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Windows XP comes with a variety of software pre-installed like WordPad. These Out-Of-The-Box Software cannot be removed using the Add/Remove Programs Function in the Control Panel because they are hidden.

The solution is easier than you’d think.

How to Make the OoBe programs appear

First, you must have Windows XP setup to display system files and display hidden files and folders.

  1. On the Tools menu in Windows Explorer, click Folder Options.
  2. Click the View tab.
  3. Under Hidden files and folders, click Show hidden files and folders

Second, Locate your Windows Folder.

  1. Inside the Windows Folder (Usually C:\Windows), locate the folder named INI
  2. Inside the folder C:\windows\inf, you will find a file called: Sysoc.inf
    I have not been able to locate sysoc.inf (or it’s equal) in Windows 7, If you find it, please let me know.
  3. Open the file in Notepad
    The file will look something like this:

    Signature = “$Windows NT$”

    IndexSrv_System = setupqry.dll,IndexSrv,setupqry.inf,,7
    TerminalServer=TsOc.dll, HydraOc, TsOc.inf,hide,2 <== Terminal Server (Disables Fast User Login, Remote Desktop.)
    AutoUpdate=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,au.inf,hide,7 <== Auto Update
    msmsgs=msgrocm.dll,OcEntry,msmsgs.inf,hide,7 <== Windows Messenger (aka MSN Messenger)

    Games=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,games.inf,,7 <== Games
    Pinball=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,pinball.inf,HIDE,7 <== Pinball
    MSWordPad=ocgen.dll,OcEntry,wordpad.inf,HIDE,7 <== WordPad


  4. If you look closely, you will notice the word: “HIDE” appearing several places. These are the OoBe programs that Windows will not allow you to see in Add/Remove Programs list.
  5. Remove the word HIDE, but keep the commas: ,HIDE, = ,,
  6. Save the file when done.
  7. Now these programs will be visible in the Add/Remove Programs list


Even though you can show all these programs in the list, Windows will not allow you to remove all. Depending on which Service they are dependent of.

Note 2!

To be on the safe side of things, I suggest you make a backup of the Sysoc.Inf file before tampering with it.

About Thomas

Computer geek from the age of 7, which amounts to 30 years of computer experience. From the early days (when every computer company had their own OS) of DOS, Windows 1.0 through Seven...

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3 thoughts on “Uninstall Hidden Windows Software in XP [How To]”

  1. Rich says:

    This guide is for XP

  2. Rich says:

    This guide is for XP

  3. Rich says:

    This guide is for XP

Comments are closed.

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