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How to identify installed applications not used anymore


In case you want to harvest used licenses or mitigate risks from unlicensed software deployments, you may look for unused installations. This article explains how to identify which installed applications are not used anymore or haven't been used at all, so you can consider removing them.


Configure usage tracking

First of all, the respective inventory system (e. g. Empirum or SCCM) must be configured to record the application usage. Please note that this may affect the privacy of users. Accordingly, we recommend ensuring transparency and talking to users or their representatives. Inform them about the proposed action, explain what information is collected and for what purpose.

The SCCM Data Provider or Empirum Connector will import the usage data.

Define executable files

Specify the executable files you are interested in in the license management with the respective software products. You can manage these on the dialog page "Remote Measurement". Note that you can leave the version of the executable file empty. The version is only required if different versions of the software product are installed on one of the relevant devices.

Following illustration shows that determination of the relevant software product uses file name of executable and installation record on using device. Version is optional but if provided in software product, it must match. Note that an implicit wildcard for trailing digits is applied.

Executable - Mapping AUT and Software.png


The application usage data records contains following information:

  1. Executable file name (e.g. "app.exe")
  2. Executable file version (e.g. "")
  3. Executing device (e.g. "NotebookA")

This usage record must be assigned to a software product.  For this purpose, the system checks if there is a software product where "app.exe"  is listed as an executable file and is installed on that device. If the executable listed in the software products contains a version, the version must also match with the usage data. 

Scenario Software Product
Exe-File Name
Software Product
Installation reported on used device Application Usage
Usage record assigned to software product
1 app.exe   yes app.exe Yes
2 app.exe 1 yes app.exe Yes
3 app.exe 1.3 yes app.exe No, version does not match
4 app.exe 1.2 no app.exe No, not reported as installed
5 application.exe   yes app.exe No, exe-file name does not match

Please ensure that the computer inventory regarding installed applications is up-to-date and relevant fingerprints are assigned to the right software products. This is a prerequisite to assign application usage data to the right software product.

Additional Considerations

Please note, that if an application has been uninstalled the license requirement may still remain until end of minimum entitlement period. If this period is over, the system will remove the license requirement, unless there is no other additional foundation (e.g. remote usage on a terminal server).

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