Date: Sun, 26 May 2013 10:06:03 +0200
- PCMech Â» Daily Tips
Dealing with Bloatware and Crapware
We all know what bloatware and crapware are, even if we’re not fully aware of it. They’re the programs we love to hate- the digital garbage packed on to pre-built PCs that their users neither want nor need. Usually, they accomplish nothing, aside from slowing down your system to a crawl. In the worst cases, PCs which might otherwise boot up in seconds take minutes, and systems lock up frequently while trying to process all the memory that’s being funneled to the trashware.
For those of you who don’t know, bloatware is any software which isn’t strictly necessary to run an operating system. A lot of organizations love to sneak these gremlins onto your system while you’re trying to install their programs (they label them as “recommended software,” more often than not). Maybe they’re antivirus programs that hog more memory than they’re worth. Maybe they’re browser toolbars (something which you should never install). Maybe they’re printer management utilities, or chat programs, or disk protection utilities, or any of a wide array of apps you never really wanted in the first place.
Regardless of what form bloatware might take, there’s one universal constant with it: it clogs up your operating system, and chews up memory that could be put to better use. How exactly does one deal with garbage such as this? How can one save their system from a bloatware infestation?
The simplest way, obviously, is to never install it in the first place. Pay close attention to the installation process whenever you’re putting a new program onto your system, and don’t install anything that you feel wouldn’t be absolutely vital. If you do end up with bloatware, uninstall it immediately. This is often easier said than done, of course – you might have to jump through a few hoops to get rid of the peskier browser toolbars, and antivirus programs often force a restart (seemingly out of spite) to remove themselves from your system.
Here’s a few tips for recognizing (and dealing) with bloatware infestations.
- If possible, avoid McAfee and Norton Antivirus. Those two pieces of software have a very negative reputation for being resource hogs, and sending startup time through the roof.
- Avoid trial programs and demos, unless you plan to upgrade to the full version in the near future.
- Think about what programs are absolutely necessary to your day to day computer use, and remove anything that doesn’t fit the list.
- Install programs like Spybot Search and Destroy and CCleaner, and use them to keep your hard drive free of stuff you don’t need.
Image Credits: [Phalanx IT]