There are literally thousands of quality software programs you can download from sites such as cnet.com and filehippo.com.
Many of these are completely free to download and use forever, though more comprehensive programs will be "free to try," which essentially means you can use it for a set period, usually 30 days.
After the 30 day trial period is up, the program will no longer open or function properly and the publisher requires you to pay either a one-off fee or a monthly subscription to continue using the program.
Though 30 days sounds reasonable, it can soon fly by, especially if you're preoccupied with something else. You may also forget that you downloaded the program and by the time you get around to testing it, you've only got a couple of measly days left.
You may be wondering why uninstalling and then reinstalling the program doesn't reset the trial period. Well, in layman's terms, the program has installed small registry files deep within your Windows operating system, which don't get removed during the normal Windows uninstallation process.
These registry files will essentially stay on your computer forever, unless you do a complete factory reset. It may be possible if you dig around in the Windows registry to remove these files, but this is something that is well beyond the technical ability of the average computer user.
So, How Can I Extend the Trial Period of a Software Program?
In the past, it used to be possible to extend the trial period of certain software programs by simply changing the time and date on your Windows PC. Sadly, this method expired a long time ago.
But don't despair, as there is a relatively easy and safe way to do this by using a free program called Advanced Uninstaller PRO 12, which will uninstall the program and any registry files, it leaves behind.
I should explain that Advanced Uninstaller PRO 12 is both a free and paid for software program. Lucky enough, the only thing we are interested in is the "uninstall programs" feature, which is free to use.
1. Once you've installed Advanced Uninstaller PRO 12 you want to open the program and select General Tools > Uninstall Programs.
2. Once you select "Uninstall Programs" you'll see a list of programs installed on your computer. Simply search for the program you want to uninstall and put a tick in the little circle on the left-hand side of the programme. For example, I have selected to uninstall a program called "ACDSee Ultimate 10".
3. To uninstall click on the big red uninstall button on the right-hand side of the programme.
4. The program will then doublecheck with you if you want to uninstall the program. It will also ask you if you want to "use the leftover scanner". It's important that you select this. Click yes to uninstall.
5. The program you have selected will now begin the uninstall process. In most cases, you should see the "InstallShield wizard" which will ask you if you want to remove or modify the program. Simply click on "next" and follow the instructions to uninstall the program.
6. Once the program has been removed, Advanced Uninstaller PRO 12 will then begin scanning for leftovers from the program you have just uninstalled. This may take a couple of minutes, so be patient.
7. Once the program has finished searching for leftovers, it will display a list files associated with the program you have just uninstalled. This may look bamboozling, but it is generally safe to delete all of them. However, you should first doublecheck to make sure that nothing important is being deleted. If you're happy to delete all the files and registry entries simply click "next".
8. That's it. Click on the "done" button and that should be it.
To use the program that you've just uninstalled you will naturally have to reinstall it. Hopefully, you should now be able to enjoy the full trial period again.
Please note, this method doesn't always work as software developers are finding ways to ensure that the trial period cannot be reactivated from the same computer. However, I've had no problems with numerous different software programs using this method.