Manufacturers install bloatware or crapware as freebies for the user. However, the reality is that they’re mostly just clutter. In fact, bloatware can eat up limited storage space, significantly diminish performance speeds, consume your device’s battery life, and even take up some of your CPU’s processing power. The BBC reported how a smartphone company even faced litigation back in 2017 for having as much as 47 non-removable pre-installed apps in new units, limiting the devices’ capabilities without the users knowing about it. In short, you need to get rid of all bloatware if you want to keep your computer healthy and running smoothly. Thankfully, this is a pretty easy task to accomplish.
Start Clean and Fresh
The simplest and best way to clear your computer of bloatware or crapware is to reinstall a clean and clutter-free operating system. This only takes a few steps to accomplish:
- Click the Start menu and then the gear icon to open Windows Settings. You can also do this by holding the Windows button on your keyboard and then pressing “i.”
- On Window Settings, click on Update & Security.
- If you can’t find some of these items right away, scroll up and down on the Settings window. Look to the left-hand side of the window and then click on Recovery.
- Click on Learn how to start fresh with a clean installation of Windows, and from there, follow the instructions. You can opt to keep your personal files intact as Windows reinstalls itself, after which you’ll be left with a cleaner slate than when you first got your laptop or computer from the supplier or manufacturer.
Manually Uninstall Bloatware
If you’re still left with certain apps, games, or peripherals that are clearly just clutter, you can simply uninstall them. – Open Windows Settings and click on Apps. – Look through your long list of apps to see how much space each one takes, and decide which ones you won’t miss —click on those apps and then click on Uninstall.
Be Careful Not To Uninstall System Files
If you’re not well versed with the inner workings of the software you’re using, be extra careful not to remove anything that your non-bloatware apps or even your operating system (OS) might need to keep running smoothly. For instance, software known as Dynamic Link Library (DLL) files show up as applications when you open the Apps window on Settings, and to the untrained eye, they will look like useless clutter. One example is Microsoft Visual C++, which appears repeatedly on Apps, are installed on separate dates, and look like several versions of the same thing. They are, but each version has been installed alongside real, non-bloatware apps to keep them running smoothly on Windows. Don’t uninstall anything if you’re not certain that it’s bloatware.
Install Antivirus Software
Taking the time to remove bloatware from your computer can significantly improve its performance and how it utilises processing power —which you can further improve by taking the time to install antivirus software. Unlike bloatware which mostly just take up space, viruses are much worse. One of the most damaging in history was 2000’s ILOVEYOU computer worm. It was disguised as an email from a loved one, and it managed to damage the computers and overwrite the files of the tens of millions of PC users who were fooled into opening the email. And that was 20 years ago; the hackers who create viruses for whatever purposes have only gotten better over the years. This is why it should be a high priority to install good antivirus software. A guide to the best antivirus software for Windows 10 by HP explains how the best online defences for the operating system “should be able to employ advanced algorithms and techniques to provide constant real-time protection.” Getting rid of viruses is even more urgent that removing bloatware —and doing both can better help keep your machine running at optimum condition.