How do I remove P2P file sharing software from my computer?

After reading our document What You Need to Know about File Sharing, you may be interested in removing file-sharing or P2P (peer-to-peer) software from your computer. Many users configure their P2P software for downloading files, but they disable the feature to allow their files to be uploaded to the public. It has been shown that many of the popular P2P applications have options that allow you to disable the uploading of files, however, the option doesn’t always work. For P2P sites to be successful, they need everyone to share everything. This exacerbates the illegal file sharing epidemic and results in customers being sued for copyright violations, when they thought they were protected.

In order to protect yourself from copyright violations, we recommend that you remove all P2P software from your computer. This will eliminate the possibility of having any copyrighted material, which you own, being distributed to the public Internet. To remove any software on a Windows based machine, you should open your Control Panel and choose “Add Remove Programs” or on Vista “Programs and Features” and select each software title that you want to uninstall. If you have a question about the titles that you see, please contact us. Usually a Google search will let us know if the title is related to P2P software or not.

If you decide to take the riskier route and configure the software, you will need to follow specific directions for the software title and version that you are using. Maintaining documentation on this topic can be a daunting task. The University of Chicago has a thorough list of P2P configuration documents on their site: http://nsit.uchicago.edu/services/safecomputing/disableptp/.