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The How To Again Reinstall the Trial Version of a Software
One of the most common models of selling software these days is to use the free trial. A software publisher will release a version of their program that does not cost money, but has substantial limitations that make the trial version significantly less useful than the paid version. There are two basic approaches to this: either offer only the basic functionality, or release the entire program with a time limit that only allows the trial to be used for a fixed period of time. It is this second type of trial that we are discussing today.
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Time-limited trials are much more effective at generating sales than malware offerings. A program that has been crippled and whose functionality has been removed is not going to sell a customer the full product – they’ve never seen the full product. Imposing a fixed deadline of 7, 14 or 30 days and allowing clients to take advantage of the full program is more popular. This gives users a full experience of the software so that they can make a much more informed purchasing decision.
However, sometimes the trial period is just not long enough and you need more time. In this article, I will show you several techniques for reinstalling the trial software after the trial is finished. Note that the intent of this article is not to allow you to continue using the software indefinitely; it would be unethical. Use these techniques only to evaluate the software, not to steal it.
How do I reinstall the software?
There are a number of different techniques that will allow you to reinstall the software. Some timed app trials run on the Honor system – if you reinstall the program, the trial will run again. However, it is much more common for applications to attempt to detect and block cheating behavior. Some leave a file or a file or a marker in the registry or in Program Data (Windows) telling the software how long it should live. Other programs will track the date internally or use more sophisticated methods to enforce the trial periods. You can fool some of them, but you won’t be able to fool them all.
Below are some of the ways you can reinstall the trial software after the free trial ends. Not all methods work under all circumstances because different developers use different methods to track the tests. You will have to experiment with each one to find what works for you. However, whichever method you use, the first thing you should do is copy your data files – the work you did with the program – to a separate drive (maybe a USB flash drive) so that your work is always available. .
Use an installation monitor to completely remove the trial software
An installation monitor is software that accurately records every action taken by a setup or installation program – every file transferred, every registry entry changed or created, every checkpoint created, and every icon installed. By using an install monitor when you install a free trial, you can get an exact catalog of what it installs. At the end of the trial, you can remove all traces of this program and reinstall it, as there will be no markers left to tell it that you have already had the free trial. (Ordinary uninstallation programs, provided by the software manufacturer, leave traces all over your computer, whether by carelessness or by design.)
Mirekusoft Install Monitor is an installation monitor that you can use to perform this function. It has the advantage of being free and it tracks everything a program installs and the locations where files are installed. You can then legally uninstall or remove each file after you uninstall the trial version, which should allow you to reinstall the trial software after the free trial period has ended.
Use a file uninstaller
The uninstaller that came with your software is usually quite sloppy. No one normally needs an uninstaller to get every last file, and no one has ever bought software based on how well their uninstaller works. Predictably, uninstallation programs will often miss or ignore registry and hard drive entries. All the big files will be gone and your computer will work normally, but there will be a lot of breadcrumbs left for a new test install to detect that it is not exploring virgin territory and refusing to install it.
Using a third-party uninstaller such as Revo Uninstaller or IObit Uninstaller removes all files from everywhere. If the test program leaves a certificate file or other resource to prevent reinstallation, those applications should find and remove it.
How to remove trial version software from registry by backing up and restoring Windows registry
The Windows Registry is a huge database of stored values describing just about every aspect of every software and hardware on your machine. Many programs will leave traces of themselves in the registry, even if you use the included uninstaller. Even a file uninstaller may not get all the registry entries, especially if the installer and uninstallation programs were designed to leave a registry entry hidden somewhere to avoid duplicate runs of the trial software. .
However, this is relatively easy to overcome. All you need to do is take a snapshot of your Windows registry before you install the trial version for the first time. Then install and use the trial version, and when the time period is up, uninstall it, then restore the registry to the values saved before the trial period. However, note that this has the potential to put your PC in a confused state, as any other changes other programs have saved to the registry in the meantime will also be lost.
Here’s how to back up and restore your registry.
- Type “regedit” into the Windows search bar.
- Select File in the new registry window and Export.
- Select a safe place to keep the copy.
- Install the software and let the trial version expire.
- Uninstall the software.
- Type “regedit” into the Windows search bar.
- Select File in the new registry window and Import.
- Select your copy and select OK.
If the software uses a registry key to track test installations, this should work around this issue. (It’s a good idea to clean your registry after playing around with it – we’ve got a great guide to Windows 10 registry cleaners for you.)
Sandboxing is another useful way to try new software because it creates a safe place to install the program. This program will work normally, but it will not be able to affect your computer and therefore will not be able to leave persistent files after uninstalling it. It’s a great way to use software, and it’s especially useful when you’re testing new programs.
One of the most well-known sandbox programs is Sandboxie. Not only is it free, but it’s also very good at what it does. If you install your program in the sandbox, then you should be able to reinstall a program that you have tested after the free trial ends.
My final tip for reinstalling the trial software after the free trial ends is to use a virtual machine. These come in handy in a lot of different situations, but when it comes to trying out new apps, they really shine. Not only do they prevent software from interfering with your main operating system, but they also prevent any security issues and can be quickly removed and reinstalled to keep any trial version running for as long as you need it to.
Free VM software such as VirtualBox is ideal for this. Create a VM, install an operating system, and configure everything. Take a copy of the image you just created, install the evaluation software, use it, delete the image from the VM, and replace it with the copy. It’s more laborious and complex than some of the other methods, but it’s also the one that is almost foolproof! Using VirtualBox is not very difficult, but it is also not a beginner’s level task; you may find this introductory guide to VirtualBox useful.
Do you have any other tips or tricks with free trials? Comments below!
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