the user may want to keep their settings if they are only uninstalling temporarily and plan to reinstall later. So it would seem to make sense to ask. Sometimes the user is unsure or does not know the answer.
HELP! It fails to remove all user settings?
But even if the program asks it may not be able to remove all user settings. Another user could have logged in and used the program but is now logged out. That user’s settings would not be deleted when you uninstall for the current user. There is also no safe or reliable way to accomplish this. Is there a better solution that does not annoy the user with extra questions and still allows them to remove everything if they choose? I will talk in the next post about how Install Monitor helps to solve this problem.