Finding Computers Without an Application

Filters can be somewhat unintuitive, especially when you want to exclude results. In this article, we will provide some clarity on why it doesn't seem to be working the way you would expect. More importantly, we will show you how to get the results you were expecting.

A Common Mistake

Using the example above, the collection is looking for all computers with an application name that does not contain "Software Name". You might expect this to only display machines without that application, but the filter will actually return all computers regardless of if the program is installed or not.

The reason for this is that each machine will still have other applications that are not named "Software Name", and the filter is evaluating each program on the computer. 

Using the Correct Logic

Change the Filter from "Any" to "Not Any" and the Comparison from "Does not contain" to "Contains". This will collect Any computer that does Not have the software defined in the Value field.


Be sure to change "Software Name" to the application name you're interested in

Another issue you might run into when looking for the absence of something is machines that have not been scanned. In the case of PDQ Inventory, a lack of data may be treated the same way as if the application doesn't exist, and it will sort those machines in this collection.

To fix this, we would like to add a check to ensure that the computer has been scanned at least once. This prevents making any assumptions about the program's installation status prior to a successful scan.

Automate your collections

If you are interested in automating the creation of collections like the ones included in the Collection Library, check out this article written by our very own library maintainer (also known as The Librarian).

Generating Inventory Collections for Applications using PowerShell

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